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critterlady 03-29-2014 12:39 PM

Visitors to our home
Zeus is 13 weeks old today, I thought I had a pretty good handle on his socialization, but after today I'm not so sure. I've had people come in and out of my house, mostly family members, and have never had a problem, he would always walk up to them and sniff them and walk away. Today I had an aunt and uncle that I don't see that often stop by, he sniffed them then started barking and would have nothing to do with them, it didn't sound like an aggressive bark and I didn't see any signs of aggression, just barking and hiding behind me. My aunt and uncle have a lot of cats and smell like cats, not sure if that had anything to do with it, but we have a few cats too. I want to make sure I take the proper steps here to correct this behavior, I don't want a large, out of control dog when he is older, any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Cassidy's Mom 03-29-2014 12:47 PM

Keep him on leash, and have them completely ignore him. Let him move at his own pace, don't force him to greet anyone if he doesn't want to.

My dogs STILL bark when people come over because it doesn't happen frequently enough for it to be a routine experience for them, but they always settle down after a bit. So I keep them on leash until they're calm, often with a bully stick or stuffed Kong to work on, or I'll just have them do a "down" and "watch" for treats until everyone is inside and sitting down. Then I'll drop the leashes, and once I'm sure that they're not going to jump all over everyone we take the leashes off and they're fine.

critterlady 03-29-2014 01:22 PM

I did tell them to ignore him and let him come to them, after a few minutes he stopped barking at them and laid down next to me, occasionally he would get up and give them a quick sniff and run back to me. Zeus will sit and lay down, but we are still working on stay and wait. Yesterday when I picked up my kids a little girl asked if she could see my dogs and I said yes, but before I could give her instructions on how to approach him she ran up to us and scared him, he backed up between my legs and barked at her, I had to tell her to stay back and let me calm him down, after she walked off he was fine.

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Cassidy's Mom 03-29-2014 01:30 PM

Kids can be unpredictable, so unless you're absolutely sure it's going to be a positive experience for him I'd be inclined to just tell them something like "no, I'm sorry, he's in training", rather than let them meet him.

Chip18 03-29-2014 01:58 PM

Oh well here I go again! :)

I had a people aggressive GSD and this is what I did:
Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog

In addition I taught him to ignore other dogs, no dog parks, no "I thought my dog was friendly folks." Don't need the hassle of a "bad encounter"

I kept people out of his face, when I could read him like a book, I finally let a "stranger" pet him and he was fine with it. :)

critterlady 03-29-2014 03:48 PM

I just had someone else visit my house unexpectedly and Zeus was completely fine, I have to wonder if the strong animal smell on the other visitors triggered the barking reaction? As for the little girl at school, that was my fault, too much too soon. I wonder if it would help for me to go sit at the park, not allowing kids to approach us, to get him used to other children running around? I have two boys ages 6 & 7 and he does fine with them and their friends when they come over.

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Sunflowers 03-29-2014 04:03 PM

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Dogs are great judges of character. Just sayin'.

Diesel7602 04-07-2014 01:18 AM


Originally Posted by Sunflowers (Post 5291641)
Dogs are great judges of character. Just sayin'.


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