2 behaviors I don't like - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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2 behaviors I don't like

Spirit is 6 months! Wow, we've survived

He's not a difficult dog to manage at all, I can't complain and I really do adore him. But two behaviors are continuing that I don't like.

First, when he's indoors and the door is open, he barks at people across the street coming and going. Sometimes he will bark when the door is closed but mostly when the door is open.

Second, when he's outside in the yard he barks at the neighbors who are in their yard. We have an invisible fence, he quite literally never breaks the boundary but he will run towards the boundary barking. I've checked this behavior carefully because at first it scared me. He even barks at the children. I've had the children come over into our yard for a meet and greet several times, and usually with treats handy. This is enough to stop him from barking at the time, but choose a different time of day, a new opportunity, and it's the same behavior. He doesn't bite, no indication of that at all. And the bark is not vicious, none of his barks are. Sometimes when I let him outside he'll go off into the center of the yard barking like someone is there when no one is there at all. It's like he's announding himself .... ruff, ruff, ruff, this is my yard!

Spirit is my first GSD. What is normal to expect and what should I be doing with respect to training or correction?

He really is a very good dog. I don't have any intuitive concerns about his temperament. Just not sure what to do about this barking. When he's fully grown, I fear he might just give someone a heart attack
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:57 PM
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I can't help you, but I can tell you my boy started this at the exact same age and still does it now (8 months). I am really hoping its a fear stage or something, as I don't like it either. All other times (other than meeting dogs initially) he is placid and friendly.......

Looking forward to some more experienced people to wade in on this one!
Good luck

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks RM, happy to know I'm not alone

I want to clarify that Spirit never displays this type of behavior in public. It's only in our house or yard. He's not quick to be friendly to strangers, but quick to pick up on favorites (like my son, or my granddaughter).

He's never given any indication of aggression, I really don't think that's what this is. But I know Spirit -- neighbors and strangers across the street coming and going don't know him. I'm trying to be a sensitive, responsible neighbor
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 07:49 PM
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I'm no expert but are you planning on getting him neutered?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 08:06 PM
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Mine very rarely barks at anything...well except the cat when she wants to play Other then that she is more on the silent side. It sounds like yours wants to play and is excited?? If you want it to stop now then its a good time to stop it, so that he doesn't think that its the correct behavior. What do you do when he barks at the door? in the yard? Maybe catch him before he starts the behavior and distract him??

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 08:40 PM
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Hans did this. What I did was step up the training, redirect his attention to me.
I didn't let the barking escalate. I stepped in front of him with a firm "ah-ah!" and had him watch me, sit, whatever command came to me. If he listened he got lots of praise and sometimes a treat.

It was tough to redirect him, but now he will bark once, if at all, and if I say, "OK, thank you!" he will stop.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 08:45 PM
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He sounds like a six month old puppy trying to communicate with what he sees....my pup does it too.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffson1 View Post
He sounds like a six month old puppy trying to communicate with what he sees....my pup does it too.
Do you do anything when he does?


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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I will neuter him when he's mature, we have a ways to go.

Hard for me to step in before something happens when it's the front door, him and my other dog feed off each other and they pick up on the activity outside before I do, and they're faster than me LOL I just intercept and close the door.

In the yard, I go get him and redirect. I don't punish him, I just collect him and redirect. Or if it's an opportunity to socialize, I'll do that ... like have the neighbor come into the yard and interact with him so he gets more used to them.

I confess I really don't always know what is normal behavior for a GSD puppy so I'm not quick to act, out of concern that I might over-react and that's never a good thing. I don't get the sense that he's being dangerous so I feel like I have some time to explore these behaviors and decide what is the best way to handle.

Thanks for the input folks, appreciate it!

This evening the neighbor from across the street knocked on the door. We had a conversation with each other, him on the outside, me and the dogs on the inside. Spirit stopped barking fairly quickly and started sniffing him through the screen. I was impressed with that ... maybe he could tell the man wasn't a threat by the way we were talking?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:19 PM
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for the indoor barking teach him "quiet" or "no barking".
i wonder if he's barking at the neighbors for treats.
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