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Old 08-17-2014, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default territorial aggression- need some advice please

I have a 14 month old female German Shepherd. She is doing very well with obedience. I have been taking her to classes and doggy daycare since she was around 3 months old. She does pretty well when I take her out and about to places like lowes. She will just walk past people and not have any issues. The problem I am having is when people come over. She goes crazy when people enter our house and I cannot get her to settle down. I don't want to isolate her because I know that is not a fix but her behavior scares me as well as our visitors. I am willing to do anything it takes to fix this behavior because I love this dog. Any ideas please?
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you had her on a leash when company comes over....

I somewhat dealt with the same situation.... When I knew someone was coming over, I'd hook her up to the prong and 6 foot lead and put her on a down/stay until she would get her act together...started off pretty rough but after doing this for a while, she got the point. I believe she learned in order to be released from her down/stay she needed to mellow out before she could engage any company. There were times were she never got the opportunity to do the "meet and greet " because she couldn't hold a down/stay long enough for my liking. Even though it seemed odd to me to have my dog leashed in the house and me standing over her...she did figure it out. The sooner she mellowed out...the sooner she was able to greet any visitors.

I'd say she's about 70% of the way to where I would like...and no more leash on her in the house.

I sometimes would put her outside in the back when company would come by before they arrived and then allow her access to the inside of the house....she seemed to have a much lower level of "excitement" towards visitors when they were already in the house without her greeting them at the front door.

A solid down/stay and a leash in the house basically worked for me over a period of time.

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Old 08-17-2014, 10:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have tried having her on a traffic lead and making her mind but it's super hard to get her into a down stay when she is going crazy. It sounds like I'll just have to stick with this. It's nice to hear that this method will work. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the same problem. What helps us a lot is when guests arrive I take my dog outside to meet them in the driveway or street. I spend a few minutes out there letting them get to know each other and then we all go in together. He's much calmer but still not completely cool so I do keep him on a leash and work on down stays as SuperG said.


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Old 08-17-2014, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.Hatch View Post
I have the same problem. What helps us a lot is when guests arrive I take my dog outside to meet them in the driveway or street. I spend a few minutes out there letting them get to know each other and then we all go in together. He's much calmer but still not completely cool so I do keep him on a leash and work on down stays as SuperG said.


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I'm glad you mentioned that because the other day I did exactly as you described simply because I was preparing the dog for a trot while I am on a bicycle ( which I know is an accident in the making )...but my guests arrived with us out in the driveway and it was as you suggested...the transition to the indoors and her behavior indoors was much more acceptable. I wonder if the realm in which the dog is in, when visitors are introduced makes somewhat of a marked difference regarding the dog's behavior....perhaps if the dog is in a zone where it has less "investment" or ownership in, tempers the dog's excitement level???? Beats me..but my dog certainly has a different air about her meeting people in my driveway versus entering through the front door.


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Old 08-18-2014, 10:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you had your guests completely ignore the dog when entering? When I know people are coming over, I ask them to completely ignore the dog when entering the house and to keep their focus on me. They are here to see me anyway. The dog's attention is secondary. Our dog was confused at first, but got the message. Now he will wait until I say "Go say hi" and he can get some lovin
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Personally I find keeping the greetings low key really helps, the doorbell especially or people knocking gets both of my dogs barking and excited. So whenever I know someone is coming over I go to the door and wait, that way I can answer the door myself and send the dogs away from the foyer and the guests came come in.

It's easy to work with a dog in a lower state of drive and excitement so I trained the foundation I want in peace and quiet and then added in the distractions. So practice having her be quiet around the door, walk up with her on leash and do obedience and reward. Even practice standing there and knocking on the door once or twice so she gets used to the sound, then get some family members, neighbors, or friends to help you out by walking in and out and simulate normal greetings

The more you practice the better you'll get Don't be discouraged if it takes a bit, keep consistent and you should start seeing progress. Keep treats by the door, it's handy to have for those unexpected moments
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the advice. All of it has been very helpful. It's nice to hear that others have had this issue as well.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.Hatch View Post
I have the same problem. What helps us a lot is when guests arrive I take my dog outside to meet them in the driveway or street. I spend a few minutes out there letting them get to know each other and then we all go in together. He's much calmer but still not completely cool so I do keep him on a leash and work on down stays as SuperG said.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
I'm glad you mentioned that because the other day I did exactly as you described simply because I was preparing the dog for a trot while I am on a bicycle ( which I know is an accident in the making )...but my guests arrived with us out in the driveway and it was as you suggested...the transition to the indoors and her behavior indoors was much more acceptable. I wonder if the realm in which the dog is in, when visitors are introduced makes somewhat of a marked difference regarding the dog's behavior....perhaps if the dog is in a zone where it has less "investment" or ownership in, tempers the dog's excitement level???? Beats me..but my dog certainly has a different air about her meeting people in my driveway versus entering through the front door.


SuperG
We deal with a similar situation in my house and I have posted on it here a couple times.. Titan would bark his brains out. Luckily he's solid on is stay and will just bark his brains out in his bed when guests come over but I had never been able to break him of it.. it was always more of a nuissance to have people over just because of that.. here are a couple of the threads.

Obsessive barking... spraying with vinegar???

I think we figured something out..

What worked for us is quoted above. My friends had to get used to it and some don't always cooperate. But basically I have company call when they are almost to our house or in our drive way then take Titan outside. He still gets a little amped but I have his lead and prong on and we walk to the guests, he sits and when he is calm, they can pet him and he can get up and sniff.. after mingling for a minute we go inside, by that time he just wants to play with his ball so that's what he goes to find for our guests.

If friends don't abide by our rules and come to the door instead then he gets sent to bed and we bring out the treats. As soon as he is quiet, he gets a "yes" and a treat. "enough" if he barks. It's about the only think that somewhat helps.. he's generally in bed for about 20 minutes after guestts arrive if we do it this way.

Now mind you this is only in our home, like yours. Outside meet and greets are quiet pleasant interactions, lol. So I know what you mean.
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