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Dog Barking at door
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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:02 AM
I am sure this has been done to death, but the search function isn't working, and neither is my trawling through past threads.
I have a Bull Arab called Blossom, who is 2 years old. She barks at strangers when the come to the door or walk past our property.
She was a rescue dog who had been badly abused, and as such, is often scared. This has been reducing since she has been with us, but I have a feeling it is related. If an adult she is not vey familiar with (me, DH or my parents) comes to the door, or even walks past the property she will growl or bark until we let the person inside. While she is scared of some people, she retreats rather than growls or barks once they are inside. If she feels cornered by a stranger inside (which we try to prevent, she will whine, but not show signs of aggression.
Any other time, she is very well behaved, she walks well on lead, and is friendly and sociable to other people and dogs on walks and at the dog park. We have a toddler, and she is extremely patient around any child. She NEVER shows aggression to children irrespective of what they are doing, including running round screaming and trying to climb on her back (which we actively prevent).
What can we do to reduce this incidence? As she is a big dog she tends to freak out the postie and Pizza guys.
Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:38 PM
Rescue dogs need lots of special attention and love and care, and I'm sure she's getting loads from you guys.
For the front door, I'd be inclined to use the method I recommended to OzeMum a few threads down the forum (about Barking Dogs). Basically, if she barks, then she gets squirted or goes to time-out. When she stops barking, you immediately praise her and give her rewards such as liver treat. The aim is to 'take charge' from her, so she knows that you are in charge, and that you decide what is a threat and what is not (obviously anything on the other side of the door is not a threat!). When she's quiet, she gets praised and treated. You can tee up people to walk past (love mobile phones!), and 'test' her. When she's quiet, she gets lots of praise and rewards. Hopefully that will resolve this reasonably quickly,
But that's as far as I'm willing to go with suggestions for a rescue dog that seems to still be fearful of people.
I would think that she needs some confidence building when meeting new people. I'd find a professional trainer who specialises in fearful dogs, and get them to give you some sessions. There are quite a few ways to approach this issue, but I'd rather not offer you suggestions that might set her back, IYKWIM? Better to have someone present, who can assess how she responds to the methods being used.
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