Would another calm dominant dog relax my small one?

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Would another calm dominant dog relax my small one?

This is a discussion on Would another calm dominant dog relax my small one? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi everyone, I have a 6 year old mini-schnauzer named Chloe who is absolutely adorable but she has the loudest and most annoying bark I ...

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Old 10-11-2017, 11:05 AM
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Would another calm dominant dog relax my small one?

Hi everyone,

I have a 6 year old mini-schnauzer named Chloe who is absolutely adorable but she has the loudest and most annoying bark I have ever heard. When she was younger, we tried all manners of collars (from the spray to the electric one) but all that did was help her develop a shriek type of bark that is even more annoying and bypasses all these collars. I understand that she is a guard dog and acting like so, barking at everything and everyone even at a distance. She is very stressed out and even though I see that she tries to control herself when I tell her to stop barking, she just can't help it. Basically she barks all the time. I don't let her out at night anymore because I would end up chasing her down in the dark when she barks and wakes up the neighbors.

Anyway, we used to have another dog (yorkshire, small and the barking type too, passed away a couple years ago) and we have been thinking about getting a new one but this time a larger calm dog. We all have allergies so we are thinking labradoodle or goldendoodle or something like that. My hope is that since the new dog will be larger, it will become the dominant one and that since these breeds are pretty chill they won't bark. Therefore my current dog who is no longer in charge will let go and stop or at least reduce her barking.

Is that a fair assumption?

thanks!
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:43 AM
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Probably not.
Barking that much, at anything and everything, even at a distance, isnt necessarily guarding.....youre dog sounds reactive to me.
I've owned a few german shepherds, and they're notorious for being reactive.
Do some internet searching on reactive dogs and see if this sounds like your dog. Many many people mistake reactivity for guarding. Its generally either rooted in insecurity, fear, or just plain excitement.
Its not easy to deal with so I feel your pain.
Likely going to be a long ongoing process....
Research carefully, as you've seen its very easy to get a reactive dog more amped and out of control
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:54 AM
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Yes you're right, she's reactive... Just read an article about that. I forgot to mention my dog is really hard to walk. She pulls in all directions, I've tried many things over the years. Lately she has been very aggressive with other dogs on walks even though she didn't use to be. She is not aggressive with other dogs in general just on walks. Anyway, thanks for the tip, I am going to read up and figure out some solutions!
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:10 PM
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Definitely not guard instinct id say. It sounds reactive, and like the other poster said that's usually deeply rooted from fear, anxiety or plain happiness. Some breeds are just naturally this way and no amount of training can completely eliminate it. For some it is from the way the pup is raised , if there was a lack in socialization the pup usually grows up fearing most things , thus the defensive instinct to bark at everything. You see it a lot in small breeds because owners make the mistake of carrying them all the time so they grow up fearing everything that comes near them and on top of that they become over protective of the owner usually trying to nip at anyone that comes close.

Guard dogs on the other hand are the opposite. A good guard dog is usually very calm and quiet and has an uncanny ability to sense when there is *real* danger and not react to every false alarm like someone hugging the owner , etc. But good guard dogs are confident dogs with not much anxiety or fear of their environment or what's in it thus the quietness.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:56 PM
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Doodles "chill?" HAHAHA, I've met some "chill" ones, but most of them are older, like 5+ years. Most of the doodles I've met have taken a couple of years to "calm down," similar to the labs and goldens they're bred from. I'd say based on all of the doodles I know, as well as their purebred predecessors, their energy level tends to range from medium- high. A few are low, but as I said, they're usually the older ones. Another thing is, do you really want a big dog picking up bad behaviors from the older one? That's going to be even harder to control!

I'm not sure what you mean by "dominant" or why you think this will help. Your dog sounds very reactive, probably based in anxiety or fear and exacerbated by by the bark collars used on her. Think about it, if she's barking at a stranger because she's scared, anxious, or uncomfortable, and then she gets shocked, and only when a stranger is around, she is going to associate the shocks with the stranger and have even more reason to fear them.

At this point I would highly recommend consulting with a professional trainer- there are a few things going on with her including reactivity/fear towards people, aggression towards dogs, and general manners and obedience that need to be worked on, and it just sounds like you're going to need help. There is plenty of information online, in videos, and in books but it sounds like you need someone experienced helping out and teaching you how to work with this dog.
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:59 PM
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I've called a local trainer already. With people and especially kids she barks like crazy at first because she wants their attention and wants to be petted. With delivery guys, she gets crazy angry, even attacks the packages when I take them in. But most of her beef is with squirrels in the garden. She also gets excited at rabbits and birds and barks at them. With dogs, I'm not sure what happened... She used to be fine and changed about a year ago and getting worse. I'm pretty sure she has a lot of anxiety, always had. It's really hard to calm her down. She is just shaking from excitement.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:55 PM
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@Sthelena Thanks for the PM! I can't reply to it because I don't have the access rights to do so
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