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one problem after another… barking at people now!

Posted by --- on Tuesday 2 September, 2008

I’ve just come back from her walk and she was awful. Her new “trick” is to bark agressively at anyone walking. I’m not sure what she’d do if they get close as she sounds quite nasty and most people don’t get close. In fact two men crossed the road to avoid her. It’s embarrassing. I don’t know why she’s started doing it. She barked at our neighbours as we left the house but as we share a drive, we had to walk past them, neighbour C was ok, he just walked up and stroked her (she jumped up him) but his partner and two small children walked as far as possible away and she just kept barking at them. The little boy looked terrified. I said he could come and say hello to her, as did his dad but he wouldn’t and can you blame him? I was getting dirty looks off people she was barking at and I’m not surprised. I made her sit, I stood in front of her facing her to block her view and was saying “enough” in a deep gruff voice but she just tries to look around my legs and continues to bark with her hackles rising. She was pulling me all over too. I kept stopping and she is learning a little. The last 15 or so times I stopped she came back to my side (or around the back of me). It was hard though because the cats follow! DFS followed and bought Pepsi back but Whisper just ran away from him and appeared out of a driveway further along our walk. I keep trying to chase them off but they only run a few paces and are back but it drives Lexie crazy!
Back to barking, I know I need to socialise her more but I don’t know how or where. Where can I go where people wont mind a jumping, barking German Shepherd? I’m sure our local Asda wouldn’t appreciate me sitting outside scaring customers! Plus, I’m so rmbarrassed when she barks at people or dogs. I’ve read on forums where people say things like “it needs stopping now” or “I wouldn’t let him/her get away with that” etc but how do you stop it? I know it needs to be nipped in the bud right now, I just need to know how to do it!

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2 Responses to “one problem after another… barking at people now!”

  1. How is she today November 3 2008. A lot of people will tell you she’s being protective, the dog people that know better, will tell you she’s nervous.

  2. twinsane said

    You are so right! I took her to see a behavourist and she said the same. She said that it was probably due to the run-ins with other dogs she’s had and that she’d probably lost confidence in my abilities as leader to protect her. She said I needed to take control again. The short version is that after a lot of work I managed to do that. She no longer warns off anyone that comes within a 10 meter radius!
    Now I have a new problem. She has discovered that dogs can be fun and people are nice. She now lunges at people that walk past her trying to get attention from them. If she sees another dog she barks like mad with hackles raised. If they come close she wants to jump all over them and run around with them. It stems from going to training and breed classes where she was allowed free time with the other dogs to help with socialising and nervousness.
    My biggest problem is her size. She has pulled so hard and with such a jolt that she has injured my shoulder and my wrist. On one occasion she has spun me around and pulled me over as a child ran past that she wanted to play with. I can bribe, threaten, shout, attempt a command, get out a toy, etc but she will not acknowledge me. I’ve also used a halti on her but she has managed to work out that if she stiffens her neck she can pull against it. I changed the side she walked on and it worked for a while but it wasn’t long before she’d got the knack with the other side either. I have used a half-check and a full check chain too but these don’t seem to work and she just lunges and chokes herself! It means that I don’t walk her anywhere near as often as I should because it has become a chore 😦
    I no longer go to classes as the dog has too many influences from other people – such as my very frequent house visitors. Also, everyone needs to be consistent if I am to train her and that doesn’t happen here. So it’s too hard to do training.

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