Held hostage in my own home. Help!!
Hi everyone. I have a 5 year old German Shepherd and a 3 year old Bernese Mountain Dog. I also have a 2 year old daughter and am currently pregnant again. The issue is that our German Shepherd is very protective of our home (especially now that I'm pregnant and my husband is gone all the time through work). I understand her need to be protective of her home and family but it's come to a point where I don't invite friends to our house or other mom's and kids for playdates because of her behavior. It scares other people and honestly makes me get nervous because I feel like I can't control her/that she doesn't listen to me when I want her to stop. She's great on leash and listens to all commands off leash very well too. But when it comes to having people enter our home she goes crazy!
It's all come to a head now that we have workers in our house doing some major repairs and I just can't deal with having to talk to the workers, keep an eye on my toddler, and stop my GSD from barking non-stop. If I put her in crate in another room, she barks the entire time and it's so loud that I can't hear what the workers are saying. She is so persistent and will just bark for hours then while they are walking around the house. So I have to sit with her in another room and bribe her with treats basically every time they walk by. Once the gate fell down and she ran towards a worker and her hair was raised and she jumped in the air near him and showed her teeth. Scared the crap out of the guy and made me really nervous since I couldn't get her to calm down.
When I used to have friends over, she would bark and circle them sometimes jumping (not on them, but in the air near them). She doesn't jump on me when I come home but my husband let's her jump all over him and wrestle. We used to do more training when she was younger but the last few years was a whirlwind with having a baby and a large move and my husband gone all the time. It became easier to just not have people over and have to deal with it. But I hate feeling hostage in my own house and want to make a change. Really need advice!! I love her to pieces and she is a great dog. I just don't know how to overcome my own fear with this as well. She definitely feeds off that since she's much calmer with my husband and his guests. Can you teach an "old dog new tricks?" I really just want to have people over when I want and not stress about our dog scaring everyone and barking non-stop. Is that too much to ask?