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?
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