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Old 08-07-2014, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 3 month old hackles raised and barking?

Hi guys! I know I've asked about barking before and got some great answers. Now Atticus has started to bark and growl at any dog he passes by, no matter the distance. It could be across the street or 100 yards down the sidewalk, he barks and the longer he barks, his hackles start to raise from the middle of his shoulders and up his neck.
The part that confuses me is that he is absolutely friendly to every single dog he has been around and hasn't had any bad experiences. When he's like that, he gets so focused on the other dog that he won't listen to anything, and I mean ANYTHING, I say. A pop on the behind doesn't get his attention and if I try to turn around to walk the other way, I might as well be dragging him down the street because he tries his hardest to walk backwards until he falls over.
Will bringing treats along to distract him teach him that barking = reward? I try very hard to catch it before it happens but he has better eyesight than I do and will oftentimes catch it before me. I'd like to teach the right behavior before it gets worse, and before I end up walking extra miles trying to avoid other dogs.
OR, is this just him being vocal? He's my first gsd and I've tried my hardest to learn as much as I can from this forum. He's an absolute angel in every aspect except for this. Maybe I'm over concerned (barking doesn't bother me too much although I'd like to keep it to a minimum) but in my knowledge, when hackles are raised it means something is wrong. Is that correct?
Thanks guys!
I guess I should also add that it doesn't matter if he's met the dog multiple times before, he still does it every single time. The only exceptions are my roommates dog and my boyfriends dog because they're basically together 24/7
Here's my demon child sitting in the seat next to me as I type this. The harness he's wearing is only used for his seatbelt because otherwise he tries to crawl in my lap. 3 months and 1 week
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Harvey - 1 year old female rescued tortoiseshell

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Old 08-07-2014, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your Atticus is a talker all right Well, the treats worked with my Sting and also turning - putting him in the sit - standing in front of him. All to get back his focus. I would turn suddenly - zig zag -even bumped into him - he finally caught on it was better to concentrate on me and get the treat.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm still trying to crack this code. My boy does the same thing. And nothing I mean nothing can snap him out of it. He doesn't bark at other dogs, but he sure will bark at every cat or human. When I walk him, he likes to bark at this one house because of the cats. Also, the idiot that lives there will come out when I walk by and he tries to talk to my dog and put his hand right in front of his face. :banghead: any who. When we pass by I put him on the other side of me, every time he barks or tries to go over there I bump him with me knee and tell him not.letting him know I own that side and he can't go over there. When he barks at people it's a growl bark and sometimes gets a mowhak. When I drive and his head is out the window, if he sees some one close; I can't get him to stop barking. He is so fixated. I've tried telling him no, I try to turn him around, I've tried distracting him with treats....etc like you said he gets into this zone and acts deff no command that he clearly is awesome at at home. He will not stop tell we are far away from what he is barking at, and sometimes he makes one last bark just in case. I would hate to leave him at home. He is always with me.he was Properly socialized. It was right when he hit 4 months. It all started over night.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Beth View Post
Your Atticus is a talker all right Well, the treats worked with my Sting and also turning - putting him in the sit - standing in front of him. All to get back his focus. I would turn suddenly - zig zag -even bumped into him - he finally caught on it was better to concentrate on me and get the treat.
I've also tried making him sit and stand right in front of him to block him. He just keeps barking and tries to move his head around my legs. Which I continue have to keep block. Your are so lucky. =) I wish my boy would stop for treats.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My puppy just turned 4 months old and has started doing something similar. It's like he's suddenly discovered he can bark. He barks at people and strange dogs when he first sees them, but if we approach he settles down and wants to play. Will also bark if he hears a dog barking on tv. This usually sets off our other dog and we end up with a three minute bark fest until they both figure out that there's nothing out there to bark at.

Like others, we have done a ton of socialization with our puppy and he has had nothing but positive experiences. I'm just wondering if its a stage they go through as they start feeling their oats. Ours is an as yet un-neutered male.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh goodness gracious I'm so very glad I'm not the only one! You're exactly right it happened over night! He was a talker before but only in the house. It's like all of a sudden he's discovered that he has a bark and he can use it. I took him to the barn with me last night, which he's been to since 8 weeks old and has met the dogs that live there, yesterday the little jack Russell came up to him (about 5 feet away) and he was full on barking, hair raised all down to his tail and growling. As soon as she got close enough to touch him, he was all about playing. So it makes me think he's all show and wants to assert himself? It's absolutely like he's in another world when he focuses like that. I will try to bring food or treats along and see if there's an improvement! Thanks for the input and advice
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Oh goodness gracious I'm so very glad I'm not the only one! You're exactly right it happened over night! He was a talker before but only in the house. It's like all of a sudden he's discovered that he has a bark and he can use it. I took him to the barn with me last night, which he's been to since 8 weeks old and has met the dogs that live there, yesterday the little jack Russell came up to him (about 5 feet away) and he was full on barking, hair raised all down to his tail and growling. As soon as she got close enough to touch him, he was all about playing. So it makes me think he's all show and wants to assert himself? It's absolutely like he's in another world when he focuses like that. I will try to bring food or treats along and see if there's an improvement! Thanks for the input and advice
My boy does the same silly stuff. Like if I take him out for a potty break and my husband comes home or if the kids comes up to him, he does the same thing. He will bark like it's a stranger. As soon as they are close he wags his tail and gives kiss. I always joke with him and say " I thought you had a good sense if smell?." Good luck with the treat thing. I wish mine would respond to them . He will if he is not in the zone. I'm still waiting for him to snap out of this. He is already 6 months. So hopefully it's soon.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My boy did the same. I told the breeder he had bad nerves and a low threshold. My breeder Insisted that he had solid nerves.
He explained to me that some experts call this a fear period, his opinion as a breeder and trainer for 40 years is gsd's grow and mature quick, they realize they have a voice and they can use it.
They get excited and alert very quickly, when this happens they get a reaction out of you, the other dog and the other person. This makes them feel less stressed so they do it as much as the can. They will grow out of this stage.
My breeders advice was as soon as it happens pic the puppy up. Turn it around and wait for it to relax. When that happens drop the puppy with a big praise and a game.
This shoes the pup you are in control of it and the situation
I did it about 10 times and now he no longer does it.
Give it a go


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Old 08-08-2014, 11:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d4mmo View Post
My boy did the same. I told the breeder he had bad nerves and a low threshold. My breeder Insisted that he had solid nerves.
He explained to me that some experts call this a fear period, his opinion as a breeder and trainer for 40 years is gsd's grow and mature quick, they realize they have a voice and they can use it.
They get excited and alert very quickly, when this happens they get a reaction out of you, the other dog and the other person. This makes them feel less stressed so they do it as much as the can. They will grow out of this stage.
My breeders advice was as soon as it happens pic the puppy up. Turn it around and wait for it to relax. When that happens drop the puppy with a big praise and a game.
This shoes the pup you are in control of it and the situation
I did it about 10 times and now he no longer does it.
Give it a go


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Haha. I wish I could pick up my beast and walk away. He is too big =)
I think what you are talking about is called fear/ brave stage. They don't know if they should be scared or brave so they will act all tuff but scared at the same time.
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