Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We've had a dog before that we had to give up due to aggression after 2 weeks. He was very reactive to visitors and on the leash, so much so that he would lunge and try to attack people. We decided we couldn't handle how bad it was and took him back.
We've had our new dog since last Thursday. We already figured out he doesn't like visitors. Now it seems like he's not too thrilled with people outside too because he barked at our neighbor today and seemed like he was about to bark at a lady down the street. It doesn't seem as bad as our last dog, but I'm worried it's going to get worse. He's not a puppy either.

I don't know if there is something about our apartment that makes dogs get weird about people or what. Has anyone ever had a new dog where the fear of strangers went away naturally after a few days or weeks? We are worried about something getting hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
Have you ever heard the expression "emotion travels down the leash"? If you're tensing up and waiting for the dog to react badly, your dog can tell. The dog will never assume the problem is him. He'll think the problem is something else and will start reacting to whatever he sees- people, other dogs, bikes, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
If you asked me, its when you consult a trainer (a CPDT) who can come and assess the dog, and approximate for you how "fixable" the dog is, and how long the issue will take to resolve.

Some issues look bad, but resolve very quickly. Others are small, but tenacious. Some are almost always a matter of temperament (like dog-dog resource guarding or fear of small children) and are not compatible with every lifestyle.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
66 Posts
Maybe you are not a dog person. Most dogs are easily trained to do what is expected if they are given calm, consistent, guidance. I recommend a cat.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
66 Posts
We are talking about DOGS! Not brain surgery. If you can pour pee out of a boot with the instructions on the sole, then you can have a dog do what you want. Just takes a bit of attention (they won't become perfect on their own).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
I agree with Amaryllis and definitely go to the links that Grabby posted. Ignore anyone who says all dogs are easy. A full grown man controlling a dachshund is one thing where a small woman trying to control a 100+ lb dog is another. It's all perspective. Adult dogs adopted from the shelter come with their own quirks and it's great that you're trying.

My dog barks at people and it embarrassed me so much because people were terrified of him. I'd also get a lot of rude remarks, so I started to fear taking him in public. Then I saw somewhere that my state of mind really affects the state of the dog. This doesn't cure it 100%, but it does improve his attitude greatly. The rest is counter conditioning and exposure.

Another thing to think about is the personality of the dog. Not all dogs are the happy-go-lucky labs that love everyone. My dog has bonded very strongly with my SO, one of my friends that was there when we found him as a puppy, and I. He likes my family and roommates, but as for strangers he's just not all that interested in them unless they have a tennis ball. He's also very vocal, so I've had to learn what type of barking do I need to correct. Setting realistic expectations for how you'd eventually like your dog to act will help a bunch.

Sorry this is long, but I definitely feel your struggle. Be patient and make some short term goals along with the large ones so that you don't get discouraged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Have you ever heard the expression "emotion travels down the leash"? If you're tensing up and waiting for the dog to react badly, your dog can tell. The dog will never assume the problem is him. He'll think the problem is something else and will start reacting to whatever he sees- people, other dogs, bikes, etc.
Exactly!!!! More people need to be aware of this!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
66 Posts
Not helpful, just patronising!!!
Not just patronizing. Some people may not know how much time a dog can take. I would never get a dog if my household could not spend at least 20 hours a day with it. It can easily take that much time to groom the perfect housemate.

Cats don't require that level of commitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
Not just patronizing. Some people may not know how much time a dog can take. I would never get a dog if my household could not spend at least 20 hours a day with it. It can easily take that much time to groom the perfect housemate.

Cats don't require that level of commitment.
People who think that cats are easy pets that can sit around your house are the reason there are so many depressed cats sitting around in homes. Cats are hard work, just as dogs are. I've raised, been around, and owned cats for 13 years of my life. They aren't simple toss away pets. They require a lot of commitment. Mind sets like that are the reason there are so many stray cats and so many euthanized every year.

There's a difference between spending time with a dog and being around a dog. You aren't spending 20 hours a day with your dog unless you sleep eat and work in 4 hours every day. I spend about 4-6 hours personally with my dog one on one time a day which accounts for play time, walks, and training. Days we go hiking or swimming are more obviously. He goes places with me which accounts for another average of 1-2 hours a day. The rest is spent with him playing quietly with his toys, sleeping, and being in the house while I'm at work etc. if someone is constantly with your dog every day for 20 hours I would imagine he would develop separation anxiety or high levels of stress. Dogs
Need alone time too.

With that being said it's irrelevant to the issue at hand. She needs help understanding her dogs behavior and how to fix it.

To the OP : I've had Cosmo since he was a puppy. He is naturally cautious of strangers and some idiots have caused his cautiousness to turn into fear and uncertainty. That's certainly not uncommon for a shelter dog. Cosmo barks at people approaching me, especially when we've been alone for a while like today at the fish ladder. We were sitting there alone and someone came down to see the fish. He growled and barked at them and he has scared people from this behavior.

We've been working on putting him in situations like this and handing out treats to strangers, encouraging them to give the dog treats. He's begin seeing strangers as good things but we still have some work to do clearly. Don't give up!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,820 Posts
We are talking about DOGS! Not brain surgery. If you can pour pee out of a boot with the instructions on the sole, then you can have a dog do what you want. Just takes a bit of attention (they won't become perfect on their own).
I sincerely wish it was always as easy as that. If the OPs dog is truly fearful of strangers then it most likely won't be.

My boy is fearful of strangers, but is worse then the OP is describing her dog. My boy barks and lunges at people to try and drive them away before they can do something bad to him. I've been working with him for a year now, and although he's somewhat better we still have a ways to go. Today was a good day he only barked a little at some people passing before I got his attention on him so I could give him treats for watching the people quietly, and he let a bike pass close by without barking or lunging at all. Yesterday was a different story, yesterday he decided to act like a raging lunatic dog.

Teaching him basic commands, and tricks is not a problem, and he's terrific in the house, but convincing him that strange people are not Satan's Spawn, Ax Murderers, and brain eating Zombies, all rolled up into one, is an uphill battle.
@lifewithnewdog I'd give your new dog a chance to settle in and adjust to being with y'all before you really try and determine what his true personality is. His fear may be easily overcome, or may vanish completely as he settles in. You may find that he gets worse though, and if that's the case you need to ask yourself how much work are you able to put into helping him, and is your home the best one for him. I'm able to handle how my boy acts, he's only 11 lbs so easily controllable, and I have the time and energy to put into trying to overcome his fears, I don't have a lot of people coming over and I live in a quiet neighborhood so avoiding people when necessary is usually not a problem. Not all people can say that though, and if I couldn't my home might not be the best for my boy.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
66 Posts
People who think that cats are easy pets that can sit around your house are the reason there are so many depressed cats sitting around in homes. Cats are hard work, just as dogs are. I've raised, been around, and owned cats for 13 years of my life. They aren't simple toss away pets. They require a lot of commitment. Mind sets like that are the reason there are so many stray cats and so many euthanized every year.

There's a difference between spending time with a dog and being around a dog. You aren't spending 20 hours a day with your dog unless you sleep eat and work in 4 hours every day. I spend about 4-6 hours personally with my dog one on one time a day which accounts for play time, walks, and training. Days we go hiking or swimming are more obviously. He goes places with me which accounts for another average of 1-2 hours a day. The rest is spent with him playing quietly with his toys, sleeping, and being in the house while I'm at work etc. if someone is constantly with your dog every day for 20 hours I would imagine he would develop separation anxiety or high levels of stress. Dogs
Need alone time too.

I think cats are easier. I've been home from work for two hours. Haven't seen the cat, but have probably spent an hour on the dogs.

Regarding the 20 hour thing. I should have better explained. I have 3 twenty-somethings that won't leave the nest. Always someone at home. I'm the dogs leader (the king of the dip****s (see "16 Candles")) When I'm gone they sleep on the couch waiting for me to come home, even though someone else is up to let them out and play with them occasionally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Yea I'm just going to go ahead and say there's no way most people can consistently spend 4-6 hours of one on one actively interactive time with their dog per day. Like, there are days I do that, but not every day. It wouldn't even be mathematically possible for me most days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I am a dog person. I grew up with dogs. I had a schnoodle that was the light of my life. Unfortunately, my husband and I have been having bad luck with shelter dogs. The dog we had during the summer was a chihuahua/min pin and he was too high strung and we realized that he needed more help than we could give him and there was probably a good chance he wouldn't change. We saw him running around having fun in a yard and we realized that's what he needed to be a good dog. I couldn't control his behavior at all, he wouldn't even acknowledge us out on walks.

We are going to try a behaviorist with our new dog Cooper. I feel like he pays attention to us more and sometimes he does listen better, so I think the likelihood of him taking something away from it is a little higher. He manged to learn a few basic commands in a short time, which was a good sign. However, I'm thinking we probably need professional help with the aggression issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
Yea I'm just going to go ahead and say there's no way most people can consistently spend 4-6 hours of one on one actively interactive time with their dog per day. Like, there are days I do that, but not every day. It wouldn't even be mathematically possible for me most days.
Hour and a half morning walk.
15 minute training and proofing
45 minute lunch play after he's been in a crate for 2/3 hours
Hour and a half evening walk
15 minute training
And then whatever is sprinkled over the day like car rides, random playing, visiting friends, etc.

Didn't say that's standard. I spend a crapload of time with my dog. I was saying that's my routine and no one is spending 20 hours with a dog lol
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
I probably spend close to 4 hours a day doing walks, playing and training with my dogs. Now granted that is split between two, unless we're all playing together, with the older one getting more training than the younger. It helps to not have a job. :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: cos

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,901 Posts
I am a dog person. I grew up with dogs. I had a schnoodle that was the light of my life. Unfortunately, my husband and I have been having bad luck with shelter dogs. The dog we had during the summer was a chihuahua/min pin and he was too high strung and we realized that he needed more help than we could give him and there was probably a good chance he wouldn't change. We saw him running around having fun in a yard and we realized that's what he needed to be a good dog. I couldn't control his behavior at all, he wouldn't even acknowledge us out on walks.

We are going to try a behaviorist with our new dog Cooper. I feel like he pays attention to us more and sometimes he does listen better, so I think the likelihood of him taking something away from it is a little higher. He manged to learn a few basic commands in a short time, which was a good sign. However, I'm thinking we probably need professional help with the aggression issues.
That's good news.

I do think once his health issues are sorted he'll be easier to manage/train. Being uncomfortable or in pain can really have a massive effect on behavior.

No doubt the behaviorist will have some greats suggestions too. My trainer has been a godsend. Just remember to keep it positive.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top