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Thread: My puppy hates men

  1. #1
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    Default My puppy hates men

    I'm the proud owner of a 16 week old chocolate lab female. We are going through the Hillmann program and she's doing great.

    My biggest worry with my girl is her apprehension towards men. She really likes me and my father, but she's very skeptical and nervous around my friends and male family members. She's come around to my grandfather and one of my best friends who she's seen several times, but she will run away and hide from unfamiliar men.

    Conversely, she goes absolutely nuts with excitement when meeting new women. She loves my mom and my wife's friends.

    I've owned my pup since she was 6.5 weeks old and have never hit, slapped, or otherwise hurt her in any way. I've occasionally grabbed her by the scruff to stop her from biting, but that's about the only physical correction she's received.

    Is this something I should be worried about? Will she outgrow this? I've given my friends treats to feed her, but that hasn't made much of a difference. How can I lessen her nervousness around new men?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mac Lassiter's Avatar
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    Take her everywhere you go ! Expose her to everything you can think of ! Take her to the store's, the bank, out to the parks, anywhere she can be around as many people as you can put her around. Let her figure out men is nothing to be afraid of, and actually it's pretty cool to get my ears rubbed by all these new humans.

    I still take my 15 month old female out and about on the town, she has actually has come to expect the milk bone she gets when we go to pay the utility bill from the ladies at the drive thru window, I also take her to Tractor Supply when we go to get dog food, she loves all the attention she gets !
    Last edited by Mac Lassiter; 04-07-2014 at 08:02 PM.
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    Senior Member cakaiser's Avatar
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    Just keep doing what you are doing, expose her to everything you can. Treats are a good idea.

    I think, yes, many times they will out grow this type of thing.
    My Rudy was shy of strangers when a pup. Didn't hold her back, in any way.
    Charlotte Kaiser: " The Problem Lies In The Talent."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Marissa E.'s Avatar
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    The trick is to expose but not force.

    Marissa Everett

    Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

  5. #5
    Member IdahoLabs's Avatar
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    Expose her to new situations, insist she accompany you in them, but don't force her to meet people. Make her heel past them, ignore them, insist she obey things a puppy should know such as sit and down and stay. You'll get further by allowing her to relax/making her feel safe by setting standards that she knows she can count on. She doesn't need to be touched by anyone, frankly, she just has to ignore people around her. You really don't want a pup that drags you over to each new person she sees.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Puppies go through fear periods; if she was never abused then she should quickly outgrow it. One thing to be careful of: do NOT mollycoddle and soothe her when she displays fear of men or any other normal thing a pup shouldn't be afraid of. Ignore the fearful behavior and keep her moving forward and focusing on something else, do NOT baby talk and say stuff like, "There, there, baby; it's OK, Mama's gonna take care of you, it's OK" etc. That just reinforces the fearful behavior so that she'll think it's what you want. Just be very matter of fact, keep her mind engaged and moving forward and ignore the timid fearful behavior.
    Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981

  7. #7
    Member Tyler Pugh's Avatar
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    My 6 month old pup is almost the same way. She isn't just terrified of men but she goes absolutely nuts over women. Where we train, girls always run around the nature trail there and she goes crazy when one goes running by! When a man goes by, she couldn't care less about him.
    Hunt Hard, Dream Big, Aim Small
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  8. #8
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptp0007 View Post
    My 6 month old pup is almost the same way. She isn't just terrified of men but she goes absolutely nuts over women. Where we train, girls always run around the nature trail there and she goes crazy when one goes running by! When a man goes by, she couldn't care less about him.
    This describes ME to a T!

    Ive never outgrown it, but I handle rejection much better now I am a Geezer!
    It is far easier to spit on the work of others than it is to produce something better yourself.
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    My Christian Name is Michael Baker..
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  9. #9
    Senior Member ks_hunting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marissa E. View Post
    The trick is to expose but not force.
    This is excellent advise.

  10. #10
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    Great way to introduce pup to new men is to give the men cookies, tell them not to talk to or make eye contact with the pup. When the pup finally goes up to the new person, she gets a treat.

    Works well indoors with the new person sitting. Just have them ignore the pup, but have the hand down with the cookie in it.

    Meredith

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