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Discussion Starter #1
Hamilton is 17 wks old. He is not a big barker. He barks when he's super excited or super upset, will bark once at a toy he's dropped off the couch for us to pick it up again, and will sometimes bark when his toys get stuck under furniture. He barks a few times when someone comes to the door, but once you acknowledge him he stops.

I'm finding when OTHER dogs bark, Hamilton hates it, especially when they're barking at him. There are a few dogs in playgroup who bark in his face and he will just run to me to be picked up. He gravitates towards the quiet dogs, even if they're much bigger than him (his favorite pup in puppy group is a leonberger). Last night we went to a different small dog play group, and he wanted nothing to do with the barker, and chose instead to wrestle with a super high energy quiet dog. He does better when the barker isn't able to get to him, like when we're walking and go by a house with a dog behind a fence who is barking.

If I impose human thoughts and feelings onto my dog, I think "well I would hate it if someone was screaming in my face" - but I'm wondering if I should be concerned about him being intimidated (?) or not liking barking dogs. Should I be trying to find ways to get him used to it? I wonder if he just doesn't "get" it because it isn't something he does a whole lot.
 

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Barking in another dog's face is rude. I wouldn't do anything to fix your dog's behaviour, he's removing himself from the situation, which is good.

I would be worried about the type of playgroup it is when that kind of rude behaviour is accepted though. Also be careful not to build a really high value for playing with other dogs, it could create problems on walks later on when he decides he wants to play with every dog he sees. I'd also be doing a lot of work on ignoring other dogs in a group and focusing on you, and spend at least as much time doing that as letting him play with the other dogs. And he should have to do something to be released to play with other dogs, like sit and look up at you, ignoring the other dogs.
 

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The behavior isn't accepted at play group -- the person who runs it makes the caregiver of the two super barky dogs pick them up when they start yapping, I just didn't know if my dog was responding appropriately to being barked at. The dog last night was just a barker. It just barked at everything and nothing. (it was some "doodle" thing)

We go to play groups to socialize Hamilton with other dogs, as our friends with dogs are afraid they'll hurt him because he's small. At his first group he was terrified of the other dogs, now he is much quicker to interact with other dogs, and does so appropriately. He has tons of energy that he expends much better playing with other dogs than playing in the yard or walking with us. I think the groups have been fantastic to build his socialization skills. He also goes to obedience class, wherein the focus is on my husband and me. In play groups, he generally hangs close to us regardless of who he is playing with, and "checks in" often when he isn't wrestling on our feet. He is remarkably good on walks at ignoring other dogs. He'll turn his head to check someone out, and we redirect and encourage him to keep walking and he won't even stop to sniff. I just didn't know if it was "ok" for my dog to not like other dogs barking, or if it was something we needed to be concerned about and desensitize him to.
 

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Cool, that sounds really good :)

I spose you could desensitise to the barking if you want, but ideally the other dog should be removed from the situation, and if it isn't, you should remove yours, so I don't really see how it would be an issue in the future.
 
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