5 month old barking "aggressively" at strangers? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 05-22-2014, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 5 month old barking "aggressively" at strangers?

My 5 month old has recently started barking quite aggressively at strangers, especially those entering the home. She has always had a nervous temperament too her since we brought her home, which has gotten better then it was the more we've brought her out, but I just don't know how to handle this one.

When outside the house, she definitely has some fear elements that stick out to me as she's barking, her hackles are up and her tail is tucked, she looks like a porcupine. If we're walking downtown or walking through groups of people, she tends to do ok, but if we're walking in the woods, or alone down the street and one person comes up, she gets all weird about it. She will react when in a group of people if they pay any attention to her, but then it's normally mild and a firm no and sit tends to settle her right back down.

Inside the house is another story. She seems to have more security and thus more confidence and of course most of the people coming into the house get scared from her barking, which only reinforces her barking. We've been putting her on a lead when people come in and that does settle her quite a bit. Do I just keep bringing her out and working with her around people, continue to to do obedience and the like? How would I go about teaching her to just completely ignore people?

Oh, and when she's with another dog, none of these problems really show up... she might woof lowly once, but one "No, let's go" and she's over it and back to doing what she was doing before hand. Is this a confidence issue when she's alone? How would I go about building her up?
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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very very careful management called for , this "When outside the house, she definitely has some fear elements that stick out to me as she's barking, her hackles are up and her tail is tucked, she looks like a porcupine" sounds like the dog is dangerously fearful , pretty extreme reaction.

I wouldn't try to "fix" her , she is what she is , a product of her genetics and early socialization.

I would have her kept away from people . No need for her to visit or be visited by people who want to give her attention, which is stressful for her .

When you expect people , put the dog in a crate or safe room , for her safety and security , and for the safety of the people you have invited .

this is a tough one .
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
very very careful management called for , this "When outside the house, she definitely has some fear elements that stick out to me as she's barking, her hackles are up and her tail is tucked, she looks like a porcupine" sounds like the dog is dangerously fearful , pretty extreme reaction.

I wouldn't try to "fix" her , she is what she is , a product of her genetics and early socialization.

I would have her kept away from people . No need for her to visit or be visited by people who want to give her attention, which is stressful for her .

When you expect people , put the dog in a crate or safe room , for her safety and security , and for the safety of the people you have invited .

this is a tough one .
Seems I got the short end of the stick on this one... None of her other litter mates have ANY of these qualities, they're all pretty happy go lucky, like people, love life dogs. I'll be contacting the breeder to see what she has to say, she was made aware early of her fearful tendencies, and my contract does hold a temperament guarantee up to three years of age... Not that I want to get rid of her, but if she's going to be a liability or a dog I can't take out with me on hikes and to actually experience life (which was a big requirement when we were outlining what we were looking for) then it may not be... I've done the whole HA dog management thing for 10yrs, and really not looking to do it over again. When we went to pick her up, she didn't really show signs of being fearful, she came up to us willingly but it seemed almost the moment we got her home, she lost all the confidence she had. We continued with her socialization, bringing her out and about, never forcing her into situations she wasn't comfortable with and just letting her experience things slowly.
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