Hi! I am the proud owner of a lab mix 2 year old I got at the humane society. I love her so much and her behavior is terrific except for one thing. Emma charges men and barks at them. She calms down when they address her or I come hold her. She never bit anyone until a guy surprised us on his bike. I told him she was okay, but then she nipped him. I'm not sure that this behavior is aggressive so much as fearful. Maybe a man hit her in her former life. I would really appreciate some input. I would feel awful if she ever really bit someone. Remember I'm 42 and I've had cats all my life so be specific, please! Thank you.
Keep her on a leash at all times if there is evne a chance of her encountering a strange man, and I don't mean a flexi lead, but a real leash, like a 6 foot one, when you have her out on walks. Perhaps the man on the bike was kindly, but if she's bitten before, she may be inclined to do it again and if they take legal action you will encounter trials and tribulations like you've never known, up to and including requiring her to be euthanized.
Teach her the 'watch me' command. Put her into a sit, and say her name, then "Watch." Say it every 5 or 10 seconds until she looks up at you. As soon as she meets your eyes, praise her and give her a tasty treat. Repeat it until the instant you say 'Watch" she is looking up to meet your eyes. The idea here is you are teaching her to focus on you instead of outside surroundings (which may include strange men). When you take her out on walks, keep treats handy, and practice the "watch" command. When you encounter a man, make her 'sit" and watch you. You want to reward calm and controlled behavior.
Most likely she has had a bad encounter with men, and is trying to protect you from the bad men. Keep her away from strange men as best you can, and when they come to your house (not saying you invite strange men over, but you know, men she hasn't met ;P) keep her leashed and in control. IF she is getting too excited, crate her or put her into another room. Let her approach men only if she is calm and willing to sniff them, not in that excited/aggresisve state.
good luck with her, and keep us posted on her! And Kudos to you for giving a dog a 2nd chance, we have a lab and he's the best dog!
***Edited By: Minniyar on 1/7/2007 2:28:52 PM*** Reason: add