Barking at people. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Barking at people.

hello,
i have a 7 month old female shepherd. she is a great dog and we have had her for 3 months. she listens well and is really freindly except when it comes to strangers. when she sees someone she doesn't know or someone she met only once especially men she barks and growls. her hair stands up on her back. she does this in public and in our home. i want her to be protective don't get me wrong, however i don't want her to bark at every tom, ****, and harry that walks by. this is effecting us getting her socialized because i get embarrassed when in public and she barks at people which i need to get over. if the person doesn't approach us, she won't bark. but if she is approached by a stranger she barks. i would like to know how to cure her fear or strangers, and men. she loves my boyfriend who lives with us and his dad whom she sees on a regular basis. also, i was wondering how to cure her excitement when she sees someone she does know. when my mom comes over she will just about knock her down. i say no and try and calm her but it just doesn't seem to be going the trick.
thank you
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 11:35 AM
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hello,
i have a 7 month old female shepherd. she is a great dog and we have had her for 3 months. she listens well and is really freindly except when it comes to strangers. when she sees someone she doesn't know or someone she met only once especially men she barks and growls. her hair stands up on her back. she does this in public and in our home. i want her to be protective don't get me wrong, however i don't want her to bark at every tom, ****, and harry that walks by. this is effecting us getting her socialized because i get embarrassed when in public and she barks at people which i need to get over. if the person doesn't approach us, she won't bark. but if she is approached by a stranger she barks. i would like to know how to cure her fear or strangers, and men. she loves my boyfriend who lives with us and his dad whom she sees on a regular basis. also, i was wondering how to cure her excitement when she sees someone she does know. when my mom comes over she will just about knock her down. i say no and try and calm her but it just doesn't seem to be going the trick.
thank you
my GSD was really afraid of men so I socialized him with them from the other side of the street once he got comfortable with them from across the street I slowly moved closer until I was walking next to them. I had them give him treats. I've been doing this for a year and he's a lot better with men. To help with you're excited problem I use a mat and tell Dodger that he has to stay on it until he's calmer. I used a leash to help me control him on staying on his mat. It would be a lot better if I had people come over. You probably should have people come over randomly and often that way when she sees your mom she won't be too excited because she's used to having people come over on a regular basis.

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Chopper 17 yr old Border Collie (10/1/94-12/30/10)
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 12:27 PM
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Deuce does this too. I lean down and rub him and tell him in soft words that it's OK and to "make nice". He then accepts the person. Have you ever taken your dog to any classes? Maybe get into a class at Petco or something...she needs socialization.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 04:27 PM
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Disclaimer: This my first GSD. I have trained Labs for years but a GSD is a different animal. I AM NO EXPERT!! That said the only reason I am responding with my limited experience is I had/have to some extent the same problem. Only difference is Auron would bark at every one or dog in public. At not quite 4 months he would hit the end of the leash with every hair on end charging at dogs that were 3 times his size that were just minding there own business. With people the aggression was not as pronounced but still there. He had been well socialized as a pup by his breeder and even taken to Schutzhund club with her older dogs. I take him to the city square 3 or 4 times a week as well as feed stores and every place one could imagine as well as to my own Schutzund club. He is actually very social and loves people showing no aggression once they approach and are deemed ok. At that point he would go to jumping on them like a complete monster. Never having a GSD training in Schutzhund before and not having anyone close to consult (my club is a 275 mile round trip) I was terrified to use any physical correction on this 3 or 4 month old puppy from what I had read and seen on video. I tried it all. Auron jumps up. No Auron and walk away. Auron bites me, no Auron, redirect to a chew, Auron barks and charges dog or person, No Auron and walk him the other direction, ect, ect, ect. Sure it stopped that particular instance but next time it was the same thing. I finally had the chance for the club to see him for an extended period along with a well known trainer from Europe that we had a 3 day seminar with. Long story short I was told I had a future monster on my hands UNLESS I got control of him now. I all ready knew this as I know a hard dominant dog when I work with one but was afraid I would mess him up. I was creating a brat that with his genetic back ground would be a train wreck waiting to happen. Our puppy trainer even went so far to say "That dogs going to bite you one day if you don't do something" Having trained dogs for 20 years I knew what to do and just needed the "permission". That night in the motel we went to work. I went to pet him and he bit me. I had done the squeal like a puppy thing, no Auron thing a 100 times. This time I grabbed the little "Germangater" by the scuff and shook him till HE squealed telling him no then walked away. The look was priceless! One more "treatment" a few days later and the biting me is cured. Same with the jumping up. Instead of using a complete stranger and possibly starting some association I had a friend he knows and likes come around the building corner with Auron on lead. We walk up to him and of course he jumps up. One time I pull him down and give him his no command. Of course he payed no attention. When he jumped again we had another scuff "treatment". A couple times and he is pretty much cured. Does he still get excited to see me and mouth me for a second or make a half jump when someone reaches to pet him? Sure he's not quite 5 months and just a puppy. I expect that and am not going to tare him up for it but if it starts to escalates he will get a sound that he knows means "better knock it off". With strangers uptown or dogs he is ALWAYS on a leash and in his case a fur saver on the live ring. There is a difference in a person just walking down the sidewalk in the middle of the day and someone in the shadows behind a dumpster or a aggressive acting dog and one that is in his own yard minding his own business. The dog knows the difference. When he goes to barking at the person/dog minding its own business I simply tell him to knock it off and continue on my way. If he wants to make an issue of it I will give him a appropriate pop on the lead and walk away from what he is barking at while getting him to focus on me such as asking for a "watch" or maybe doing a quick setz or platz. The distraction is good to practice his commands with as well. I don't make a big issue out of it. We also go set on a bench on Main Street square right before the 12 o'clock workers get off for dinner and just set and watch them walk around us while we get pet and just talk.
This appropriate discipline started almost a month ago and I must say both of us are much much happier. There is no resentment as before he receives ANY physical correction we BOTH know it is a willful act on his part for something he understands. I do this on a Schutzuhund breed dog that has been looked at by many people including the well know breeder and is know to be a strong dog. All the biting, jumping and barking has nothing to do with fear on his part. To my knowledge he has fear of absolutely nothing which I really have to watch or it can/has got him in trouble. If a dog were barking out of fear at strangers I would never do any of this. I'm not saying to use slam yours to the ground by the scuff on say the jumping up. Yours may only need to be slightly kneed a couple time to stop it. I'm may catch a lot of grief for this post as some people do not believe in any physical correction but with certain dogs they need some IMO. I would never use physical correction if positive training will correct the problem but some dogs will insist on being the boss unless told other wise so to speak. If you have any doubts as to your dog is fearful and confused or just being a brat and dominant have several knowledgeable trainers look at her. I truly have not tryed to offend anyone just offering a possible solution that has worked on a certain kind of dog and I only hope I have made sure what kind of dog I am talking about. Good luck!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well I took her to the dog park for the first time. At first she barked and did her usual. Then I was told the rules were no leashes. I reluctantly took her off and to my surprise she did great. She turned into miss sociable. Going up to everyone for pets and sniffing every dog. She is very protective of me when she is on leash.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Well I took her to the dog park for the first time. At first she barked and did her usual. Then I was told the rules were no leashes. I reluctantly took her off and to my surprise she did great. She turned into miss sociable. Going up to everyone for pets and sniffing every dog. She is very protective of me when she is on leash.
When dogs are on leash they are reactive because the fight or flight instinct kicks in. They can't flee on leash so the fight instinct takes over. It isn't a "protective" emotion, but a fearful one.
This is why at most if not all dog parks they must be off leash.

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I lean down and rub him and tell him in soft words that it's OK and to "make nice".
When we tell a reactive dog it's ok, they may take those words to mean it is ok to be reactive.

Better to redirect that behavior by playing the LAT(look at that) game and don't put a reactive dog in a situation where they are over their comfort threshhold.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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yeah i see where the flight or flight reflex can kick in. the woman told me it was because she was protective. but i can relate to the flight or flight thing because its the same with horses. and horses are like big dogs. she only barked at another german shepherd that was bigger than her when she was off leash. she does that when she sees another gsd.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 05:52 PM
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Well I took her to the dog park for the first time. At first she barked and did her usual. Then I was told the rules were no leashes. I reluctantly took her off and to my surprise she did great. She turned into miss sociable. Going up to everyone for pets and sniffing every dog. She is very protective of me when she is on leash.
It's NOT protectiveness and that's where many of us don't stop this at the beginning. Our young pups feel insecure (and older dogs too) when they aren't sure of themselves and CAN'T RUN AWAY CAUSE OF THE LEASH! It's the fight or flight thing to a small extent and you've completely removed the 'flight' so they bark to help relieve the STRESS and anxiety and that keeps the 'whatever is scary' away (hopefully).

Great news that your pup is so good off leash (see, the ability to move and not be hampered by you and the leash make all the difference). DOG CLASSES!

Just start up the dog classes and you'll be amazed (specially cause you know it's inappropriate behavior that is more fear based and NOTHING to be desired under the guise of protection).

Great info on the following sites:


Dog Tip: Aggression, Growling, Lunging at Dogs and People Outdoors

Leash Aggression in Dogs: Kathy Sdao - Bright Spot Dog Training

Dog leash aggression | ThatMutt.com A Dog Blog




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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 06:03 PM
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onyx'girl said:
When dogs are on leash they are reactive because the fight or flight instinct kicks in. They can't flee on leash so the fight instinct takes over. It isn't a "protective" emotion, but a fearful one.
This is why at most if not all dog parks they must be off leash.
actually it is. when the dog is under the protection of the owner he/she feels more confident and the "protective" emotion kicks in.
the fight or flight thing is right too but i's not just a fearful thing.

Quote:
When we tell a reactive dog it's ok, they may take those words to mean it is ok to be reactive
that's right you should tell him "good boy" cause he/she are giving sign of a stranger and that's really important, they are protecting you.

my dogs are exactly like that, if they are approached by a stranger they bark. now they just bark if I told them to. if a stranger walks by me and I want them to be alert and protective I use a specific command and they start to bark immediately. if someone approached me and raise a hand or try to hit me or something like that they immediately start to bark and even bite if it's for real.
but then when they're off the leash they are different dogs very sociable and friendly with the other dogs. they don't care about the other people but if they see someone approached me or my brother they run immediately back to us. this is just the way the are.


so congrats you have a great dog, that loves you and will protect you everytime you need. and this doesn't mean that she's afraid of strangers or man.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 06:13 PM
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Marytess, if you read what MaggieRoseLee posted above~along with the links she provided, you will see it isn't protective behavior at all.
This is also a pup who is probably going thru a fear/reactive period.
It is not a good idea to ecourage this behavior and to have a dog that reacts aggressively to people/other dogs is a liability (in the US at least).
The pup should look to the owner first, and the owner will cue the dog to what is proper behavior.
To tell a dog to bark or act aggressive when it is an immature 7 month old is setting the dog up to fail bigtime.

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 10-27-2010 at 06:15 PM.
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