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Sulli came home to us last Friday evening. In these few days it is so apparent to us that she was not socialized well at all. She is afraid of so many things.

Here is my concern. I do daycare for a living. I only tend children 0-2 years of age. On Monday when the kids (only infants 9 mos and younger) were dropped off and we let the dogs in to greet them, Sulli wouldn't get near them. She is scared to death of them. As the day went on she seemed to be doing a little better and would get a little closer, but today I actually had a child that walks and talks (22 months). It was the same thing all over again. She is so afraid of this child. My question is...can an adult dog be socialized in time (if they missed it in puppyhood) or will she always be afraid of the kids?
 

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IMO, adult dogs can be socialised to over come certain 'fears' or anxieties, especially if they are not too severe. Think of it this way - on a scale of -10 to 10, what value would Sulli have for children? Would it be a -1, -3, -5 etc? You want to work with her to assign a positive value - so a 3, 4, 5 or higher. You can do this by making children exciting and of a high value - take it slowly, but perhaps allow one child to give her a treat or a toy (whatever she likes best). Show her that children are nothing to be feared, but something that can be exciting and rewarding.
 

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I'm guessing that as she becomes more secure, she'll become less fearful. Li'l Girl was very timid when she came to us, but as time passed became much more outgoing. Now children don't bother her, and when someone comes to the house, she greets them nicely and wants them to pet her. Our rescues have baggage to shed but, with time and love, Sulli will probably become much more sociable.
 

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Casie is a very timid little boy also. He barks a lot, but runs away the minute anyone shows any interest in him. He has to be the one to initiate the meeting...left alone to do it his way, he's okay....I think with a little more time and some meeting of others, she should be okay. If not, ask your vet what you could do to help her out in this area.
 

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Originally Posted By: beagletailsAs the day went on she seemed to be doing a little better and would get a little closer, but today I actually had a child that walks and talks (22 months). It was the same thing all over again.
I also think Sulli will be okay, and that it will just take time and patience in introducing her to new things and getting her used to them. The reason I think she will be okay is that you say she got a little closer as the day went on... that to me is an excellent sign. For Popcorn, even after three years of dealing with new things, she would still be cowering in the corner even today - forget starting to get closer over the course of one day of a new experience!

Sulli sounds much more like our Buzz, who is also shy and timid but not completely paralyzed by fear, and has therefore made great strides in his three months with us to the point where he is even now bordering on normal in a lot of situations. Buzz is about two years old, so definitely not a puppy, and he is progressing really well with his socialization - so it definitely can be done.

Good luck.
 
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