Fearful barking by 18 week old puppy?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by thebritt, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Solomon, a cocker spaniel/terrier mix, is generally a well-adjusted, playful, and loving puppy. But when strangers or big people in general come through work, he barks, often rushing towards the person, while peeing [​IMG] . He does that running towards, run away thing, and gets totally beside himself. When I have treats with me, I have the "scary" person give him a treat, which calms him down pretty quickly. I just don't understand where this comes from, and I have concerns that he could nip at someone's calves if I'm not close enough to call him back. Any suggestions?
    I should add that I take him almost everywhere with me to socialize, etc. He came with me to a BBQ with lots of people and several other dogs, and did GREAT. He's great in the car, waiting for me, not chewing anything he shouldn't, etc. But this morning, on the way to work, he looked out the rear window and started "woofing" and the car behind us! I told him to knock it off and lie down, so he got quiet, but, honestly!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  2. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Carolina, USA
    Keep him on leash to prevent the running up behavior. Be quick on the trigger with your treats, make SURE you are not without them when this behavior is likely to occur. Head him off at the pass by stuffing his face as soon as you realize a stimuli for this behavior may be coming. Feed feed feed. Then let the person come closer and give him a cookie.

    You can help by asking people to approach him from the side, showing the dog their side in stead of their front, and not looking him in the eye. They should kneel, showing their side to the pup, without eye contact, and let him come up and take a treat. Remind people NOT to reach out to him. The rule for giving treats is your wrist must be touching your body. This keeps people from reaching out, and helps the pup learn to go right up to people instead of playing keep away, jumping back, etc.

    You can quickly defuse his anxiety about this type of thing by beginning to reward him as soon as there is the possibility of the stimuli appearing. Then the stimuli becomes an indicator to the dog that something nice is about to happen, and they lose their anxiety over it.

    Good luck!
     
  3. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Um if you take him to work and other places he needs to be tethered to you 24/7 in those places with strangers or anyone who is not 'at home' all the time until you nip this activity in the butt.

    Do not have strangers reward him with treats like that - that is only reinforcing the behavior because as he sees it, he is getting rewarded for that behavior 'oh if I do that again maybe i'll get another tasty treat!!!' kinda of thing - see where I'm going?

    Take the treats out the equation - always have treats on you however and reward him for NOT doing that behavior. Have him on the leash and when someone comes in or around and he starts tell him 'ahnt' or ant 'nt' ish sound poke him too, and point where you want him to go. He needs to have the sit, stay, and down commands down packed too. fear or not (which it does remind me some of fear aggression and yes aggression ) so you absolutely HAVE to nip it in the bud or else he WILL bite someone if you continue rewarding his bad behavior. Every time he goes to bark or growl at someone, distract him with a noise and a poke, direct him to sit or lay by your feet - and when he does that -THEN reward him with treats and attention. Do not allow anyone to touch him or pet him until he is calmer and at your feet for a few seconds then allow him to go nearer the person, stand up have him come closer with you on leash, but each time he barks or growls, nudge him, poke him, whatever and use a sound (not no - I find that isn't nearly as effective as 'ahnt' hard constants seem to grab a dogs attention better than no) make him lay back down at your side/feet, retreat him or give him verbal praise once he ignore sthe new person - it will take time, patience, and effort for sure. Fearful dogs are harder to redirect as they seem to just go 'crazy' with whatever fear is controling them, and at first he will be a bit confused probably about why he isn't getting the treat FOR the behavior [​IMG]

    good luck!


    ETA: like one thing Redyre suggested - after he is sitting/down at your feet - and been rewarded one time, have the new person come near (like she said - to the side or from the side and low) and have him see you give stranger the treat, and read his body language - is he now fearful, aggressive, or excited? make him stay down until you give him the command to get up - and then let him go the few steps to the stranger and take the treat from them.

    However, I disagree on the treat from the get go - because its hard to do when you take him to work and in public - etc. he needs to level clear head and not for you or him to become dependant on the food for his compliance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  4. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    What Redyre said. Keep treats where people can pick them up as they come in with a sign that says "please give a treat to my puppy inside". I had a puppy that I had to keep a bowl of treats with a sign outside the front door and every single person who came in that door gave her a treat. I had dog club meetings at my house so it was perfect! Anyway, it worked well. ALWAYS have treats on you - be prepared.

    I also agree with the tethering 24/7, especially at work, and no eye contact, as that can be misconstrued as threatening by a fearful dog.

    The puppy is being fearful and submissive, and you want to work this out of him asap. If it is allowed to continue it will only get worse as the dog ages and the dog will likely bite someone. Obedience is a must.
     
  5. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Dutchess County NY
    I disagree with giving it a treat to stop the aggressive behavior. It is like rewarding it for being aggressive. The best training aid I have found is a shock collar. One that has an audible chirp or a shock feature. Start with the shock set on low whenever your dog exhibits undesirable behavior. It will learn very quickly what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. The whole idea behind this is to give your dog a distraction to break their bad behavior. It will work like a charm.
     
  6. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Quote:Please read up on current training theory. This is classic counter conditioning, and it WORKS. You can choose to use punishment in training if you wish, I choose not to, and don't find it necessary.

    In this instance, if one wishes to reduce this puppy to a quivering aggressive peeing train wreck, put a shock collar on him and use it, or use other aversive training techniques.

    I do speak from a certain level of experience, having titled numerous dogs in obedience and the Breed ring over the years, including multiple high in trial and Best In Show awards.

    Aversive methods applied when a stimulus appears can cause dogs to gain anxiety over the stimuli, and also aggression or submissive behaviors such as uncontrolled urination, in particular in puppies. It is NOT a reward for the wrong behavior, as the reward should be applied before the wrong behavior begins.
     
  7. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,542
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    Jul 8, 2009
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  8. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Quote:Please read up on current training theory. This is classic counter conditioning, and it WORKS. You can choose to use punishment in training if you wish, I choose not to, and don't find it necessary.

    In this instance, if one wishes to reduce this puppy to a quivering aggressive peeing train wreck, put a shock collar on him and use it, or use other aversive training techniques.

    I do speak from a certain level of experience, having titled numerous dogs in obedience and the Breed ring over the years, including multiple high in trial and Best In Show awards.

    Aversive methods applied when a stimulus appears can cause dogs to gain anxiety over the stimuli, and also aggression or submissive behaviors such as uncontrolled urination, in particular in puppies. It is NOT a reward for the wrong behavior, as the reward should be applied before the wrong behavior begins.

    Not to worry, Redyre Rotties - while I appreciate callemin's input, the use of a shock colllar to punish/prevent fear aggression would never occur to me. I am of the camp that believes the pup needs to associate meeting new people with pleasure, not surprise and pain. I can't keep Solomon tethered to me at work as I work in a brewhouse (making beer) and dogs should not be in the brewhouse (caustic, noise, hot water, being underfoot, etc). The dogs stay in the office with bones and toys, but the office door is usually left open, and it's when venders come in the back door and deliver or cut through to the restaurant that Solomon reacts. If I see someone coming, I can give the person a treat to give him, but sometimes I don't know someone's here until I hear him go off.
     
  9. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Carolina, USA
    If you teach him a name for a reward, you can also TELL him you are going to get him a treat. My dogs ALL know what "cookie" means. So, you can teach him a word for a reward, any one you choose, and then not only can you tell him, when someone shows up, that it's COOKIE TIME, you can also tell people who want to give him a treat to ask him if he wants a cookie! [​IMG]

    You might also put a treat jar near the door where people can pick one up on the way in. Just tossing out some ideas for you.
     
  10. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Quote:Thanks! I use, "TREATS!", but hadn't thought of your idea for this situation. Don't know why, seems so obvious! [​IMG]
     

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