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Old 02-17-2014, 03:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Never experienced this...timidity with new people

I've had shepherds my whole life, first memory is crawling around Diamond when I was little little.

I've owned 2 before Odin, Gemini was neurotic and crazy, Rebel was dog aggressive but not aggressive otherwise.

Odin is nearly 6 months and in his own space barks incessantly when new people come into his territory--whether it's people approaching me when I'm standing near the car and he's in the car, or new people coming in to our house.

It's not aggressive, it's fear. He'll crawl up onto the furniture to get behind us and bark, bark, bark.

We've started working with it with new people being asked to just ignore him, or not look at him and drop treats or his ball for him. That seemed to work better than them trying too hard to make friends.

Other recommendations? He does pretty well out of his "zone" like in stores or outside in parks etc. But he gets a bit overwhelming when he starts in with the barking in the car or at home.
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Cosmo-space cat
Chess-fuzzy cat
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All of us will have our own theories as to the best approach, so if we all chime in with the different ideas then you should have lots of ideas to see which fits you best, lol.

With my barky pup, I taught him "Quiet" and I also taught him that disobedience to that command was an automatic 10 minute time out in his crate. He really enjoyed barking at the neighbors until he was offered that choice, lol. I think barking is so much fun for them, and it is self-rewarding behavior - so they need to have an even bigger reward to motivate them to keep quiet. Like enjoying the sunshine while I garden, with a bone and a kiddie pool instead of the crate would be a great choice.

Getting people to ignore your pup is going to be the hardest training challenge, hands down. It was impossible to get one of my neighbors to stop talking to my pup while he was barking. That's where the flirt pole came in very handy, because that's his crack pipe, lol.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So quiet is a great command, the problem is how do I teach it? Just use it and crate him if he doesn't? He barks so loudly and incessantly that we can't get a "word" in edgewise!

Flirt Pole???? Not sure what that is?

He quiets almost immediately when we bring his ball or a stick out. Telling him "quiet" isn't working. "Odin, NO" sometimes works. I don't want to end his barking 100% because he is our "doorbell" but I do need him to quiet when told to. I'm just at a loss. All my others have responded well when told "quiet!".
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Tank (Cardigan Welsh Corgi)
Guinness (Brittany)
Odin (GSD 8/28/13)
Cosmo-space cat
Chess-fuzzy cat
Valentine-our ragdoll cat
Two great skin kids
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well first you have to stick with one word. Using "no" isn't going to help him figure it out. If he stops barking when he sees his ball, then that's great and you can use that to get him to stop. So he's barking, you say "quiet" and show him the ball, he stops barking, you praise the dickens out of him with "GOOD quiet!" and repeat that a bunch of times and there you go. He needs to understand that your "quiet" command equals silence on his part - he needs to make that connection.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have never dealt with a fearful dog. I dealt with a people aggressive dog and at home would have been the worst place to introduce people to him at!

My take would be to get him to ignore people, if he does not have a crate get him one, train him to know that it is his safe place, folks come over let him go to his crate end of story. No people giving him treats or balls, leave him alone.

On walks just ignore people, step aside and let them pass, practice treat and ignore, If you stop and converse, stand in front of your dog. Don't let people touch him..."no you can't touch my dog, he's in training!'

Eventually he should come to see people as being of no consequence. You'll know when the time comes, if you practice, standing in between him and people enough ,one day when your talking to someone with him behind you, you'll look and see him behind you and you'll see no reaction to people whatsoever at that point your job is done!

My goal was to not put my dog into situations where he was uncomfortable. So that's what I did and I'm very happy with how he turned out. Today I can let people greet him and for the most part he could careless, he just looks at me. I'm good with that he's not a people loving Boxer!

If you want your dog to actually like people, then maybe a different approach is needed.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great idea on ball=quiet...thanks!

He does have a crate and we used it last night when we had a new person over.

There's no "standing in front of"...since he goes behind me! lol...he's so weird. He really does fine if he's not in the car or at home, so that's where I need to focus the training at this point.

I don't care so much if he doesn't like people, I just don't want him to run in a panic from them...onto the sofa, behind my kid, nearly up over the top and between the wall and sofa. I guess what I'm looking for is a way to build his confidence so that he isn't afraid of new people in the house. And of course, a way to stop the barking.

So yeah, I'll definitely work with the ball and quiet, but am not sure how to get him to bark like that so we can work on it without new people over.

Last night was funny, he was crated during dinner and then we opened the door while we were still visiting at the table...he was wandering around the living room and eventually ended up next to my cousin and smelled her arm all over, not realizing that she knew he was there.

Then when we adjourned to the living room, he actually brought her his ball and dropped it next to her. So it's just the initial intro that is a major issue and perhaps crating during that is best.
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Chris, mom to:
Tank (Cardigan Welsh Corgi)
Guinness (Brittany)
Odin (GSD 8/28/13)
Cosmo-space cat
Chess-fuzzy cat
Valentine-our ragdoll cat
Two great skin kids
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What your cousin did was perfect, and the more these things take place, the better it will be for him. Bake a cake, and invite some neighbor over for coffee, lol.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
What your cousin did was perfect, and the more these things take place, the better it will be for him. Bake a cake, and invite some neighbor over for coffee, lol.
I think it's time to start rounding up all the people we know...and pay them in treats!

Thanks!
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Chris, mom to:
Tank (Cardigan Welsh Corgi)
Guinness (Brittany)
Odin (GSD 8/28/13)
Cosmo-space cat
Chess-fuzzy cat
Valentine-our ragdoll cat
Two great skin kids
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have fun I'd volunteer to come over for cake if I lived closer, lol.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Your dog is still just a pup and instinct and behaviors are changing. I made the mistake of forcing too many people on Stosh around that age when he was giving me clear signals that he wasn't ready- submissive peeing in particular. I'd take it slow and don't overwhelm him with well meaning friends who just want to love and pet and hug your pup. The most important relationship to establish right now is between you and Odin. He needs to know that you will protect him and he may be asking for that now. He won't mature for another 18 mos or so- there's no hurry. I would crate him while others are over and if he's comfortable with that, let him out but ask people to ignore him for now. They can throw a treat on the floor but not interact. It sounds as though he's trying to tell you that it's too much for him right now
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