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my beagle is beautiful but is scared of men. please help!

7901 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Missy
Dog Plant Carnivore Tree Dog breed

Hi guys,

This is my first post! I'm new here and I wanted to firstly say a big hello to all fellow beagle owners!!

I have a strange question for you all. My 2 yo male beagle Flip is beautiful and I love him to bits but he is a major wuss when it comes to strangers, especially men. He is not frightened by other things like loud noises ( he rides on the back of my motorbike) or fireworks or anything else, only strange men. When someone he doesn't know approaches him he backs away and barks like mad and won't be in the room with them. After a while and lots of sniffing he gets more comfortable and doesn't bark but is still quite edgy. Whilst I know this is not the worst thing for a dog to be scared of it can get very frustrating when friends visit or we are walking him in a crowded place and is quite embarassing. He has met my boyfriend's best friend at least 10 times but still freaks out when he visits.

The strange thing is, he is not this scared around all people. Some people he doesn't have a problem with at all and others he cannot be around no matter how many times he has met them. At first we thought it might be something strange like a fear of beards or hats or something but we can't put our finger on it. Does anyone else have a strange wussy beagle like mine and if so, do you have any ideas on how to help him relax.

When he was a pup I made sure to get him accustomed to a lot of different people and took him to the dog park daily. He has no problems with other dogs or our kitten, loves my brothers and boyfriend and doesn't mind our male flatmate. My theory is that I lived with a couple of bastard men for a while who may have been cruel to him :(. I hope this isn't the case but they weren't very nice guys.

Can anyone help me with this dilemma. I can't find any literature on why he has this fear and it's only been around since he was about a year old. Please help me! It's the only thing I don't adore about my little guy.
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It is possible the former room mates and visitors did not treat the dog well. They might have yelled, hit, kicked, thrown stuff, etc. at him.
Try one thing at a time, like the friend: give him some treats when he comes in so he can give them to Flip..BEAGLES will do almost anything for food... put them in the mailbox or in a bag on the door, so the friend has them when he comes in. Greeting at the door, should have Flip sit and then open the door. Give him praise when he is quiet.
Friend: squat down and put a piece of food on the floor and have a second piece in his hand. Flip should then be allowed to go get it. If he barks at friend then you need to give Flip a poke (with your hand) in the side to get his attention and he should stop. When Flip stops, friend can throw lightly the treat to just infront of Flip. Then place one on the floor in front of friend. When Flip eats that one, friend can open palm with the next treat. Talking softly to Flip, friend can feed him a few more treats to win his trust. If friend is afraid of Flip then you need a different approach.
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The treat idea is a good one, and make sure that the person is calm and doesn't raise their hand. Take it slow. Repetition can be a miracle.

My previous dog was afraid of men especially men wearing hats. I got her when she was 9 months old, she was rehomed so I suspect she'd had a bad experience. It did improve as she got older but it took lots of reassurance and rewards when she behaved well.
When I read your title the first thing that came to my mind was "your dog may have a negative experience with a man".

I'm sure with time and effort both of you will cross the bridge and get over the problem. Good luck!
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