Rosie, my dog Buddy, is NOT a shy dog, my dog is a dog-aggressive dog, but when i first got him, he had some spillover aggression towards humans too. (my dog's dog-aggression thing is about DOGS, not humans) But back then, Buddy growled or snarled or bit all our visitors. Here is what some ppl here on DTA taught me to do, and it worked great for *my* dog, it might not work for Rosie.
VISITORS in your home:
I put Buddy into another room while I let in visitors, cuz my dog, like many
dog-aggressive dogs, has a whole "thing" with doorways in general, doorways, gates, etc, are a
trigger for *my* dog.
I seat the visitor, and THEN bring in Buddy, after i'd spent some time with him
alone,giving him calming signals, (yawning, slow blinks, and a deep slow sigh)
I then allow Buddy in on leash, but leash is dragging on floor. *MY* PARTICULAR
DOG never lunged at ppl who ignored him, so this was okay for *my* dog. My dog
ONLY bit ppl who reached for him, leaned over him, startled him badly, etc.
Have visitors NOT approach your dog. Have visitors NOT look at your dog,
Then have visitor glance Briefly at dogs, and do a slow blink, and yawn at your
dog, and then look away again, and resume ignoring the dog. Have visitor very occasionally do some deep slow sighs every once in a while. This is Rosie's language, and Rosie WILL know what they said, "calm down, i'm no threat."
The visitor may, occasionally, slow blink and yawn at the dog, now and then, and
then look away again. NO staring at the dog, is bad manners in the dog world. NO REACHING for the dog. Allow the dog to choose who he wants to touch him.
THE BATHROOM TRICK:
If your dog growls, calmly, SILENTLY remove the dog (on leash) to another
room, for 20 seconds, like a bathroom, close door for 20 seconds,
silently return him again to the kitchen.
20 seconds is LONG TIME to a DOG.
If dog re-growls, calmly, silently remove him again, for only 20 seconds, and
This took my dog a long time to get idea, that "yes, you can growl, and I will
calmly protect you/remove you away from scarey person, but, if you want to stay
in here with us, you have to be a gentleman."
I offered Buddy calming signals, such as
All dogs are unique, but, my dog learned, "If I want to be in here with
everyone else, I have to be a gentleman." And so he was.
Yes yes, it took all day long.
Yes yes, we had to repeat it with many visitors. ALSO---I WANT TO EMPHASIZE,
I never scolded the growl, I calmly calmly, silently, led Buddy (on leash) away
from that which he growled about)
Then, when Buddy finally *was* done growling, I had visitors toss
treats to Buddy.
Over time, with repeated visits, the ppl tossed treats in ever shortening distances to their feet.
Buddy became accustomed to *some* ppl, and he
was then able to take treats directly from their hands. I observed Buddy closely
for any signs of stress (lip licks, hairs falling out, any noise at all, lip
lifts, subtle slight paw lifts, hardening eyes, backing away, ANYTHING that
indicated I was going too fast with Buddy).
Overtime, with ppl Buddy HAD become comfortable with, he was able to lick dabs
of peanut butter off of their hands. THEN I began to feel very hopeful, as
licking another person hand is VERY bonding to a dog. Not all dogs can get this
far. This was after a long time of of continuous efforts to get him calm around
Again, close observation for signs of stress. NOT ALL DOGS CAN GET THIS FAR.
Once Buddy ever got that far with some ppl, he DID begin to generalize this to
many other ppl, and our progress did skyrocket from this point on, and Buddy's
process of accepting ppl became markedly shorter for each new person, until he
decided humans were okay after all.
Again, MY dog was not a shy dog, my dog's problem is primarily about other dogs. Some shy dogs, after getting the hang of just being in the same room with visitor, will do better to go to their matt or to their bed, instead of trying to get much closer to the human.
We never ever want to force any dog, or any shy dog (IF IF IF Rosie is a shy dog, she might not be at all) to have contact with a person they dont' want to be close to.
I'm so so worried about the choke chain classes and your dog...