Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Barking And Lunging
My 6.5 month old puppy is starting to bark and lunge at people when they walk by our home when I take him out to do his business. We walk out from a back door, not a front, and if he even hears someone on the sidewalk he goes nuts. I will take him back inside immediately if he starts that and wait until calms down before taking him out again. When he does, he will be quiet until we get to the front yard and then he will bark if sees or hears anyone on the sidewalk. I will correct him, pulling him to walk away, but he will not stop. I work on getting his attention with out watch command, but he will not do it, even if I try before he starts barking. Once the person is in front of the house, then the lunging starts. Again, a correction, but he will still bark and lunge again. We continue the corrections but at this point, he is now 63 pounds and because he lunges and pulls so much, my right shoulder has now become strained and injured enough that I don't have a lot of strength to pull him back. I still can, but my shoulder will hurt something fierce.
I'm not sure how to fix the behavior. We just started to go to obedience classes, but we only just finished week 1 so we have a ways to go yet. My husband works away from home, so it is just me to look after him and I want to be able to do that, correctly, without injuring myself further.
Now, the last time my husband was home, he let Ronin bark and lunge when a man was walking by on the sidewalk. I heard the commotion and went to look out the window. I was able to hear the guy ask if Ronin was friendly, and my husband said yes, and the guy walked up to Ronin and Ronin stopped barking, sniffed and then licked his hands and arms like they were long lost friends, and when the guy backed away he started barking again. Of course, I was not happy with my husband and told him so, but he told me I worry too much and that nothing happened. I feel like since he let that happen Ronin thinks it's ok to do that and I have to do that much more work to correct it.
I am the primary one who takes care of him, since my husband is away, and I want to make sure that we get it right. We do go for walks, and I run hard around the back yard with him for about 20-30 minutes at night as well. We do training every day for about 10 minutes at a time before he gets bored or distracted. The watch command is great for inside, but not so much out and about. He gets praised and rewards when he calmly watches someone go by the house when we are outside, but it's about 50/50 right now on whether or not he will stop barking and lunging when corrected.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Not sure if this a fear period related issue? We have contacted our trainer, but she is very busy and unsure of when she will be able come and do some training with us at home so I really would like some suggestions if possible. Thanks again.
"I am your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are my life, my leader. I will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of my heart"-I am the German Shepherd