Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 12 month old working line German Shepherd that I acquired from breeder at 5 months of age. From the beginning she has barked(like many dogs) when we drive up to the house and at arrival of visitors. But she also continues to bark aggressively at family members, even my husband who I live with and my daughter who visits on an almost daily basis. She will be resting calmly by my side and my husband will enter the house and she will leap up barking and rush towards him. Or my daughter will arrive and she may not have heard the car arrive and she will leap up barking aggressively when she hears the car door slam. Both my husband and daughter just quietly say, "it's me stupid" and ignore her. I try to distract her and by scattering treats or playing a game such as sitting in front of me and catching treats to help her associate unexpected arrivals with something good. Unexpected bangs around the house or unexpectedly catching sight of one of us walking out in the paddock can illicit the same over the top barking. I feel like after 7 months this barking response should be lessening but it really doesn't seem to be improving. The fact that she continues to bark at people she is familiar with makes me very hesitant of having visitors and having a dogsitter should we need to be away over night is totally out of the question while she is so reactive. My husband and I are retired and we live in the country so she is not in a very busy environment but she gets lots of exercise and attends Obedience Dog Club weekly where she gets to interact with a lot of people and dogs. I would appreciate and suggestions of how we can help River's responses to be calmer so she is aware of the people around her and not being triggered from 0 to 100.