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Thread: Perhaps a Little TOO Protective?

  1. #1
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    Default Perhaps a Little TOO Protective?

    So I think that it's kind of important for Rocky to be protective of his home and his family, so I dont want to train it out of him (I know thats probably impossible anyway) but I also want to make sure that I'm not reinforcing his behaviour by trying to stop it.

    If he sees someone or something as a threat he'll get all protective and bark like a maniac (would be heaps scary if you didnt know him) but he wont stop until he's basically dragged away chocking because he pulls so hard on his collar. He doesnt bite, he just barks - but still!

    When he does it I try to get him to sit and look at me and then I praise him, treats etc, and if he moves or turns his head I say 'Uh uh!' or 'No!' but this only worked once. Tonight when he started he wouldnt stop, so I had to walk him away. Before he started he was getting treats, soon as he started that stopped, he was given a chance to calm down, but he didnt, so he got walked off and no more treats. He wasnt exactly in the wrong... but I would have liked him to stop when I told him to (seeing that theres no threat - I understand though that he may have thought there still was a threat)

    So basically, what should I be doing when he starts barking and getting all defensive? (in situations where I cant avoid it before it starts)

    Sorry if that didnt make sense, trying to watch a movie and stay awake at the same time which is a struggle

  2. #2

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    Have you tried telling him off when you've had enough of him barking? Set a limit and let him know it. If you're his leader then he should stop when you tell him to. Set your boundaries and enforce them.

    He's a big strong dog, don't be afraid to tell him off and make sure that he listens. A good loud "Ah, enough!" and give the lead a little shake to get his attention and break his focus on what he's going off at. Use your growly voice.

  3. #3
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    Yeah thats what I'm trying to do, although he has that selective deafness, where I'm just white noise. Next time I'll be more assertive, hopefully with someone who doesnt mind the barking while I try and sort it out.

    When he gets like that he does eventually listen, he doesnt get away with not listening, he just has to be told a few (many) times. If he doesnt listen, like tonight, he gets taken away - no more treats or anything, and I get him into a sit-stay-look

  4. #4

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    Thank-you RR! I have been looking for a thread like this!

    Teddy does the exact same thing. He wont bite but will bark until they go away or we somehow get him away.


    He pulls on the lead as I try to get him away, we end up having to pick him up just to get him away.

    It is becoming a real problem as we have him down at the dog park off the lead when no one else is there but if someone comes we have to put him on the lead so he doesn't approach them. Although he wont touch them, we just dont want to take the risk.

    Thanks again RR, useful thread!!

  5. #5

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    You may have tantrums, but stick with it. Make them pay attention to you. Each time they even look back towards the source of the barking give a correction command, like "ah-ah!" And then reward words for positive eye contact with you. Make them sit, with their back to the problem, and they are not to look over their shoulder for a stickybeak. Put them back into a sit every time they want to spin around and start again.

    It takes practice, and they will test you, just like a human toddler would. But stick with it. Reward the slightest positive, but you only need words, bringing out treats may complicate things. It's a situation where you need to change from correction to reward quickly - too fast for treats, stick to commands.

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    Leo is only a puppy still but has his protective-ness already. I am in the same mind as you too, I don't want to discourage it, but don't want a savage over reacting snarling beast barking at anything and everyone. lol

    I think most (if not all) dogs will always have the sense that 'hang on this really isn't right' and jump into protection mode. So that habbit I don't think could ever be broken from them. iykwim? its built in.


    Nattys advice is great, can't add to it

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    The RR is a very protective and cautious breed. I see and handle a lot of them at shows. They attach to their family and as they mature that is it, the circle is very small. Lots of socialisation etc will improve this but by nature they are suspicious. All the ones that I've met have not been big barkers but will look clean thru you, are indifferent to you, seek out attention from their owners only.

    For this type of problem I prefer to pick a distance from the object of his barking where he is aware of it but not past the point of listening to you. Start your training there. Asking for focus, a sit, keep treat to the nose and walk past it.

    I'm not sure what it is he's barking at, is it people, other dogs or people coming to his home?? Are you in the home or out of the home??

    Most dogs will automatically protect their home by about 18months of age. So I start using "enough" very early on. So three barks and enough. Generally as they get older this will extend or 5 or six barks and IMO that's plenty which is why at three barks I say enough and toss a treat.

    They will read your body language when they get older if a real threat is present.
    Last edited by mouseandchicken; 04-19-2010 at 06:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=mouseandchicken;90106]The RR is a very protective and cautious breed. I see and handle a lot of them at shows. They attach to their family and as they mature that is it, the circle is very small. Lots of socialisation etc will improve this but by nature they are suspicious. All the ones that I've met have not been big barkers but will look clean thru you, are indifferent to you, seek out attention from their owners only.

    For this type of problem I prefer to pick a distance from the object of his barking where he is aware of it but not past the point of listening to you. Start your training there. Asking for focus, a sit, keep treat to the nose and walk past it.

    I'm not sure what it is he's barking at, is it people, other dogs or people coming to his home?? Are you in the home or out of the home??

    Most dogs will automatically protect their home by about 18months of age. So I start using "enough" very early on. So three barks and enough. Generally as they get older this will extend or 5 or six barks and IMO that's plenty which is why at three barks I say enough and toss a treat.

    They will read your body language when they get older if a real threat is present.[/QUOTE
    I agree 100%. They will certainly sense any wariness or fear coming from you if a real threat ever occurs.

    I do the "that's enough" command, but I always start by saying "good girl/good boy" when they do start barking at strangers/visitors etc. Obviously, I expect this. I usually let it go until I see the person and realise who it is etc, then the command "enough" is given. If they continue and ignore me, then no pussy-footing around - you MUST make it clear to them that you are the main protector of your premises in the end, and that you will decide when enough is enough.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouseandchicken View Post

    I'm not sure what it is he's barking at, is it people, other dogs or people coming to his home?? Are you in the home or out of the home??
    Last night he barked at a lady who sat down behind me, she looked a little out of the ordinary as she had big bags with her and I guess by taking off her jacket the way she did it was something out of the ordinary for him.

    Outside the house he only barks at people if they are doing something out of the ordinary (ie. lying down on the street) but thats usually the local drunks (theres a homeless shelter near by)

    He'll bark and go into defensive mode if people come into the house, regardless of if I'm there or not. If he hears a noise though, he'll get all attentive and look to me, but then if he hears the door open he's off!

    Funny thing is, if people are in the front room of the house, he's fine with that... as soon as they approach the door to the hall way (leading to the lounge, where his bed is and where he spends most of his time) he'll start to bark and growl

    If he's in the front room though, and someone approaches the door (glass door, so he can see them approaching) he'll get all defensive! so if theyre inside first he's fine, if he sees them coming in he goes crazy.

    He'll bark at other dogs if he cant get to them, but thats just because he wants to say hello, he's not aggressive towards dogs at all!

    Also, I know the RR is supposed to be aloof with strangers, he he doesnt mind a pat by others at the park, he'll only go up to others if im standing near them though.

    Hope all that made sense and thankyou very much for the helpful post I will have to get some realllly tasty treats and find someone who doesnt mind being barked at by an intimidating looking dog

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    I agree 100%. They will certainly sense any wariness or fear coming from you if a real threat ever occurs.

    I do the "that's enough" command, but I always start by saying "good girl/good boy" when they do start barking at strangers/visitors etc. Obviously, I expect this. I usually let it go until I see the person and realise who it is etc, then the command "enough" is given. If they continue and ignore me, then no pussy-footing around - you MUST make it clear to them that you are the main protector of your premises in the end, and that you will decide when enough is enough.
    Thanks DA

    Just curious, if they dont stop when youve said 'enough' how do you discipline this? I dont think walking off is the best, because he hasnt actually listened, and him barking has resulted in the person not being around anymore so he wins in a way

    Oh, and I do the 'good boy' and treats when he doesnt bark, especially if he's looking at something/someone he would usually bark at.

    At least im doing something right

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