How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lisa Your Own Question
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16068
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Lisa is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We bought a labradoodle puppy when he was about 3 months old.

This answer was rated:

We bought a labradoodle puppy when he was about 3 months old. He showed fear in interacting with humans from the beginning, which we attributed to being an older puppy when adopted and probably not having enough human interaction at the breeder. He is completely comfortable other dogs. However, he does not know how to interact with humans well. We've had him 6 weeks now. He will show affection and a desire to be with us under certain circumstances(for example, we have a leather love seat that is one of his "safe" spots where he welcomes petting and will snuggle with us). However, he will not come to us even when we can tell he is happy to see us, and will run away if you attempt to walk over to him to pet him. He has a particular fear of walking through doorways, which makes getting him into the house difficult unless we have him on a leash (and he doesn't want to go to the bathroom outside on a leash). How do we work with him?
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today.

Is Jet on a routine or schedule?

Is he crate trained?

Has he been to obedience classes at all?

Is he neutered?

Is he only timid around people or has he acted out aggressively at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have a fairly normal routine. I work on a flex schedule -- part telecommuting & part going into an office. On my office days, I take him to doggy day care (it was obvious from the beginning that leaving him alone for extended periods was not good).


He does have a crate he sleeps in at night (and we put him there if we are just gone for an hour or two). It is one of his "safe places" he retreats to when he's anxious -- if people are visiting or if he can tell some type of change is coming up.


He has not yet been to obedience classes, although I have had a dog trainer come out to give me an opinion how to work with him. I have not yet been able to get him to learn a basic command like "sit." He becomes fearful when we start to try any training at home.


He is not yet neutered. Our vet recommended doing that when he was about 6 months old.


It is only around people or when anything changes that he is fearful. He has not been aggressive toward people or animals. We have another dog, and Jet definitely is the submissive one of the two. If the other dog wants a toy, Jet will let him have it. He shows no fear of loud noises, thunderstorms, etc.

Thank you very much for the additional information. I really appreciate it!

The important thing...maybe the MOST important thing to remember is that even though I'm sure you already love are a stranger and he is in a strange place, so taking it easy with him for as long as it takes, until he adjusts to you and his forever home. I know that you want to take him out and take him for walks and introduce him to people...but this can overwhelm these unsocialized little guys pretty fast. Imagine if you were dropped in the middle of don't know anyone, you don't know the customs, and you don't speak the'd be a little overwhelmed, no matter how nice everyone was. This is what your new dog is dealing with.


I actually have a bit of experience in this situation. I am currently owned by a Maltipoo named Vinnie who spent the first four years of his life in a very small kennel in the backyard of someone who was breeding him to make money. He wasn't house trained, he didn't know how to be a pet and was horribly, terribly skittish around humans. Vinnie showed a lot of the very same behaviors as your Doodle.


With my little guy, the first thing I did was get him a DAP collar to help with his anxiety over the new life he had. These are collars that are impregnated with a man-made version of the dog appeasing pheromone, which is a pheromone that nursing bitches give off to their pups to help them feel calm and secure. It's something that humans can't smell, but it has an amazing effect on dogs with anxiety and other issues. Although you can find them at your vet's can also find them online at places like and Ebay for much cheaper. Just make sure they're DAP brand, as they seem to work better than some other versions.


I'd also get him involved in a basic obedience class. Not because you want him to learn to sit and stay (although that's super nice too), but because these kinds of classes will build the bond between you and your new dog and will help him build self confidence. It will also help him understand that people are okay since he'll be seeing other dogs (whom he likes) interacting with their humans without being fearful. It's good that he likes other dogs so well because dogs always learn faster/better from other dogs. Seeing other dogs in the class not acting afraid may help him understand there's nothing to be worried about.


Almost all breeds of dogs love to have a job, and get a great feeling of satisfaction doing one...what you're going to learn in these classes you can take home with you. Telling him to sit might be a fun thing for you, but for him, it's a job. That will help him come out of his shell a bit.


Finally...make sure you keep all his meetings with new people on his terms for now. If he's timid, allow him to be. Ask new people to avoid looking at him, talking to him, or trying to pet him. For a frightened dog, having someone invade her personal space will be a super intimidating thing. Ask new people to just sit and ignore him. If he comes near them, they can toss him a bit of a tasty treat (My dog loves the freeze dried beef liver you can pick up at any pet store), but not to talk to him or try to pet him. Eventually, he'll associate new people with something good (the treats!!) and will be more likely to want to socialize with them.


I hope this helps...and if you have any other questions about your guy, please don't hesitate to ask.

Lisa and 5 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Meagan,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Jet. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We ordered a DAP collar from Amazon, and it just came in today. So, we haven't gotten a chance to see if it will work for him. I'll let you know in a few days how it goes.


Planning to check with a pet store about obedience classes.

Thanks for the update! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!!

Related Dog Questions