Barking at EVERYTHING - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Barking at EVERYTHING

Hey, so I have a 4 month old gsd puppy. I take her to the same park at least once a day, and occasionally other parks as well. I also take her to every dog friendly place I can find. Usually there’s about three or four other dogs at the parks and plenty of people in non-park places (Petco, tractor supply, etc). However, despite me taking her everywhere all the time, she STILL barks at absolutely everyone and every dog, regardless of how many times she’s met them. For example, I went and visited my mom and step-dad, and every time my step dad left the room and came back less than minutes later, she’s bark at him like she’d never seen him before. It was like that from the time we got there until we left, four days later. Im not sure what to do, and was looking for others who have dealt with this. She’s little right now and I want to get this handled before she gets to be a big adult that can actually scare people and other dogs. Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:13 PM
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Hmmm, while I think socialization is important, I also think it's possible to over do it. Socialization means different things to different dog owners. For some pups, it could be sensory overload. Too much at one time. Maybe the barking at everything is her saying "just get away from me!". Because she sees someone coming and thinks - "what the heck do they need from me now".


For me socialization is getting my pup use to the environment he's going to live in with me. My life is not hectic, go, go, go. So we don't go that pace experiencing everything. The only dog he's around right now is my adult trusted male, that's it. When we start group training classes, he will learn to be around other dogs but not care about them (no playing before or after classes). I'm taking him out but not in crowded areas. We are more exploring the outdoors right now and working on house manners. At the vets office he has been very social/happy with the staff, did great when the vet checked him over. He's almost 4 months old and responded this way without being over exposed to 'Joe Public'.


Now, if someone was training a service dog, they may take a different approach to socialization. The environment for that dog looks much different than mine will.


So I guess my recommendation is just to scale it back some. Work on the bond between you two right now. She's also very pretty!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:17 PM
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Just to clarify, you say you take your dog to a park daily, is this an off leash dog park, or an on leash people park? And while there, or at Petco or Tractor supply for that matter, does she always bark at people and dogs? Or did you mean only when she's in a more confined space?

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:19 PM
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This is one of my favorite board threads.


rethinking "popular" early socialization
https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...alization.html


Below is a post from MOD - David Winners. I think it's spot on.

The problem with "popular " socialization is that owners often barely understand what the outcome means, let alone how to establish the correct experiences for the dog to achieve that outcome. They often don't know what they want in the dog. How are they to help the dog understand what is expected of it when they don't know themselves.

My definition of socialization is teaching the dog what is normal in life. It is important for the dog to see what the world is about so it can successfully travel through it without stress or overt reaction to normal behavior.

This does not include being overwhelmed at a dog park, being forced into any situation where the pup is not confident that it is safe, forced interaction with inappropriate animals or humans, or any situation where people, including me, are behaving in an unnatural manner trying to alter a natural response from the dog.

This does include exposure to sights, sounds, surfaces, smells, temperatures and situations that will be a part of the life of the dog. There is no reason I want my dog to meet and greet total strangers like they are best of friends, so I don't expose the puppy to that situation. I show the dog that people are everywhere, and for the most part, they have no meaning to the dog. I show the dog that there are dogs of varying trustworthiness in the world, and that calmly dealing with the situation is my job and that they have nothing to fear, nor any responsibility to take charge of the situation. I show the dog that it can trust me and look to me for leadership.

Early socialization is a topic that has recently become very polarizing. Carmen mentioned Bio Sensor sensory stimulation. I have yet to form a concrete opinion on the subject because there are arguments and experiences on both sides of the debate. I think many things can be imprinted on the litter during the very impressionable period that they spend with their mother. Important things being cleanliness, communication skills, bite inhibition, spatial awareness and again, probably the most important is what normal looks like.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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The dog park is off leash. She barks when she’s still in the car, I wait for her to calm down, then we go in while she’s still leashed. She barks when dogs are far away and sometimes as they approach, but she’s fine when they come and greet her. Once I let her off leash, if there’s no one else there and a new dog arrives,she will bark, but if she’s already playing with a couple other dogs and a new one approaches, she’s totally fine. When we are in stores, she barks at humans and dogs if they’re there, but usually it’s just her being the only dog there. She barks if they come up and reach for her or don’t talk to me first (I dont let people mess with her without my approval). She was fine when I took her places when she was younger, all this barking started again around 14.5 wks
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the great advice! I’ll definitely scale it back some, make sure she’s not overwhelmed and take things slowly
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurieKC View Post
The dog park is off leash. She barks when she’s still in the car, I wait for her to calm down, then we go in while she’s still leashed. She barks when dogs are far away and sometimes as they approach, but she’s fine when they come and greet her. Once I let her off leash, if there’s no one else there and a new dog arrives,she will bark, but if she’s already playing with a couple other dogs and a new one approaches, she’s totally fine. When we are in stores, she barks at humans and dogs if they’re there, but usually it’s just her being the only dog there. She barks if they come up and reach for her or don’t talk to me first (I dont let people mess with her without my approval). She was fine when I took her places when she was younger, all this barking started again around 14.5 wks
Yeah, read through the thread @Courtney posted above. It kind of sounds like she might have gotten overwhelmed with a situation at a young age, and has learned that barking works to get her out of it. Socialization is all about exposure, but should always be fun for the puppy. So the trick is to watch your puppy closely if she's anxious or getting wound up to bark at something, move her away from whatever it is before she does. You don't want her to practice that behavior! Let her watch things from a distance she's comfortable with, then slowly move closer over time as she becomes more at ease.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim
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