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Tor has finally had his injections and we have been taking him out and discovered a little problem, which I believe is quite common for BC's.


Most of the time he was okay with people, but he becomes very alert when anyone walks past or near him. He also seems to have a problem with a male neighbour - but no one else in the yard male or female?


Last night on a walk round the park he stood to attention again and if the people were coming towards he would start to move towards them and growl.

Initially we had him off the lead but he started to chase the heels of a passer by and we had to get hold of him (much to this guys relief) and thankfully the man wasn't too upset.


This has only just surfaced and I would like to nip it in the bud now. So does anyone have any tips for the next time he goes walking?


He has been great with everything else so far house training/sit/down/pulling on his lead.


Moon & Tor

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Hi Moon


First off, I would keep him on a lead ? can be a light long line ? whenever he?s in the park, or out anywhere, until you have a rock solid recall on him (which will be a while yet! :rolleyes: )


Then I would enlist the help of friends, if you can, arm them with the most yummy treats, and let them meet you ?accidentally?. I would say to Tor something like ? ?Who?s that ? go say hi to ?? and have your friend give Tor treats while making a fuss of him (but without looming over him.)


I would also be taking Tor out and about wherever you can, with you armed with lots of yummy treats, and reward any positive responses to people, while ignoring negative ones ? assuming he doesn?t actually nip. It?s a good time to be doing this while Tor is irresistibly cute, and you?ll get good responses from people.


Having said all that, be careful what you wish for ? I have 2 who regard any person passing by who doesn?t actually speak to them or pat them as a missed opportunity! But then I wanted this level of people-friendliness for therapy dog visiting.


This is your time to work really hard at exposing Tor in a safe and non-threatening way to as many different experiences and people as you can.

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Hi and thanks for your reply.


We had him off the lead last night mainly because there were few people around to distract him. He was very good bar the jogger incident and take your point


We are lucky to have a very busy nature trail nearby which we took him on over the weekend. Lots of mountain bikers, kids, people, dogs, joggers...particularly during nice weather with a good selection of bits that are quiet and less busy so he can explore. He was very good..got a bit over excited when he met another pup and scared him with his enthusiasm *eek*


Will give it a try thanks.



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My first BC Betty had a similar problem like this for a short amount of time and it was one I was particularly concerned and embarrassed about as she would growl and bark at black people whenever she saw them, and I knew we would soon be moving to an area of the U.S. where there were going to be more African Americans living there than in Colorado, where we were living at at the time. Maybe she was mistreated by one before we got her and had that associated with them; but fortunately, it didn't take too long to correct this behavior and get her socialized with them. I am glad because I was worried I had a rascist dog on my hands. She never tried to bite or snap at them, just bark and growl.


What I did with her is put her on the lead and take her outside with me whenever I went outside each day, which was quite a bit. Whenever we came near a black person, I would move away them to a point that was far enough away where they wouldn't be tempted to come over and pet her, but where she could still watch them and see they weren't going to do anything to her. I would put her in a stay and stand beside her. If she growled or barked, I would correct her by telling her "that's a no" in a firm voice. When she quieted down, I would say to her in a loud, happy voice "See, they're not going to bother you" and praise her for showing the correct behavior. You just need to ignore the negative behavior that you don't want unless it's biting or nipping, and praise and reinforce the positive behavior.


After she had gotten comfortable with that, I moved her up to walking beside me on the lead past them at a slightly closer distance and shortened the distance after a few days of her becoming comfortable with the new one until she was walking right beside them in passing without a growl or bark.


Once I knew she was comfortable with that, I enlisted the help of the family in particular she was barking at. I started with the adults of the family first. I would bring her up to them and put her in a sit, then let her just watch them calmly to see they weren't going to do anything to her. After a few minutes of that, I would invite them to pet her gently. After that, she never had a problem with those people in particular or any black people again, she saw them as just more people to be petted by.


It's just something you have to work on gradually with your dogs. With puppies, it's usually just a socializing issue unless it's a specific race, gender or type of person they are reacting to; such as Betty was. Older dogs are the ones who exhibit that more, sometimes as a result of a bad experience and sometimes as a result of poor socialization with all races and types of people as a puppy.


This nature trail sounds like a good place to begin his socializing with people and other dogs. Just be sure to keep him on the lead so you can control him and don't have to worry about him bolting off if he does go after someone or gets scared. With BCs, they thrive on verbal praise like any breed; just more so because they get so attached to their owners. They don't respond well to very harsh yelling or criticism and too much can actually shut them down emotionally and really damage them in that way, so that's another thing to keep in mind.


As hard as it is to not want to comfort your dogs when they get scared by something, don't. Comforting them during a time when they are reacting in a negative way to something they are scared by only reinforces the negative behavior and teaches them that is the correct response. Instead, try the sit and watch from a distance thing at first. It can be hard to get them to sit at first because a dog's first reaction to fright is to run away and some dogs get hysterical at being made to stay where they are at and sit instead of running away at first.


Then, when your dog is comfortable with that; walk up to them to whatever the person or object is, touch it if it's an object and say in a loud, happy voice with no trace of fear in it "see, it's just a ------, it's not going to hurt you" and let the dog sniff it out and check it out. If it's a person, walk the dog up to them, put them in a sit and invite the person to pet them gently and offer them lots of praise and treats.


Good luck with it!

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