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Discussion Starter #1
I feel like I'm posting questions on here daily!! But you guys are an excellent source of advice!

River is full of barking bravado! At home (only when inside strangely enough) she barks at every little noise if she can't see the source. For example;
My 2 year old daughters blocks falling over in her play room. Her head will whip up, ears pricked and she barks. And barks.... And barks lol.

She also barks when my boyfriend comes home, not when he's approaching the door, but when he opens it! Should I allow this kind of barking? My big fella knows the sound of my boyfriend getting home, so his only reaction is to wait at the baby gate in the hallway and wag his tail till his whole body is wiggling!

I know dogs alert their owners via barking and it's a natural thing, but should I be redirecting this? Should I let her bark once or twice, then get some treats and change her focus? Should I try and distract her completely from the front door when my boyfriend gets home, or should I let her continue? She's not aggressive towards people at all, she barks at the door, but as soon as she sees a person she's all about the attention!

Her other method of barking bravado, regards other dogs. She barks at them when she's on leash. We have only been to the vets and puppy school and petstock for socialisation, and she's very good but as soon as she sees another dog, it's all about the barking. She quieted down after a little while at puppy school, but the poor dogs that came into petstock... Each one had a 12 week old puppy barking at them. If their owners let them close enough at petstock (I keep her short leashed obviously) she would sniff them and her tail would be wagging. At puppy school, each dog has their own "space" so as to avoid on leash encounters. But during supervised play time, I was instructed to pick River up an keep her away for a little bit because the trainer thought she was a bit nervous. Spot on it seemed. After the big rough and tumble Husky pup, who seems to think he runs the place haha, got leashed and settled again, I put river down. She would come within sniffing distance of a dog and if they looked at her, she would back/walk away. All the other pups are still bigger than her, except for the tiny little thing that's about the size of a cup... The cup pup (haaaaa!!) was the one River wanted to play with!!! Cup pup was kept separate from the others but allowed to nose them through a caged off area.

So why is River all bark and no show? It's like she wants to talk to the other dogs/pups, but when she's off leash she's like a giant princess! Is this a good or bad thing? And can I change it? When we are outdoors walking, she doesn't react to cars, bikes, kids, she doesn't react to much unless people actually come and ask if they can pay her. Normally she just sits and stares at me (she has GREAT focus already).

Sorry for the long post, I just want to have a good doggy member of society is all! :)


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To understand River's barking, I suggest you read : Barking the Sound of a Language by Turid Rugaas . It is a short book and has many good suggestions.
 
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