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My GS won't let men in my house!

3196 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Leadchange
As most of you know, I rescued Miley from a shelter about 3 months ago. She is such a great addition to our family. There haven't had any problems with her until now. Miley will not let any man except my husband in the house. When we are away from the house she is ok. Today she tried to eat the plumber. I was overwhelmed at her reaction! I introduced them outside first since I knew that she wasn't fond of men, she did ok. Growled under her breath at him a bit. Then we came inside and her demeanor changed from leary to "you should NOT be in here!". She showed her teeth and growled like I've never heard before. It didn't appear to be a fear aggression to me, I've seen that in other dogs. This appeared to be a territorial, protection thing. I didn't yelled at her or take her by her collar. I tried using my voice to let her know that it was ok and this person was aloud inside but it was no use. I ended up having to put her outside while he was here. Any ideas? Plumber will be here all week and I want to make things as pleasant as possible for everybody. Thanks!
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I don't have any advice, just consolation. My girl is a man hater too. She's aloof but never hostile to men when she's off my property. She's a rescue and has been with me since she was 6 months old. I've never been able to break her of the desire to eat the plumber, the handy man, the next door neighbor etc.

It's worse if my kids are around. She's known the guy next door her whole life. She's been perfectly nice when she's in his house or yard. Come in her house, she might accept him as long as he doesn't get within 10 feet of my kids, although she will let him near me.
Originally Posted By: Leadchange This appeared to be a territorial, protection thing. I didn't yelled at her or take her by her collar. I tried using my voice to let her know that it was ok and this person was aloud inside but it was no use.
OK, first things first DO NOT react this way again. Telling her nicely that it's OK while she behaves this way is telling her that it's OK to behave this way, and she should be territorial.

She behaves this way because she has a rank issue, at least to some degree. She needs to understand that you make the determination about who is allowed into the house. So, she needs to be on leash 100% of the time when visitors are there so you can show her what acceptable behavior is. Put her into a sit or down stay and then greet the visitor. When she complies, reward with a treat. Repeat often. The goal here is to get her to focus on YOU and your reaction to the person. Give her a leash pop to redirect to you when she acts up. If you cannot control her easily without a prong, make sure that you give one swift pop as opposed to many small ones which can fire a dog up more (but I would avoid a prong if possible until later once all the shaping and positive work has been done to accomplish as much as possible that way).
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I agree with Zeus, by speaking to her in that tone is approving of the behavior. You need to be stern and authoritive with her. Not cruelly, but sternly. Good luck, I've heard of this problem with many other breeds too. My boss has a chow that is just like this. She has to bring the dog to work when she has technicians come to her home.
It's not a breed thing. It's a dog thing/human thing. ZeusGSD summed it up pretty much.
Dano, that was the point I was making,'s any dog.
Virtually all "dog problems" are really human problems. Our dogs are just that... dogs. Nothing more. They will feed off of our expectations.
Thanks for the advice. Tomorrow when they get here I will have her on a leash with treats in hand. I wish I knew more about her past. She has no problems with women or children coming in the house. Do you think once we get past this that she will still be "alert" to intruders?
Wow, what a difference! We greeted the plumbers outside this morning with a collar & leash and when she was done checking them out we went in. I let them go first so they weren't walking behind her, she really doesn't like that. When we came in it took a few swift corrections and right now she is standing beside me and they are working. I wouldn't say she is relaxed but atleast she isn't trying to get in there with them!
Yes, she will still be alert to intruders. You are teaching her to look to you. With an intruder, you would not be at her side holding a leash expecting someone, and if you were at her side you'd be stressed and she would pick up on that.

She may not be a social butterfly with men, but that is not always bad either. As long as she understands she has to deal with them if you say so, you're good.
Things went well today. By the afternoon the plumbers were coming and going without her jumping up and growling. Maybe tomorrow she will be cool with them.
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