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Discussion Starter #1
Emmett is a bit skittish around strangers. Mostly because they want to pat his head from the front. He doesn't want anywany to pat his head when facing him

The last two visits with family he has been fearful around my brother in law. My brother in law hasn't done anything to Emmett. He isn't a dog fan but has tried to greet Emmett nicely. However, Emmett will not go neAr him. Not sure how to proceed or if this will turn into aggressive behavior
 

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Your gonna have to decide if you want to do what is best for your dog or if you want to "force/coerce" him into doing what you want???

Because it seems that your particular Boxer has a "people issue??" And if you try and force a square peg Boxer into the ... I'm going say "Everybody is my friend" typical Boxer round hole ... your gonna have a problem at some point?? At best your dog is "unpredictable around people??" And I ... don't screw around with people and unpredictable dogs ... my job is to ... Keep people out of there face period end of story.

That said ... your dog is not unusual for a dog ... most dogs have issues with contact from overhead, or hard eye contact ... I've seen and heard ... GSD thing.

But my Struddell ... uh no, if they were people ... good enough ...over head, sideways backwards or a hard stare??? As long as it was attention ... good enough ... that is a people friendly. people safe dog ... nothing to think about. That is my definition of a people friendly. people safe dog.

But if your goal is to as I say try and trick people into your dog's space ... with the use of treats and stuff ... I'm not of much help. Not my thing ... I work with the dog in front of me. People aggressive and people fearful ... I own one and worked with another and both did just fine under my watch.

I care about what's best for the dog ... not necessarily the owner ...my bad??? but if you want to know what my or my not work to let your BIL be able to pet your dog uh now???

Zak George or Victoria Principal would be your go to sources. And there advise works out just fine ... if you have the right dog ... but I don't think you do??? Let me know. :)
 

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From your previous posts, (if I'm remembering correct) it seems Emmett is a hair fearful. I think he is only about 9 or 10 months old. He could have been going thru his 2nd "fear stage" and this is why he has been skittish. Its important you make him feel safe. And I wouldn't force the interaction, just act normal and talk to him.
I found this article that may explain it. Adolescent Dogs Go Through Fear Periods | The Bark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good information all. I read the article. Emmett visited our friends for a barbeque. He was really good. He played with the other dogs and greeted everyone there in his terms. Except for the one person who doesn't like dogs.

I just asked people to not pat his head. He was very loving. Typical boxer with a love me love me attitude. I do not want to trick people into his space.

When the brother in law comes to visit - I will make sure that Emmett has his own space to retreat to or he will just ignore the brother in law.
 

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Good information all. I read the article. Emmett visited our friends for a barbeque. He was really good. He played with the other dogs and greeted everyone there in his terms. Except for the one person who doesn't like dogs.

I just asked people to not pat his head. He was very loving. Typical boxer with a love me love me attitude. I do not want to trick people into his space.
LOL ... sounds like it's all good. There are people who do things like that .. with dog's that are "uncomfortable" in that environment and that's when things go wrong.

It really does not happen on here much but on GSD owners not willing to make adjustments (recognize their dog does not like this enviroment) happens all the time ...sigh. So I start with the extreme examples, explanations and then go from there.

But it sounds like you know your dog and you are managing his space well, good job. :)

When the brother in law comes to visit - I will make sure that Emmett has his own space to retreat to or he will just ignore the brother in law.

Majors Dog Academy has a couple of youtube clips on working dogs around people in the home starting from Place.

And yes in that scenario everyone ignored the dog. He used an anchor bolt for the leash and told the dog "Place." Anchor bolt was a "just in case measure." Border Collie ... that dog had people issues.


That was more trouble than I was willing to go to with Rocky, (work the room.) I went for Place and kept company out of his face. Rocky has few friends as in uh two, that I'd trust him out of site with. That works out just find for us. :)

Extreme examples sure but both are based on "Place." And you have two things going on ... you know he does not like the overhead thing and you know he is "uncomfortable" with the "BIL."

You know your dog better than we do but ... you are setting him for failure. To much faith in unknown variables ... will the BIL honor your request to ignore the dog?? And if he does not and approaches wrong ... will your dog "chose to walk away???" That would be a classic case of setting a dog up to fail.

Aww well ... I could go on and on but ... rather than just simply a blind faith approach ... have a look here. :

And assuming your dog walks well on leash ... there you go, the two you just need to walk him. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Emmett walks fine on a leash. He will be in the same room as the BIL. He sometimes makes a wide berth to stay away from him.

I do believe he can judge people. BIL doesn't like dogs. He likes cats. A small part of me thinks it's a bit of game. He acts the same way when he takes my shoe.

He was even on the same pontoon boat. He will actually even go up and sniff and investigate the BIL. He hasn't displayed any aggression. The family is bothered by his behavior.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The family is bothered ... well ... I'll let it go??? But I will say that most likely for most of us ... if we have dogs that luv everybody but then someone in particular makes our dogs ... "uncomfortable??" Most of us would take heed. But, I don't know ... so just saying.

In anycase, if your dog walks well on leash ... well there you go.


The three of you can just go for a walk ... if he won't (assuming he can) make at least that "minimal effort in my view" do that little bit?? No need to have him take the leash. Just walk the dog together and have him pay no attention to the dog. If he won't make that effort ... put the dog away when he's there and don't invite him back ... but that's me. :)

And not liking dogs ... is not the same as being afraid of them ... I hear that can happen???
 
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