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This kind of just started with Abby and i'm hoping it's just a phase. But when we were in a car accident awhile back, my mom and I had very high negative energy towards the guy that hit us and when the guy came over to the car, Abby could feel our energy and was barking ferociously at him. Now, whenever a guy (especially obese) comes over to the car, she barks like that. Even if it's just the guy that fills the gas up in the car and it makes people afraid. I want to stop this and now. Yesterday at agility, a man was saying hi to Abby and she did the whole squat really low and back away everytime he tried to pat her, so I asked him to give her treats and Abby took them, but she still didn't get over that nervous stance. How can I stop this? And I mean the ferocious barking in the car and the nervous stance around men.
 

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I don't have any advice on how to stop it, but I know how you feel. My boxer is the same way. She will be as friendly as can be with ANY female, but if a male comes around, other than my husband or my father, she just goes nuts barking, and her hair stands up on her back. After a few minutes of them being around and she sees they don't pose a threat, she'll calm down, but if they make any sudden moves she's back in her "charge" stance. She has never bitten anyone, and she has never been abused, as we have been her only owners, but I have no clue on how to make it stop...
 

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If she's fearful around men, she may snap out of fear. If my dogs were in that stance, the LAST thing I would do is push her to get friendly with a stranger. Especially a big, tall man looming over her. Have them get down to her level, but not staring directly in her face, and offer her some treats while you have a very strong hold of the leash. Then see if she changes her demeanor.

And I'll remind you of this little piece of advice that you gave me..

ambulldogpup said:
Otherwise, if there not 100% friendly towards strangers, it's probably, in your best interest, not to go to a public hiking area or anywhere that may have people you don't know with your dogs. Just 2 cents from me.
You can see now why that's not exactly a feasible option. I love how you added that she was feeding off your negative energy --is does make sense, doesn't it? Did you get that from my post about Cesar's Way? That's exactly how I explained the reason for my dog's behviour on the infamous hiking incident. I remember you said you had been reading a training book as well. Did you find any tips in there about nervous dogs? I haven't had time to finish my book yet. Hopefully this weekend. Good luck with Abby, I hope she can overcome this. Stupid boys from the accident, grrr.
 

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Do NOT coddle Abby. By giving her treats when it happens you are reenforcing that behavior. If she simply backs up and cowers, just ignore her. She will eventually just realize everything is fine especially when you act like everything is fine.

However if is she is barking or acting aggressive. You need to immediately correct the behavior with the leash or with a stern "No" or whatever you use.

Remember not to get tense when you get around men anticipating her getting upset. Always stay relaxed. She can definately react to your energy especially if you are anticipating there being a problem.
 
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