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Desentization to Fear of People or Certain People, Like Men or Children

# Make a list of people that have caused your dog to react in fear or with aggression. Look for themes–is it mostly men? Young children?
# Enlist the help of friendly people who fit the description of the people on your list. If men scare your dog, see if some male friends will be willing to help you and your dog.
# Gather your dog’s treats, along with specialty items like cheese or steak that he doesn’t get often.
# Make arrangements with your friend to meet up for some dog socialization.
# Take your dog to the training spot (could be the park, your back yard, your neighborhood, etc.).
# With your friend standing still, bring your dog as close as you can to the person, but not so close that he shows a strong response. You are looking for the area where he is aware of the person but where he is not feeling a strong fear. Reward him with a basic treat at this spot.
# Try to move in just a little bit. Give him a good treat for moving closer but not reacting. If he does begin to react, step back to the original spot and, once he calms down, reward again. If he does not calm down, simply turn the other way and move further away (but do not give a reward). Next time, stay further away.
# Gradually work to move closer to the object, giving better treats as he moves closer to his fear. When he hits the high water mark for the day–which could be 15 feet away or right next to the person–give him the good treat.
# Work on the desensitization often, moving a little bit closer each time and making sure to pair the presence of the scary person with a rewarding treat.
# When he is finally comfortable enough to interact with the other person, let the dog go up to the person. Your friend should not make talk or make eye contact, nor should he bend over the dog to pet him. Instead he should let the dog sniff him and check him out. When your dog is checking him out, let him know he is a good boy and give the great treat.
# After your dog has checked the scary person out your friend should kneel down and pet your dog on the chest (not on top of the head) a little bit and then stand up and walk away. No talking or eye contact, just interacting with some touch.
# The next time out if your dog has the same success in approaching, then your friend should again kneel down and pet your dog, but this time with a little eye contact and a little talking. Add in more interaction each time they meet.
# Enlist other friends to help, following the same pattern. Desensitization takes a while (and may take a lifetime), but with a steady expansion of the people and situations that are rewarding, you will see your dog becoming more comfortable.