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Discussion Starter #1
Hi...my name's Zac...new around here.

Anyway, me and my dog Grayson (1 year old Flat Coated Retriever Mix) are currently living back at home with my parents and their 4 dogs (8 year old Saint Bernard, 11 Year Old Golden Retriever/Samoyed Mix, 1 year old English Bulldog and 4 month Old English Bulldog). Grayson gets along famously with everyone in the house...the only problem is that she isnt too fond of strangers!

A good example is when the Fed Ex or UPS man comes by our house...the living room where the dogs hang out during the day has large windows so Grayson can hear and see their truck as soon as they pull up. As soon as she sees their truck, she begins to bark uncontrollably. When the Fed Ex man brings the package up to the door, she continues to bark and all the hair on her back begins to raise up. She never growls but she barks very forcefully and acts like she is very unhappy that the stranger is in our house. I also have lots of friends in traveling bands so we are constantly having guests in the house, and as soon as Grayson sees them she begins to bark uncontrollably. The last time some friends came through, after about 20 minutes patience, she finally would let the guest pet her...but she was still very weary. Usually I can curb her barking to an extent by just removing her from the door and calmly talking to her and petting her, but this isnt helping the situation permanently

I feel like she just feels she is protecting our house, because when I take her out or over to my girlfriends house she does not bark at anyone (although she acts like she would much rather go home, but thats a whole other thread...).

What can I do to help her be more accepting and less hostile/weary of strangers and guest in our house?

Thanks so much!

- Zac
 

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My older dog is like that, because we failed to socialize her properly when she was a puppy. :( Have you tried having strangers offer her her favorite treats to start getting her thinking "hmm, strange new person = treat"? It's a gradual desensitization process, but if you're patient and diligent about getting her to associate visitors with lots of praise, treats, etc., she will eventually get better about it.
 

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She's alert barking. Good pack members will alert the Alpha of a possible intruder. It's the Alphas job to intercede, run the intruder off, welcome them in or kill the interloper.
So, you have to step between her and the 'intruder'...show her that you're taking over...she can relax/her job is done. Thank her for the alert and use your Enough or Quiet command.
This takes time but, once she starts looking to you for guidance/direction on what to do she will gradually do less alerting.
 

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She's alert barking. Good pack members will alert the Alpha of a possible intruder. It's the Alphas job to intercede, run the intruder off, welcome them in or kill the interloper.
So, you have to step between her and the 'intruder'...show her that you're taking over...she can relax/her job is done. Thank her for the alert and use your Enough or Quiet command.
Ahh -- that makes total sense. We used to tell her in a firm voice "No!" or "No bark" but she wouldn't stop... then one day I decided she was simply doing her job, so I said "GOOD GIRL Dixon! GOOD GIRL!" then, "It's okay!" and she quieted right down, wagging her tail. Your explanation makes sense as to why changing tactics worked!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She's alert barking. Good pack members will alert the Alpha of a possible intruder. It's the Alphas job to intercede, run the intruder off, welcome them in or kill the interloper.
So, you have to step between her and the 'intruder'...show her that you're taking over...she can relax/her job is done. Thank her for the alert and use your Enough or Quiet command.
This takes time but, once she starts looking to you for guidance/direction on what to do she will gradually do less alerting.
this sounds great and was actually what I was about try next time. Like I said, she never acts as though she wants to attack the strangers, she just wants to make sure that We know someone new is around, and to also let the stranger know that She has seen them. Thanks!

- Zac
 

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Well she barks at home but not at girlfriends, I can fix that. What you have to do is next time you go to girlfriend's house allow dog to take his new homeys (parents dogs) I believe you then will get barking there also. Then come home leave all other dogs at girlfriend's house and the barking at parent's house may stop. Hmmm! I don't know whether parent's or girlfriend will go along with that. Oh well I tried.:D
 
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