My 3 year old B-mix, Pippin, has extreme fear aggression. I rescued her from a shelter when she was 10 months old. I have no clue what happened to her before I got her. I'm almost 100% sure she was abused. (I noticed when I roll up the newspaper to put it back in it's plastic sleeve, Pippin will cower and hide as much as she possibly can. It is enough to break your heart.) She is mostly aggressive towards strange men/teen boys and children.
Her aggression first showed itself when our roofer came into our house to ask us a question. Pippin was barking like mad, then quickly bit the man and ran off. In her defense, if she can have one, the man did just walk into the home without being let in. A few months later, my husband and I took Pippin to a family reunion/picnic at a park. Some children ran past Pippin and Pippin lounged for them. It was a pretty scary situation. We immediately took her home. We were thinking it was too much stimulation for her to begin with and running children put her over the edge. Also, whenever my husbands cousin comes to visit, Pippin will nip at their shorts while they walk. Going to the vet is also an ordeal. Pippin has to muzzled every time.
The vet recommended positive reinforcement training with strangers at a distance and slowly moving in. I've started clicker training with her on basic commands and it is going fantastic. But we haven't done any training involving strangers yet. My concern is potentially putting people at risk of getting bitten, especially children.
I'm just not sure what to do. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to overcome fear aggression? Thanks so much!