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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?
 

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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 !
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
This describes ME to a T!

Ive never outgrown it, but I handle rejection much better now I am a Geezer!
 

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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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You have gotten some good advice. Don't rush trying to 'fix' this but I would also not just sit back and hope pup grows out of it. Most Home Depots are dog-friendly and lots of men there - maybe at first you don't even try to get pup to 'meet' men, but give pup something positive (such as sit for a treat while on leash) to do in the presence of new men. Basic OB is usually a confidence builder for a shy dog. Slow steady progress and don't force things. Any time you are in a situation with strangers have pup on leash - she does not have to 'socialize' but she also can't run and hide.
 

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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.
Home run, Julie!-Paul
 

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I should know better, but even puppies can pick up "negative energy" and feed off it. I've never heard of a pup that was afraid of women. The question becomes what is the source of the negative energy?
 

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My pup isn't afraid of men, but he sure is fond of my girlfriend. When we I am one on one with the pup he is great, but if she gets out of the truck while I'm training he's very interested in going to see what she's up to. I take him basically everywhere with me. I think socialization with a puppy is one of the best things you can do, and has been one of my faults in my past dogs.
 

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Get it a flannel bandanna ;)
 

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We have had success with planning a socialization outing (park, downtown, Wal-mart parking lot, Home Depot,etc.) that includes a good supply of treats. Once you get there and the initial excitement drops down to a more normal state, do a little obedience. Heeling, sit, stay, etc. People used to get a kick out of my dogs sitting on the big red balls in front of our Target store, lol. Anyway, when in a calm and working mode, start scoping out candidates for possible petting. Ask the people if they would like to pet your dog by helping with learning to meet strangers. Give them a treat to give to the dog, then ask them to sit on a bench (see, planning helps) or kneel, and let the dog have the treat once they approach. You don't want them standing up, holding out the treat, begging the dog to come over, that's just bribery and often gets the dog excited again. The whole point is to have the people just *there.* When the dog approaches out of curiosity, they find that strangers sometimes have treats. It might take several tries before you get the desired response, or it might work right away. I don't want my dogs to think every stranger has cookies, but it can get a shy one over the hump.
 

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I have one that showed some fearfulness of men. It sort of went along with his personality, he was always a little wary of loud noises, (except guns) and sudden movements. The "cure" was taking him to work with me. Every day. He got used to all kinds of people wearing all kinds of strange things, (ski boots, carrying skis, masks over their faces, etc) and walking right up to the desk. They pretty much ignored him, no treat bribing, but carried on normal conversations with me in the course of business. It really made a HUGE difference. Then he started making the rounds with me to the post office, coffee shop, cafeteria, etc. The people working in all these places would see him coming and have some treats waiting. By the end of last season, he could walk right through crowds of skiers without glancing sideways to go to his "stops" for treats. Sigh. . . lots more people in the ski valley missing Chief than me. He was a favorite with everybody.:D
 
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