Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: was Virginia, now England
Increased barking & sounds aggressive after incident
I haven't been on here in awhile as I've been really busy with work but I need advice regarding a bit of an issue with Sookie, my 17 month old gsd mix. A few months ago we had an encounter in town at night when we were visiting a friend - I took her outside for a quick bathroom break and a group of 4 or 5 guys started shouting/talking loudly at me from across the street. Long story short, we crossed the street twice to get away from the abuse but they followed me back to the apartment door being loud perverts and when they got within 10 feet Sookie turned on them, charging to the end of her leash, barking and growling with hackles up. It was the first time she had ever growled at a person.
Now she seems to be barking more in general. I dont know if its related to this incident or not, but she seems more prone to barking at strangers who approach us. And she barks more and takes longer to relax when people come to the door. I feel really frustrated with, in particular, the barking when people knock on the door. I want her to alert, thats fine, but it's incredibly hard to deal with deliveries or whatever and try to remember all the advice to get her to settle.
Should I try to have a friend knock repeatedly at the door and practice in this way? Are there better ways to cope when someone comes to the door unexpectedly in addition to the 'practice with a friend plan' that I can put into practice immediately (at the moment I shut her in the lounge so i can deal with the door while she continues to bark which is helping nothing, I know). And does this increased door barking have anything to do with the barking more at strangers who approach us? As in, can I apply the same techniques to both situations?
(And I suppose I am also worried it is a sign of worse things to come).
Any help very much appreciated!