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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hiya. Ok i.ll start with a bit of history to try and make it a bit clearer. About 8 months ago i got me a cute, funny doggy called pop, who needed a new home. She is a right little "buggerswine" at we call her :) she is nearly 6 now, we think, and in the 8 months i.ve had her she has come on fantastically. She has learnt heel off lead, can do a load of tricks, has learn.t about not stepping off the curb until i say. She is great with my older brother who is profoundly autistic and frightened of dogs. She is so gentle and gives him his space. She.s loyal, obedient, loving and very submissive with family. Too submissive, she flinches quite alot, especially when you walk near her with something in your hand. She will quake and hit floor or roll onto her back. So i think something has happened to her at some point. The real problem is her need to bark, in the house she silent, she scares the hell out of me some days by sneaking around. But outside she is loud. She is very dominant with all other dogs even familiar ones. She barks constantly i.ve taught her the command "quiet" and any other time she does so immediatley. But when other dogs or people she decides are bad, she seems unable to stop. She will go quiet for a few seconds then start up again. I dont think its aggressive with other dogs its just her being dominant. But i just can.t seem to break her of it. Also if we are out and its dark she will loudly growl at any men passing. What should i do?
 

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hiya. Ok i.ll start with a bit of history to try and make it a bit clearer. About 8 months ago i got me a cute, funny doggy called pop, who needed a new home. She is a right little "buggerswine" at we call her :) she is nearly 6 now, we think, and in the 8 months i.ve had her she has come on fantastically. She has learnt heel off lead, can do a load of tricks, has learn.t about not stepping off the curb until i say. She is great with my older brother who is profoundly autistic and frightened of dogs. She is so gentle and gives him his space. She.s loyal, obedient, loving and very submissive with family. Too submissive, she flinches quite alot, especially when you walk near her with something in your hand. She will quake and hit floor or roll onto her back. So i think something has happened to her at some point. The real problem is her need to bark, in the house she silent, she scares the hell out of me some days by sneaking around. But outside she is loud. She is very dominant with all other dogs even familiar ones. She barks constantly i.ve taught her the command "quiet" and any other time she does so immediatley. But when other dogs or people she decides are bad, she seems unable to stop. She will go quiet for a few seconds then start up again. I dont think its aggressive with other dogs its just her being dominant. But i just can.t seem to break her of it. Also if we are out and its dark she will loudly growl at any men passing. What should i do?
It sounds possibly if anything and going by her nervous unsure submissive behaviour even to yourselves in doors that her behaviour is likely due to being anxious and unsure and its defensive more then anything.

Sounds like she might have been hit as when you pass by especially with something in your hands the shaking is fear, hitting the floor and rolling on their backs and Im guessing she probably exposes her stomach and genital area with one leg raised? is a submissive behaviour to defuse things and hopefully so they dont get attacked and hurt, dogs will do it to other dogs even if they think the other is a threat.

The barking at people and things she doesnt like is probably also defensive, is she worse if on lead? if so thats usually the case as they dont have many options. They cant exercise flight (run away) which is often a dogs first choice, they cant avoid and give themselves space to weigh up the situation and they also havent got the time and space to exhibit body language like appeasement like she does with the submissive behaviour when she is unsure indoors. That leaves one alternative to bark in the hope it will ward off the possible threat or growl and hope it will do the same. So it could well have nothing to do with dominance at all the behaviour could well be out of anxiousness and defensive.

To make positive associations when she is indoors and try to get her over the fear of people approaching with things in their hand. I would make sure family members have treats, high value ones to her she really loves. When approching make sure you approach slowly and gently, side on and dont look directly at her and make eye contact. Direct eye contact and approaching quickly straight/face on can be seen a threatening and intimidating. Stop at a distance she is still comfortable with and doesnt do the unsure frightened behaviour and then slowly and very gently throw her treats, see if she takes them, and then continue to approach slowly speaking softly to her, work up to, giving her a treat when she stays calm and relaxed and kneeling down next to her and gently stroke her. if everyone does this repeatedly, she should become relaxed about being approached and also as whats in your hand is rewarding and positive it should help get her over it eventually.

Outside you can try the same sort of thing. if you havent already teach her a watch me command. You do this by holding a treat in a position so that she has to look up at your face and if possible make eye contact, the second she does it say watch me and treat immediately. When she has got that, then teach her a wait also, by instead of immediately treating when she makes eye contact, say wait before giving the treat. You can then gradually build up the time between the wait command and giving the treat so that she has to watch you and keep the focus on you longer and longer. Once you have taught it reliably inside you can then start to use it outside.

Start at first working a good distance away from dogs and people that she is still non reactive at. Timing is important as you have to get and keep her attention before he gets into the barking behaviour. Use the watch me command and keep focus on you, at first you may need to rapid fire treats and keep repeating the whole exercise. If she glances at another person or dog inbetween and doesnt react and then gets her focus on you again praise and treat her for the glances and non reaction/barking too.

Once you know you can get and keep the focus at a distance, then slowly a bit at a time get closer to people and dogs and repeat the whole thing again, when shes Ok with that, then decrease the distance and so on. Eventually you should be able to get close to people and dogs and have them go past.
She only gets treats with people around and passing, once they are safely out the way so she doent react treats go away again until next time. AS well as stopping her focusing on them and getting into the barking behaviour it should also make good associations with people and other dogs.

When you finally work up to introductions ask people to totally ignore her at first, then if she doesnt react and starts to show curiosity of her own free will ask them to slowly and gently drop treats, then work up to asking them to speak softly first to her without looking at her or trying to stroke her, then see if she will take a treat, then accept a gentle stroke and finally they can look at her.

Anxiety/fear based issues can take the longest of all behaviour problems to modify because you can only work at one pace the dogs. With repetition, time and patience though it usually pays off in the end.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
no the behaviour i mean is when she is off lead. She runs over to other dogs all excited, but then its like she changes- she gets loud i jumps at the other dog, not to bite but to bark and try and chase. It could just bè her playing but it seems aggressive. I rarely have her on lead as she is way better behaved off lead. She gets along well with submissive dogs but when they come running over to play she flips out and runs at them barking. She is good with little dogs its the bigger dogs she has a go at. As for people she is great with women and children. Its men she is frightened of, there are some she immediatley likes but more often then not she will growl. She has even got between me and my uncle in the street. So although i was happy and chatting she was ok till he tried to step up and give me a hug. She got between us and started barking and growling. She does this with most men, even some of my friends. :( she is so good with my dad and my brother thou.
 

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no the behaviour i mean is when she is off lead. She runs over to other dogs all excited, but then its like she changes- she gets loud i jumps at the other dog, not to bite but to bark and try and chase. It could just bè her playing but it seems aggressive. I rarely have her on lead as she is way better behaved off lead. She gets along well with submissive dogs but when they come running over to play she flips out and runs at them barking. She is good with little dogs its the bigger dogs she has a go at. As for people she is great with women and children. Its men she is frightened of, there are some she immediatley likes but more often then not she will growl. She has even got between me and my uncle in the street. So although i was happy and chatting she was ok till he tried to step up and give me a hug. She got between us and started barking and growling. She does this with most men, even some of my friends. :( she is so good with my dad and my brother thou.
Could still be defensive even off lead, barking and chasing off could be defensive to ward them off or ones she feels threatened by at least, the fact she is Ok with smaller dogs and submissive dogs more may be she doesnt feel anxious or threatened by them but some she does.

If he fear/reactions are centered around men then possibly something has given her a negative association/fear of them too or some of them. The way other dogs and people approach can play a part wether the dog thinks they are a threat or not. So you can still do the behaviour modification/training exercises with large dogs and lairy dogs and men to help her overcome it.

Some of it could be over exciteable play and lack of early canine socialisation too without seeing her its impossible to say. The only way that you can really deal with possible off lead problems is to work on a solid leave and recall so you can be certain that in times of possible problems she will immediately stop what she is doing and come back to you.

Have you ever considered getting a trainer to assess her and do some one to one training, or otherwise have a chat to a trainer and take her to a suitable class? That way she would be getting socialisation and training with distractions in a controlled environment. You can phone a few trainers and tell them the problems beforehand. Classes are usually less expensive then one to ones.

For a trainer and/or classes in your area Welcome to APDT - Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK is one organisation thats usually good, they only use kind fair reward based training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah think i.ll contact a trainer. She is good at recall and stopp as soon as i call her. Just dont want people to think she is vicious. She is soo lovely most of the time.when i got her she.d not been socialised much, she was left in a yard for quite a while and the only interaction she got was barking at dogs thru dogs through the slats. But when i first got her if you moved your hands too fast (i.m an animated talker) she would duck and whine. She much better with me i made a point of showing her that the only time i raise my hands is when we play fight so she doesn.t always worry when i.m chatting away to a friend or on phone. She does sometimes pounce on me mid conversation. Lol. But yes you.re right i.ll look into some training, my vets always has ads up. Cheers.
 

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yeah think i.ll contact a trainer. She is good at recall and stopp as soon as i call her. Just dont want people to think she is vicious. She is soo lovely most of the time.when i got her she.d not been socialised much, she was left in a yard for quite a while and the only interaction she got was barking at dogs thru dogs through the slats. But when i first got her if you moved your hands too fast (i.m an animated talker) she would duck and whine. She much better with me i made a point of showing her that the only time i raise my hands is when we play fight so she doesn.t always worry when i.m chatting away to a friend or on phone. She does sometimes pounce on me mid conversation. Lol. But yes you.re right i.ll look into some training, my vets always has ads up. Cheers.
Would be worth it I think, although we can give possible explanations and ways to sort minor problems its always still limited advice on here as you can never see the situation or the dog and exactly whats going on. At least a trainer would actually be able to see her and find out the deffinate causes and triggers and best ways to go about retraining.
 
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