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Anyone who's read my posts knows that I have a girl with issues. She's worked through a lot of them, given time and patience. I knew that her general attitude towards men had improved dramatically, even men wearing hats. However, I did not know how much she had improved until this past February.

 

In February, I had to return to my parent's home for my Dad's funeral. I live several states away and brought Whisper with me. As for most funerals, there were a lot of people in and out of the house to pay their respects. Whisper was fine for every single one of them. The only person she even barked at was the Amish man that came in, and once I leashed her, had her sit and he let her sniff (I love dog-savvy people--he knew to let her sniff and not touch her until she gave her approval). When she gave him a friendly swipe with her paw, I knew that all was well and let her off leash. After he petted her for a few minutes, she went and lay down in the corner she had claimed. Now, I know that it helped that she was not in her own home protecting her territory, but I am still very proud of her.

 

Anyone else have any stories to brag about?

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This will be old news to some, but...

 

As many of you know, my dog has a history of fearfulness/ reactivity. She's been getting better and better. Today (Aug. 4) she hit a milestone. A lady from P.G. & E. (Pacific Gas & Electric) came to the door, (screen door) with all her attendant keys, equipment, etc. After one little "Hey, someone's at the door!" woof, Sugarfoot made nice when the lady came in, and even gave her a kiss on the hand. She wagged and got petted and was completely friendly and un-rattled. Yay, Sugarfoot!

 

Yesterday she went with me to the pub to pick up some fish & chips. Walked the length of the room with me, and didn't freak at the loud music, loud talking or a dozen strangers milling around. Even sniffed a few proffered hands while I paid for my food. She wasn't calm, but she wasn't freaked, either. Seemed pretty pleased with herself on the way home, too. Yay Sugar-dog!

 

And Yay Whisper. Getting better all the time...

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Hi! So what techniques have you been using? I got a couple of books to help with Mickey, "Scaredy Dog" and "The Cautious Canine." I have been giving Mickey lots of Cheerios, his favorite treat, when my husband's dad comes over (he was very scared of dad--tall & deep voice). Now he isn't barking and growling anymore, but still gets spooked when dad stands up. However, he gets excited when dad comes over now because he knows he will get Cheerios, and that behavior is what the second book said would be good. I need to find other people to come over who aren't afraid of dogs. What have you done to get Whisper used to people?

 

--Suzanne

 

This will be old news to some, but...

 

As many of you know, my dog has a history of fearfulness/ reactivity. She's been getting better and better. Today (Aug. 4) she hit a milestone. A lady from P.G. & E. (Pacific Gas & Electric) came to the door, (screen door) with all her attendant keys, equipment, etc. After one little "Hey, someone's at the door!" woof, Sugarfoot made nice when the lady came in, and even gave her a kiss on the hand. She wagged and got petted and was completely friendly and un-rattled. Yay, Sugarfoot!

 

Yesterday she went with me to the pub to pick up some fish & chips. Walked the length of the room with me, and didn't freak at the loud music, loud talking or a dozen strangers milling around. Even sniffed a few proffered hands while I paid for my food. She wasn't calm, but she wasn't freaked, either. Seemed pretty pleased with herself on the way home, too. Yay Sugar-dog!

 

And Yay Whisper. Getting better all the time...

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Suzanne-

 

My dog isn't Whisper, but since you included my quote, I'll answer the question. Anytime there's someone around that Sugar isn't totally comfortable with I keep stuffing her with 1/4 " cubes of Monterrey Jack cheese. I don't act any different toward the dog, unless she makes friendly overtures to the new person. Then she gets cheese from both of us. Most folk can't understand why a suspicious dog would not like being pursued by a stranger with cheese, so I tell them to pretend she's not there, regardless of what she's doing. Only when she makes sustained, wagging contact do they get to give her cheese. And they don't get to pet her until she's really fawning on them. Also, she dislikes having people reach over her head to pet her, so I instruct them to scratch her chest or stroke under her chin, neck, and chest. So really, it isn't so much about managing the dog as it is managing the people.

 

Same thing with sounds, etc. that she reacts badly to. Lots of cheese. If we're out on a leash walk and she's worried about a motorcycle, for instance, we stop. Usually I will get next to a wall so she can have one side less to worry about scary things approaching. I let her look as long as she needs to. When she's ready to move on, we do. Sometimes I will mimic the scary sound and laugh. This seems to help allay her fears. (It can also have amusing effects on passersby.)

 

I also use Rescue Remedy before walks and if I'm expecting company. It does seem to help with reactivity, and speed the process of getting acquainted. Overall progress is slow but steady. Sometimes she has bad days. I just try to limit her exposure to stressors on those days. Exercise helps. She's noticeably more calm on the days she gets a good run.

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Hi, and thank you for your reply. Sorry I got the names mixed up. :rolleyes:

 

I guess I'm on the right track. I used rescue remedy plus Cheerios for Mickey the first four or five times with my father-in-law, then just Cheerios when Mickey got used to him. I thought about using cheese, but he loves Cheerios even more, and they have fewer calories for him...

 

I have sometimes done his exercise before a visit, but not always. That sounds like a great idea to remember! Thanks again!

 

--Suzanne

 

Suzanne-

 

My dog isn't Whisper, but since you included my quote, I'll answer the question. Anytime there's someone around that Sugar isn't totally comfortable with I keep stuffing her with 1/4 " cubes of Monterrey Jack cheese. I don't act any different toward the dog, unless she makes friendly overtures to the new person. Then she gets cheese from both of us. Most folk can't understand why a suspicious dog would not like being pursued by a stranger with cheese, so I tell them to pretend she's not there, regardless of what she's doing. Only when she makes sustained, wagging contact do they get to give her cheese. And they don't get to pet her until she's really fawning on them. Also, she dislikes having people reach over her head to pet her, so I instruct them to scratch her chest or stroke under her chin, neck, and chest. So really, it isn't so much about managing the dog as it is managing the people.

 

Same thing with sounds, etc. that she reacts badly to. Lots of cheese. If we're out on a leash walk and she's worried about a motorcycle, for instance, we stop. Usually I will get next to a wall so she can have one side less to worry about scary things approaching. I let her look as long as she needs to. When she's ready to move on, we do. Sometimes I will mimic the scary sound and laugh. This seems to help allay her fears. (It can also have amusing effects on passersby.)

 

I also use Rescue Remedy before walks and if I'm expecting company. It does seem to help with reactivity, and speed the process of getting acquainted. Overall progress is slow but steady. Sometimes she has bad days. I just try to limit her exposure to stressors on those days. Exercise helps. She's noticeably more calm on the days she gets a good run.

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Whisper is mine, and she had the fear-aggressive thing towards people. What I did, since when I first got her there were three teens in the house and a LOT of human traffic in and out at all hours, was to have everyone ignore her. I ignored her, too, except for watching her out of the corner of my eye. I let her take everything at her own pace. She was so fearful that I wanted her to build her confidence, first. Nowadays she has plenty of confidence, so everyone who comes in gets handed a biscuit to give to her as soon as she sits down for them. This has also had the predictable effect of whenever ANYone comes into the house, she thinks she needs a biscuit. This process has taken years, and she's mellowed a lot as she's gotten older.

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