Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)
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Thread: Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)

  1. #1
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    Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)

    Before I begin, thanks in advance for giving this thread your time to read and, hopefully, help me with some insight.

    So Otto is our 10-month old mini-Dachshund. He's extremely obedient (knows sit, paw, down, up, and play dead -- all within 6 months of ownership), does well with other dogs, is housebroken, and a dog-owners DREAM. He never eats or chews on furniture/clothing/shoes, NEVER BARKS (yes, it's true folks!), or does anything destructive to the house.

    However, his one downfall is a MAJOR one. I know by breed Dachshunds are bold to the point of brash, but I don't know what to do anymore with Otto. When we first got him, he was from a mill, and we took him in. I began to socialize him to people and dogs immediately after he got all of his shots. I took him to the dog park with my girlfriend and her dogs (2 Welsh Corgi's) almost every weekend, and had visitors by the house consistently to meet him and give him lots of love.

    Everything was great until he was neutered (6 months). After that, he became increasingly protective of me and his territory (the home). I'm the one who does most of the daily chores with him and spends the most time with him (parents are secondary). He also became hesitant towards strangers, which he never showed signs of before. He would begin barking slightly on walks at walkers-by, and when someone would come over to pet him, he would back away as if he was scared, but then lunge forward and start barking incessantly. Just a reminder, we'd had people over many times before his neutering, and everything was completely fine.

    The problems got worse with regards to his territorialism of the house. When anyone would come into the house, he would bark, nip at their pant legs, and even jump and bite! Granted, he's only 9 pounds, but he broke skin on my buddy who dropped in one day. That sounded off a big alarm, and I decided to take the next step.

    I had a professional behaviorist come by the house to see how he acts when people come over, and prescribe me some exercises to work on. When she was over, she worked on basic clicker training, and was more than surprised to see how quickly Otto picked it up....within minutes, Otto had everything down. She said she'd never seen a dog pick it up so quickly. She told me to do some basic obedience clicker training exercises with Otto, such as target training and sitting in his bed. Then, she told me that whenever someone came over the house, to have him sit on the steps inside until the person entered. Once inside, if I saw Otto even LOOK at the visiter, to click and treat. If he walked towards the visitor, click and treat. Sniffed him/her, click and treat. You get the idea. Before we knew it, he wasn't doing ANYTHING to visitors. It was working great, and continues to do well to this day.

    My biggest concern is not being able to have him out with us at people's houses or even on walks if someone tries to pet him. I don't want to leave him at home while we go to family's house for the holidays. I WANT TO WORK AT THIS...BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO! I brought him to my cousin's house for her grad party, and I was on edge all day. I couldn't even enjoy the party because I was constantly worrying about if Otto would lunge or bite someone who just tried to pet him!

    Can someone please provide me with some insight (as detailed as possible, please!). I want to be able to have a dog who enjoys other peoples' company!

    Thank you again for reading and I hope to hear back with some ideas!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)

    You've probably heard this many times before that dogs don't generalize well. In other words what works at home doesn't go over quite so well in new places...too many conflicting things going on.

    But, the same rules apply. You set all the meet and greet perimeters at home....she had to do certain things...sit, get rewarded for nice behavior, etc. That doesn't change when you go out....you still have her sit, behave nicely and she gets rewarded.
    You set the rules....you don't let her make up new ones just because you're outside.

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    Re: Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)

    So I have to bring a clicker and treats whenever I go to someone's house? That doesn't seem very practical...but are you saying that's what will correct his problem of lunging/barking/attempting to bite at strangers? Or do I need to seek even more professional help?

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    Re: Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)

    To generalize a dog's behavior you will need to retrain in several locations before the dog has an "aHA!" moment and gets the idea that the behavior applies in all locations.

    So, yes. For awhile you will need the clicker and the treats with you. After she "gets it" in 20 new locations, she may have it nailed. If not, you have to start on your 2nd twenty locations...

  6. #5
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Over-Agressive/Protective Mini-Dachshund (detailed thread)

    Yes, you train/apply those same rules in all places. If you want your dog to sit polietly for petting in the house you also make him sit for petting in Petco and while out on walks. Once he understands the rules, he will automatically do them, usually without your having to remind him.

    If you get the lunging, barking behavior on walks you might have to practice the sit and calm behavior at a distance from the other person. The same techniques that you used in the house apply here but, again, you might have to work at a distance because of the outside distractions/environment.

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