Will she outgrow this behavior w/training and age?
OK, here goes …. I’m posting again …. Hopefully you all will have some words of wisdom for me. We have had our MJ (approximately 10 months old) in training for over 2 months now. She is making great progress and so are we. Our trainer trains one family member at a time, then when that family member is able to demonstrate they are able to control her and have the training down pat to be ready for the group class, then they and MJ go to group, and he starts training another member of the family.
So far, my sons and I have gone and we are all in group class now (different days), which includes stays, handshakes, etc. MJ does great. Does exactly as told with only minor corrections at times. We spoke with the trainer again last night after group. He said he sees no aggression in her whatsoever, and she behaved perfectly and under control in group which consists of about 10 other dogs/owners (all large breed, shepherd, rotties, pitbulls). Anyway, my only issue with her is her barking/lunging at two of my family members (my 11 yo daughter and fiancÚ). Our trainer says MJ is a big bully and will try to intimidate them into doing her bidding or her not suffering consequences of her action. It seems she loves scaring them, the more scared they get, the more she does it.
She has never bitten them, or anyone, but we don’t let her get close enough. We can control her on leash, but I’m just really wondering if she will ever warm up to them and stop this behavior. Until she stops this, I can’t see their fear subsiding (and my fiancÚ has a pitbull, so it’s not like he’s afraid of dogs). My fiancÚ is starting his training with MJ tomorrow, and our trainer says give it time, she doesn’t see them as pack members/above her yet, and always treat her like she’s in boot camp. We socialize her at home all the time. She stays at place and stops barking when we say “quiet”. But if we turn our head and my fiancÚ goes into the other room, she's fine but when he comes back she gets her "stance" which almost seems like a play stance, she lunges and barks.
Sometimes I think maybe she thinks that how to play with them because when she sees them at a distance, she actually cries to get to them, but the closer they get, she barks...it's not a vicious bark, I've her her vicious bark at strangers, it's not like that. I don’t know. We have had her 5 months, and she was 5 or 6 months old when we got her. We know nothing about her or her previous owners other than she had her shots and the previous owners were going to take her to the pound because they couldn’t control her. Anyone have any thoughts? Will she grow past this? We love her and want this to work. Our trainer seems to think it will ....