Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
About 8 months ago, we adopted a 2 y/o German shepard/Retriever mix from our local shelter. He is a great dog, does awesome with our children, and very responsive most of the time to my wife and I. But, there is one issue that we have been dealing with ever since we got him, and we just can't seem to correct it.

He barks and goes crazy whenever someone is remotely close to our property line, or if anyone comes to the house, etc.. I understand that barking is what dogs do, but this is little excessive. I'd like to let him in my yard without tying him up, but if someone is walking down the street, he'll take off bark like crazy. He's doesn't attack any people or dogs, he usually just wants to play and sniff whoever these people/dogs are. He is an extremely friendly dog, but that initial encounter with him scares mostly everyone. We've tried a few techniques, but he just doesn't respond once he has someone or something in his sights.

Yesterday, we had a solicitor come to our door and before we shut the door on her face she asked if we got the dog from the shelter and then told us his name, etc.. well, it turned out that this lady's mother is our dogs former owner and she gave him up because she said he was starting to get aggressive towards her other dogs at mealtime. She also said that her mother trained him to bark and go crazy when people are on the property. We've never seen any aggressive behaviors from him and we've had many other dogs come and go at our house. But the barking behvavior that his former owner trained him to do, makes sense with his current behavior. So, my question to everyone, how can we correct this? Would it be possible to train him to stop doing something that he was trained to do by his previous owner? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I like some alarm barking, too, but jeez.

You're fighting two things here. 1. German Shepherds have a natural tendency towards alarm barking. 2. Previous training. So, this may take time, but it absolutely is possible to retrain a dog. Especially that mix, I had one myself and they are very intelligent.

I would train a "quiet" command. That's what I did with mine. I would wait until he stopped barking on his own, then say "quiet" and give a treat. (You have to do this immediately upon cessation of barking, so keep treats handy and pay attention.) Eventually, he'll figure out that "quiet" means "stop barking." Then, you want to start giving the command. Reward for any degree of success. One second of not barking gets a treat. Once you can reliably get any pause in barking, start lengthening the time between stopping and treating. Eventually, you should be able to reliably get 5 minutes out of it.

Note: If I told Muggsy to stop barking at the mailman and then a kid on a bike rode by, I'd have to give the command again. Dogs don't read minds.

Good luck!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top