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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just turned 2 years old male gsd, desexed

Gsd (kiba) has reactivity issues within the home, for example

- he's outside, barks through fly screen back door at roomate walking to his room adjacent to back door (only sometimes and only if im home)

- hackles will go up at back door and growl through door at strangers (sometimes, usually men), however, will settle if ignored or go for affection if let in, i do not like the lottery of doing this however, if i go outside and bring stranger with me he usually switches up to excited, i am worried i will let him in one day and he'll flip and bite someone, and i am concerned about barking at my roommate

Chasing some help with these situations

Background

Very well trained in obedience, heel, place, come, fuss, out, stay, around, leave it, etc etc etc, he no longer needs rewards to complete behaviour, loves to work

E collar smart, understands the sensation with commands, understands what a correction is at higher level which i have only done once or twice, understands the vibrate as a 'knock out of state of mind' trick, success rate depends on situation

No reactivity on walks for several months, i can walk him past strangers, construction, workers, Ute's, people etc etc, has a good heel and a good 'near me' walk

Zero reactivity at dog parks or dog beach with people or dogs

Can sit in public social areas after exercise and very limited reactivity

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Basically, i dont understand what's so different at home, he knows and loves my roommate, but will protect bark and be aggressive through the back door sometimes to roommate, usually if im chilling in the adjacent lounge

Similar reaction with strangers entering the home, clearly he thinks i can't handle myself or something idk

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Recently i have moved his food bowl from just outside back door to further away, and moved his place matt/bed further away from door. He will place on command but kick up a fuss if he's in a heightened state, i.e growl while placing, again, at roommate who he knows and loves

It feels very much like he is trying to protect me, but i dont have this problem out of the home or on walks

How can i work on this, what is a good way to introduce to strangers in home that is safe
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also on this, if someone is at the door he will place command, down and settle while i check it out, im just really struggling with the consistently here and there barking at roommate whom he loves but is trying to protect me, unnecessarily, what do i gotta do, 1v1 my roommate and RKO him?
 

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Jazmine Auf Der Marquis
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If he’s inside does he bark at the roommate? Could his bark be asking the roommate to let him in so he can be with you?

I’m confused on the stranger one, is he outside and spots a stranger inside or he outside and stranger is walking by?
 

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Sounds like he's just being a German Shepherd - territorial and suspicious of strangers. Also sounds like you're handling it just fine by establishing a routine for accepting guests. The roommate situation is harder to pin down without having eyes on the interaction. First thought (could be 100% wrong!) is the roommate rushed at him,threw something, yelled loudly or something,in an attempt to make him quiet down. Which of course would make your dog even more edgy in that specific situation.

If your roommate is willing there are ways to turn it around into a positive experience. If I were the roommate I would stop and stand by the door, completely ignoring the dog until he was quiet. Then Good Boy! and walk away. If he/she can get a little tail wag going spending a moment talking softly to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If he’s inside does he bark at the roommate? Could his bark be asking the roommate to let him in so he can be with you?

I’m confused on the stranger one, is he outside and spots a stranger inside or he outside and stranger is walking by?
Rarely if he's inside, very rarely, like a lil growl of roomate wanders into kitchen and im cooking food but settles with direction

Both with stranger, however the alert stranger going by is fine, he chills when i acknowledge it

If a guest enters the home he is torn between savage them and race over for pats, im unsure how to smooth this process as if done wrong he WILL go hackles up, i.e being too weird in how he is introduced, throwing a lead on him, making it a big deal

Its very threshold based, like with the back door, which is why I've since moved his foos bowl and bed further away

Thanks for your response
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like he's just being a German Shepherd - territorial and suspicious of strangers. Also sounds like you're handling it just fine by establishing a routine for accepting guests. The roommate situation is harder to pin down without having eyes on the interaction. First thought (could be 100% wrong!) is the roommate rushed at him,threw something, yelled loudly or something,in an attempt to make him quiet down. Which of course would make your dog even more edgy in that specific situation.

If your roommate is willing there are ways to turn it around into a positive experience. If I were the roommate I would stop and stand by the door, completely ignoring the dog until he was quiet. Then Good Boy! and walk away. If he/she can get a little tail wag going spending a moment talking softly to him.
Thanks for the response, appreciate it

I believe its a habbit picked up from previous house, that roommate was a **** and would antagonise kiba in a 'dominance' type way if he alerted me to someone outside the room, long story

I will talk to current roommate about your idea, non confrontationally wait near back door till he settles then verbal reward/encouragement after?

On this, if i am in the lounge next to the door, would you suggest i approach and stand with roommate? Or just show zero notice to the interaction, worried about sending the message that behaviour is fine but also worried about making it a huge deal and verifying Kibas concerns

Thanks again
 

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Thanks for the response, appreciate it

I believe its a habbit picked up from previous house, that roommate was a **** and would antagonise kiba in a 'dominance' type way if he alerted me to someone outside the room, long story

I will talk to current roommate about your idea, non confrontationally wait near back door till he settles then verbal reward/encouragement after?

On this, if i am in the lounge next to the door, would you suggest i approach and stand with roommate? Or just show zero notice to the interaction, worried about sending the message that behaviour is fine but also worried about making it a huge deal and verifying Kibas concerns

Thanks again
If your roommate is willing to spend a few moments I wouldn't interfere. From the dog's perspective if roomy keeps walking he believes he was successful in driving roomy away. If roomy stands calmly with no eye contact until pup winds down and stops,then calm praise,it will create an entire different feeling. If you get involved I'm thinking pup will get more amped up.It will probably take a few tries. Update us later please!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If your roommate is willing to spend a few moments I wouldn't interfere. From the dog's perspective if roomy keeps walking he believes he was successful in driving roomy away. If roomy stands calmly with no eye contact until pup winds down and stops,then calm praise,it will create an entire different feeling. If you get involved I'm thinking pup will get more amped up.It will probably take a few tries. Update us later please!
Thanks again for advice, will update when something happens!
 

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Is he resource guarding you or a thing, or threshold? Like the doorway? Just a thought. I only had time to skim what you described
 

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If a guest enters the home he is torn between savage them and race over for pats, im unsure how to smooth this process as if done wrong he WILL go hackles up, i.e being too weird in how he is introduced, throwing a lead on him, making it a big deal
I used to have issues with Rumo growling/barking at clients, and blocking their way with his body.
For a while I was gating him off from the front door.
Eventually I figured out that if I step forward and greet the client warmly, shake their hand*, etc then Rumo would relax and go lay down. He somehow needed to clearly see that this person was welcome...
Somehow the official greeting and "body language" helped?

I never encouraged visitors to interact/pet/give attention to him. He doesn't enjoy it, anyway...


(*Although it's no longer OK to shake hands during the pandemic, I think! I haven't had a client over since last year, everything is by Zoom now.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is he resource guarding you or a thing, or threshold? Like the doorway? Just a thought. I only had time to skim what you described
All good, mostly the threshold of the back door, possible resource guarding as he os usually fed just outside the door and his pet was sorta just out there, however ive since moved both
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I used to have issues with Rumo growling/barking at clients, and blocking their way with his body.
For a while I was gating him off from the front door.
Eventually I figured out that if I step forward and greet the client warmly, shake their hand*, etc then Rumo would relax and go lay down. He somehow needed to clearly see that this person was welcome...
Somehow the official greeting and "body language" helped?

I never encouraged visitors to interact/pet/give attention to him. He doesn't enjoy it, anyway...


(*Although it's no longer OK to shake hands during the pandemic, I think! I haven't had a client over since last year, everything is by Zoom now.)
Yeah i really like this with the door, that ones not so much of a problem, the roomie one tho stumps me
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If your roommate is willing to spend a few moments I wouldn't interfere. From the dog's perspective if roomy keeps walking he believes he was successful in driving roomy away. If roomy stands calmly with no eye contact until pup winds down and stops,then calm praise,it will create an entire different feeling. If you get involved I'm thinking pup will get more amped up.It will probably take a few tries. Update us later please!
Update- roommate and i talked about it, he disagrees, saying that sounds like he is submitting to the dog, if that makes sense, like showing the dog hes above roommate

I disagree with this, but am struggling to frame the reasoning as to why it isn't like that
 

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Darn!Let me put it a different way:
#1 dog barks and growls to encourage roomy to get out of his sight
#2 roomy gets out of dog's sight
#3 dog is successful,big win!Roomy submitted to dog's will.
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#1bark growl go away roomy!
#2 roomy stands by door in quiet protest until dog runs out of steam
#3 dog is rewarded for his quiet behavior Good boy!
instead of the self reward of chasing roomy away
#4 roomy wins
Roomy could also mark the behavior with a Quiet command at the moment dog stops. Quiet,good boy!You could work on this too separately. Speak! and Quiet! commands are handy in other scenarios. Using treats is ok when you are teaching but roomy should not offer treats at the door.Too easy for the dog to begin manipulating for food (I'll bark until treats appear!)

Anyway I hope roomy can see the logic in dogs do what they find rewarding and avoid what is unrewarding. Maybe you two can brainstorm a better idea that works best for you all.The principle remains the same though - reward what you want,discourage what you don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Darn!Let me put it a different way:
#1 dog barks and growls to encourage roomy to get out of his sight
#2 roomy gets out of dog's sight
#3 dog is successful,big win!Roomy submitted to dog's will.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#1bark growl go away roomy!
#2 roomy stands by door in quiet protest until dog runs out of steam
#3 dog is rewarded for his quiet behavior Good boy!
instead of the self reward of chasing roomy away
#4 roomy wins
Roomy could also mark the behavior with a Quiet command at the moment dog stops. Quiet,good boy!You could work on this too separately. Speak! and Quiet! commands are handy in other scenarios. Using treats is ok when you are teaching but roomy should not offer treats at the door.Too easy for the dog to begin manipulating for food (I'll bark until treats appear!)

Anyway I hope roomy can see the logic in dogs do what they find rewarding and avoid what is unrewarding. Maybe you two can brainstorm a better idea that works best for you all.The principle remains the same though - reward what you want,discourage what you don't.
Ill relay this across and update, thanks a ton

Lastly, is this a better option than me reprimanding the dog as it is likely a fear-based/fear-protection driven response from the dog? So the calm protest and showing yeah look it ain't so bad, good settle etc is better than me going over and shooeing the dog away like yo relax? The former sounds more like a learning experience for the dog versus a redirect, what do you think?
 

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If your roommate is not on board then sure,you can go to the door and reprimand the dog every time. Your dog will be delighted, chasing roomy away and getting attention from you:)If you were to teach the Quiet command would roomy be willing to tell the dog Quiet?You'd have to practice it together a few times.Other than that,unless you're outside directly supervising your dog,he will continue to do what he feels is in his best interest- chasing roomy away.
 
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