What is wrong with my dog exactly? Fear of people, but not textbook type.

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/8icl3e/what_is_wrong_with_my_dog_exactly_fear_of_people/

Here`s another great article:

We don't have professional dog behaviourist in my country, as the troublesome ones are just left to stray or get put down, so I have to find solutions by myself. The 'best' dog trainer who came to us from a 3 hour drive told me he doesn't know what to do with my babe and couldn't get close to her. So I gotta DIY, but so far we've been doing a good job.

My dog is a rescue, who until she was 7 months old has never been outside or seen any other humans except her ex-owners. So she has been doing ok since, she's learned basic commands, knows in-house, but I cannot for the life of me work out exactly how her fear of people functions, or what she is thinking. She is currently 10-11 months pitbull mix.

So during the day and in general, she has the yard all to herself. She also has a house outdoors (she sleeps inside with us, under the bedroom door, because of her fears). She has two behaviours:

WALKS: on walks she's like any dog, very distracted and wants to go everywhere. 7 months in and leash pulling is still a bit of an issue, but we're getting there slowly. I use a flat collar, as anything else (prong collar, gentle leader, harnesses) did not work and only made her nervous. But we're doing the old school method of turning around and circling if she pulls, and she's getting there. She wants go go and explore, all good, until a human shows up. Originally if she'd see someone within 5m radius she'd attempt to run for her life, go into a frenzy, gladly dragging me under running cars, anything just to get away; even if they were on the other side of the road, completely ignoring her. Today we've worked it through to her simply stopping (usually I take her to the side of the pathwalk) and cautiously watching the person pass. If they don't pay her any attention, she will then continue walking. If someone is a retard and makes a kissy noise at her (ignoring her "nervous do not disturb" vest) she will frenzy and try to run. (yes, it happens a lot that people think they are dog whisperers). She doesn't bark doesn't growl, just watches for safety and continues normally if nothing happens.

HOME YARD: If anyone comes by the house, even on the other side of the road, she barks like crazy and chases next to the fence. She will not stop until they are out of her sight (can be even 10 minutes at the time). If we have a person over, she barks like a maniac as well, if we let them into the garden she runs away barking. Only runs away, she has never attempted to come and sniff a person. Even with people she has seen 100 times she will run away barking. We've tried the visitors to give her treats, or tempt her to play with them with her favourite toys, but no reaction. She continues to bark and run away. This is particulary bad with strangers. She knows the command 'quiet' as when she barks from inside the house to some noise outside she listens when she is told to be silent. But outside she doesn't care, I guess she is too distracted. 50/50 she will come to me when I whistle and call her over, although recently she is more consistent. But even then I have to hold her, and she will continue barking. I typically then close her in the patio, and she will sit there cautiously.

We would love for her to have patio as her domain, as we don't use it, but during the night she will go on a barking frenzy and keep all neighbours awake. Plus she can jump out of the patio and go screaming at the fence.

What I'm curious about is why are these behaviours so different? Is it territorial? Does anyone have any tips how to get her less afraid of people at the house/ make her see it's not her decision if someone is a danger while we're home?

submitted by /u/soft-sleepy-kitty
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