(Closed) 7 month old puppy recently afraid of men? – advice/reasons?!

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
Member
9521 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

IDK- I had a rescue puppy who was scared of men. The Humane Society say she was found after being abused and abandoned. We just assume it was a male since she was so skittish around them. Is it possible something happened to your dogs that you wouldn’t know about?

Post # 4
Member
9521 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Thats why I asked, you do know his background. Could anything happen when you are not home? I hope someone else has a much better answer. We have German Shepards. When I’m pissy (yep, human) they cuddle with their daddy but they are not scared of women.

Post # 5
Member
701 posts
Busy bee

First of all most dogs don’t like it if people run up to them- in dog world that is considered rude and possibly threatening. It could be a lack of socialization, genetics, or he is just on the shy side. At his age if it is sudden he is probably going through a fear phase as one occurs usually around that time.

Post # 6
Member
3273 posts
Sugar bee

Don’t play into it. It’s just a phase, most dogs go ‘stupid’ between 6-10 months, have complete 180s behavior wise, and then turn back to their old selves. He’s probably having intense hormonal surges and views other males as alpha, he’s caught between being an adult male dog, and a puppy. He isn’t quite sure of his place, and he’s playing it safe.

 

Honestly, your dad, and any other male you trust that isn’t your fiancé, needs one on one time with him. Send him on overnights, and walks, play dates, have them take him to a pet store for an adventure… fun things without the focus being on “making friends,” the bonding will happen naturally. The biggest mistake you can make is “rescuing” him (i.e picking him up from their laps, taking him if they hand him back, cuddling and soothing him when he comes back to you), which makes him believe there is danger. If you coo over him when he’s acting that way, it reinforces the behavior. Take on an “unless you’re dying, I don’t want to hear it” attitude when other men he’s acting timid around are present. Most importantly, give it time. Like I’ve said, most dogs go through a phase at this age – it’s best to ignore it and make Bruce believe everything is fine, anything else will just manifest the behavior. 

 

Good luck!

Post # 7
Member
9773 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Getting low to the ground is usually a sign of submission, not necessarily fear. I’d just give him time. Have the men in your family ignore him and just toss him treats for now. Definitely do not force him to try and interact with anyone he is uncomfortable with.

Post # 8
Member
701 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t force him into one on one time if he is scared or uncomfortable. You don’t want it to continue being an issue once the fear phase is gone. He is not trying to be an alpha (pack behavior is an antiquated theory when it comes to dog training and often doesn’t apply). Do you know any training games? For situations like this I like open bar/close bar or look that. I can pm you these exercises if you would like.

Post # 9
Member
701 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
Westwood:  That is a displacement/distance increasing behavior and fearful dogs definitely do it.

Post # 10
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee

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sparkles1986:  Yes they do, but that’s why she said not necessarily fear not that it isn’t. Submission and fear are different things. Without seeing video it’s hard to tell what the dog’s body language is saying. 

OP, best guesses are: puberty, a man did something without you around, or that he just needs some socialization. A trainer would probably be good for at least one session as they can tell whether he’s scared or uncertain or what. With kids, as sparkles said, running up to him is super rude. Maybe this drawing can help? 

Post # 11
Member
701 posts
Busy bee

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mooo:  sorry I initially misread her post. However I do hate when dominance vs submission and alpha are used to describe canine behavior and cognition. Pack behavior has been debunked and does not apply. Shy/scared dogs are not being submissive and more forward/confident dogs are not being alphas.

Post # 12
Member
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

Agree with everyone who said its a fear period.  Dogs go through them as they mature.  Running up to any dog can be scary for them, especially children who have a much different gait than adults.  It’s your job to control his surroundings while he gets through this phase.  You should continue to socialize him.  Socializing isn’t just exposure to different people/situations/things, it’s putting your dog in situations that you know can be controlled, so that the outcome will always be a positive experience.  Practice with men and children that you know so that you can coach them on how to say hello.  Use treats and work slowly.  If he’s stressed, don’t force him to continue.  Most importantly, you should remain relaxed and calm so that he does as well.

Post # 13
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee

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sparkles1986:  While pack theory (and dominance based training) has been debunked, dominant and submissive behaviours still exist. They just aren’t used in a power struggle, but instead as a means of interacting. Getting low to the ground or looking away convey that a dog is not a threat, etc. My dog is not shy or scared, but he is soft/submissive. Some of the behaviours tie in close to stress signals as well. ETA – that doesn’t mean I condone or agree with alpha rolling or anything like that. That stuff is crap. My dog is trained through positive reinforcement and negative punishment.

Back to Bruce, a wagging tail generally indicates a desire to interact, but you have to read the rest of the dog to indicate how (fight, play, etc). Without a better picture of what he’s doing it’s hard to say. Dog body language takes quite a bit of practice to learn how to read and can vary a little from dog to dog.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  mooo.
Post # 14
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee

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cbcb1005:  If he’s getting low and wagging his tail are you sure it’s not a play bow? If he’s standing with his hind legs and putting his chest to the ground in a bow then that’s an invitation to play

Post # 15
Member
1594 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

View original reply
cbcb1005:  We had a rescue that was terrifed of men, but he wouldn’t wag his tail, he’d run to the corner with his tail between his legs and whimper. It took years until he was okay with our regular male friends but was still very bothered by male strangers and male delivery people.  It even took a solid 6 months until he was okay with my dad living in the same house as him! Poor thing – we have no idea what happened but some serious abuse by a male is our best guess. 

I hope that nothing happened to your sweet puppy. I’m sure it’s just a period that he’ll grow out of 🙂 Maybe puppy training classes?

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