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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. quick question bout my 1 yr old Harlequin Great Dane. i love her to death and i just need to know how i can get her to stop barking whenever people knock on the door or when someone just comes in. when the neighbors come it just sounds horrible with her barking constantly. she sounds like she will bite their head off but shes all bark and no bite. and since shes so big people are afraid of her when she barks. but why does she bark like that for?

one thing for sure is she hates men. some are ok like my family members but she hates men otherwise. my friends or neighbors come over and she barks mainly at the men especially if they talk to her. she'll stand by me and silently growl at them. if either male/female makes a sudden move too she gets a little defensive thinking their going to attack her or somethin and goes up and barks at them. if everybody is sitting down then it is ok but once they stand up then shes on the look out. when females(people) are sitting around she'll let them pet her but she will definitely not let males pet her even if they r sitting down.

and my sisters dalmatian doesn't no what to do so he just joins her in the barking but he doesn't no what hes even barking at. im just worried that she would try to nip or bite at someone and i absolutely don't want that to happen. and i definitely dont want a mean dane. if anybody could tell me why she behaves this way or how i could stop the barkin at the door and at people when they come in the house would be great. thanks
 

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My Ludo isn't a Dane, but we had a similar issue. He didn't like men (this seems common in dogs....) and he barked non stop when someone knocked. I did two things:

1. Anytime we were around a man and that man was willing, he would give Ludo a command and then some treats. It took a long long LONG time (everything with Ludo does!) but he learned to get over his dislike (and disrespect) of men.

2. For the barking, I am still working on it. Socializing helps but it isn't all there is. You can try a bark collar. I recommend citrenella because I don't like shock collars but it is up to you and what works best for your dog. You can also try filling a tin can with pennies, taping it shut and when your Dane starts barking, chuck it. Not at the dog, but near the dog. Many dogs, once they start barking, lose focus on everything else - including you. You need to break that focus and this is a great way of doing it. But make sure she doesn't realize you threw it. It might take awhile but she will learn to associate her barking at the door with being suddenly shocked by a loud, flying noise. It helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks you so much those sound like some good ideas. i will definitely try the pennies in a jar thing!
 

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It might help to understand that you're dealing with two different kinds of barking.

Barking at the door is called Alert barking and she's doing a wonderful job as a good pack member to let you know of a possible intruder. The problem is she doesn't know that her job is done after the first couple of barks so, she continues to bark. Far more important than the can full of pennies or a spray collar (which I do not recommend) is that you physically show her that you will handle the situation...her job is done.

You do that by stepping between her and the door. You thank her for the Alert and ask for Quiet. Make her take a small step backward...that's important. That tells you she got the message....you're taking over and she can relax. Some folks have the dog go to a rug or mat...that action (laying down on a mat) shows the dog how to handle the door without barking. This takes some practice but, the volume of barking should decease almost right away.

The other barking at men is called Scary barking. She's afraid, it's not hate. Socializing her with men needs to be done slowly and at her level of comfort. One method that can be used is to have a guy sit quietly at some distance. No eye contact and no talking...just toss treats in her direction. Let her take the treats at her leisure...no prompting..no commands.

If she moves closer to the guy (and she will), she just made a major breakthrough.
He continues to toss treats but, closer now, eventually working up to taking a treat from his hand...still no eye contact, talking, petting or reaching for her....that comes much later when she happilly crosses the room on her own without the lure of treats.
I think you get the idea of how to proceed from there.
 

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It might take awhile but she will learn to associate her barking at the door with being suddenly shocked by a loud, flying noise. It helps.
But then you stop the barking and might create fear..

I definitely would NOT use pennies in a can for barking at men. You run the very high risk of heightening the fear issues. At best, pennies in a can may stop the barking and growling, but won't change her view of men.. she'll be afraid of them, and not show it, which is MORE dangerous. Because if she's been taught not to bark or growl, even when she's feeling afraid, she will simply skip over those two important behaviors and go right to a bite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yes that is very true about her getting more scared. i havent tried the pennies in a jar yet so i wont think of doing that anymore. i dont want her to fear men or anything.
thank you i think the men sitting far away throwing treats and standing in front of her at the door when she should stop barking are really good ideas thank you
 
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