Your collie might be scared of men because of lack of socialization when they were a puppy, past abuse from men, dislike of a masculine scent, or just because they take a dislike to certain people.
In this article we’ll look at collies’ fear of men, why it happens, and how you can help them overcome their fear.
Why Might Your Collie be Scared of Men?
1: Some Collies may have been abused by men
Collies are more sensitive than other dogs and may hold a lifelong fear of men if they have previously been mistreated by a man.
Even just being startled by a man when they are a puppy could lead to a collie developing a fear of men for the rest of their life.
Rescue collies may be more prone to being scared of men, especially if their previous owner was male.
2: Some Collies Lack Socialization with Men
Collies who have not been regularly socialized with men when they are a puppy are more likely to develop a fear of men in later life.
The first 4 months of your collie pups life are a critical time period where your pup should be exposed to a vide variety of men regularly. If this is not the case, your collie be predisposed to having a phobia of men.
Even if there was a man living in the same household during your collies puppyhood they may still be scared of unknown men later in their life.
3: Collies don’t like the smell of men
Collies’ main sense is their their sense of smell.
Collies can smell the differences between masculine and feminine hormones. Human female hormones are closely related to a nursing collie’s hormones so they associate these with feeling safe and secure.
4: Collies don’t like masculine energy
Your collie may perceive an imagined threat when surrounded by masculine energy. Imagine being in a room full of 100 men, now imagine being in a room full of 100 women. Would you feel differently? Your collie feels the same way.
5: Men Seem Scarier to Collies
Your collie might just find men scarier overall.
Men are generally taller with louder, deeper voices. Your collie can find this scary as they are sensitive dogs and loud noises combined with quick unexpected movements from a taller, larger man can frighten them.
6: Collies sometimes don’t like beards or facial hair
Collies sometimes don’t like men because of their beards. Collies are very perceptive and if a man changes their facial hair your collie may not recognize them, making them seem like a scary stranger to your collie.
7: Collies don’t usually like strangers, so a new man can be scary
Collies are very loyal to their owners and introducing a man in to your collies life if it has previously just been you and them may be challenging.
Your collie can be protective of you and they get jealous easily, so they may treat any new man in your life as a potential threat, and act fearful or even aggressive towards them until they get to know them.
How to Ease Your Collie’s Fear of Men
If your dog is showing aggression towards men its best to seek professional help form a specialist collie behaviourist.
If your dog isn’t aggressive but fearful such as cowering and shaking there are a few things you can try.
- Meet a male friend outside with your pooch. Meeting outside is neutral territory and your pup may feel less territorial or threatened than if they were to meet in the house.
- After your dog is comfortable with males outdoors ask a trusted male to come into your house. At this stage do not get the dog to interact with them, you are simply letting your collie get used to their presence.
- Put some high value treats about the house so that your collie needs to pass closely to the male in your house. This will help your collie realise they are not in danger and should lower their threat level.
- If your male friend is sitting on a chair in the house ask them to sit on the floor and hold a treat in their hand without talking or interacting with the dog. Your collie will like this better as a man towering over your collie may cause additional anxiety for your furry friend.
- Now your collie is comfortable taking a treat from a man ask your male friend to talk calmly and slowly to your collie.
- If your collie is calm in the presence of your male friend you can ask them to pet the dog. They should move slowly and calmly as erratic movements can frighten collies.
The most important thing to remember is to go slow. Let your dog approach males and do not force your dog to do anything outwith their comfort zone.
Use lots of high value treats and praise when your dog approaches your male friend. This will create a positive association with men which your super smart collie will be sure to remember.
My Collie is Afraid of my Husband or Partner
Collies are complex emotional characters who may feel threatened by a new male in their life. Your collie is likely to be jealous of any new male and may feel territorial over you.
Collies can be quite needy, and if someone new arrives and is taking up a lot of your time and attention, your collie will feel dejected and upset.
Your collie may feel threatened that their bond with you may become weakened by having to compete for your love and affection. So, your collie may simply be being selfish by wanting you all to themselves. Your collie is simply guarding their most precious resource and may feel that your snuggle time together could become limited.
My Collie is Afraid of Male Strangers
Your collie may be fearful of unknown males. Its actually quite a common problem and a problem my own rescue collie faced.
Collie Protective Behavior Around Men
If your collie is barking and growling around men this is their way of defending and protecting you. Perhaps your collie senses a threat to your safety or feels fearful of men and reacts in this way. Regardless, you should teach your collie not to react negatively around all men.
If your collie has their hackle up, snarling and are leaning towards the perceived threatening male this is an indication your collie is trying to defend you. Never physically correct your collie if they are doing this because it could result in their aggression being projected onto you.
How to help your collie overcome their fear of men
Show your collie they do not need to protect you by showing them you are the leader and you will protect them.
Try to show some leadership qualities to assert your position as the alpha who does not need protected. Communicate with your collie in an assertive but non aggressive tone, calmly tell them to get down and stop, or send them to another room.
Remember, stay calm and be patient. Collies are sensitive and respond best to positive reinforcement training, so when they back down, always reward their good behavior.
Communicate to your dog that you are in control of the situation and they do not need to show aggression towards unknown males.
My collie Luna was very afraid of male strangers.
This all stems from her being a rescue dog, and from her likely abuse from a male prior to being rescued. However, although not fully over her fear of unknown men (especially is the dark) she has gotten much better.
Initially, Luna was petrified of my male neighbor. I think he took it to heart as a dog owner himself and unexpectedly came to the door one night with a freshly caught trout for Luna.
Obviously Luna let her stomach decide for her in this instance and quickly got over her fear, even begging for more!
Over the festive period, Luna forgot my brother was staying the night and the next morning acted as though he was an intruder, despite him being there all day and night.
It takes a few days for collie to accept new people, but once they do be prepared to receive their love in excess!