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A new friend came by my house for the first time, not realizing that I had a dog, she came into the yard and right up to the front door. Ben, my Rhodesian ridgeback, is instantly on high alert, which is completely normal behavior for him. When I opened the door he is behind me and barking his loud, deep “who are you” bark. I told him to be quiet, but by this time my friend is outside the gate and clearly upset. Leaving Ben in the house I approached my friend to see what was up, she explained that she had been bitten severely when she was little and has been afraid of dogs ever since. Now she has been over several times and although she generally gets along with Ben she is still not relaxed in my house until I let Ben outside. I try to reassure her, but it doesn’t do much good. Is there any way for Ben and I to help my friend let go of her fear? I would love to hear you thoughts on this issue of dealing with dog aggression without the fear, thank you.
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