I basically have got a big black scaredy cat, who is slowly gaining confidence. Nero is a lab cross and bit over year now. He still scared of strangers although it is nowhere as bad anymore as it used to be. He doesn't growl at strangers anymore and while he still doesn't like being touched he shows curiosity towards other people. Having said that, I would not guarantee for him if he feels cornered or threatened - bearing in mind that his perception of 'thread' might well differ from everyone elses.
We have put up a clearly visible 'beware of the dog' sign on the gate to alert people, however, I'm quite baffled by the number of people completely ignoring this sign and just walking in. This frequently results in a completely frantic dog barking and lungeing at people and myself dropping everything and running out like a madwoman.
Nero has never bitten anyone, but recently I notice that he is getting closer to people. He used to bark frantically, but keeping at least a 2m distance. Meanwhile he is getting braver though and sometimes he actually lunges (just threatening - not even touching) at people.
This is only if strangers are walking in our yard and he settles as soon as I start talking with whoever has walked in. I tend to ignore him barking and would just call him back or say calmly something like 'enough'. I find the most effective though to just ignore him and act calm and normal, i.e. just talking with the people.
Am I doing the right thing? I would like him to stop behaving like a dangerous monster and just calm down. I don't mind him barking to alert me someone is actually at the door - but I don't want him to get too close to people or even lunge at them! Any suggestions?