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I have a 10 month old mixed puppy. I've done a lot of research of both of the breeds that she is mixed with and I still don't understand what her problem is. She is a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog mixed with a Basset Hound. Very odd mix I know. She is super protective over me. She barks at every noise. She growls and barks at anyone who comes into my house ( even if she knows them). I take her to my parents and she barks at all of them and runs away with her tail between her legs. I take her to the dog park 4-5 days a week for almost 2 hours each time. She does great with other dogs, until two weeks ago when a dog started a fight with her at the dog park. Now she is picking fights with dogs. I don't understand where it is coming from? Her and my roommates dog rough house but that's it. I don't understand why she is acting like this and why she barks and growls at everyone. I've socialized her A LOT since I got her at 9 weeks old. I honestly don't know what to do with her anymore, shes is embarrassing to take out on walks and to the dog park because of the way she acts.She acts like she is a nervous mess 24/7. She has never showed aggression towards a human, but i'm afraid she will.
 

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She's not protective, she's just scared. How did you socialize her? It's more than just exposure - experiences have to be totally positive (and being attacked would set her back on the dog front).

Also, sometimes it's just genetic and you have more of a mountain to climb to get her to feel comfortable.

Have you considered consulting a trainer/behaviorist? Make sure s/he is totally positive - no punishment or aversive methods as those will make her worse.

In the meantime, look at counter conditioning, Look At That (LAT), and Behavioral Adjustment Training (BAT). That would give you a good place to start and info to discuss with a trainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She's not protective, she's just scared. How did you socialize her? It's more than just exposure - experiences have to be totally positive (and being attacked would set her back on the dog front).

Also, sometimes it's just genetic and you have more of a mountain to climb to get her to feel comfortable.

Have you considered consulting a trainer/behaviorist? Make sure s/he is totally positive - no punishment or aversive methods as those will make her worse.

In the meantime, look at counter conditioning, Look At That (LAT), and Behavioral Adjustment Training (BAT). That would give you a good place to start and info to discuss with a trainer.
I had got her from a foster agency, so we always had her out doing things. Lots of car rides, walks, going to dog parks, taking her to friends houses, playing with other dogs, toddlers, kids, and adults and its almost like it never happened.
 

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She's not being protective she's scared. The fight with the dog was probably traumatizing. If someone ran up and began beating you violently out of nowhere you might be scared to revisit that place or distrustful of that person. Dogs can't distinguish like we can so it's likely she now thinks all dogs will fight her or are scary.

Stop taking her to the dog park. She's scared. Stop throwing her in situations with lots of people. She is scared.

Use controlled situations with lots of PR. Have a room with one friend and have that friend give her pieces of chicken or hot dog. If she won't let them near have your friend toss them first and eventually hand feed her. Try to use different people. Keep the training short and positive. Take her to a park and ask people to feed her chicken pieces as they pass, or have friends and family practice with you. Leave if she seems overly nervous and isn't progressing and try again on a smaller scale the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's the thing, all of this started months ago way before she even got into a fight. She's always growling and barking at people. She's been doing it since she was about 4 or 5 months old. And it just keeps getting worse and then the fight at the dog park two weeks ago just added to it. Im not sure if she was abused before I fostered and then adopted her? But I feel like something happened before I got her to trigger all this.












She's not being protective she's scared. The fight with the dog was probably traumatizing. If someone ran up and began beating you violently out of nowhere you might be scared to revisit that place or distrustful of that person. Dogs can't distinguish like we can so it's likely she now thinks all dogs will fight her or are scary.

Stop taking her to the dog park. She's scared. Stop throwing her in situations with lots of people. She is scared.

Use controlled situations with lots of PR. Have a room with one friend and have that friend give her pieces of chicken or hot dog. If she won't let them near have your friend toss them first and eventually hand feed her. Try to use different people. Keep the training short and positive. Take her to a park and ask people to feed her chicken pieces as they pass, or have friends and family practice with you. Leave if she seems overly nervous and isn't progressing and try again on a smaller scale the next day.
 

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Like PoppyKenna said, "socialization" has to consist of reliably positive and controllable experience. It is not the same thing as just being exposed to a lot of different things. Adolescence is almost certainly playing a part, but it sounds as though your dog has been sending signals that she is stressed, afraid, and overwhelmed for a long time.

What you are describing are signs of fear, and of a dog who is being asked to handle more than she currently can. I would not worry too much about identifying the cause, and instead put my efforts into finding ways to help my dog overcome her fears. Luckily for us, there are lots of ways to help dogs to overcome their fears. They do require time, patience, gentleness, and a willingness to learn on the part of the owner, but can make a huge difference.

Right now, it is important to stop putting your dog in overwhelming situations. If you can afford to hire a trainer, you should find a good one as soon as possible. I would look for someone who uses counter-conditioning (and can explain to you what that is) and at least knows about BAT (and can explain that), who will assess your dog without putting her over threshold (and can explain to you what "over threshold" means), and who does not promise easy fixes or miracles. This is the real world, with a real animal who is in real emotional distress, so some work will be involved.

If you cannot afford a trainer, or want to learn from other sources, I have several recommendations. The cheapest is the free website, Care for Reactive Dogs, which lays out a basic behavior modification plan for dogs who are fearful and/or reactive. Debbie Jacob's website, Fearfuldogs.com, may also be of interest.

For books, Nicole Wilde's Help For Your Fearful Dog is really helpful. Dr. Patricia McConnell also has two short booklets that are excellent (and easy to read! and cheap!): Feisty Fido and The Cautious Canine. All of those include good advice for practical, pro-active things you can do now to help ease your dog's fears and build her confidence.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you. I get aggravated because I don't know what's going on and I can't figure out why. I'm not one to yell and scream at my dog. I just want her to understand other people won't hurt her.



Like PoppyKenna said, "socialization" has to consist of reliably positive and controllable experience. It is not the same thing as just being exposed to a lot of different things. Adolescence is almost certainly playing a part, but it sounds as though your dog has been sending signals that she is stressed, afraid, and overwhelmed for a long time.

What you are describing are signs of fear, and of a dog who is being asked to handle more than she currently can. I would not worry too much about identifying the cause, and instead put my efforts into finding ways to help my dog overcome her fears. Luckily for us, there are lots of ways to help dogs to overcome their fears. They do require time, patience, gentleness, and a willingness to learn on the part of the owner, but can make a huge difference.

Right now, it is important to stop putting your dog in overwhelming situations. If you can afford to hire a trainer, you should find a good one as soon as possible. I would look for someone who uses counter-conditioning (and can explain to you what that is) and at least knows about BAT (and can explain that), who will assess your dog without putting her over threshold (and can explain to you what "over threshold" means), and who does not promise easy fixes or miracles. This is the real world, with a real animal who is in real emotional distress, so some work will be involved.

If you cannot afford a trainer, or want to learn from other sources, I have several recommendations. The cheapest is the free website, Care for Reactive Dogs, which lays out a basic behavior modification plan for dogs who are fearful and/or reactive. Debbie Jacob's website, Fearfuldogs.com, may also be of interest.

For books, Nicole Wilde's Help For Your Fearful Dog is really helpful. Dr. Patricia McConnell also has two short booklets that are excellent (and easy to read! and cheap!): Feisty Fido and The Cautious Canine. All of those include good advice for practical, pro-active things you can do now to help ease your dog's fears and build her confidence.

Good luck.
 

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I'd stop going to dog parks for the moment.
give her the feeling that you are the one protecting her, so she doesn't have to do that yourself.
keep her with you as much as possible. keep her at a short leash, but make sure to not yank on it... the leash should be relaxed all the time.
Closeness to you should mean "security" for your dog.
stay calm, don't yell or get nervous, and ask other dog owners of dogs that you don't know to not let the other dogs get too close.
walk her every day, and let her experience things in your everyday life, like take her with you to town, to friends or even to work (if it is possible),reward calm behaviour all the time.

I trained "safe spot" with my nervous dog.
When he feels threatened or insecure, he sits between my legs, which makes him feel safer and we can observe the situation together, which gives him a positive experience of the master being in power.
 
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