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Our 10 month old terrier pup is very well behaved when out in public - she ignores people for the most part and is totally quiet.
However, when people come to our farm, she is on high-alert - barking non-stop and getting very worked up. She runs up to them and stops 10-20 feet away and barks. If those people squat down and offer her a treat she will cautiously come over and accept the treat, sniff them, and then be ok with them for the remainder of the time they are here (unless they stare at her or do something weird). Obviously I would like her to be good with everyone, but I know that protection/alerting is an instinct and I don't want to eliminate it entirely (we're in a somewhat rural area).
If we have a bunch of people over, it's too much for her and she would have to spend a long time meeting everyone before she is ok.
I guess I'm wondering how to best manage her when we have people over (ie farm tours, when they're not coming in the house), if I don't have the time to introduce her and deal with the initial barking. I'm worried that if I always just keep her in the house or put her in the crate her behavior will get worse because then she can't see what's going on.
Any ideas?
Thanks!
 

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she is obviously protecting her territory, this is common it terriers. what I suggest it letting her bark but give her a command like STOP and if she doesn't, squirt her with a spray bottle. this way she will alert you until she knows you want her to stop and that you know of the possible threat.
 

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she is obviously protecting her territory, this is common it terriers. what I suggest it letting her bark but give her a command like STOP and if she doesn't, squirt her with a spray bottle. this way she will alert you until she knows you want her to stop and that you know of the possible threat.
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Spray bottles may seem effective for some dogs, but normally aren't for several reasons. Two biggest ones...

First, with corrections like this typically the dog really never learns the appropriate behavior. It only learns to be quiet when the bottle comes out so as to avoid the correction. Thus the reason so many people have to have bottles nearby and go get them when the dog acts up for much of the dog's life.

Second, if the dog does dislike being sprayed, it's likely the dog is making a negative association between the visitors and the spray bottle. Perhaps even on some level a negative association with the handler. Just not likely to actually help this dog feel any better about the strangers (stopping at a distance and the cautious approach suggest discomfort).
 

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@Bantams, your girl stopping and barking at a distance and then approaching hesitantly for a treat, to me points to discomfort/nervousness/fear moreso than protectiveness.

Personally if expecting visitors I would come up with a way to keep her with me or prevent her from being able to practice this barking at arrival in the first place. Perhaps inside, on lead, in a fenced area, etc. Once calm then I would allow greeting if she was comfy.

Something else to consider is that sometimes luring in a hesitant dog backfires down the road. The possibility of food draws them in close, however they aren't actually comfy with the proximity or interaction. So they'll approach strangers who squat or hold out their hand but without the food or when food ends may have an ''uh-oh! You're scary!" moment and react.

You'll likely have better long term success if you work on proximity first then later once comfy, work on the interaction.

But if you feel you must work on interaction, teach a couple cute tricks. Guests can ask for those behaviors and toss treats. No food directly from strangers' hands for now. Tossing the treats away behind your dog will likely be super helpful. Gives a brief relief or break from the social pressure and ups the value of the reward. It'll make greetings predictable, give her the freedom to choose how close to get to the guest, and give a safe hands-free way to begin interactions with strangers. :)
 
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