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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a 7 month old golden retriever/German shepard mix who over the past few weeks has new habit of barking. I think it protective barking and it's getting worse and worse as time goes on.

When it started first he would bark at night or early morning at the cows in the next fields. So I got a spary collar which worked great.....except when he's not wearign the collar.

However in the past two weeks I've noticed some new habits that I'm worried about.

1. After dinner he comes into the house with us until its time for bed when he goes out to his kennel. Now when I let him out he starts barking like mad into the dark and runs at full speed up the driveway barking at nothing. Strangly if someone comes to visit, he doesn't bark!

2. Sometimes while out walking if there is someone in the distance he will bark at them some what aggressively. While he doesn't run up to people or chase anyone, he's got a pretty big bark and I'd love to try and calm him down a bit.

Anyone any advice?

Thanks.
 

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Sounds more like fear to me. I would take him out to meet people more often. He sleeps outside? do you know if something scared him while he was outside alone?
 

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It sounds like maybe he is going through his fear period. He is fear barking. Jamie started doing the same thing about a month ago. I started amping up her walks so she could see people along the way. She stopped barking at people she sees across the road now. She just watches them closely and will continue on her way.

As far as the barking at nothing goes I think you should teach him a enough/quiet command.
 

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What are you doing to provide exercise and mental stimulation? It sounds like he is also bored and focusing on barking at anything and everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info, what is the fear period, do all dogs go through it? I assume I need to allay his fears rather than stop it with an anti bark collar?

To answer some of the questions:
emsoskar:

I'd like to think he's getting enough exercise and stimulus as I walk him 3 times a day (before work, at lunch time and after work) plus every evening after his walk I spend some time playing and training him. I'm lucky as my girlfriend works from home and we have an acre of land in the back where he is free to play during the day (he's not tied up) and when I'm not in work he comes to the beach with me every weekend.

Jax08: You could be onto something I live in the country/coast and he knows 90% of the people he would meet regularly on our walks or in the shop. I rarely bring him on a lead when I'm in town, maybe I should so that he get to see more people at once?

Also we do have fields around us and there are cows in some of them, sometimes he just sit's in the garden watching them, maybe he's afraid of them?
 
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