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Hello

I have 2 dogs, one loves other dogs one loves other people, the first doesn't like other people and the second HATES other dogs (or at least it seems that way)

This message is about the second, Cookie. She barks at every animal we see, ferociously. Even in the house, if something walks by she goes knutts barking. It's grown to where she now will bark at some people when we are walking. It is embarrassing to say the least. My other dog does just fine but when Cookie starts barking she gets upset and will start fighting with Cookie, it's quite a scene. We live in an area that has a lot of other dogs, cats, squirrels, people.. all the things she likes to bark at. They don't even have to be near us, if she can see it, she is barking.

We've tried everything I can think of:
Turning around and walking away, she continues barking until she can no longer see what she is barking at.
Getting her attention on me, she looks at me for a moment then immediately goes back to barking at whatever it is.
Squirting her with water, no effect
(I hate to admit) spanking, still no effect she continues barking.(the spanks are only light taps on her bottom)
Standing still waiting for what ever she is barking at to pass by and be out of sight, she will continue to bark
Running past the object, kinda works but I can only run so far
My daughter will pick her up and carry her, she blows in her face when she barks.

I don't think this is friendly barking, when she is barking she is pulling on the leash and growling. Sometimes my two dogs get into fights during one of these episodes. My other dog is generally great on walks and is enjoyable to bring out, but when Cookie gets into one of her fits Georgia Peaches (my other dog) attacks her and they start fighting.

They are both small dogs, please help I'm at my whit's end
 

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Has Cookie been properly socialized? What has she done when actually meet a dog up close? You can try desensitizing her and building up her tolerance to other dogs, and seeing other dogs. Rewarding her for ever calm social interaction would make it a positive experience. Does she react to pictures of dogs or videos of dogs on the TV or computer screen? If not, you could try starting her out on just images and videos. Point to the screen, say "dog", and give her a treat if she doesn't react. I would suggest muting the sound, but as she gets used to looking at the images of the dog calmly you can gradually turn up the volume. Try it out with all kinds of pictures, videos, different barking, play videos, big and small dogs. If a lot of dogs pass by your house, do it from the window, same idea, when she is calm she gets lots of treats and rewards. The more she successes the more you can push her, behind the gate, standing in front of your house, a block, around the block. If she is reacting, it's too much for her to handle, so take a step back to when she was succeeding. You need a really high value reward, something really smelly and tasty. Try to set up some play dates with dogs her size to socialize her more (that's if she doesn't try to fight them). As for getting her attention and walking away from what she's barking at, I would also suggest increasing the speed depending how fixated she is. My small dog doesn't bark at other dogs but she gets fixated, and when she gets fixated to a certain point she would start pulling and lunging try to get to the other dog. Sometimes I break into a sudden sprint if I see she is getting too tense. I always get her attention first, say "Let's go" or "Come on Wicket", and gently pull her to give her some momentum before running. Try to catch Cookie off guard before she starts barking, if you see her start to tense, stare, put one foot up, slow down walking, just get her attention and pick up the speed to a light jog. When she follows and looks forward, praise praise praise with treats if you have them on hand. I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe Cookie was a "puppy mill" mom before I got her, and when she wasn't having more puppies they gave her away. She and Georgia Peaches get along famously ever since their first meeting. I always give her praise when she stops barking and looks at me and anytime she stops barking and continues walking. I am a firm believer in praising good behavior. I would much rather remove us from the situation so she can earn her praise than to have to discipline her constantly on walks. I have my windows completely covered, yet she always knows when something is outside, be it a person, cat, or another dog. She doesn't pay any attention to the tv, and is such a love bug to us, if I were to try to show her a picture she would just lay on it and demand love from us. She loves love hehe.

Unfortunately we are staying in a motel while we wait for our new place to be ready, and I am as broke as broke gets. I need to focus on feeding us more than treats right now. We reward with extra love and belly rubs (sometimes popcorn) but I don't like to give people food. We've finally got her to stop begging when we eat (actually it's more of a "I'm not begging" but at least they're doing better on that).

Thank you for your suggestions, I will try anything I can to get her to calm down. I know she will enjoy her walks more if she could stop too
 

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Ah I see I see, I hope things go well and your place is ready soon :) If you want to try to make affection more high value try not to give it so freely. This way she gets all the love when she is calm when she sees other dogs, people, and animals. Not to say don't love your dog when you want, but if you restrict the times you give it Cookie will have to work to try to get the attention. When you see a dog, have you try showering her with so much affection she doesn't have time to bark? If your dog loves to sniff, you could tell her to sniff the grass or a tree to distract her from the other dogs. This sometimes work on my pup, lol.
 

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I also have a 14 year old (human) who says she loves animals, but still treats them like toys. I don't give my dogs any attention when I first get home until they are calm, this makes my daughter angry, she says I'm being mean. I give my love to my dogs at my will, and they relish in it. they definitely treat us differently, my daughter reigns her love on both dogs all the time, and wonders why the dogs always come to sit with me, even if I am not petting them or loving on them at the moment.

I'm generally very good with animals, even been accused of being able to read their minds lol. I think I'm just very good at reading body language. this period in our lives is a strain on all of us, Georgia Peaches (the younger of the two dogs) seems to be the one it is effecting least. Cookie has always been this way, it's not something new, but could be being enhanced due to recent events.
 

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Altho 14 yo know all answers, you exactly right to withhold attention until they follow your rules.

Rather than treats, you can try to use kibble (a portion of the normal meal) for training. Of course this is a bit more difficult if you don't use dry food.

The very general idea is that once the dog reacts, they go into an "amydala hijack," emotions take over, and it is difficult to bring them back down. That's the reasoning behind socialization to try to prevent it, and staying below reaction threshold, after the dog develops emotion reactions to other dogs etc. In general, you determine how close the dog needs to be to set her, then you stay farther away... even if it is a mile... and praise/reward for calmness. Then, you very slowly, incrementally make a closer approach... getting back further if you make a mistake and get too close. It's a fine balance of the children's game Too Hot/Too Cold....
 

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Unfortunately with all the animals in this area keeping the distance threshold is impossible. On any given walk we will see up to, or more than, a dozen other dogs, not to mention cats, squirrels, large birds and people. I am definitely going to try the sprinting, as much as I can. I will also be trying to walk her with out Georgia Peaches, although Georgia Peaches get so upset and doesn't understand why she doesn't get to go. she will howl and cry the whole time I am gone. I'll have my daughter walk Cookie alone too, Georgia Peaches doesn't mind if they go with out her as long as I don't go with out her LOL.

Just out of curiosity, is popcorn bad for dogs? could it be used safely as a treat until we get back on our own two feet?
 

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Plain popcorn should be fine - no salt or butter (maybe the diet kind wouldn't be too bad, if it's the microwave kind - the 94% fat free). Also, make sure you only give her pieces that are fully popped, so she won't choke on kernels.
 

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we've been trying really hard to work on this, it's not getting any better. Today while walking her, she saw a cat and started freaking out. It scared the cat so bad it ran into the road and got hit by a car. I'm devastated. I saw the owner find her cat. I know Cookie doesn't know what she has done, and we are not punishing her. It is just more proof that we need to rectify this situation ASAP. Help
 
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