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Thread: Poppy Barking at Visitors???

  1. #1

    Default Poppy Barking at Visitors???

    OH's sister, brother inlaw and nephew are here visiting us.

    They just arrived and Poppy began barking at them! She has NEVER done that before!!!

    I had to tell her many a time to SHHHH! When nephew (age 12) tried to pat her she bolted onto the couch and sat behind me, snuggled into my back.

    I quickly told him to just leave her and let her come to him.

    We then all stood in the kitchen/living area chatting and she continued to do little barks! Each time I told her to SHHH!

    I even gave nephew some food but she wouldn't go near him.

    She let brother in law pat quickly but thats it. She has stuck by my side the past 30-40mins.

    Any advice for me?

    Do I just ignore the behaviour? Tell her to SHHH? Let her warm up to them in her own time?


  2. #2


    Both my poodles used to do that every time someone came into our house.
    It took them half a dozen visits from that person before they finally stopped.

    What seemed to have 'cured' mine was when we had our house warming party. We had about 15 guests and we were all outside milling around the barbecue.
    I just let the dogs run around free, and I told the guests to just ignore them. After about an hour they were fine... they even let the guests pet them!
    After that they have been fine with people coming into the house one at a time.

    Personally I would still tell her shoosh when she barks, but otherwise just ignore her, and get the guests to ignore her. She will come around eventually.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Rural NSW


    If mine barked at visitors inside they would be told NO and put outside. Then allowed in again etc till it stopped. I always make sure they let the dog come to them. If kids are around they are in the pen if there will in any way have any unsupervised moments. Lets face it, we all have inattention, need the loo etc) Mum's terrier hated everyone and was content to be locked in the bedroom with his basket. I always take the easiest route for all, depending on the situations. My dogs have to fit in with us and our lifestyle.
    Do what you think best so that you enjoy visits.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    I find ignoring the best or tossing very gently little tiny bits of very yummy food, no dried liver stuff, really nice "wet" food.

    No one looks at her, talks to her etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009


    MAC, I think giving food would be seen as a reward for her behaviour. Ignoring is the best option. How much human/dog socialisationg does she get Amy?
    Education not Legislation

  6. #6


    Thanks guys! We quickly gave up on the offering food and opted for the ignore. She has warmed up to the adults but is still very wary of the 12 year old!

    She is being very timid and following me around everywhere whilst also trying to avoid walking past one of the 'strangers'!

    She is no longer barking at them just very wary! I'm not forcing the issue and they are just letting her be!

    She spent all weekend at AGB's as we had a wedding to attend and we only picked he up this arvo! She had two walks and went out and played with the neighbourhood kids today and loved it!

    Other than that she has had some socialization but not a huge amount and admitedly I haven't been active in taking her out and about lately so might get back into that!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    MAC, Im curious about your food method. Do you only throw food to her when shes quiet?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    I use this method all the time and no it is not a reward it is a distraction.

    We use distraction all the time for fear.

    I have been training for some time now and have used this method many many times. As I said no one talks etc, just tosses a bit of yummy food, dog quietens down while it eats it sees that the visitor brings good things.

    IF the dog will not take the food because it is too far stressed by the visitors then just go with ignore, move into another room and go on as usual.

    I will also sometimes remove the dog from the room and then bring it back in, then remove again if it started to bark, but that takes timing which is why I didn't suggest it.

    I only suggest things I have either tried or have learnt from professional trainers or via courses.

    I could also suggest a couple of flooding techniques but wouldn't because again you have to know what you are doing.

    I'd say ask Masha how this method works, because its what I did with her little fear barker Dora. Dora has a high food drive so it worked a dream, she barked about two quick barks at me and then was offering sits etc for more food, unfortunately she's not here to back that up. But if you know her contact details Boxerini you could verify this with her. It's just toss food, see if she will take it, see if she then sees visitors in a different light.

    It doesn't work for all dogs just the ones a little unsure of the new arrivals, but is social in all other ways.

    The in and out of the room method is ones I suggest for those dogs more intent on eating people.

    I thought this method would be easy for Amy and probably the right one from what I've been able to gather about Poppy via Amy's descriptions.
    Last edited by mouseandchicken; 05-23-2010 at 06:40 PM.

  9. #9


    Thanks MAC! Your methos makes a lot of sense and it is sort of what we tried, but with dry food, and like you said she still was too scared to even give in to that! Which shocked me because our Poppy is such a guts!

    She warmed up to the adults but not the 12 year old boy. I'm not sure if it was his loudness and sudden movements that really got to her (he is VERY ADD/ADHD)

    She spent the WHOLE night following me around and sleeping on me, next to me or under me. She was even funny with OH. A bit skit-ish!

    I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that she spent the whole weekend away from us and was tired from her big weekend with Batty. I do think we need to start taking her out and about more though! I don't want a dog that acts like that everytime we have visitors!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Devonport, Tasmania


    Amy ,there are also other things to take into consideration of why Poppy is acting like this.

    Right now, I don't beleive it is fear or anything like that - well, not in a round-about way.

    She thinks you need protection maybe. She might think you are not the one who can take care of everything. You know you are, but dogs osmetimes think otherwise, due to their upbringng and events/socialisation etc.
    Sleeping ON you, or UNDER you is not a good thing to allow her to do, especially in light of her recent behaviour towards strangers. She has to learn that you will rule this house, you will make decisions of who comes and goes, YOU - NOT HER.
    Hope that mkes some sense for you. Too tired to get into it and explain at length - I;m sorry.

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