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Hello all! I am new to this forum and posted about some issues i am having with our 2.5 year old yellow lab, Ranger. We got him as a puppy from a breeder at 11 weeks old in October 2014. As a puppy he was very hyper as most labs but did well with basic obedience (sit, down, leave it etc. He is a very smart dog and loves fetch which he is extremely good at. A few problems we had and still have with him is barking and growling at visitors (strangers and people he has met multiple times), people on walks, neighbors out in their yard,etc. This all started in the summer of 2015 so he was about 1 year old and thought it might just be a phase because as a puppy he never displayed these types of behavior and i think we did a pretty good job of socializing him. So the winter of 2015 I got some help from a "dog listener" (Jan Fannell certified behaviorist based on wolf pack behavior) and some things worked but most did not which was the barking and growling. I decided to stop the dog listening training and read as much as I possibly could about Victorias training and also Patricia McDougall+Ian Dunbar and went that route - Counter conditioning, desensitization, etc. This has helped the most for Ranger and has been ongoing for about 6 months now. I have a bag of cut up cheese in my pockets wherever i go with him and as soon as i see a stranger coming up i start feeding him cheese. At times he does great, other times we go over the threshold (my fault not his)or a surprise stranger comes too close and he is startled. It is a work in progress and i hope he is trying to understand what i am doing for him. Visitors at our house is a little different. He will bark and growl at them then he will get closer (after he is done barking) to the person sniff and then get really over excited and want to play (picks up ball, bone,etc) - every time and it takes him a while to finally settle down. We just started having our guest throw a kong to him when they enter and it seems to help alot. Ranger is really a great dog with just my wife and me around but in social situations he is very fearful and stressed. Though i have been working so hard with him and trying to help but I am wondering if this is something he will get over with age?? To add more- he is good with dogs - not aggressive however he humps alot but allows other dogs to hump him as well. This leads me to believe it isnt dominance but could be stress induced. He still pulls on the leash when walking (not as bad as he used to) as well. I have been working with him for a while with this as well but i think alot of the pulling also has to do with stress. Let me know your thoughts and or if you have had a similar dog with these behaviors.
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