GREAT in public, super reactive at home!

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GREAT in public, super reactive at home!

This is a discussion on GREAT in public, super reactive at home! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi everyone, I have a situation I've been dealing with for a while. I have a 7 year old purebred dachshund that is an absolute ...

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Old 01-25-2018, 12:36 PM
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Exclamation GREAT in public, super reactive at home!

Hi everyone,

I have a situation I've been dealing with for a while. I have a 7 year old purebred dachshund that is an absolute delight with people. And when we go to public dog-related events where there can be hundreds of new people and dogs, she's fantastic! She has great doggy manners.

It's when we're at home that things get crazy. If she sees another dog when we're outside to potty (which happens often since we live in an apartment) she gets very reactive and will become aggressive if she meets the other dog. I know this only because people will still run up to us despite her warning barks.

I'm guessing she's just very territorial about this being HER home and is okay on neutral ground in public, but how can I go about training her? I don't know anyone with non-reactive dogs that she hasn't already met and is comfortable with.

Any tips or insight as to why this happens would be great, thank you!
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:48 PM
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Question Q about body-language & her behavior?


guessing she's in the avatar pic? - funny, 'cuz i'd have predicted she'd be a smooth-coat.

Looking solely at Doxies, smooths are generally the snappiest & most-vocal; wire-coats have the best noses, & tend to be slightly aloof with strangers, barking with reason [not for 10-mins straight at a visitor, which smooths may], & long-coats tend to have softer temps - cuddlier, more ppl-affiliative, less reactive to strangers.

In a survey a few years ago, the AVMA asked US-vets to rank pure breeds on a "likely to bite" scale -
Dachshunds took the top spot, followed by the usual suspects [Cocker Spaniels, JRTs / other terrierrists, Chis...].
So they're often reactive AND vocal - it's a stereotypic Doxie profile, unfortunately.

When U say she's "wonderful with ppl, away from home", what form does 'wonderful' take?
Is she soliciting attn [moving toward ppl of her own choice, eagerly closing the gap if someone meets her eye & smiles at her...]
accepting attn [standing her ground, as ppl approach & pet her],
or tolerating attn [attempting to retreat, then resigning herself]?

Does she shrink & seem appeasing when a stranger reaches to pet her, or move happily toward their hand?
Appeasing includes lowered head & tail, lip-licking or licking the person, rapid low wag of the latter half or 3rd of the tail [short amplitude / narrow & fast], rolling to show belly, crouching, etc.
Bold is head-up, mouth open & tongue lolling over incisors, tail is raised & whole length wags widely, & similar.

I ask for specifics b/c Doxies can be shy / sharp: act appeasing & cuddly when slightly anxious, yet snap or growl at times when they feel overwhelmed. Shy / sharp dogs seem very soft on 1st acquaintance, but when cornered or on the vet's exam table, they can morph into monsters - their aggro is defensive, rather than assertive.

Very few dogs could be confident, outgoing, & friendly in public settings, while simultaneously being highly-reactive & even aggressive "at home", hence my wondering is she's a shy / sharp dog.

- terry

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apartment, dachshund, public, reactive / aggro

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