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I have 1-1/2 year old Female standard, I want to see how other standards react to strangers. My girl is a wonderful dog, she goes with me everywhere that she is allowed, she is always on her best behavior, people think she is a service dog. But, she does not warm up to people, she will smell them, then turn her head away, and take a step back, she does not go up to anyone wanting attention, and does not want to be petted. Now, for me and my wife she is near us every minute she can be, she loves to snuggle, and lay beside us all the time, very loving and affectionate. There are two other standard females at the dog park I go to, one will run up to me and give me all kinds of love, the other does not care about me in the least. I have taken my girl around with me every sense she was safe to go out in public, she has never have anyone be mean to her, but she has always been leery of people even as a little puppy.
 

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I know that people are always talking about the importance of socialization. It is important but I don't think that means we should expect our dogs to fawn all over every person they encounter. I think it means we should expect them to be polite, unafraid and not inclined to bite. Not all people are extroverts so why should all dogs be extroverts? I have two standards. Lily is a flirt and generally loves people more than dogs. Javelin is my working partner in all things and although he knows some people that he adores for the most part he has been taught not to flirt and only to greet his human friends on my say so. He and Lily have a great relationship, but other dogs for him are mostly a not so much thank you (again because I expect him to attend to me and because I actually don't encourage any of my dogs to interact with dogs they don't know.)
 

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My standard doesn’t like strangers, especially men. When she was a puppy if a stranger approached her (not touch but reach out to pet her or walk fast towards her) she would yelp like they hurt her and hide behind me. Now she scary barks at EVERYONE but she doesn’t bark at other dogs. Even after she gets done scary barking and calms down she still won’t let them touch her.


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Maizie is a social butterfly who has never met a stranger. She has the biggest fan club as a result! Frosty is just like her if they're together. However, if I take him out alone, he is much more shy. He warms up quickly, though. He loves all of my friends at training class and the dog park and will lean in for loves from them.

They're all so different, aren't they?
 

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My standard doesn’t like strangers, especially men. When she was a puppy if a stranger approached her (not touch but reach out to pet her or walk fast towards her) she would yelp like they hurt her and hide behind me. Now she scary barks at EVERYONE but she doesn’t bark at other dogs. Even after she gets done scary barking and calms down she still won’t let them touch her.


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You can probably help her to be more relaxed with counter conditioning and Look at That training. She may not ever want people she doesn't know to touch her, but I do think you can get rid of the barking and reduce her anxiety. Every time she gets worked up like that she is being pumped full of adrenaline and potentially all sorts of other stress response chemicals like cortisol.
 

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You can probably help her to be more relaxed with counter conditioning and Look at That training. She may not ever want people she doesn't know to touch her, but I do think you can get rid of the barking and reduce her anxiety. Every time she gets worked up like that she is being pumped full of adrenaline and potentially all sorts of other stress response chemicals like cortisol.


We have recently started training classes and will be doing the “look at that” in about two weeks. I feel so bad for her, she gets so worked up and scared. She peed on my legs the other day trying to climb on my lap because someone came in to the vets office and she lost it completely. Thank you!


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Lucky prefers the company of dogs. He doesn’t care when people come over or those who gush about him. He is friendly but won’t go out of his way to greet anyone. My other dog Kit LOVES people and will flirt with every stranger for a petting. If people gush, she will jump up and give them a kiss or hug. She is very good at spotting people who loves her. My previous dog is the same breed but hated people. I believe there are outliers to every breed but most poodles I meet are on the shy side.

There is a spoo in my obedience class that is very neurotic. This dog does not like strangers to touch her at all. It startles very easily and will snap. I wonder if it wasn’t socialized properly.


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It sounds like other Standard can have the same traits. The biggest thing mine will do is ( GO OFF.... CRAZY ) if someone comes in the yard or to the door, there is no doubt she will attach. I have owned several American Bulldogs though out my life, non have anything on her, she will get you. I have to put her in the bedroom when company comes. My girl will listen, all I have to say is "inside voices" and "Calm Down" but until I do, she will be full on attach mode. I had someone try and break into my company vehicle, when I ran outside she was trying to climb a six foot privacy fence full on attach mode, she ran them off. I call her my Pit-Poodle, by far the most protective dog I have ever had.

Now anyone have a Standard with this trait? This trait concerns me a great bit. I have spoke with three trainers, each one found it hard to believe until I show them the videos.:sad:
 

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I like what Lily said about a dog being socialized but not fawning over everyone they meet.

Roland has always been a reserved puppy (he just turned 11 months old). That is his nature, he will never be an out going dog.

I spent a lot of time socializing him. We went to a lot of puppy socialization classes at the local kennel club and I take him anywhere dogs are allowed.

He's fine in stores, at parties, and in crowds. He'll wind his away around other people, take treats from other people, will even sit next to strangers. But no one and I mean, no one is permitted to touch him other than Mamma and Daddy. My husband and myself can do anything we want to him, but if anyone else even tries to touch him, he backs off just out of hand reach and give a, "don't touch the do" look.

I've had people tell me he's hand shy and a potential fear biter, but it's not that, he just doesn't want anyone else touching him. And I have to admit, I'm the same way, I don't like people touching me, but I don't think I caused Rolands problem, my other dog, Eustace, a airedale/hellhound cross loves any and all attention he can get.

An interesting fact. At the vet it's the same thing unless I put him on the table. Once on the table, he's comfortable with the vet giving him an exam.
 

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The spoo in my class does not like being touched by ppl or even being in close proximity to other dogs. It is training to be a therapy dog. I find this to be an unrealistic goal. It is fine for a pet dog but there are certain qualities one looks for in a therapy dog. Some of this can be trained out via socialization but a lot of it has to do with socialization prior to bringing your puppy home from the breeder. By this I mean how the breeder socialized your puppy at an early age.


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BellaSpoo. New rules. Your dog gets to choose who to greet. People do not greet or pet your dog. Unless it is a vet, paws off.

There's a trick you can train your dog that can help. When you put your hand in front of you like a stop sign, and say, "Stop, my dog needs space!" The dog goes behind you and lies down. It's not as hard to train as it sounds.

The first thing to train is going behind you, so drop treats behind your heels. When the dog vacuums up the treat, add another for staying back there, count a second, add another. Praise and release. Repeat this game of treats by your heel.

When your dog is happily going behind you and staying there gobbling treats every two seconds, ask for a down, reward with treats by your heels, and more treats for staying down.

Add the cue, STOP, and put treats by your heels to help your dog know to lie down behind you and stay there. Add the traffic cop gesture along with STOP.

Practice this until your dog enjoys the STOP game.
You say stop, put your hand out like a traffic cop, dog goes behind you and lies down. This does several things for your dog.
1. It gives the dog something to do other than freak out.
2. It gives you power to tell people to back off.
3. It lets your dog know that you have the power to make people back off. You are there to protect your dog, not the other way around.

Good for you for learning about the look at that game. That is a huge help. Spend some time just watching people at a distance, maybe in a park. Close enough to perk poodle ears, not close enough to bark at anyone. Share a hamburger on a picnic blanket and watch the world go by. The lower your stress, the more you are at ease, the more your dog will pick up on your being her safe harbor in a scary world.

It's okay to be a shy person. It's okay to be a shy dog. It's ok if your dog isn't super social and everyone's best friend. What matters is that your dog is your best friend.
 

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The spoo in my class does not like being touched by ppl or even being in close proximity to other dogs. It is training to be a therapy dog. I find this to be an unrealistic goal. It is fine for a pet dog but there are certain qualities one looks for in a therapy dog. Some of this can be trained out via socialization but a lot of it has to do with socialization prior to bringing your puppy home from the breeder. By this I mean how the breeder socialized your puppy at an early age.


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Not only must a dog be exceptionally well socialized for therapy work, but it must have the correct temperament for this type of work. I socialized both of my dogs the exact same way, but Maizie has the temperament for therapy work and Frosty does not. Not any dog can be a therapy dog. They have to be well socialized/bombproof, LOVE other people, get along with other dogs, respond to basic obedience commands, and tolerate a certain amount of stress.
 

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My boy was not so different but has gotten better. We did the look at that as we are walking so he no longer reacts. He still isn't keen on strangers petting him but will sit calmly at my side. As long as they do not rush him . there have been people he had no fear of and was happy enough to be petted, so it also depends on the vibes the person gives off. I think if they feel the slightest apprehension he feels it.
 

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I think every dog should have the right to choose who they greet and are petted by, although if avoidance is because of fear I would work on improving confidence and reducing anxiety. But I am rather concerned by the OP's references to "attack mode". Do you mean vociferous intruder-alert barking, with bouncing and mild hysteria, or full on, teeth bared, hard eyed attack mode? The former is pretty normal for dogs, and easy to address; the latter would have me seriously worried and contacting a qualified behaviourist.
 

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The spoo in my class does not like being touched by ppl or even being in close proximity to other dogs. It is training to be a therapy dog. I find this to be an unrealistic goal. It is fine for a pet dog but there are certain qualities one looks for in a therapy dog. Some of this can be trained out via socialization but a lot of it has to do with socialization prior to bringing your puppy home from the breeder. By this I mean how the breeder socialized your puppy at an early age.


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For sure that is not therapy dog material there. I hope the class instructor has a realistic discussion with those folks sooner than later.
 
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I have two poodles who are very different. In fact, every poodle or dog for that matter has different personality traits.

Fritz is a work in progress due to circumstances that happened before he came to us. He is a service dog dropout. He is reserved and needs time to evaluate people before he will go near them or let them approach. Some people he just period does not want near him. He will bark and back away if people approach. He needs to decide. We control the situation because, well, he is a poodle, and people want to run up, be in his face and touch.

In our home, both are put in their crates when tradesmen are here.

Gustav is a in your face, don't you want to be my best friend puppy (just turned a year old). It actually takes the pressure off Fritz. Fritz will take his clue from Gustav to a certain extent as he watches Gustav and reads the situation. Fritz will never be an outgoing, everyone can run up to him poodle. Once you are in his inner circle, bring on the love.

Fritz is much more barky, alert to everything is his motto. We are working on it.

Who says they have to like everyone. We don't. It is the same with dogs for mine. Some they like, some they bark at. Something else to work on.

They brighten our days with smiles and laughter.
 

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BellaSpoo. New rules. Your dog gets to choose who to greet. People do not greet or pet your dog. Unless it is a vet, paws off.

There's a trick you can train your dog that can help. When you put your hand in front of you like a stop sign, and say, "Stop, my dog needs space!" The dog goes behind you and lies down. It's not as hard to train as it sounds.

The first thing to train is going behind you, so drop treats behind your heels. When the dog vacuums up the treat, add another for staying back there, count a second, add another. Praise and release. Repeat this game of treats by your heel.

When your dog is happily going behind you and staying there gobbling treats every two seconds, ask for a down, reward with treats by your heels, and more treats for staying down.

Add the cue, STOP, and put treats by your heels to help your dog know to lie down behind you and stay there. Add the traffic cop gesture along with STOP.

Practice this until your dog enjoys the STOP game.
You say stop, put your hand out like a traffic cop, dog goes behind you and lies down. This does several things for your dog.
1. It gives the dog something to do other than freak out.
2. It gives you power to tell people to back off.
3. It lets your dog know that you have the power to make people back off. You are there to protect your dog, not the other way around.

Good for you for learning about the look at that game. That is a huge help. Spend some time just watching people at a distance, maybe in a park. Close enough to perk poodle ears, not close enough to bark at anyone. Share a hamburger on a picnic blanket and watch the world go by. The lower your stress, the more you are at ease, the more your dog will pick up on your being her safe harbor in a scary world.

It's okay to be a shy person. It's okay to be a shy dog. It's ok if your dog isn't super social and everyone's best friend. What matters is that your dog is your best friend.


Thank you for all the advice! She starts barking as soon as she sees someone, and that someone could be super far away and she goes crazy. I’ve tried telling the people she’s scared and that’s how she reacts and she will eventually stop barking at them after they come up and she smells them a lot but she still won’t let them touch her. I have no problem with her not wanting to be touched by strangers, she loves me and will cuddle with me all day long and that’s all that really matters. Our other dog will run up and flop over at someone’s feet waiting for someone to pet him lol
After we get the look at that down pretty good our trainer would like to go to a large park or market square for a few hours and just sit with her and try to help her work through the fear and anxiety.
Her favorite thing is to go for a ride in the truck with us, every time we go outside she just sits at the door waiting for someone to open it and tell her to get in lol
She barks at people when we’re in the truck too. People on the side of the road, people in other cars, people at gas stations, everyone in general.
I always let people know she’s afraid of people and will most likely bark and will seem kind of scary but she isn’t aggressive.


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When I first met Tonka, he paid no attention to me or the breeder sitting in the enclosure. I knew immediately that he was the dog for me. ;)
 

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I wish my dog didn’t care for strangers. She does the happy dance for every passerby. Count your blessings.


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Lucky doesn’t care for strangers and ignored me the first time we met. However, I do wish he was a bit more reactive when a stranger is at the door. Usually Kit and Happy bark bloody murder. I don’t think Lucky has a shred of protective instinct. If we got robbed, he’d probably show them where the jewels are hidden for a game of fetch. He is the least territorial dog I know. He is aloof but not territorial. He doesn’t mind if a stranger pet him or touch him. He enjoys it but isn’t overly excitable. It is more apathy than anything else.


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