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Jaque

Dog barks at other members of household

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Jaque   

When my dog was a puppy there was an incident where my dad basically broke my bedroom door down, coming in behaving threateningly. Ever since, Percy has the habit of barking when he hears others moving about the house outside our room (we live somewhere else now). Housemates will get up to use the bathroom in the night and Percy will go nuts barking when they walk by the room. 

 

He he some other issues that I attribute to being overly protective of me and anxiety but I think it makes more sense to focus on one thing at a time. He barks excessively generally as well. Lots of noises trigger him to bark. He is startled easily and gets stressed easily.

 

I am going to get a behaviourist appointment and start obedience training. What else should I do?

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Panto   

Take note of what you're currently doing - how you feel and react when these things are happening - this could help your behaviourist. Also, take what advice you receive here as research, but the behaviourist who will meet you both in person is best equipped to give you the right advice. When you get new advice, don't try to do all of them, do the one or two things that work together and do them consistently well. 

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KobiD   

As above.

 

How do you react to his barking in general?

How do you react to his actions towards your housemates?

How do your housemates react?

Does he only become protective at night, or is it all the time?

 

They'll probably be similar to the questions you'll be asked, or what the behaviourist will try and observe.

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When I first got my puppy - one of her first jobs - when she got a little bit older - was to clear cats out of my yard.  Especially the ones that had fights right outside my bedroom window.

 

She REALLY enjoyed this job - waaayyy too much... so she'd be trying to get me to let her out multiple times a night to "patrol"...  ARGH...

She also liked to bark at anyone I had staying over (interstate friends) in the same way as your dog barks at your house mates.

I did a couple of things that helped with this.  

I had trained something called "collar grab" and I also taught her to bark on cue, and to be quiet on cue (easy after you've got bark on cue).   

 

Mostly all I really needed to do was put her on lead (in my bedroom), send her to her sleeping spot (her bed-tub) - still on lead and reward for quiet and calm.  Being very careful not to reward for loud then quiet.  If she growled - I'd just collar grab and pat her - calming pats; ears and long back strokes... And I didn't say anything, ie I modelled the behaviour I wanted her to do. 

You don't need to be a super brilliant actor to fool a dog - just slow your own breathing and movement down a bit... It's super important you take the lead on scary things - and protect him, not the other way about.  Protect him from scary dogs and people out and about - make more space - prevent him from trying to protect you - unless you want him to (maybe have a cue for crazy barking).

And pay attention to the questions KobiD asked.  The answers will help your trainer.


Hopefully the trainer you've got coming over will be able to help. 

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