barking at people she knows/and ME? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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barking at people she knows/and ME?

On occasion my 8 month old puppy will bark at people she knows or sometime even me. For example last weekend I took her camping for the 1st time with 4 of my friends. We hiked together all day played with the puppy and generally socialized with her. On our 1st night in camp if one of my friends left the camp fire to go to their tent for a moment the pup would bark at them when they came back to the fire where everyone was sitting even though they had only been gone a moment and the dog knew who they were. On one occasion during the morning I stepped down to the river to wash a pan, all the while the puppy was watching me from the river bank. When I turned to come back to camp the puppy started barking at me as if she had no Idea who I was. What's up with that? She stopped as soon as I called her but I was surprised she exhibited this "aggression" towards me. It's not like I jumped out from behind a tree and startled her, she literally did not take her eyes off me the whole time. Curious.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 10:43 AM
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My theory is she was feeling excited,tired, and anxious about her first camping trip.Just blowing off steam,not aggressing.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 10:50 AM
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Only when camping? Camping can be really spooky for dogs. They can be aware of lurking 'dangers' that you have no clue about, especially evenings.

My girl used to alert to us all the time on camping trips at Lake Superior location (somewhat remote) and it turned out, she did indeed have good reason. One day, she would not shut up, and five minutes of frenzied barking later there was a lynx circling her at an uncomfortably close distance (and they are way bigger than you think when stalking your dog). And I'm talking about my previous 60lb gsd girl. Not my current little guy.

Sooooo if it's just camping, you and companions just do a little more to keep in touch with her when you walk away, talk chatter, etc... she may just be on high alert.

I once thought I saw my husband coming towards me on a trail (my 1st thought) and it turned into a bear<-- this is me making the opposite assumption, it's easy to make a mistake on first glance. Your pup may be making the same (but opposite mistake)--sees your vague morning sillhouette and assumes you are a bear.

I don't think dogs have the same distance vision we have either.

Windy days are confusing too (wind blocks sounds so it's a bit like being blind to the sound scape).
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 11:03 AM
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What does this bark sound like? Alarm? A greeting bark? On a camping trip I bet its just plain old puppy silly excitement.

Islandog, I used to believe dogs can't see well, but Inga can see us give a hand signal from a quarter mile away
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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What does this bark sound like? Alarm? A greeting bark? On a camping trip I bet its just plain old puppy silly excitement.

Islandog, I used to believe dogs can't see well, but Inga can see us give a hand signal from a quarter mile away
maybe she was just excited but her fur was up on her neck and she sounded pretty pissed.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 11:27 AM
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What does this bark sound like? Alarm? A greeting bark? On a camping trip I bet its just plain old puppy silly excitement.

Islandog, I used to believe dogs can't see well, but Inga can see us give a hand signal from a quarter mile away
Your pup may have excellent vision, or, like my bear story, she knows or assumes you are you at that distance & sees the hand signal, your sillhouette, the familiar situation, the context, experience tells her its still you.

I can see well, but I still, briefly, mistook a bear for my husband. Brains are funny things. We have to run about assuming all sorts of things in advance, letting our subconscious mind assume friend or foe to free ourselves up to think.

I think if this pup is inexperienced and on high alert, the assumptions can move toward threat, and once that thought is fixed, at 8 months old, still learning, it's hard to get out of without confirmation.

All just guesses, of course.

The only thing I know for sure, is many dogs (not just my own) act suspicious in the wild.

(my current guy is the opposite, very relaxed on camping trips, like "dude, I looooove this")

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 11:31 AM
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A little fur on neck can be from just plain excitement. My dog barks at the cattle that live in the yard when they come too close to her kennel. She will have a little hump of fur raised on her shoulder and she's certainly not afraid or angry.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 11:42 AM
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Islanddog, I know she can see well because she obeys the various distant hand signals given in random order. Sit, Stand, Down, Come, Wait. Gosh, she's like a totally fun remote control robot. Maybe the herding breeds have better sight than other breeds because they would have to see the sheep and the threats from a distance and also the hand signals of the shepherd. Unlike scenting breeds that follow their nose or flat nosed toy breeds who just need to see where the food bowl is.

I think the OP is probably experiencing puppy silliness and excitement from the new and fun situation.

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For the dear God who loveth us,
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 11:51 AM
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maybe she was just excited but her fur was up on her neck and she sounded pretty pissed.
As @islanddog said,there are all kinds of critters with unusual scents surrounding you.You can't see or hear them but your dog is certainly aware of them.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 12:04 PM
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Over stimulation would be my bet. Also I have seen pups bark at things just to test them out.

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