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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I know this is probably a strange one.
I have a 6 month old male pomeranian x Chihuahua called Denny. He used to live with me at my dads and step mums house and 4 of their dogs until this weekend when he came to live with me. He was the most relaxed dog from the pack and has never met a person he didn't like. The only time he get slightly nervous and growls is when he encounters other dogs outside but 9 times out of 10 as soon as they realise the other dog wants to play he calms down.

I thought adjusting to living just with me would take some time but he settled in very quickly. He listens to my commands and when i tell him no he always stops what he is doing. He's been very easy to train and is very loving to me, my boyfriend and my best friend whom i live with. The only problem was when i went out for an hour to see my tutor he whined for a while which is to be expected at first i suppose.

Problems started last night when i went to visit my friend for a cup of tea ad took my dog with me for the walk. He loved my friend so a few other friends came to visit, He got on with them all and we were playing happily until my friends male housemate came in. Denny growled at him straight away and no matter what correction i gave he would not stop. This escalated quickly to barking at him. We decided to go to the kitchen to make tea when Denny became transfixed with something in the hallway. He stared for a while before quickly becoming hysterical, he barked and growled and bared his teeth. I could not calm him down and he focused his barking mainly towards the male housemate. My friends told me then that the house is haunted. (The town i live in is one of the most haunted in Britain. My friends told me previously they had supernatural activity in the house including walking around in the hallway at night, turning off lights, banging and moving objects around the house. Most of this occurred in the hallway. The housemate he was barking at is a very spiritual person and claims to have 'guides following him' Everytime someone opened the door to the hallway Den would become hysterical again.

I took him home quickly but the event left me quite shook up. He seemed fine when i took him home however the next day Denny started to growl at my male housemate he had previously been fine with, later on that day he growled and barked at people while walking and later on did the same to one of my friends.

Im not sure how to deal with this behaviour which has left me unsettled. I have tried my hardest to correct him but he continues to growl or bark. I fear whatever it was he felt at the house spooked him. Has anyone experienced anything like this or have any suggestions for stopping this behaviour? I understand this is a strange question and it may not have anything to do with the 'haunting' rather just taking a dislike to someone. My concern is that he has never growled or barked at a human before this event and his resulting behaviour is quite nervous. He tries to sit on my lap when he is growling and I'm not sure if he is trying to protect me or because of his fear.


any thoughts would be appreciated, Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply :) Personally i don't believe in correction as such and prefer positive reinforcement. Denny responds brilliantly to praise and treats and i have used this to teach him. When he was growling or barking he ignored the treats i had as encouragement to stop barking. My housemate believes in correcting and told me i wasn't being firm enough with him. I feel reassured now that correcting is the wrong response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for the advice, Im quite relieved. Ill continue to train Den with positive reinforcement and maybe start socialisation classes. Denny is my first dog and given his bad start in life I'm determined to do things right and give him a good balanced life. Thanks so much for the help :) I'll be sticking around!
 
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