So my gsd is 7 months old, and is having what seems to be (after reading through some older posts) a pretty common problem- she barks at people and other dogs. I've read a lot of really great advice about how to work on this (starting at a distance, using food & toys to keep her attention, etc.) and I feel like we're making some progress. My question is how to tell if she's barking out of nervous aggression or over-excitement?
Sometimes if I take her out to play ball and get her really worked up before throwing it, she'll bark out of excitement, but she also barks at unfamiliar noises presumably out of nervousness. I am positive she really loves people because she always wants to be petted and gets all soft and wiggly when they're close, but I'm not sure about other dogs. I started socializing her with other dogs right after she got her rabies shot, but then life got crazy and I stopped taking her. We still did lots of other things, but we really have to be intentional to meet strange dogs and that just didn't happen.
Now that she's started barking (discovered that last Saturday) we've worked on leash around other dogs (petsmart, the park, and an unintentional training opportunity at the vet) but I really can't figure out if she's scared or excited or maybe some of each? She really wants to get to the dog, but then just sniffs, tail held low, but not wagging either? I guess the only reason it matters is that I would like to know if taking her away from the other dog is a reward or a punishment.
Oh and we're signed up for a training class that starts tonight and I'm really worried about how she's going to act :/
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