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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We’ve had at least one person in the house (in our bubble) with zero issues but today the chimney sweep came. Django was ok when he came on the door but when the guy went into our family room to start to clean Django went ballistic. Like serious barking and growling. I did have him on a leash and did distract with food etc but holy cow. Was not expecting that at all. He’s seen people on the street as well and never reacted like this but due to Covid we’re always quite a distance away. I’m hoping this isn’t going to be a problem. Right now he’s quietly lying by my feet but he can’t see the guy; he can just hear the vacuum. Any thoughts or suggestions. He’s 13 weeks old.
 

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Crate the dog in another room when workers come to the house.
 

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When we have any type of visitors the dogs are sent to another room initially.After the excitement dissipates one or more can join us and lay quietly or go about their business. I wouldn't offer treats while a dog is hyped up,only reward for a relaxed state. The dogs decide to be social or not,never the workers or visiting friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone. I would have crated but the fireplace is in the room with his crate. Before the guy left I had him take his cap off. Django looked and stayed a distance away but didn’t bark/growl while I paid him so that was good. I think he was a big guy dressed in black and it freaked Django out. I only gave him the treats after he calmed down and was quiet. The vet said he was super friendly when they took him for his shots so this was really unexpected. But lesson learned!
Edit - I think I was so used to Hunter who could have cared less who paraded through the house I didn’t anticipate this reaction. Different dog, different reactions.
 

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There was one time I left Gus out when a company sent a man to check out bed mattress and box spring for a warranty claim. Gus was fine as usual but when the guy got onto the floor to look under the bed, Gus mounted him from behind and tried to have his way with him. I was horrified and quickly removed him, the man told me he had a female in heat at home. I was sooo embarrassed.
Any service people coming to the house now, all dogs are out away.
 

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13 weeks is very young but never too young to learn house manners.

A dog that is aggressive inside the house is one that either hasn't been given clear direction or else doesn't trust your leadership after the clear direction (they want to remain in control or think they know the perceived threat better than you).

We had obviously had less family/friends visits due to COVID but far more couriers/deliveries etc. From 8-12 weeks, I would crate a young dog or place it with another family member for a few minutes as I don't need at-the-door or in-house exposure for my young pup with strangers before they can understand expectations.

From 12-20 weeks, they are old enough to learn to sit and take in "at the door" exposure.

At the point when a pup can exhibit fear or aggression (however you see it, it's likely fear) hence LESS likely if you have allowed exposure not crating at a younger age, then age/act appropriate verbal/physical corrections come into play.

Door knock
Dog goes off
Good boy
Now sit! Stay! (several feet behind me in view of door without being "in" the interaction) I don't like to down a dog that may need to be in action if the situation warrants shortly.
Open door, hello Mr courier
Dog goes off
It's OK, No. ah-ah. (I'm in control of this situation, there's no threat)
Courier interaction ends, door closes, Good Boy!

or
Door knock
Dog goes off
Good boy
Now sit! Stay! (several feet behind me in view of door without being "in" the interaction) I don't like to down a dog that may need to be in action if the situation warrants shortly.
Open door, hello chimney sweep cleaner/furnace repair man/carpet cleaner
Go to let them in, may remove dog from situation, may leash him, may move him back to black the rest of the house while I escort the worker into the correct room
In all events, the important thing for me is that after rewarding for doing what I want (alerting me to strangers is good, he has to be taught that I'm in complete control after that and his job is to be alert and aloof unless the situation changes to a threat again.

My dogs are not expected to growl at anyone once I have decided they are OK to enter. Neither are they expected (necessarily) to be overly friendly or approachable

or Dog goes off in other room.
Investigate, see someone walking by who shouldn't be there (I'm on a bit of a remote property).
Good boy.
Continue watching until they keep walking by, praise dog while you watched the "threat" leave together. Occasionally we have to investigate further ....

At no point would I reward with food but that's just me and in this case I think could be confusing if you have a barking/growling pup that then stops and gets a treat.

I have had guys at the house the last 3 days out of 5 putting on new eavestrough/fascia and each morning Rogan and Harley alert me, I go see what the situation is, they have met the guys on the first day, I praise for the alert, show them I have seen the (non) threat and that ends it although they watch them out the window and are mindful of the noises on the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@WNGD he was fine at the door. Only when the sweep went to the family room with the fireplace did he start. I agree I made an error with the food but he had calmed down by the time I took him away. I think I was just so taken aback. He did sit quietly when the guy left. He was about 3 feet away and that was fine. He’s actually not crated all that much as we’re home but we don’t get any people coming to the door directly (we’re working on increasing crate time during the day). Couriers ring the bell and take off or we get a text confirming delivery so we don’t see people at the house at all. I’ve had a houseguest who’s in my bubble with zero issues so this really took me by surprise and he was absolutely fine at the vets. He’s cautious but quiet on the street seeing people when we walk. But I also agree he needs more house manners. Crate or not he should know when I’ve let someone in it’s ok. I’m wondering if being on the leash added to it. I’d normally practice with friends but it’s just impossible now. It’s something we’re going to have to figure out how to work on. I’m hoping the stay at home order is lifted on May 20th but I’m guessing it won’t be due to the long weekend. I really hate the situation right now.
 

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Sounds like he needs some more socialization too. 13 weeks is a very important time period to introduce/socialize him to new people properly. COVID cannot be used as an excuse to isolate a dog from the world; they will turn into monsters.

He doesn't need to be best friends with strangers; just tolerate them when appropriate without becoming hostile.
 

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I think he just needs practice. I usually don’t put my dogs up when I have workers in the house. I am a woman alone in a remote house and if I have to let in a strange man I don’t know, I’d rather have some well trained dogs at my side.

my GSD will bark and do a bit of shepherdy stuff when a person comes in. Then one of two things: either I dismiss the dog to go and greet which means, this is a friend,go be polite. Or I keep the dog at my side on a leash which means this person is not a friend but remain neutral. The dog just watches from then on.

with the exception of when he perceived the Orkin man to be trying to sneak around behind me... the Orkin man was really inspecting the foundation and passed behind where I was sitting on the porch. I understand Why my dog thought what he thought and he went and gave the guy a brief warning over my shoulder (even if she doesn’t see you, I do)

For me, if my dog is so unmanageable it can’t be at my side during these times then it’s pointless. My dog is under control and will do as I ask even if I say quiet and stop.

I am glad to have dogs who don’t have to be put up when we have guests. I think they are that way because I took the time to teach them how to act. I have had my father who is allergic and his friend who was super frail and could blow over in a breeze. My dogs were asked not to sit on the couch or touch either guest as a courtesy and they laid in their beds on the floor just as asked. My dogs want to be with me and I want to be with them....so they learn how to be, how to take direction.

it was accomplished by bringing ppl into the house and telling the dogs what I wanted them to do and rewarding all their good efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sounds like he needs some more socialization too. 13 weeks is a very important time period to introduce/socialize him to new people properly. COVID cannot be used as an excuse to isolate a dog from the world; they will turn into monsters.

He doesn't need to be best friends with strangers; just tolerate them when appropriate without becoming hostile.
We are in a complete shut down. We’re not allowed to do pretty much anything. No one is supposed to visit either in or outside unless it’s essential or an isolated person such as my friend who lives alone so it’s not helpful to say Covid is not an excuse. It’s the reality of where I live right now. He had no trouble with the vet or the cleaning lady or even people on our street when we walk which is why I was so surprised. I plan to take him out more to parking lots so he can see more people but it’s not in my house. Outside is no problem. He’s seen people with canes, walkers, bikes, masks, hats, caps and umbrellas outside. No issues! We need to figure out how to get him more house manners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As a follow up I reached out to the breeder. I’m not concerned. We’ll work on it but I think we’re good. Thanks everyone!
 
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