The Agility Rocks! Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bushkill, PA (The Poconos!)
Only aggressive at night?
For me, it's not to much about what my dog's start barking at. Because they have no sense at all (like any untrained protection dog) and are as likely to bark at my cat, a squirrel, a deer, a mass murderer.
What's more important to me is when I go to look at what they are barking at, I tell them calmly to 'knock it off' and expect them to do so.
In the beginning this maybe done by just working my obedience stuff so I hear a bark (and IMMEDIATELY go to see what's up) make sure it's ok and then give a 'come' command while running to the treat jar. So we are now 1) away from what made them bark. 2) they stopped barking cause we are headed for the treat jar 3) getting rewarded for something I did want (the come)
The day/night thing may be a fear issue for your puppy. Not that they become more intelligent at night for real threats (um, your worker friend she KNOWS and likes shows the problem) but just cause they can't see as well things seem more scary so the REACT rather than thinking or looking to you for input. This is NOT GOOD and you are right to be concerned.
My pups show this 'dark' thing initially by not wanting to poo/pee in my yard outside of the lit area. Nice cause I know they won't run off at night, but I don't want them to really be afraid either. MY reactions, MY behavior and how I act are key. If I slowly walk into the darker area and we play then go into the house, they tend to start getting over it as they grow.
Very important to socialize your puppy and take it to dog classes at this time. This way they learn to look to you, rely on you, key from you, and you are taking on the calm quiet leadership role that helps them the best. It's not up to my dog to be startled and 'decide' to over react when someone comes near. It IS up to them to learn to look to me when someone comes near and if I am calm and say it's ok..............then it is. No big deal just another night out with mom.
Be nice if you've been on tons of car rides weekly. New sights, new sounds, new smells. Your dog has then been out of the car for walks in these new places. Day and night visits with family, friends and strangers. Dog classes!
Socialization must be in new places. Training has to be in new places.
Miss Osin Blue Wildhaus NA NAJ NF
"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude