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Leo0811 01-31-2014 03:50 PM

Randomly barks at my husband and other men

I have a 14 month old GSD male. He has had basic and intermediate obedience training, basic protection training and we just began Schutzhund. In the last few weeks, he randomly barks and charges my husband, as well as my father in law and my uncle. It is totally unprovoked, we could be sitting and talking or the men could be walking around the house. He has done that only to men, not women. It has happened at our house and my in-laws house. My husband corrects him if he does it and he settles down, but I know it's unnerving to others. After all, a GSD barking and charging is pretty frightening. He is friendly and has been well socialized since he was a pup, and this behavior seems unlike him.

Could you tell me why he is doing that and how to curb this behavior? Has your dog ever done this? Thanks in advance!

wyoung2153 01-31-2014 04:02 PM

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Not going to be too much help.. but I would definitely bring this up to your ScH trainer. Also, how long have you had your boy?

Leo0811 01-31-2014 04:08 PM

He's been with us since he was 8 weeks old. I feel like maybe he is trying to challange his place in the pack by doing this? He's totally fine being handled by males, for ex: at the vet, during training, or even if strangers or friends pet him or play with him. So I don't think it has anything aggression towards males because he would do that to others.

wyoung2153 01-31-2014 04:13 PM

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Is this all of a sudden? Also, when you say basic protection work, what exactly did you guys do? Were men the "attackers."

erfunhouse 01-31-2014 04:28 PM

What about clothing? Similar to sleeves if any are used in training? Same color? How are arms being held? Bent at 90 degrees because they are holding a glass?

Additionally...people tend to think all barking is aggressive. NOPE! They are communicating. I hold "conversations" with my dogs while they talk back with different barks. I can tell when Sabo is being a stubborn butt head with his high pitched YUP! bark that he makes. I can tell Kia's "Play with me now bark!" at Sabo from around the corner.

Dogs barks communicate ALOT. If you are into Sch then you also know that teasing with a rag to elicit a bark and then subsequently rewarding said bark with the rag to tug on is common. Could this have just started in training? Could your dog think that barking at the men may mean that he wants them to start to play with him?

Leo0811 02-02-2014 10:52 AM

His bark is definitely defensive, it's not playful or happy in nature. I haven't noticed the same pattern in terms of the men's clothes. Leo has barked at them wearing both short and long sleeves. The only bite work we have done was with an actual bite sleeve, not with a hidden sleeve. We have done work on the pole, as well as on the leash, dropping the leash and having him chase the trainer.

David Winners 02-02-2014 11:10 AM

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IMO, there is too many variables in the situation to get a good read on the dog through text. I would suggest that you set up a scenario where your trainer can see what the dog is doing, on video or in person.

carmspack 02-02-2014 11:20 AM

maybe the dog is not a good candidate for protection work and is pre-empting , being defensive , as self protection.

David Winners 02-02-2014 11:54 AM

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Originally Posted by carmspack (Post 4951018)
maybe the dog is not a good candidate for protection work and is pre-empting , being defensive , as self protection.

That's kind of what I was thinking. It's impossible to tell, without seeing the dog, if he's being defensive or trying to get someone to play his new game.

Baillif 02-02-2014 11:58 AM

Is the dog barking charging getting close and then bolting quickly or circling?

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