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Fear Of Men, People, Other Dogs, And Multiple Allergies
by Katie Zas
(Lawrence, KS, USA)
I have a year old Mini Aussie that I purchased when he was 16 weeks. I did not know the breeders and I still don't feel as if I know them well. My dog, Croc, had originally been purchased but then was "returned" for some reason that I do not know. When I went to pick him up, he hid under the couch and wouldn't come towards anyone in the house. This was my first clue that maybe I shouldn't purchase this dog. His sister that had not been sold either was just as skittish but came out of her shell the longer we hung out. I decided to give him hope because I wanted a dog so badly.
When I took Croc home for the weekend, he hid under a chair or my desk every day. At the end of the weekend I was convinced that he was "defective" and wanted to return him. I ended up keeping him and scheduled very expensive private classes for him to try and get him to act like a "regular" dog. He was afraid of all humans and dogs, and was aggressive with some dogs when they approached.
I hired private trainers to try and help with his aggression towards other dogs and to not be as afraid of people. He shows no fear towards me and my roommates but others, they don't have a chance in heck to approach him. His issue with other dogs was that he would over correct dogs when they would approach them. They would be excited and happy and he didn't seem to know what to do with the other dogs, so he would snap at them. The other dog would snap back as a protection method and in return, Croc would over correct them and take things too far and it would result in a dog fight. He has sense overcame the over correcting issue if I am present and can tell him that it's okay.
As for his issue with men, he seems to dislike any male unless he can associate them with having a dog. He will bark at a man no matter how far away he is and he will circle them while barking, but doesn't run to me to protect me. He doesn't attack them, nor has he ever attacked a human but his barking makes him unapproachable and seem as if he's aggressive. Even on a leash, he will continue to bark and pull away from me as the person is approaching. He doesn't seem to do this with women or as badly when he does, unless they are not white. I think that it is a good possibility that my dog could be racist towards asians and black people. As for other races, I am unsure thus far. But this is not as big of a deal considering all of the other problems he has.
Back to his issue with men, I feel like he was beaten by a male when he was younger. My roommates boyfriend will go to raise his hands, and Croc runs and hides in fear. I was notified that he also wasn't socialized before I had purchased him, and the breeders seemed to mention that they had just forgotten to socialize him. I don't know how out of a litter of 9 puppies, they just forgot to socialize one, but they did. According to my vet, since I purchased Croc at 16 weeks, this damage was already done to his psyche and was irreversible. I have tried everything I can, positive behavior training, the private classes, etc. and I have run out of ideas to try and make him less fearful of people but more specifically men.
The last issue that I have and could use some advice on is that Croc has severe allergies. As a puppy he was on Taste of the Wild and is now on Nature's Recipe- Grain free chicken, pumpkin, and sweet potato. Every food I have tried since I got him has caused him to bite and over lick his paws, causing him to scratch constantly (it has become so bad that he will stop walking or what he is doing to scratch), he sheds like crazy but does not blow his coat twice a year like his breed is supposed to. He seems to really be allergic to fish and it will make him and his coat smell fishy which I do not enjoy.
More info on his allergies: he seems to be allergic to everything. I have a large list of things that he cannot have. The allergy testing was not done through the vet as everyone knows it is god awful expensive, and I am a college student and cannot afford to do that for him. I want the best for the dog and am willing to do whatever I can for him but this is just unreasonable, even as an adult. The company I used was called ImmuneIQ and it was a purchase from groupon. They asked for a saliva and a hair sample. The website had good reviews and seemed legit so I went with it. Does anyone else have this problem with their Aussie? Or a food that they would recommend that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I know you get what you pay for in a food but any suggestions would be helpful!
Does anyone have any advice on what to do about strangers, males, skittishness, or his allergies? I would love any input possible!
I know that his breed is generally skittish towards strangers but this is just beyond acceptable.
Thanks for your time and advice!
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