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Hi, wondering if those of you with "full time job" dogs (and any of you! just keep in mind the end goal of this particular mutt as a working dog) can comment on the following...this is a friend of mine in MA whose partner is functionally blind...they recently got this pound dog with the notion of training it into a full seeing eye dog:

Best as we can tell, she will turn 2 on Halloween. She appears to be a pure-bred Field Golden. We got her as a 7-month old from Little Paws Rescue in Hopkinton, MA. Based on their conversations with ****, they hand-picked the dog for her because she had the right traits & temperment to match what **** needed in a guide dog. (smart, trainable, not reactive to loud noises, friendly, etc.)

She was absolutely fearless about new people , but that changed almost overnight a few months into being here. We were never sure if someone at the Lab scared her or what the incident (if any) might have been. Ever since then, she is terrified around people she doesn't know and is especially freaked about toddlers. Her reaction ranges from just hanging back (if it is a familiar situation, but a new person) to absolutely flattening into submission (if it is a new situation AND a new person).

We've praised her mightily when she faces a fear (as she did this morning with the slinky on my desk) and try to give strangers a treat to offer her when we have them.
What's some proper groundwork and socialization for a dog this old, given the owner's goals? "Turn people into hot dog dispensing machines" may not be appropriate here...

Please let me know, this is a real need for a wonderful person.
 
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