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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has taken Rufus a long time to get acclimated and settle in to his new home, but he seems to finally be comfortable. He also seems to have decided it is HIS house and HIS block, and his barking when people come to the door or walk by has gotten worse. I don't mind if he alerts me when people come to the door, but the barking is pretty threatening and has begun to be coupled with him jumping up at the doors or windows. Once the person comes inside, he's happy as a clam, no aggression whatsoever.

He has also been increasing this behavior in the yard however, and that concerns me more. The other day I had him on a tie out and he lunged and barked at a kid riding by. His tie out kept him from reaching the kid, but it was frightening nonetheless. My mother was holding his leash when someone walked by a few days ago and he lunged at the fence barking and smashed her hand into it. He has shown no DA with any dog that he's met, or at the dog park.

Usually I step between him and whatever is causing the problem, correct him verbally, hold his collar if necessary and make him sit/lie down in an effort to diffuse the situation and break his fixation. He usually stops barking, but will continue to watch the person and growl. What kinds of things can I do to improve this behavior? What kind of corrections would be more effective?
 

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You're doing the right things...stepping inbetween and redirecting...but, remember to do that at a distance....before he gets into orbit. Teaching that behavior is easier away from home...less arousal/less territory to protect.

A couple of other tactics that you can use...say "Thank You" instead of a correction for the alert; hold out your hand like a stop sign instead of stepping in front (some dogs are better at understanding that hand sign instead of the whole body in front of them).

Keep in mind that you're trying to teach him that it's not his job to guard the house and yard. That means someone else has to do it...you, your Mom....so, you have to rise to the occasion everytime.
 

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You're doing the right things...stepping inbetween and redirecting...but, remember to do that at a distance....before he gets into orbit. Teaching that behavior is easier away from home...less arousal/less territory to protect.

A couple of other tactics that you can use...say "Thank You" instead of a correction for the alert; hold out your hand like a stop sign instead of stepping in front (some dogs are better at understanding that hand sign instead of the whole body in front of them).

Keep in mind that you're trying to teach him that it's not his job to guard the house and yard. That means someone else has to do it...you, your Mom....so, you have to rise to the occasion everytime.

Beautiful and briefly put! My Beau was a window terrorist, and also outside in the back yard along the fence. I said "Thank You," and held my hand out like a stop sign each and every time. It took awhile, but in the house, now, all I have to do is put my finger to my lips, and outside, say "thank you, that'll do."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the advice. I have actually read a bit about acknowledging what the dog is barking at in order to stop the behavior but I haven't done that as often as I should. Do you recommend treating when they stop barking? I was concerned about reinforcing the behavior.

Rufus generally pulls on the leash towards other dogs while walking but never in an aggressive manner or with any barking or growling. However, I put him in a sit a few weeks ago to let a smaller dog pass by on the narrow sidewalk and he did react with barking and lunging. Any insight on why passing by the dog at a walk didn't elicit this reaction, but letting the dog pass him did?
 

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Rufus generally pulls on the leash towards other dogs while walking but never in an aggressive manner or with any barking or growling. However, I put him in a sit a few weeks ago to let a smaller dog pass by on the narrow sidewalk and he did react with barking and lunging. Any insight on why passing by the dog at a walk didn't elicit this reaction, but letting the dog pass him did?
You changed the rules of engagment by asking for a sit (you put into a vulerable position) so, you possibly added some stress to the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At obedience class they recommended we put the dog in a sit and get them focused on us as a dog passes by so as to avoid the eye-contact and barking. It probably would have been more effective had I had treats with me. I don't want him barking and lunging in that situation either though. Same way to deal with it? I was already standing in front of him but i reeled him in and made him sit and pay attention to me before we could start walking again.
 

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Sitting can be a good option. As this was the first time you've used that tactic in this situation he apparently wasn't used to being in that submissive/vulnerable position.
You did the right thing by being in front and just need a little more focus on you instead of the other dog...yes...treats help.
 
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