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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a call from our dog walker that Koda has had some unusual behavior. She said Koda is scared of people. I know this not to be true as she has met numerous people and is always happy to see them.

They were on their walk today and Koda was sniffing in the grass on her normal walk and a man was walking down the same side of the street Koda and the dog walker were on. Koda saw him so Julie put her in a sit to wait till he passed. Koda was growling a low growl and as he got closer the growling got louder and he lunged at him. She said she didn't try to bite him but she did lunge which terrifies me! I don't know why she would have done this.

Usually when people pass us on the street she gets closer to us but never growls at people or anything like that. People come up and pet her all the time and she has never done this before.

We have been switching her over to adult food which she is on the last week of that transition. She has been having soft stools this last week so maybe she has a tummy ache? This morning she didn't want to get her food out of her kibble ball, she gladly ate it out of the bowl but didn't care to push the ball around to get it out. I have posted other places about her not wanting to go to bed at night and pacing the room...

I am so confused as to why it would have happened...any input or advice would be greatly appreciated
 

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If this happened just once than I wouldn't be too concerned. Maybe there was something about him that she didn't like, scared her, etc. or it could be like you suggested, the food making her tummy upset, something bothering her, etc. I would just keep an eye on her for the next few days and see if her behaviour/eating habits/stool improves. Try walking her this evening and see how she is around people.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I would be curious to know if the walker simply standing there while the dogs anxiety grew and grew? Or was she working her with sits and downs and tricks while breaking up her line of sight while the person passed? To create an association with strangers approaching equals I work and earn food rewards...
 

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Claire
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I know when Tucker couldn`t see peoples faces, if they were bundled up or had a religious hat on he would do a low growl till they passed.
 

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Teddy and Dakota's Mommy
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Dakota did this once over the summer with one random man when I was walking her alone in the morning. She is normally a very, very friendly dog and this time as he got closer to us; I felt her whole body tense up and her hackles went up and then her growling started. As soon as the man went past us, Dakota relaxed and she went back to her normal happy self. It was the one and only time it ever happened. For me, I took it as a sign that there was something about this person that made Dakota very uncomfortable. We were in an isolated area and I felt very safe with her. I have since been in that area with her again and had other men pass us and she has been completely "normal".

Is it possible that there was just something "off" and that she was protecting your dog walker?
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am wondering the same thing LibertyMe. That was my one thought was if I had Koda I wouldn't be letting her stare the person down. It didn't sound like she did anything with her though. Which bothers me...and who knows. There may have been something about this man that made her uneasy..I dont like that she lunged. Growling is one thing but lunging is a whole other level.
 

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Premium Member
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Dogs sometimes sense bad things in people..I'm not saying I'd blow it off but I think I'd see if it went any further with other people
 

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I think too, that your dog sensed something bad about this person. Just be aware.
Years ago, I had an episode in Michigan with my previous golden "Sam". He always loved everybody too. One evening, a guy from the neighborhood stopped us in the street and starting talking and reached for Sam. Sam immediately pulled away from him, very unusual for him to do. I was surprised but did not say anything. I found out long time later, that rumors were flying that this man was not a good stepdad to his daughter, rumors of abuse. Makes me wonder if my dog sensed that.
My golden Sam also switched street sides automatically in Germany when we met suspicious people while walking down the road. He would stop, stare and pull me literally across the street to the other side onto the sidewalk. Sam was a very special dog!
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone. It sure sounds like the fear period with all her other weirdness lately. We called the vet and they didn't think she needed to come in at this time, if more stuff happens or she does it again they would see her to rule out anything health wise but they want to see if it was an isolated incidence first.

She is a submissive dog so she has always been a little fearful but usually as people approach her she lays down and then adores the attention, never ever has she reacted like that.

I am so beside myself...this is my first dog so I am not used to any of this stuff. I would be so upset if she began turning aggressive as she has always been the biggest sweetheart to us and everyone she meets...
 

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It could also be something a lot simpler than "your dog was detecting evil." The man could have been wearing a funny hat, or sunglasses, a strange coat, limping/walking differently, etc., and Koda just reacted to it. Flora used to growl at plastic bags blowing in the wind. She wasn't sensing anything bad in the plastic bag, she just wasn't sure what they were.

Don't worry too much about it. I'm sure Koda will get over it. (Fwiw, Flora no longer growls at plastic bags. ;) )
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, yea I know something could have tipped her off. I just wish she didn't lunge, that is the part that scares me.
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now the pet sitter is claiming she has noticed a fear of people in Koda for a while now...Koda is a littel shy at first but I never considered it to be fear...

what do i do with a dog that fears people?
 

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flykelley
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You need to socialize her if she is afraid of people, most Goldens are very much people dogs as you know. On another note many years ago we had a St Benard who loved everyone. My brother bought a classmate home from school one day and Sam did not care for that guy at all, growled and started charging the guy. My Dad had a theory if the dog doesn't like you, you are not welcomed at our house. Sam never did that again so I wouldn't get too worked up over it.

Mike
 

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I'm curious why the dog walker stopped and made her sit while the other person passed. Why not just keep walking, happy "lets go", just keep going nothing to worry about attitude will convey to the dog.

You weren't there so you don't know if she "lunged" or just moved toward the guy, you don't know what your walker is describing as fear of people. I would want to observe her on walks myself and see if there is any "fear of people".
 

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Maggie went through an "I hate every male adult, other than my daddy," phase. When I have someone working on the house and Maggie's dad isn't home, I do crate her, for liability purposes. Maggie has a loud, manly bark and it even startles me sometimes. I do notice that Maggie is fine with kids. She isn't really interested in other adults. I make her sit when people approach, as most times they want to pet her and she is pretty good most days.
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You are right mylissk...I don't know exactly what happened. Just picturing it made me sick to my stomach. I can't imagine her being mean to anyone...

Like I said, she is hesitant as people approach but she is a submissive personality so I think that goes with the territory. I don't know why she had her sit, we never do that when people are walking by unless she is tugging us to try to go get pets from them. I will definitely make note to observe her on walks..this weekend we should get a good idea as we typically don't encounter a lot of people on our walks in the mornings or at night.
 

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Sagebrush was a big orange teddy bear of a GR and loved everyone. One evening we had a party and he was fine with everyone except a man that was dating one of my friends. Sagebrush went totally nuts! He began to bark, growl, and then show lots of teeth.... It turned out that the guy was wearing a new after shave with musk and the musk smell really set him off.

It never happened again. Continue to socialize Koda - he's still learning about the world.
 
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