"My 5 moth old GSD puppy Kiba, barks at people with his hackles up. He barks at strangers on walks and people invited into the house. For example last week my aunt was visiting, and it took him about 2 days to stop barking every time he saw her. I really wish he wouldn't bark at people. I always make him sit, and stay when he sees people, as well as give him corrections every time he barked at her. I also wish he wouldn't bark at dogs when he sees them. How do I build his confidence and help him understand he needs to be ok with people we allow into the house"
Realistically what you wish to happen may not be possible. For a pup to continue barking at a house guest for two days tells something about his temperament, as do the hackles on walks. This dog is really unnerved, very insecure. Socialization can only do so much .
Instead of sit and stay , which are depressing to the animal and allow too much time to focus on what they fear, keep moving , change your pace . Movement and speed - forward and passing , not away from , create brain chemicals , endorphins , which are pleasant . There can be an association with "stranger" and pleasure . Too much static and going close forcing friendships works against you. Dog is clearly telling you he is not comfortable. Don't bring him to the threshold where flight becomes fight (fear bite). Don't correct him when barking compounding his stress - fear of what he is facing and fearful of your response.
So MANAGEMENT , which may be life long management is the answer . When company comes , put him in a safe , closed crate on the perifery of where you all hang out and let him watch , without attention from anyone . Just watch and analyse , at a distance , without pressure or expectations.
Now if he can't handle the stress in that situation and barks or tries to get out , then you know the magnitude of the problem and have some decisions to make .
gaia's ideas are good but for this animal that would be too much stimulation , too many stressors, and the handler may be taking action (embarrassment / anger / frustration because people are watching and have expectations for him to do s o m e t h i n g , anything . Plus this is a loaded environment where the handler has no control of the environment. In the privacy of his home , one person at a time , willing to co operate will be better .
sorry - better to grapple with reality and have a half chance
Last edited by carmspack; 08-20-2012 at 02:23 PM.