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Bailey is a huskie/golden mix and she will be 2 in August. I adopted her in December of last year. From what I know, she was crated at least 8 hours a day since she was a very small pup. With my mom and I, she is the most loveable, cuddly, dog ever. The problem is when someone comes in the house or is at the door. She goes into attack mode, barking, hair up, strike pose and she will keep going closer and closer to whoever is in the house. On the other hand, at times she will shake and bark. She is afraid of collars and leashes. She will shake and hover in the corner but I am starting to walk her which I don't think she ever was, and this is getting better. Here is an example: My Cousin came in from out of town and walked in house. Bailey went crazy. When she approached my mom who was on the couch to give her a hug my dog jumped up and gave her a little nip on the butt. When she left same thing, I was standing giving her a hug and she started barking and trying to come in between. Any suggestions on how to train her to be calmer or to not perceive everyone as a threat? Thank you in advance
 

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That's mine too, except she doesn't go in attack mode, just gets in their face barking her head off and has also tried to nip at some of them.

Really, I put her in her crate when we have guests now (she doesn't do that to our best friends because she saw them all the time when she was growing up). It's still stressful because she still barks in the crate, and I'm thinking of getting another crate for our bedroom (she'll still bark, but it won't be as loud). It certainly makes having people over really stressful to me though. She was mostly fine as a puppy and it just got worse over time too.

When she started doing it, around 6-7 months, we tried giving the guest (he has dogs so he's not scared of her at least) treats to give her, and it didn't work at all... so I'm open to ideas as well (she hates people in the street too). I'll definitely ask the vet for some kind of anxiety meds for her (if we all survive her next vet trip).

I contacted a training place but haven't heard back, so going to look elsewhere.
 
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Same thing here. She is finally used to my daughter and fiance. Ironically, she gets along well with her two dogs. From a human perspective, it's as though anyone coming in our house is coming to kill us and her job is to protect us. Everyone is telling me since she was crated so much as a young pup that she wasn't properly socialized. I have contacted a training place as well but not sure I can afford it. ugh. Hopefully someone can give us some training tips. She's so darn cute and everyone wants to play with her and she isn't having any of that.
 

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When you have guests over, crate her in another room. Its the safest and best option. She's probably genetically fearful, so no amount of training is going to "cure" her, but you can train her to focus on you and give her skills to listen to you and follow you out of stressful situations. Working on basic obedience skills is a good place to start.
 

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What Lillith said. For the life of me I do not understand WHY people think their dog should love guests coming over or why guests should interact with the dog. Dogs, for the most part, HATE being hugged (to back this up beyond my say so I suggest you read Patricia McConnell's book, "The Other End of the Leash".. Ms. McConnell is a PhD animal behaviorist).

Your dog is not being protective. Your dog is afraid. She is in "fight or flight" mode. She cannot leave.. it is her house and these people have (from her POV) invaded it. She has no choice but to "fight" them.

Not much you can do about it. The dog is genetically hard wired to be defensive and fearful. You CAN train obedience and that can help, but in the end that means your guests come over and you tell your dog to lie down on her bed and she is not allowed to get up until you let her.. and if she gets up you have to put her back on her bed so your training is clear and consistent. Who wants to do that when they want to focus on guests?

Just crate the dog away from the activity and all will be better off (especially in the face of nipping that is part of fear).

I have a breed of dog that is involved in a sport that includes some protection. I never let my guests interact with the working dogs. If the house dog is a pain in the neck (and she can be by just being a pest), I put her in a kennel or crate and get on with visiting. In my case, with this breed, regardless if the dog is provoked or not, a single touch of tooth to skin will likely mean I lose all my dogs because I will otherwise lose all my household insurance.
 

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It's just not that simple.

I crate my dog when the people she doesn't like come over... but it's an open floor plan and she'll still bark, and be disruptive. Even if we put her upstairs, she hears everything and will bark too... Plus there's the people who show up without warning... either way, it's stressful for the dog, so I don't think it's that crazy to try to find a way for dogs to be less fearful and more comfortable around people.

I found a behaviorist who is coming over on Saturday, and hopefully will help (he told me that he mostly trains people to interact with their dog). I don't mind crating her, I just don't want her to bark the whole time my guests are here because she can hear them.
 

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It's just not that simple.

I crate my dog when the people she doesn't like come over... but it's an open floor plan and she'll still bark, and be disruptive. Even if we put her upstairs, she hears everything and will bark too... Plus there's the people who show up without warning... either way, it's stressful for the dog, so I don't think it's that crazy to try to find a way for dogs to be less fearful and more comfortable around people.

I found a behaviorist who is coming over on Saturday, and hopefully will help (he told me that he mostly trains people to interact with their dog). I don't mind crating her, I just don't want her to bark the whole time my guests are here because she can hear them.
Some one comes to the door unannounced I am like, "Wait there a minute. I need to put the dog up." Then I put the dog up. THEN my guest can come in.

Also, FWIW, I use a crate the dog cannot see out of. Cover the door with a towel. To make it more positive and the guests less interesting have you tried putting a Frozen Raw meaty bone in the crate with the dog? That will do two things: 1. Keep her busy and 2: Make guests coming over a positive experience ("Oh guests? Good.. I get a bone in my crate!").

I have one advantage in that I have both an attached garage and a basement where I can crate my dog. I also have outdoor kennels etc. I realize not everyone has those things. I too have an open floor plan which I love. I also do not have dogs that are annoying when guest come because they do not need to interact with guests.

I also will not hesitate to use a bark collar on a dog that is 2 years old if I am unable to train the dog to be quiet in the crate (tho I have never had that issue with the use of frozen meaty bones, Kongs stuffed with raw meat and frozen OR Peanut Butter and frozen OR plain yogurt and frozen).

Barking is a privilege not a right. They bark when I allow it. Period.
 

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Unfortunately my friends have little kids who dont' necessarily knock on the door before getting inside - and putting a blanket over the crate didn't have much effect as she can hear very well from inside. I've given her frozen Kongs and it really didn't keep her interested that much - she'd still bark once she's done with it.

Like I told the trainer, I just want her to stop barking at everyone - I will still crate her when people come over, but I want her to be quiet. I also have my mom staying at my house 3x a year for a week, and it's just exhausting because she barks at her all the time - so denial/avoidance isn't really something I can afford right now - I'm not crating my dog for a week.

I hope my session on Saturday will be helpful.
 

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Unfortunately my friends have little kids who dont' necessarily knock on the door before getting inside - and putting a blanket over the crate didn't have much effect as she can hear very well from inside. I've given her frozen Kongs and it really didn't keep her interested that much - she'd still bark once she's done with it.

Like I told the trainer, I just want her to stop barking at everyone - I will still crate her when people come over, but I want her to be quiet. I also have my mom staying at my house 3x a year for a week, and it's just exhausting because she barks at her all the time - so denial/avoidance isn't really something I can afford right now - I'm not crating my dog for a week.

I hope my session on Saturday will be helpful.
I hope it is helpful. I would be using a bark collar. The best one is no longer made (Tritonics bark limiter). The Garmin one I have (Garmin bought out Tritronics) is not as effective as the E Collar Technologies one I have. That last one is top drawer. You can change the settings and the sensitivity to barking as well as the level of stimulation. It stops the barking when it is on and costs around $85. There is a learning curve.. some dogs are less smart.. but they all figure it out (or the ones I know have and that is not just my own dog). It has to be on snug and the prongs must reach through the hair. I have interchangeable prongs for longer and heavier coated dogs and use the longer prongs.

Dogs LOVE to bark. I even use barking as a reward. I also do not allow barking for the heck of it or out of boredom. I do all I can to avoid boredom but it is not always avoidable.

Good luck with the behaviorist.
 

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I would be using a bark collar.
There is a BIG difference between a dog who barks due to boredom, compared to a dog who barks due to fear / intrusion into their territory and who has already tried to nip at guests.

Putting a bark collar on either one of these poster's dogs is a potential recipe for disaster, especially when children have a habit of entering unannounced. What's needed is actual training - training that will CHANGE the dog's emotional response - not a band-aid solution that only suppresses it.
 

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There is a BIG difference between a dog who barks due to boredom, compared to a dog who barks due to fear / intrusion into their territory and who has already tried to nip at guests.

Putting a bark collar on either one of these poster's dogs is a potential recipe for disaster, especially when children have a habit of entering unannounced. What's needed is actual training - training that will CHANGE the dog's emotional response - not a band-aid solution that only suppresses it.
I should have clarified this. The bark collar suggestion was for Francl27 dog while in the crate. Period. Not for wearing around the house.

To clarify the instructions. Put the dog in the crate with a bark collar on and a raw meaty bone or stuffed Kong. Walk away. Go be with your guests.

When you go an take the dog out of the crate, remove the bark collar.

I cannot emphasize enough that I NEVER put a bark collar on a dog when it is loose or working.

Bark collars only go on in confinement and only if the dog is a problem. I use them on dogs in kennels outside (if they are a problem) and in crates in the back of the truck at training and (rarely because it is NOT an issue) in a crate or kennel in the house.

In confinement I do not care why the dog is barking. The deal is I have given them a diversion (meaty raw bone or Kong stuffed and frozen etc.) and they are not to bark.
 
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Here's what i did, don't know if it was right. After she nipped my cousin, I shooed her upstairs. Brought her back down with collar and leash. the aggressive barking stopped. Waited a while took leash off he just roamed around. I sat by my cousin and called her on my lap. she slowly warmed up to her and even allowed her to pet her. Later in day she actually jumped on couch by her with me not there. From the last 15 years, I have had labs and they loved everyone. This is all very new to me. Did I handle the situation correctly or should I have done something else?
 

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......why not just have the dog leashed to you when people are over? That way you can control the dog and instruct guests not to bother the dog. After awhile your dog will probably just consider guests as something nit to be bothered with and you can do away with the leash. Thats what I do. Hardest part is getting the dang houseguests to listen when I say ignore the dog. The dog is the easy part. Humans not so much.
 

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I should have clarified this. The bark collar suggestion was for Francl27 dog while in the crate. Period. Not for wearing around the house.

To clarify the instructions. Put the dog in the crate with a bark collar on and a raw meaty bone or stuffed Kong. Walk away. Go be with your guests.

When you go an take the dog out of the crate, remove the bark collar.

I cannot emphasize enough that I NEVER put a bark collar on a dog when it is loose or working.

Bark collars only go on in confinement and only if the dog is a problem. I use them on dogs in kennels outside (if they are a problem) and in crates in the back of the truck at training and (rarely because it is NOT an issue) in a crate or kennel in the house.

In confinement I do not care why the dog is barking. The deal is I have given them a diversion (meaty raw bone or Kong stuffed and frozen etc.) and they are not to bark.
I don't think it matters whether a bark collar is used only during confinement, or otherwise. It's still not going to change the dog's emotional response, especially not during times when it's not confined.

I also do not allow barking for the heck of it or out of boredom.
That's the point. These two poster's dogs are not barking out of boredom or for the heck of it. They are barking because of fear, and a complete misunderstanding of the guest's intentions. Not allowing a dog to communicate their fear through barking is akin to not allowing a dog to growl as a final warning prior to a bite. And we all know what happens when we try to suppress a dog's growl.

The true solution here lies in listening first of all, understanding the conversation being had, examining the situation, and then implementing a suitable training plan moving forward.

It's not as simple as crating a dog with a meaty bone and an ecollar, and expecting "be quiet when the bone is done because I said so, and what I say goes". That's just asking for trouble.
 

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I agree. The dog is afraid, and the barking, even from within the crate, is because of fear. I wouldn't punish fear, ever.
 

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I don't think it matters whether a bark collar is used only during confinement, or otherwise. It's still not going to change the dog's emotional response, especially not during times when it's not confined.
No. It will not change the dog's emotional response when loose. Some dogs cannot be loose with guests. Such a dog will need to be crated. If it barks it needs to be quiet. At that point the dog is given the option of self correcting if it barks in the crate or being silent so it does not receive a correction. In the crate I do not care WHY the dog is barking incessantly. Silence is the rule and, unless you are house training an 8 week old puppy, silence in the crate is not negotiable.

That's the point. These two poster's dogs are not barking out of boredom or for the heck of it. They are barking because of fear, and a complete misunderstanding of the guest's intentions. Not allowing a dog to communicate their fear through barking is akin to not allowing a dog to growl as a final warning prior to a bite. And we all know what happens when we try to suppress a dog's growl.

The true solution here lies in listening first of all, understanding the conversation being had, examining the situation, and then implementing a suitable training plan moving forward.

It's not as simple as crating a dog with a meaty bone and an ecollar, and expecting "be quiet when the bone is done because I said so, and what I say goes". That's just asking for trouble.
If a dog is that fearful it will never have a good quality of life. I know what I would do with such a dog (giving training/desensitization and so forth the first alternative and THEN going to the bark collar).

A dog terrified in a crate to the point where it cannot learn to settle is going to live a miserable existence all its days. The owner has a liability issue as well that cannot be ignored. The owner will end up as miserable as the dog.

Not all dogs can be fixed. I give the owner (Francl27) credit for trying.
 

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No. It will not change the dog's emotional response when loose. Some dogs cannot be loose with guests. Such a dog will need to be crated. If it barks it needs to be quiet. At that point the dog is given the option of self correcting if it barks in the crate or being silent so it does not receive a correction. In the crate I do not care WHY the dog is barking incessantly. Silence is the rule and, unless you are house training an 8 week old puppy, silence in the crate is not negotiable.



If a dog is that fearful it will never have a good quality of life. I know what I would do with such a dog (giving training/desensitization and so forth the first alternative and THEN going to the bark collar).

A dog terrified in a crate to the point where it cannot learn to settle is going to live a miserable existence all its days. The owner has a liability issue as well that cannot be ignored. The owner will end up as miserable as the dog.

Not all dogs can be fixed. I give the owner (Francl27) credit for trying.
I'm honestly laughing at the idea that my dog has a miserable existence because she doesn't like strangers. I don't think she's terrified though... more on the bratty side (which is what I think the trainer can help fix). For OP, it might be different, but my dog doesn't go hide or shake from fear ever - just gets into people's faces to bark.
 

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A dog terrified in a crate to the point where it cannot learn to settle is going to live a miserable existence all its days. The owner has a liability issue as well that cannot be ignored. The owner will end up as miserable as the dog.
Welp, you're going to do a grand job of creating this exact problem if you slap a bark collar on a fearful dog in the crate.

tpatterson, Francl27, I would strongly urge you and anyone else dealing with a similar issue to not use any kind of corrective collar (or other device) if there's any chance the root of the issue is fear, anxiety, or insecurity. That includes shock collars, citronella, high-pitched noises, etc. These devices are imprecise; dogs may associate the correction with what they're barking at (guests are now MORE scary!), their environment (such as the crate), another animal or object in the room, etc. This makes them entirely inappropriate for any animal that's already prone to fear and reactivity, and are, imo, a lazy and risky solution even for confident dogs with no fear issues.

I do agree that management is hugely important in these situations, which may be having the dog on a lead, crated, in another room/floor entirely, etc. I would make sure the dog has the option to choose to remove itself from the presence of the strangers if it needs to, and be rewarding the heck out of calm behaviors. I would also put down some hard ground rules with guests in my home regarding having to knock and wait to be invited inside. Kids who are too young to understand that rule should hopefully be accompanied by adults who can. I'm not especially confrontational by nature and I understand it's hard to put down rules like this, but for the sake of the dog I'd try my darndest to find a way.

If you have a friend willing and able to do so, I might arrange "training" visits, where you work up rewarding calm behavior in very small steps - meaning the guest might not even come inside the first few times, depending on the dog. Just reinforcing calm(er) behavior when people approach the door, then when they approach and knock, then all that +door opens, etc. Even if the barking doesn't start until the guest is in the home, usually the dog will be working themselves up as soon as they cotton on someone's coming to visit.

EDIT: If progress with counterconditioning and desensitization seemed to be going nowhere, even with professional assistance, I'd talk to a vet/veterinary behaviorist about medication LONG before I considered corrective collars for fear.
 

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........there are children opening the door and letting themselves in? It could be as simple as the dog just needs to understand theres a human in charge in this house. Dog thinking it needs to defend territory but too much fear in there to actually be able to handle what it now percieves as its responsibility. Dog might just need to feel secure that its human has things under control. But with people just coming and going at will is that even possible?
 

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Re: The human issue, I'd lock the doors so people can't just walk through them whenever they want. That's what we do here. When someone knocks or rings the bell, we can make a "just a second" motion while we make sure none of the animals are too close to the door (we have one door-dashing cat and a dog who isn't fond of strangers).
 
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