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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, Dusk is almost 3 and has now decided it is his job to warn me of all intruders. He is very well socialized. Constantly gets to go to new places and meet new people. But a couple of days ago, I let him outside while the plumber was here and he started barking and howling. And he just did it agian a few minutes ago to my cousin that does the yard.

I think he is just trying to tell me something isn't right or is out of the normal. And he recovers very quickly and returns to his normal happy self. But I want to make sure I am reacting to this new behavior in the correct way. As of right now it has only happened outside in his yard. Not at the park, or even inside the house.

I've been giving him a stern correction, but I'm wondering if that is the best idea. He's lust trying to look out for me. His there anyway to teach him that's not needed?
 

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I've been giving him a stern correction, but I'm wondering if that is the best idea. He's lust trying to look out for me. His there anyway to teach him that's not needed?
Don't correct for something that you want him to do (I assume you want him to alert). Lots of dogs get extra protective when strangers with tools and power equipment come on the property. Your job is to go investigate the "threat" and give the "all clear". You got yourself a Dobe, you have to expect him to perform this function. It's only a problem if he won't hush once you've signaled that the visitor is welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't correct for something that you want him to do (I assume you want him to alert). Lots of dogs get extra protective when strangers with tools and power equipment come on the property. Your job is to go investigate the "threat" and give the "all clear". You got yourself a Dobe, you have to expect him to perform this function. It's only a problem if he won't hush once you've signaled that the visitor is welcome.
That makes sense. I just didn't want it to escalate from watchfulness to aggression. That makes sense. I just didn't want it to escalate from watchfulness to aggression. How should I signal that the visitor is allowed? Should I just give Dusk a pat and then say "That's enough" if he keeps it up?
 

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I personally wouldn't try to put it to a stop by correcting the behavior. It might just be easier to give him a "settle" command. Once he has barked once and you have given the all clear, you can tell him "good boy, settle" and that should be that. Teach him to go lay down on settle or come to you or however you want him to react to it.
 

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I just didn't want it to escalate from watchfulness to aggression.
If you correct him, there's a possibility that the dog will come to associate visitors with his punishment. This makes it more likely that his watchfulness would escalate to aggression. Also, correcting a dog when he is in an excited state will often increase his excitement. This can spin out of control and cause the dog to lash out at the handler. By 3 years of age, the dog should be solid on a few commands that you can use to redirect him after you've praised/rewarded him for his alertness.
 

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How would you train a dog to alert you when you have visitors, but also stop once you've given the all clear signal. I've seen lots of ways to train dogs to be quiet when visitors come, but I really don't want my dog to be quiet when visitors come, only when I decided that it's all clear. One of the reasons why we decided to get a puppy is because my husband is out of town several times a month for a few days at a time. The dog I chose is a bichon frise, so it won't attack, but if some solicitor or unwanted visitor comes to the door, I want my dog to bark like crazy until he's gone. But at the same time, my dog doesn't need to bark at strangers when we are at a public place. Is this too much for the dog to learn, am I being unrealistic? Also, I have a very awesome training book, but it lacks the hand signals that go with the commands, I'd prefer not to make them up because I'll forget them and then I won't be consistent in my training. Can anyone recommend a book or site for hand signals?
 

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Thats how my dog started acting a few months ago...I taught him with the command relax....It took a while but it will be well worth it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. I had a feeling I was handling it wrong.

From now I will praise for his alertness, and then redirect. And he catches on to words really quickly, so I can probably throw in a statement such as "ALL CLEAR", and then direct him to do something else.

I just hope no one pees in their pants while I'm praising my dog for frightening them to death.:rolleyes:
 

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Good idea. I can tell you there are times you will be very happy for the alert to strangers. Just keeping up with the socializing helps immensely with the "over protecting".
 
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