Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 9 month old puppy, and I never grew up with a dog, nor was I ever around them much. I'm enjoying the heck out of him, but I do sometimes feel clueless about basic dog stuff.... and so here is my question:

Our neighbors have a very friendly black lab that Baxter seems to like... runs over to him (happily--not barking)... he seems excited to see him when he's on the other side of the fence. They do this thing where they stop and stare at eachother, then run one way together....stop abruptly, look at eachother and then go the other way. I've always thought they were playing... they are right? lol I recently heard the term "fence guarding" as a negative result of leaving your dog outside alone.... so I'm wondering, is this what he's doing? Should I discourage it, or are they just playing?

Also, sometimes, Baxter barks at the lab... Is barking always bad? Like, could he just be playing, or should I be saying "Baxter, no bark---be nice" ??? Do dogs bark at eachother in a playful way, or is it pretty much always a negative communicative thing?

Thanks for 1.) any advice you may give, and 2.) for not laughing at my silly questions :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I don't always think that barking is negative, but I am not sure. I wouldn't allow the barking myself, but that is just me.

Sometimes it is hard to tell isn't it? I took Billy (3 month old pug) to the dog park the other day where he met a 9 week old Husky puppy called Lacy. Lacy saw him and immediately went after him in a semi-playful, but mostly dominant way. Billy is very laid back and respectful so he didn't know what to think about this puppy coming on so strong. She was making this weird growling/barking/howling noise that I wasn't sure what it meant and neither did her owners.

Before long, Billy found himself and they were wrestling, and although it didn't seem overly aggressive, it wasn't in that playful-we-are-new-friends kind of way either.

I was worried about Billy's eyes because as a Pug, he doesn't have much of a snout to protect them and they are quite exposed. Lacy was going after his face, neck, body and whatever.

I felt like they would sort themselves out and if they hurt each other, they would squeak and let it be known. They saw each other a few days later and it was about the same. When other dogs came around they would stop and do the smelling thing and didn't show any aggression to one another.

Later that night I was cleaning Billy's wrinkles and noticed that he had a bit of a scratch on his whisker area. Just a small spot of blood, but I felt bad for the little guy. Lacy the big bully!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
I don't see any reason for dogs to be discouraged from barking. Dogs bark. It's what they do. It's part of their body language and they should never be expected not to. I only cue "quiet" when the barking starts to be excessive -- ie, it starts to get on human nerves. Other than that, my dogs can give a couple of barks any time they want, and they do. They bark when their food bowls come out, when we're about to start training, when I get their leashes, when they're playing with one another... it's a form of expressing happiness and excitement and as long as it's just a "rowr-rowr" and not a continuous string, I let it go. So no, barking is generally not a negative communicator.

Have you ever considered letting Baxter meet your neighbour's dog? It's difficult for dogs to meet properly through a fence -- dogs don't like face-to-face contact, they usually like to sniff butts and whatnot. Watch the dogs' body language while they interact through the fence; look out for the position of their tails (wagging or stiff?), the expression in their eyes (intense or playful) and the corners of their mouths. If it doesn't seem like they are guarding their respective spaces, I suggest you take him over to meet one day. It's difficult to recognise play until you actually see them interacting directly with each other.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top