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BensLife 08-28-2014 02:32 AM

7 month old, aggressive towards people and other dogs!
Mushu has always been a sweet dog, but recently after moving to a new place he has now started barking at dogs and people. He showed signs of this probably 2-3 months ago and I tried correcting this but had no success. I'm embarrassed to take him out on walks because he will just bark at anyone.

I have looked into classes and was wondering if group or private session would be beneficial for Mushu and I. The private lesson would have him come to my place and work on the issue with his behaviors right there. I'm not sure how he is going to react in a group and don't want to take a chance of anything bad happening.

I'm just so frustrated and embarrassed.. HELP! I'm just worried if it's too late to correct his behavior ):

car2ner 08-28-2014 06:32 AM

It is not too late. Our dogs go through phases just like kids do. It is good that you are seeking help to get Mushu through this.

It seems to me that starting with a private session would make sense. That way you can concentrate on what your instructor is telling you. Once you get a few of those under your belt maybe you could consider joining some sort of sport group, like AKC Rally or IPO if your dog is so inclined, or Agility. Then your dog may feel like he has a job besides barking at every other being he comes across.

wolfy dog 08-28-2014 11:17 AM

Tire him out before going for a walk. Then tons of treats and play only in the presence of dogs and people. Keep him engaged and active on your walks or he finds his own entertainment.

Olena K 08-28-2014 11:55 AM

Hi there!

I used to have the same issue with my pup a couple of months back. She is almost 10 months old now. Off the leash, she'd be okay with everyone but once she was on a leash, she'd get super protective. I addressed my concern with the instructor, and his advice has been very helpful. She doesnít bark on a leash anymore (occasionally, she will at a dog, but only if she wants to play). Here are some points:

- If you haven't done so, do obedience training. Itís a must.
- Learning to walk on a leash ('heal') is crucial. There must be no tension on a leash. (Think of it. Right now you probably pull on a leash when you see a human or a dog nearby. This tension is carried over to your pup. He gets scared/concerned and starts barking.) You shouldn't punish him if he barks either, it will only elevate his stress levels.
- Bring your pup to very crowded areas and sit on a bench. Let him get used to seeing and being surrounded by people. I know. It sounds absurd, but please believe me, it really worked in our case. Don't care (I know, itís hard to not careÖ) what other people think if your pup barks at first. Your first concern is your dog and his well-being.
- Just to add to this. Make sure your pup has all basics down and is fully house broken. You must be viewed as his master by him. If he still runs around your home without listening to you, put him on a leash at home. Yup... It does wonders. Also don't let your dog on a couch, unless itís deserved (that is if you let him on a couch). This will only increase his protectiveness.

I really hope this helps!!! Don't get desperate. It will get better. I promise :)


DJEtzel 08-28-2014 12:56 PM

So, this is something that bothers me. A lot. I'm being picky and I know it.

Is he aggressive, or reactive? Aggression would be intent to harm another living thing. Reactive would be making noise at stimuli for any reason - fear, excitement, etc.

BensLife 08-28-2014 01:23 PM

Thanks for the replies! I am calling around some dog trainers in my area to see which one suits Mushu and I best.

DJEtzel, I believe he is reactive, I know he doesn't want to harm anyone he would just bark at my friend who walks in but then stops because he remembers who he is. I have never actually let him get close to anyone when he is barking because im afraid if he actually wants to harm the person. Noise that he is not familiar with, for example, people talking outside and making loud noises when he is in his cage will make him bark maybe once or twice but then he stops. When I let him to go out to the bathroom, anyone he sees that comes by he will bark at, dog or human. Sometimes he doesn't bark at all, he would just look and then go back to sniffing. I think one problem on my end is that he isn't tired out enough when I bring him out on walks. I will try and see if that will calm him down a bit.

DJEtzel 08-28-2014 01:57 PM

Thanks for the thoughtful response!

He's reacting, so when you go looking for a trainer, look for one to deal with reactivity, not aggression. They're two VERY different behaviors and are fixed VERY differently.

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