So we have had Midas since he was a baby. He has never cowered of ducked from our hands. Yet recently he will duck and cower when we just move our hands. I really don't understand. Midas has never been hit by us or mistreated in any way. He just started this not very long ago and we are concerned that maybe he got hit by a maintenance man. The only reason I would guess this is because we have never hit him and we have had quite a few maintenance men come in within the past couple weeks. Some when we weren't home. Our fridge keeps breaking. And recently I found out a few that work here are afraid of dogs. And the past few times I have been home and they maintenance men came by Midas was barking excessively at the man and getting very low to the ground. Do you think that they may have hit him and wouldn't tell us?! He doesn't seem traumatized by it other than the fact that he cowers.This is a very dog friendly community with a dog park on site. Almost every apartment has at least one dog, why would somebody work here when they are afraid of dogs?! Can we help Midas with his fear of a hand moving?

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I really hope he's just going through a phase and wasn't hit by a maitenence person! The only thing I can think of to help work on the cowering is to maybe put something delicious on your fingers like peanut butter and move your hands around him and have him lick it off so he associates moving hands with deliciousness, but that's the only thing I can think of. Good luck and I really hope no one laid a hand on your dog
I've seen this happen with friend's dogs who i KNOW don't hit their dog. One of them what happened is the dog would crowd my friend's dad while he was working on ___, then he would reach back to get a tool and, whack. OOPS! And then for awhile the dog shied. He got over it eventually. Another of my friends got stepped on/kicked a few times during a party and for a few months afterwards she would cower anytime someone walked near her. She, however, did not get better, and still cowers from walking people.
Just putting forth an argument that it may not be that the maintainence man intentionally hit the dog. An accident might have happened and he might not of thought that it was any consequence, and now there's a problem. You might try talking to the ones that come in about it and tell them that the dog is a little shy and have them give the dog a treat so he can start getting over his fear again.
Praise and treats!

I accidentally dumped some water in Casey's face a while back (I had a glass of near empty water in my hand, and I bent over her pen to give her a chin scratch as I walked to the kitchen - bent over too far and spilt the water all over her face!) and after that when she saw me walking near her with that glass (only that glass, not with a coffee mug or pop can) she'd try and move away. I started walking towards her with an obvious treat in one hand, and the glass in the other and when she stayed put, I praised and tossed the treat. Then continued doing it and getting closer and closer, until eventually I was walking right up to her with the treat and having her take it from my hand. Did take too long - maybe 2 or 3 sessions. I'm always walking around with that glass though, so I didn't want her running away every time she saw me with it, lol.

Try starting at a distance and move your hand with a treat in it. Praise what you want and treat (toss it his way if you can't get too close). Gradually build up his confidence again with hands moving closer and closer to him while praising and treating.
My male will back away if you go straight for his head (he's too bossy to cower) and he was never abused. Herding dogs are very aware of things moving towards them and can become very sensitive and duck from a hand.

Try moving your hand out with a treat in it and have him come to you for it, but he may never like a hand coming straight over the top of his head. But as others have said, try being positive and treating him from the direction he tries from and see if that helps the situation.
My Livvy will do this and we found this out in basic obedience class when we used our hands for the stay position she would jump back and the instructors figured it was just to close for her so we had to come up with another signal not a flat hand coming toward her yes, it can happen. Could be a bad experience but could also be like Livvy who is super sensitive. I would be careful of strangers in your home though as our Aussie( was my daughters) started having issues...they believe someone was doing something to him in his chain link fence while they were gone.
Thanks everybody for your advice and assurance! I really hope he is just ultra sensitive. I have always said if anybody ever hurt my dogs and I saw it....well they just better not do it! I'm a momma bear and those are MY bear cubs. I'm sure you all feel the same way. We will try the whole treat in hand thing and see where it takes us. It does make sense about him being a genius herding dog that he is who notices everything. And who knows, maybe a hand is scary!


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