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Back story - my puppy is now 11 month old. Since we've had her, we've had multiple people over, a couple parties, trying to socialize her... and she's just got worse and worse... she just won't stop barking when people show up (the exception being our close friends and their kids that she met countless times as a puppy - she loves them). I mean, she'll calm down after a bit when people ignore her, but some kids don't understand the concept and I really don't want to make things worse...

When my inlaws came for a few hours last week I had to put her in her crate because she was terrifying my sister in law. She was ok (still barked for a while every time she heard them), but the crate is in the gaming room, and that's where kids usually hang out too.

We're having 20ish people over on New Year's Eve and I'm trying to find a solution that will not make things worse. She's met (almost) all those people but two of the kids are the ones she really doesn't like and won't leave her alone, so I'm trying to avoid a disaster (plus as I said, the crate is in the gaming room). I'm seriously considering moving her crate to another room for the night (my room probably), but I feel kinda bad at the idea of leaving her in there for 7 hours alone too (she's rarely crated that long).

What would you do? It's really depressing to me honestly because I tried SO HARD to socialize her, but she's very anxious about meeting new people (barks at people on walks etc), and sometimes I wonder if my socialization attempts only made things worse... She's completely fine with our best friends and their kids, but the people she hasn't seen that much... not so much. And one of those kids wouldn't leave her alone at the party we had in September and I don't want a repeat of that (she ended up snapping at her, and the parents did nothing, so yeah). Last time we had 10 people over, she barked a lot, but they were adults and ignored her so she stopped after a while... but with kids, it's another issue.

We have an open floor plan and not any place she can 'hide' either.

So... what would you do?
 

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I'd crate the dog in your room with the door closed and make sure the kids know they absolutely are not allowed to open that door. You could take the dog outside for a quick pee break and to stretch her legs halfway through the evening if you like. If you give the dog something nice like a frozen Kong (you can use canned dog food, or mushed-up banana and kibble, or whatever else she likes that can fit in a Kong and freeze), she may be distracted enough that she won't even realize she's been in there seven hours. But it's better to have your dog be bored and a little unhappy in a crate than to have her be anxious about the crowd and harassed by children to the point where she feels biting is necessary.
 

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Crate the dog and give him a raw meaty bone to gnaw on. There is absolutely NO REASON for the dog to interact with guests and no reason they should interact with the dog. If you have a basement, I would crate her there.

When I have guests over I crate the dogs. Never have to worry about anyone getting bitten or any problems.

Enjoy your guests. Enjoy your party. It is OK to have time with people and not have the dog involved.
 

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I agree, it sounds safest to move the crate into a quieter room and keep her in there. Loose, if she can handle that, or crated if she can't be trusted loose. I agree with finding some kind of long-lasting chew to keep her busy. A few frozen kongs, an appropriate raw bone (if you're OK with the risk of a broken tooth), or a goat hoof/antler (again, if you're OK with the risk of a broken tooth).

Since it sounds like it'll be a pretty long gathering I'd plan to take her out at least once, half-way through. Try to plan a route that won't have her cross paths with anyone. Maybe she could have a run around the yard with you if you have one. Something low-key that doesn't force her to interact with others.
 

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It is OK to have time with people and not have the dog involved.
I think that's good advice, and I would also vote for moving the crate to your room and closing the door. My dog has similar issues, and she now spends parties in my bedroom (or at my mom's house) with a few pee breaks. I've accepted that we just don't enjoy the same things!

Really though, at a NYE party, she shouldn't need much. What time does she usually go to bed? Take her out before that as usual and then enjoy your party.
 

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Socialization doesn't 'fix' dogs or 'make them social'. In fact, the more dogs are forced to socialize, so to speak, the worse they can become. For dogs who tend to be social, like a well bred Golden, throwing them into parties and gatherings as young pups probably don't hurt them. For dogs that lean even a little towards the fearful side of the spectrum, subjecting them to parties of people coming into the house and interacting with them can make them MORE fearful.

Regardless of what happened in the past, you'd be best off accepting your dog for who she is at the moment. Maybe it's a fear period. Maybe she will forever be wary of people coming into your home. But surely for the party that's happening in 3 days, she probably won't magically be better. So the best thing you can do for her is make her comfortable. Put her in a crate or a different room with some super special, high value treats. Instruct people to not go into that space.

ETA: I think the issue has nothing to do with how many of the people she's already met. Imagine you were afraid of spiders. Perhaps on separate occasions, one or two spiders were tolerable (but did you LIKE them?) because you knew where they were, how they moved, and they were predicable. Think, there will be not one, or two, or three spiders, but TWENTY spiders moving in the room. Will 'I've met those spiders' make you feel any better?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess my main issue is that she doesn't like being away from me either, so it's kinda a tough deal. But I'll buy a Kong, stuff it with peanut butter, and freeze it, and move her gigantic crate to my bedroom (unfortunately it won't necessarily be 'quiet' for her either as our house isn't that sound proof, so I'm guessing she'll probably end up barking a lot up there too).

But she really has no issue when all the people she's met since she was 10 weeks are here... even if that makes 12 of us. It's when the people she doesn't know well (or at all) that come over that she's very uncomfortable - doesn't really matter if they are alone or not either... she'll just go crazy barking at them.

People are coming over at 5, she's usually pretty active until 7pm or so. So yes it's probably not a huge deal, I just wish it wasn't so cold and I could take her for a walk that day!

I realize I'm probably over thinking it, I just feel that I always make the worst decisions and always end up making things worse...
 

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Bundle up, take her for a really long walk and play with her and/or train as much as you can during the day. The more you tire her out, the better off she'll be when you separate her from everyone later.
 

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Bundle up, take her for a really long walk and play with her and/or train as much as you can during the day. The more you tire her out, the better off she'll be when you separate her from everyone later.
It's going to be 23 degrees with 13 degree wind chills on Sunday. I mean, I did walk her yesterday for a bit but nose and fingertips were seriously starting to hurt after 20 minutes and it was 25 degrees and there was not much wind... I don't really want my dog to end up having frostbite either (she has a thick coat but obviously not on her nose).
 

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Agree walk her, train and play in the house but be sure to leave her alone for a while before guests arrive so she isn't keyed up by all the fun and attention she's had that day. Been there, done that and hoping never to make that particular mistake again.

About the raw meaty bone. I would not leave one with her unless you have offered that exact type before and you know how she will deal with it. Giving it to her that day as you are doing last minute things around the house might work out. The first time Bucky got a really big, really delicious and really hard to figure out raw meaty bone he chewed for 3 hours but best of all he was so chill for a couple days following I was thinking he was sick! I was around and there was nothing exciting going on. So pretreating with a RMB might help. The one B had was something like and elk knee joint but a huge piece of beef neck, hip joint from leg of lamb or joint from a pork shoulder are great as well.

I do think she is probably fine with the people she is most familiar with but if all of them arrived for a party on the same day it could still be far more than she could take.
 
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