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Old 04-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pretty new here...Have my first Question!

Hi everyone,

My Juno is 10 months old now, and just within the past week has started a behavior I am uncertain about. When I am walking her, if someone else is walking towards us she starts to growl and lets out a few deep barks. Is her protection instinct just kicking in, or is this something that will turn into a bad habit? She has also started growling and giving out a couple of deep barks if she sees dogs that are bigger than she is.

This is my first GSD, and up until now I've had no questions really, as she has made dog owning super easy.

Any ideas or input would be appreciated!!

Thanks,
Kristy
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No expert, just my own experience with Titan, but sounds like something that Titan used to do when he was younger. He didn't growl just barked. I woudl assume that if it just started out of nowhere then it is more likely his maturing and trying to figure out his role on walks when random people approach, which should be your job not his.

What do you do when he does this? Do you ignore it, coddle, anything?
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Leave it" "big deal" etc.. do a 180....get her attention...distractions...put her focus on you....any apprehension on your behalf will be picked up by your doggy. Don't ever be the end of the leash to tighten up or pull first. I think at that age they might be getting to feel their "strut" for the first time....ensure your pooch there is no need to stiffen up...she's in good hands. And the age old..."it's okay" is not the way to go.

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Old 04-01-2014, 05:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Leave it" "big deal" etc.. do a 180....get her attention...distractions...put her focus on you....any apprehension on your behalf will be picked up by your doggy. Don't ever be the end of the leash to tighten up or pull first. I think at that age they might be getting to feel their "strut" for the first time....ensure your pooch there is no need to stiffen up...she's in good hands. And the age old..."it's okay" is not the way to go.

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Yes, I agree with not tighten or pulling -we made this mistake.
You are entering the adolescent stage, and really need to step up training for about the next 6 months.

Think about rewards your dog likes, treats or toy. When you see a dog or person approaching, put yourself between your dog and the thing, get her attention with the treat or toy have a happy voice, when passing the person or dog, make a wide arc around them and give the treat, then when you have passed, give a happy praise. This worked for us, it was a bit tedious at first, but I would find busy places to take our dog for lots of practice.

Our dog is almost 4 now and stopped that behavior at about 18 months. On our outings will may encounter a creepy person, or crazy kid but my dog tends to walk away from them rather than go on the aggressive. Our trainer taught us that, sometimes people freeze. She generally is very good with other dogs, but its is constant practice, praise and rewards.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OK, I don't know if I am even responding in the right place now, so sorry if I'm not..
What I have been doing is stopping and making her sit until the person passes. She doesn't lunge, just a growl and a bark. I will try some of these methods, as I don't want any behavior issues with her, nor do I want to ruin my walks with her....
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK, I don't know if I am even responding in the right place now, so sorry if I'm not..
What I have been doing is stopping and making her sit until the person passes. She doesn't lunge, just a growl and a bark. I will try some of these methods, as I don't want any behavior issues with her, nor do I want to ruin my walks with her....
My friend used to do this with her Husky when we went on walks together. It seems OK but not very practical in the long run. My neighbor does this too with his little yapper and I find it focuses more attention on the object you want your dog to avoid. Not saying its a bad idea, I just prefer to keep moving on my walks.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So just keep moving, keep her focus on me. She needs to understand there is no threat, that all is good.
Thank you very much to everyone who responded...
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Super G.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What do you normally do when this happens?

But yes.. keep her moving.. or even distracting with OB and treating may help. be sure you treat AFTER starting OB and not before.

Also, Super G said it.. teaching a command in general "leave it" is always good.. I use it with Titan and it's effective.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
making her sit until the person passes
Most likely she's scared of strangers and barks to reassure herself. By making her sit until the person passes you just make her concentrated on a stranger whom she should ignore as something worthless.
1) Have a squawky toy in your pocket, if she starts it - walk in opposite direction, and use this nasty sound they like so much as a call.
2) Don't feed before walks (it is not recommended anyway), crouch down, with your back to the object of irritation, and feed her tasty treats.
3) Walk through busy areas like town centres, shopping centres, parks, etc, so, it would be difficult for her to focus on anyone particular. Just keep her away from people's hands at the moment, she will learn to perform a ritual of meeting strangers when she gained confidence.
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