He is extremely scared of people he doesn't know (reacts with barking and won't allow them to touch him) and it takes him a good 2 years to feel comfortable with someone. He does a lot of territorial barking. He won't lay down somewhere if there's a piece of paper or other object in the vicinity. He jumps if you touch him when he's not expecting it. He's just a *very* nervous dog overall. (Sidenote: he is very good with DS and has never so much as growled at him. We also have another dog and two cats that he really likes playing with.)
We tried some training to control the barking, but the trainer was all about Jack needing to understand that I was in charge. He wanted me to use a spiked choke collar, which I just wasn't comfortable with. I know it really works for some dogs, but it seemed to achieve the opposite effect with Jack.
Does anyone else have a dog like this? Are there things I can do to help him?
The thing that helps Boomer the most is for us to never coddle her when she's fearful. It was hard to get used to but helped a lot.
DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8 11/10 4/11
DD: 3 8/11
We also don't coddle... we ignore her fear-based stuff - we don't force her to do things, but we don't cajole and sweet-talk, either. If anything, I'll give a very upbeat, "No problems!" to let her know that I'm aware of the "threat" and that I'm not worried. We also intentionally do things that make her a little bit nervous, like hugging her and other physical stuff, and she's gotten better with it.
She's learned a lot by watching our other dog... often if he does something first, she'll be willing to risk it. He's an older lab and very slow and steady, and it helps her.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
No way am I recommending this, especially for a fearful dog, but just something I noticed. When she's forced to interact, she does better. Like with the vet. We just put her up on the table, he touches her all over, opens her mouth, looks at her teeth, we go home. No damage is done so she will trust the vet, now that she knows that he won't hurt her. Also with the vet tech. Leah hadn't met her before, but she saw Leah (Leah's back was turned), she reached down and petted her while saying "oh, what a good doggy!". Leah just looked at her and at me and was fine with her ever since.
She loves anyone she met as a puppy, but generally doesn't warm up to strangers. Except I had this one neighbor in my last house. He saw her and asked what her name was, I told him. Then he called her and she ran right over, jumped up on the fence and gave him kisses.
Most of her barking is nervous "I don't know you and I don't want you here, please go away" barking. Twice it was ferocious barking. I stayed away from those people she barked like that to.
Blah blah blah
I have a 1 yr old BC rat terrier mix. She is such a love to me, my family and friends that she knows! Otherwise, she loves other dog, however any strangers, she is fearful of. She will not let a stranger pat her. She barks at strangers if I have her out playing with her other dog friends. She barks and chases them. She is fine in the house and not too muc scares her. She doesnt mind vacuums, or any loud noises. I just dont understand why she is so afraid of strangers. She sometimes is frarful of bigger dogs, but in general LOVES playing with any dog, male or female. I dont know how to get her to not be so afraid when I have strange ( to her ) people come in the house or we come across in the neighborhood