Dog Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I have a dachshund mix, Brandy, (the "dachshund" part is very visible and she's often mistaken for a purebred, albeit an unusual one, but we did DNA test her and the test suggested she is part black&tan coonhound also. Regardless, she's fairly large for a dachshund type of dog, about 26 lbs, and a lot of people are often intimidated by her.) We've had her for a long time and socialized her from a young age but we've noticed over time that she has started to develop more and more fear aggression towards dogs and people. We've even hired a dog trainer to work with Brandy, and she said that it was most likely "in her nature" to act like this, and that there was only so much the trainer could do.

She's generally okay with women and female teenagers; she'll just bark for a second or so and then by the end of the half hour she's letting them walk up to her, sit next to her, and pet her. If these people come often enough, she can become enamored with them and greet them as they enter the house. However, for whatever reason, she can't seem to get over her fear of men.

It doesn't matter how big, tall, or "scary" the man is. Regardless, she can seem extremely aggressive toward them--in the worst case scenario, snarling, lunging at them, and barking. With the sounds she makes, in the worst case, it almost sounds like a dog attack, but from about a 3 feet distance from the person. Once, a man came over with his wife and he stayed for almost 3 hours and although Brandy stopped barking eventually, she sat down on the couch right next to him and though seemingly relaxed, I suspect she was only keeping an eye on the man. Every time the man shifted or stood up, she would bark at him all over again. She never once became at ease with the man. However, she has never bit anyone even once in the 8 or so years we've had her. She's just very afraid of certain people. We've started putting her on a leash when men enter the house to limit her contact and be able to train her more easily, and it has made some difference but not as much as we would like, and she's still very much afraid, and we really don't want to chase off guests who come to visit.

As for children, she's better with them than men but has a problem of "snapping" at them. She is often very nice to them after barking at them for a minute or so when they walk in, and will lick their hand and be pet. However, if they make one "threatening" move, she gets right in their face and barks vigorously at them. This has happened on 3 occasions.
First occasion: A girl, about 9 years old, was running past her. Brandy must have assumed that she was running TOWARDS her, and she started barking out of "nowhere".

Second occasion: The same girl jumped (literally--with a running start) next to me on the couch and Brandy put her face right in the girl's and barked almost hysterically at her. We're not talking a little "yip yip", but a bug-eyed, adrenaline-filled, almost yelping bark.

Third occasion: A different girl, about 10, was petting Brandy a couple minutes after she had entered the house. Brandy was licking her hand and allowing the girl to pet her although Brandy seemed a bit bug-eyed and nervous. The girl leaned in closer (and very slowly) to Brandy's face, probably hoping to get a kiss on the cheek, and Brandy pulled back and started barking in the girl's face (the girl was very upset by this, almost tear-eyed).

I understand that this is NOT acceptable behavior from a dog. However, Brandy is an excellent dog in every other way and we really want to find a way for her and our guests to be comfortable with each other. Is there any recommendation for how we can keep Brandy from being so afraid of men and children who come over, and from barking at them when they exhibit "threatening" body language? How can we make Brandy feel more comfortable?

Thanks so much!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
I would argue that in the second two cases, that the behavior from the children was also unacceptable. She's still small in comparison to children, and them running at her, and leaning into her could come across as quite aggressive to a smaller dog.

I would think in this case, I would keep her on leash, and away from everyone. When people come in, they can toss her treats, but not look or interact with her. Eventually she will hopefully come to the realization that men are the bringers of fantastic treats. You can also use something very high value (cheese, real meat, or maybe hot dogs) and only have men give it to her.

As far as children, to dogs, they can be strange little creatures. They move and sound differently than people, and they're kind of unpredictable. I would manage the dog to kids interaction and teach them to give her some space. You can also try the treat game with kids, but they're way harder to control than dogs. :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,820 Posts
Keep her away from kids. It's simply not worth the risk to them or her.

My boy act similar to your girl, barking at people to try and scare them away. If they come close enough he will throw in lunging. He hates kids, all kids regardless of size. We've been working on it using the CARE protocol and while it's slow going, he is getting slowly better Care for Reactive Dogs

There's also this site which is very helpful Fearfuldogs.com
 
  • Like
Reactions: TruckersMom
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top