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Hello! I have an 11 week old puppy (bubby). This is my first golden and I come from bully breed rescue in the past. We picked out our boy and have noticed that he has fear around meeting new people and meeting/socializing with dogs. He seems more comfortable with dogs his size or smaller, but still unsure. He is cautious when approached. He will drop the tail (sometimes between his legs) and sometimes pee. With larger dogs, he will sometimes show his teeth and back up or growl and back up. With people he sometimes runs up and is fine, other times he is fearful and backs away. We have been carrying treats and having people give him a treat when meeting him and that seems to be working some. We start puppy kindergarten today and I am nervous. Has anyone has this issue? How did you work through it? I had a very reactive dog before him and I do not want to repeat that. Please help.
 

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You are starting off on the right foot by going to puppy class. Make the instructor aware right away what you are experiencing so they can let the others in class know and hopefully can make everything is done correctly and in a positive light. I would def. recommend using treats and taking things slowly. Start with the things he is comfortable with and use praise and treats when he is calm and not showing fear. You don't won't to "coddle" him when he is showing fear because that will just teach him that it is an appropriate response. Look up or get a book on positive reinforcement/desensitizing exercises. Get some willing people/animals to help..make sure they aren't too crazy and they aren't too big (at first) until you pup because better acclimated to them. Just simply having someone walk by and throw a treat for your pup (don't hand it to him..literally throw it) will show him people are nice. Just do things gradually. You already know you have this to work on so realizing that is the first step to helping your pup. Good Luck..it sounds like you really want to help him and get him over this!!
 
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He is not a rescue, he is actually the first puppy we have ever had. I had called the trainer before I went to the classes and explained his fear/reaction and we were all set. There were 3 other puppies in the class and bubby wasnt sure about going in. Once we made it to our seat, he did really well. He only showed fear if a dog was walking behind him and he couldnt watch him, but the only "reaction" he had was to tuck his tail really far between his legs and look back often. There was another male in the class (a springer I believe) and bubby and this dog were licking each others snout by the end of class. He was relaxed and was able to do all the commands just like at home. I was so proud of him! Everything was going really well, until..... we took him over to the groomers after class to get his nails clipped. She ignored his fear and grabbed him. When he was in the back I heard him cry really loud. When he came back to me, he was bleeding because she cut too close. I was really not very happy with that.

I am going to continue to work at getting him socialized and hopefully he will be the happy and secure dog we want him to be.

I need all the advice and help I can get :)
 

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I take fear issues in puppies pretty seriously. I would actually take him to a good behaviorist, not a trainer. What did the breeder say?
 

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Logan & Lacey in R hearts
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It's wonderful you are working with him to help his fears. As far as the groomer who grabbed him, and then hurt him by cutting the nails too short as well-- I would be very careful with this. If they can't appreciate what you are telling them about making it a positive experience, then the next time they grab your dog like that take the dog back from them (and explain why) and find someone else to trim his nails. A few bad experiences with nail trimming, or with the groomer in general, and they will remember it their entire life. You want all of these new things to be positive. Good luck!
 

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Kristy
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I have to agree with Jackie. I think you will save yourself a lot of grief in the long run by tackling this problem immediately and with everything in your arsenal. Because it is a proeblem The breeder needs to know this is happening. Thank heaven you are experienced and educated enough about dogs to realize that this is a huge red flag. My boy Duncan had some fear issues and I regret hugely that I didn't visit a behaviioralist sooner. Keep us posted.
 
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