My dog has agression issues

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My dog has agression issues

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Old 06-05-2016, 03:29 PM
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Question My dog has agression issues

I have a 2 1/2 year old basset hound/lab mix who is nothing but sweet and cuddly when she is home with me and/or my husband. However, whenever we have guests over she becomes a very different dog. She gets very stressed, and she won't stop barking and snarling at whoever we have over. We try to calm her down by distracting her and offering her treats to sit or stay, but she gets so focused on whoever is there that she doesn't listen. And forget it if someone wants to kiss me or hug me when they come in. She goes nuts! This behavior really only happens inside the house. If we are all outside in the backyard and we have guests over then she is fine. Anyone have any advice on what we can do to help with this issue? Right now we pretty much just can't have people over :-(
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:52 PM
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Has your dog had issues with people in the past? Is it only a certain type of person that she reacts to (example: only men, women, people with hats, people with long hair)? If not, and if she's not biting or anything, try this:
Ask one or two people to come over. Parents, friends, cousins, neighbors, anyone who would be up for the job. Ask them to come in and act like they normally would when they visit you. But then, ask them to ask your dog to sit, lie down, and stay at various places and times in your house. Make sure they give your dog when, and only when, the dog does exactly what is asked of her. When you ask these people to come over, try to recreate a normal visit. In fact, you could just ask them to come over for a regular visit and insert a few "dog training moments" here and there. Not too many, just a few. Recreate a normal visit as much as you can. Ask yourself, "Why do people come over to my house?" Just think of a time you had somebody over and do the same thing. Example: Let's say you had a friend over for a movie the other night, and while your friend was there, you also ate dinner and played a board game. In order to recreate this, you shouldn't have the same friend over, but invite one person over to your house and do the exact same thing, except for when your friend would come across the dog a few times, you would ask your friend to tell your dog to sit.

Do these types of visits several times, increasing the number of people if you like. Make sure the visits are all different; maybe one night you'll have three friends over for a movie, another night you'll have a birthday party, and another night you'll have a quiet dinner with a small group of friends or family.
They key here is variety. Make sure you condition your dog to all sorts of various people and situations, because here's what could happen if you didn't:
Let's say you invited the same friend over every Tuesday night for a quiet dinner. Maybe your dog would learn to behave in that situation, but as soon as you changed one little thing, like what you and your friend did, or which friend you invited, or even how often you did it, your dog would probably misbehave.

I hope this helps! Please ask me anything if you need any more help or if this doesn't make any sense to you! I'm praying for you and your dog!
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:18 PM
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Sounds like your dog is feeling uncomfortable and the barking is her way of telling people they are in her space and she wants them to leave. I, personally, would consult a trainer before trying anything, because without seeing the behaviour it's hard to know what's actually happening.

If a trainer isn't an option, then may I suggest you put her in a room, or at least have a safe place for her to go, with a kong when company is over.

I personally have to introduce my dog to people I would likely have over prior to their visit because my dog is both fearful and protective of me. If we don't get people to greet appropriately then she will bark at them until she can no longer bark.

First, I allow them in the house with her put away. Then, when she is calm in her safe place, I let her out. No one is to address her, just let her sniff them and offer treats at their feet. Eventually when she shows she's comfortable, I allow them to interact with her, although prior to this I go over the rules of no baby talk, no excited tones, etc.

Sometimes I have to have maintenance people in, which then I skip to the second part with tons of jack pot treats (real chicken, steak).
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:17 PM
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My dog, Stella, is quite similar in behaviour to OP's dog. She's a 7 year old shepherd mutt, she's been with me for 3 years now. She's quite attached to me and my immediate family - brother, sister, mom, brother in law and nephews. The extended family she is a little timid with, and will bark when they enter the house, but when she realizes she knows them, she becomes the complete sook that she is.

For anyone else entering the house, or walking past on the sidewalk, or delivering anything, it's an absolute poop show. We're slowly working on it I try to distract her with treats, stand in her way to break the sight lines when she is staring too intently, I talk to her calmly to help her understand there is nothing to be afraid of in these situations. There has been massive improvements since I first adopted her but we still have a long journey ahead of us

For new friends coming over, I try a similar method to KayWilson. Depending on just how wound up she is, I may put her in my room with some goodies until she calms down. If she has had a relatively calm day, and isn't too stressed out, I keep her on lead with me. Once she settles I will hand the lead to the new friend that is visiting and they will walk her around the house, give her a couple 'sit' and 'stay' commands, and feed her some treats. I then allow my friend to let her off the lead, and instruct them to remain still while my dog is free now to sniff them out. For the most part this has proven quite effective for her.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:44 AM
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Sounds like your dog is teritorial. I'm having similar issues with my dog, but it's happening outside the house too so I'm not sure if it's fear of strangers or just her being protective of her family. When it's only us, she's fine. Please let me know if you find something that works as I'm not sure what the best approach is in our situation. Best of luck!
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:11 PM
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Unhappy Not a turf issue - she's scared.

Give her distance from all visitors - as in, at least 8-ft from the visitors & preferably 12-ft, if U can manage it, with YOU [collective U, meaning her trusted family] -between- her & the intruders.

That might mean have the dog in the doorway on the far-side of the room, where no one who is not family will go; if there's only one bathroom, figure out a place that keeps her away from visitors, but lets them reach the toilet without passing by her.
If that's not possible, when a visitor needs the bathroom, put the dog in a bedroom, & a latch on the door [hook & eye] above child-reach on that room, is a good precaution.
There's never been a kid born who didn't think they could pet / play with / hug / visit, etc, any dog, & it would all be just fine, the dog would love them & it would all end "happily ever after". // T'ain't so.

B-Mod would include pairing the sound of doorbell / knocks with Good Things, & DS/CC, DeSensitization / Counter-Conditioning, to strangers outside the house 1st, then inside; 'Open Bar / Closed Bar' is a good, simple protocol.

Open Bar Closed Bar in Dog Training | PetHelpful
https://pethelpful.com › Dogs › Dog Training
Oct 22, 2016 -
What is open bar and closed bar in dog training? It's an effective method mentioned by Jean Donaldson in her book " Dogs are from Neptune".


open bar closed bar - YouTube ▶ 3:37
Sep 12, 2013 -
Uploaded by TheJmurphy05
This game helps change the conditioned emotional response your dog may have have to a stimulus that ...


Open Bar/Closed Bar (Desensitization and Counterconditioning)
atyourservicedogtraining.com/.../open-barclosed-bar-desensitization-and-countercond...
Aug 16, 2016 -
Trainers often refer to this method as “open bar” and “closed bar.” When the dog sees (or hears or feels) the trigger, the bar is open: you feed MANY TREATS, one after the other — treat after treat after treat. As long as the trigger is present, the bar is open, and it's fantastic!



"Treat & Retreat" is also helpful -
Retreat & Treat | Dog Star Daily

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Old 08-25-2017, 09:11 AM
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FYI- this post is over a year old and the OP hasn't been back on since.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:19 PM
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Talking general audience benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspen726 View Post

FYI-
this post is over a year old and the OP hasn't been back on since.
That's OK - anyone who's looking for help with a similar issue, now has a few more resources.

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Old 08-28-2017, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sophie2120 View Post
I have a 2 1/2 year old basset hound/lab mix who is nothing but sweet and cuddly when she is home with me and/or my husband. However, whenever we have guests over she becomes a very different dog. She gets very stressed, and she won't stop barking and snarling at whoever we have over. We try to calm her down by distracting her and offering her treats to sit or stay, but she gets so focused on whoever is there that she doesn't listen. And forget it if someone wants to kiss me or hug me when they come in. She goes nuts! This behavior really only happens inside the house. If we are all outside in the backyard and we have guests over then she is fine. Anyone have any advice on what we can do to help with this issue? Right now we pretty much just can't have people over :-(
was she socialized when she was young? People don't realize how important that is. My family had a black lab mix who we basically had to keep away from people. She was high maintenance. Couldn't be home alone. This was very dangerous in my opinion but I was young and it was my parents dog. I tried to tell them to socialize the dog. But she would growl and d bark at people so bad it was scary
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sophie2120 View Post
I have a 2 1/2 year old basset hound/lab mix who is nothing but sweet and cuddly when she is home with me and/or my husband. However, whenever we have guests over she becomes a very different dog. She gets very stressed, and she won't stop barking and snarling at whoever we have over. We try to calm her down by distracting her and offering her treats to sit or stay, but she gets so focused on whoever is there that she doesn't listen. And forget it if someone wants to kiss me or hug me when they come in. She goes nuts! This behavior really only happens inside the house. If we are all outside in the backyard and we have guests over then she is fine. Anyone have any advice on what we can do to help with this issue? Right now we pretty much just can't have people over :-(

Hi, Sophie. Did you get your pet trained when she was still a puppy? I think this should have been something you and your husband put importance in while she was growing up. There are so many benefits of training early. You might want to take a look at them here.

Nevertheless, it's not still too late to correct such behavior. I'm sure there's a passionate trainer in your locality who can make your furry friend calmer.
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