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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a while since I've been on here, but let me preface this by saying (if you've kept up with us at all) that Tucker's been doing MUCH better about barking at strangers. He ignores most people and even went up to someone to sniff then came back to me when I called him.

Now here's the thing. I live with two roommates. Both knew what they were getting into well before we started living together. His large size, his barking, his naturally being vocal, everything. Of course in the beginning he barked at them but after working on it and he got used to them living with us he calmed down and was fine. Recently, however, he's been barking at the one roommate. Well, I say recently. Who knows how long this has been going on because I just now found out about it last night. That's a whole other story :eyeroll:

I've been here long enough to know the drill: counter condition and exposure. It's been working great so far for us out of the house. Without going into a large rant (like I just did then deleted before typing this), I feel like this roommate has ill feelings towards Tucker, doesn't communicate at all with me (tells me incidents with Tucker weeks after they happen and only when she feels she has to), and she's hardly home/doesn't seem to want to help with the issue. I'm not completely sure how to work with him through these obstacles.

Another thing: him moving out isn't a solution. Apart from all the emotional aspects of me never parting with him ever again, my lease is set up pretty well in the way that it'd be easier for her to move houses than to get him kicked out. Basically she signed that she knew what she was getting into. Also the fact that he's fine with my other roommate and all the neighbors we meet regularly (who love him) who would be witness to the fact that he's not aggressive at all helps a lot.


So, all in all, are there any creative solutions to working with Tucker through these obstacles? I'm not a horrible person and I do care about her feeling safe in her own house. I want everyone to be comfortable. Any insight/experience as to why he'd suddenly start barking again at her?

Sorry it's long. Not meant to be a rant, just trying to give all the information.
 

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Is there a treat that he goes nuts for? Like chicken or something REALLY high value? I'd make it so he ONLY gets it when he's quiet. Like if that roommate is around, ask him to be quiet and AS SOON as he's quiet, give him that treat. My boy likes deli ham so I used that when I was getting him used to horses and it worked like a charm. But it works the best if you ONLY give them that treat for that specific scenario.
 
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We had someone work on our bathroom and remodeling it for like a month and he had to come in when no one was home. Now I don't know if Cosmo would bite, but he's not shy with people he feels threatened by. He'll get right up in their space with this awful vicious barking. We left some cookie snacks that he loves by the back door where that guy was coming in through and had him hand Cosmo one every time he came inside. Eventually when he come in Cosmo wouldn't even bark, he's run over for his snack and enthusiastically greet the guy.

Perhaps that would work? If she's not willing to do much the least she can do is hand the dog a cookie when she comes inside :/

I also told that guy that remodeled the bathroom to only give him the snack when he was quiet so he didn't confuse the barking with the reason he was getting the cookie. He was really compliant and had cosmo sit first and gave him the cookie. Cosmo shuts up for any food though so it was easy for us.
 

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Can I assume this barking at your roommate only happens if you are not present? If the dog is barking at your room mate while you are present then you need to up the obedience and teach the dog a quiet/cease barking command. Seems to me, it's easy enough to teach a dog to "speak" but all too many people never take the time to train the flip side of that coin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I love the idea of having her hand him treats when she comes in. I don't know if she'd be for it (complicated personality) but I'll definitely ask her.
@DriveDog
I really didn't even know it was happening at all. I only found out when she came in with a large paper bag in front of her face and he's very sight oriented. When she set down the back he stopped barking at her and went to sniff the bag. That's when she said he's been doing this for a while. (Honestly the whole story doesn't make sense, but I'm gonna make an effort and it's some good training for us) He barks sometimes when I'm there but then once he finds out he knows who it is he stops. This is usually done by a "Oh, Tucker, shut up. It's me." or something similar, which she's done before and he's stopped. We've been working on counter conditioning and the quiet command when we can, but I've yet to find a high value treat to get his attention away from "intruders" 100% of the time. He has amazing focus, which is great for all his other training. Not so much when I need to redirect it. Look At Me command works a good bit. Funny enough, for as vocal and loud as he is I can not for the life of me teach him to speak on command. Our trainer couldn't either. I've heard that a good way to teach a quiet command is to teach them to bark, so I've been trying but so far he won't bark unless he's demanding something (still working on that...) or sees someone he doesn't know.
@cos
Tucker gets close to the person and almost sort of "trees" them. He just surrounds and barks/broken howls and either 1)continues until I get him cause the poor person is terrified/won't do anything about it or 2) realizes the person isn't scared of him, sniffs them, then leaves. I know he wouldn't bite anyone, but I realize strangers don't know that. Most strangers seem to know that his barking isn't aggressive though, so that's always nice when they realize I just have a talkative dog. I love that idea and I hope she goes for it.
 

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If the roommate is not on board with helping you and Tucker, then honestly I would just keep them away from each other as much as possible.
 

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I echo what @sassafras says. If your roommate isn't on board with helping out, it's going to be super tough to make progress.
 
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