Afraid of Large People
Basenji Mix

Its really odd but just wondering what this might be. Lilu is really sweet around just about everyone, never bit anyone or growled until she met my boyfriends dad and his friend. His father is a large man and his friend is around 6'10". I've never seen Lilu's hair standup like that and I'm wondering why this is happening. Any help would be great thanks

Has she been around other very large men?

Dogs don't generalize well so when they meet people who are different than what they are used to and have been exposed to frequently, they can be uncomfortable around them.

This is one reason when I have puppies, I invite everyone I can to come over and visit. I am very lucky to have lots of variety in my friends, family, and co-workers so my pups get to see all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Even so, every so often there will be a person that makes them uncomfortable. Sometimes we have narrowed down a trigger, sometimes not. How we work on it is the some either way. We give the dog space from the person, if on leash we back up, if at home we move them back, usually I just need to call them to me. Then I just reward heavily while the person is there so they start associating when the person who makes me uncomfortable is here, I get lots of treats.

@lvoss:

Has she been around other very large men?

Dogs don't generalize well so when they meet people who are different than what they are used to and have been exposed to frequently, they can be uncomfortable around them.

This is one reason when I have puppies, I invite everyone I can to come over and visit. I am very lucky to have lots of variety in my friends, family, and co-workers so my pups get to see all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Even so, every so often there will be a person that makes them uncomfortable. Sometimes we have narrowed down a trigger, sometimes not. How we work on it is the some either way. We give the dog space from the person, if on leash we back up, if at home we move them back, usually I just need to call them to me. Then I just reward heavily while the person is there so they start associating when the person who makes me uncomfortable is here, I get lots of treats.

Yes i quite agree with everything Lisa has said, we are at the moment trying to socialise our Pup with as many types of people as we can.

Socialization is so important. One thing that has been going through my mind is how my husband (in a wheelchair) will be viewed by a basenji. My husband uses a manual wheelchair (just wheel noise), but on occassion uses a motorized wheel chair, which has its own clicking and other various sounds. Our cats have no problem with the sounds - so in a few years when we get a b we will work on getting the b used to the wheelchairs. Most dogs we have come into contact with the wheelchair don't seem to have a problem.

First Basenji's

I agree.

Even after 7 months, Cody is still somewhat scared of my brother (which breaks his heart because he loves Cody). He's fine if Rob is sitting down, and he is fine with shorter and average height men, although he is a little more leery with men in general, so we realized it is that my brother is so tall.

Unfortunately, I don't know what Cody experienced with people before, although sometimes, by his reactions, I wonder if he was abused, because when my uncles visit (they are taller than my brother), he will growl/grumble/whine and hide even though he has met them before and when they are sitting down, he will let them pet him.

Just from that, like Ivoss said, I would recommend positive experiences with all different kinds of people.

lvoss is spot on. When I adopted Ruby, she was afraid of my brother (6'5") - she had never seen a giant! 😃 At first, if he as much as looked at her she would take off to another room - forget trying to pet her. After about a month, she came around - it took him basically ignoring her (no eye contact) and also giving treats to her. She had to decide on her own that he was ok. After she allowed him to have contact with her, he also started to feed her and walked her. Now she sings to him when he walks in the door and the minute he sits down she jumps up into his lap. 😃

Ruby's breeder loves it when she has puppies at her house and my brother goes to visit with me because the new pups become accustomed to seeing a large man (with a mustache that also wears a hat a lot of the time).

My Basenjis who are normally very people friendly and especially to visitors to the house used to be very wary of my brother in law who was 6'5". However the main reason was that he used to stand over them without speaking, although we constantly asked him not to do this he persisted.

Basenji Mix

My boyfriend and I are both 5'5" but she has been around other dogs tons of other people and it seems that she isn't shy with smaller people. She was very shy when we first got her around other people but there are a select few that she runs from. I will usually give a person a treat or two if she is afraid of them and that will work but other times we have to have that person sit on the ground or something just for her to come over. Thanks for all the replies guys! My computer was down for a few days and I come back to a wealth of knowledge 🙂

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