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Sheltie is barking at strangers

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:25 am
by caitgray
Hi all!

My sheltie has been very shy since he is a rehome and missed the socialization stage. He has been in dog training to attain therapy dog certification is gradually becoming more social.
However, every time we go for a walk, he barks and growls at every human and dog that we pass. He is a very loving dog but he seems aggressive when we go for walks and it makes me fearful to let him meet dogs and frankly, the owners of the other dogs do not want to meet him. He does great at doggie daycare, the dog park, and training once he warms up and gets over the shyness.

Please help! I want to socialize him more and show people that he's a sweet boy!



Re: Sheltie is barking at strangers

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:33 am
by SheltiePlanet
Sounds like he's fearful and his growling is a pre-emptive deterrent to others ("stay away from me!!")

You say he's better at daycare, I'm wondering if is makes a difference if he's on the leash? Being on the leash can help a nervous dog feel more secure, because it means you're in charge and he can just follow your lead. However, if he's not confident that you're in control, he may feel the need to take charge for you - hence the growling.

I'd be tempted to experiment with different situations - leash on, leash off, submissive dogs that don't threaten him, and work on a gradual desensitization program, correcting him every time he growls. It's been a while since you posted this question so I hope things have gotten better for you both!