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Old 07-22-2014, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fear or excitement? how to distinguish

My GSD barks at everything and everyone; I am not sure when is the proper time to use a correction and when i should work on distracting him or walking away from the situation. I don't want to use a correction when not necessary because I am afraid he will become aggressive. Right now(he is 6 months old) he seems like he wants to get to people or other dogs and he will bark until he gets there. With dogs he stops barking as soon as he reaches them, but with other people he will bark a bit more after he gets to them. His tail is up and looks like he just wants to be heard, but I am very nervous every time people want to pet him. He barks the same way to my father in law, which he sees on a daily basis, like he barks at a jogger across the street. He only barks when he is around me or my husband. We have a martingale collar on him and I am supposed to get him into a sit position besides me every time I want to greet people. If people want to pet him, he is supposed to stay by my side and watch me while he is getting petted by someone else. Same with other dogs, I should give him permission to go and smell other dogs if the person I meet agrees. How am I supposed to do this if he barks non stop? I tried the distraction, I tried the correction, he just doesn't seem to get it. How can I communicate to my dog what I want from him?
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dog barks it's head off and eventually he gets to meet whoever it is that he wanted. Why would he ever stop? Barking is getting him the reward.

If this was my dog no way he would get to meet anyone unless he's quiet. No way he gets to meet anyone if he's pulling towards them.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Simba. I'm sure other more experienced people will come along and give you advice they gave me when I had a young pup.
I wouldn't use corrections right now as your puppy is still learning and may associate it with the other people or dogs. Especially if you are like I was, I didn't know how to give the correction or when. Take your dog somewhere where he will not encounter dogs and strangers close up and work with him paying attention to you.
What you want to work on is counterconditioning. Here is a youtube video.
Learning not to bark around other dogs - YouTube.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AniB View Post
I tried the correction, he just doesn't seem to get it. How can I communicate to my dog what I want from him?
What is your dog's motivation?
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't say what will work for your dog, since I don't know why he's barking or what you're doing for corrections, or why he's blowing you off. What I do with my loudmouth is stand still and demand "Quiet" and when he's silent we go forward and the next peep out of him gets a "No" and abrupt halt. Stand still, proceed when quiet...repeat...never go forward when barking, because then they won't understand that you don't want it happening. The reward for quiet behavior is moving forward, in my case, with my noisy boy. And it wasn't unusual for me to stand there for minutes at a time either, when he was a puppy. I wanted him to understand that being quiet got him his results, although he did get a few corrections for ignoring the "quiet" command, but that was only after he learned what that meant.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What is your dog's motivation?
He is motivated by treats with no distractions, sometimes squeaky toys, but if I don't catch him before he goes nuts he is motivated by nothing. He just wants to reach his target and nothing else matters to him. I thought I did serious damage to him last night when I was trying to hold him from reaching to my father in law and his dog, He was up in the air pulling and trying to get to them. I didn't let go and he was strangled and he still didn't care. He calmed down after they left the garage and went in the back yard. We let him off leash in back yard and Aslan went to them, smelled them and sat down. All that just so he can sit down with them. I tried not to let him go unless he stopped barking and I sort of did it on my own terms, but I am not sure if he learned anything and I am so afraid of hurting him.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I will try to do this to see if it works with him. He lunges and pulls a lot too and he is getting bigger and bigger by the day...I know it will be vary hard to stay still but I will try it at first with less distractions. Thank you!
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To SIMBA405:
You are right; he does get what he wants and we let it happen because he was a puppy and we didn't know if he was just scared. We wanted to make sure he doesn't associate other people and dogs with something bad and we never prevented him from getting to them because he stopped barking instantly as soon as he got to them. I hope it's not to late to correct this and I feel terrible because it's all my fault.

Last edited by AniB; 07-23-2014 at 12:41 PM. Reason: coorect grammar mistakes
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