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Thread: Dog advice needed

  1. #1

    Dog advice needed

    Morning all,

    As title says, I'm in need of some advice. I've recently (jan this year) acquired a black Labrador bitch who is now 6months old. She is settling in nicely and is in general a lovely loving dog, in the house she's good, she's also good with our kids , and gets on with my other little Cocker.
    The advice I am needing is in the form of how to stop her from barking. Initially she was a very quiet dog, and in general she still is, but she has started barking at "passer by's" . If we're out alone in the training field she's quiet as a mouse , she behaves well and gets on with things , but part of her training at the minute is her heeling work which she heels well both on and off the lead.
    The heeling work involves her walking up the street sometimes and thats where the problem lies. If she seas someone across/same side of the street she just starts barking at them, I don't think she's being aggressive as if the person approaches she try to make a retreat with her tail between her legs.
    Weve tried distracting her with treats, which she just takes then barks, we've also tried turning away from whom she's barking at but she just turns her head round and barks. What I have noticed, is if I've got the other dog with me she doesn't seem to do it as much, she will still give voice but not as much. With this I'm on the understanding it may be a confidence thing and this is why I could do with some much appreciated advice.
    Ive always been a Spaniel man and Lucy (the Lab) is my first Labrador and I've never come across this in any of my other dogs. Like I said earlier ,in every other aspect she pretty much quiet, and she's coming on really well apart from this problem.
    If any of you have come across this problem in Labs/dogs before and could point me in the right direction I would be extremely grateful.

    Many thanks in advance,
    Scott

  2. #2
    She just needs more socialising, by the sound of it. My lab' bitch was exactly the same at that age. All I did was expose her to groups of people as often as possible and she soon settled down. I was lucky in that the guys at work would congregate for a chat at lunchtime and didn't mind me walking Purdey through and around them, ignoring the barking and just generally rewarding her with a pat and a calm 'Good Lass'. Just expose her to as many different scenarios as possible and you'll find she settles really quickly. Lab's are generally a pretty confidant and friendly breed, so you should find she soon calms down
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  3. #3
    Use a small water pistol and make a strong "ach" sound.

    I've seen that work several times.
    Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it, hump it or learn from it then piss on it and walk away.

    "HOSPITALITY" - the art of making guests feel at home (when you wish they were).



  4. #4
    Post 2, way before any other physical efforts.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  5. #5
    I've used a water pistol before for other problems usually heeling and can work well.

    The problem u have does sound like it is timid/confidence thing but if ur not careful by either rewarding it (giving it treats) it may associate with barking so barks more to get treats, or if u punish (no, or a shake bottle) it could make it more fearful.
    Both could develop the problem into a worse situation.

    How is ur dog if its free running and u introduce strangers? esp when it has the other dog for company.
    It does sound like it needs more socialising but its doing it with making the problem worse.

    A decent trainer would probably sort it out quite quickly and easily.

    The 1 porblem with internet advice is no one can actually see the dog.
    Geneally its all to do with reading the dog/situation and timing of the reward/punishment (which will usually just be treat/good girl or a simple NO/Oi) get the timing wrong and wot ever ur doing won't work so well or could make it worse

    Take water pistol for example, if dog is fearful of strangers and then everytime a stranger comes over gets a facefull of water, it could work if it associates the water with barking or could make the dog even more fearful of strangers if it associates it with strangers, all about timing.

    Possibly asking a mate to help that dog doesnae know who has a pocket ful of treats, strart in garden free running and work up to on lead outside and then get other mates to do the same
    Last edited by countrryboy; 18-05-2016 at 11:22.

  6. #6
    Afternoon Countryboy , yes, thas what I'm worried about making the problem worse by rewarding (treats) .

    Shes fine if she of the lead playing/walking until she gets approached directly, if that makes sense.
    Her recall is good if she's of the lead and she starts barking, and she still barks if other dog is there but doesn't seem to bark as much. Also to throw a spanner in the works she doesn't seem to bark at everybody and occasionally I take her into the village pub and sometimes she doesn't even bark.

  7. #7
    All dogs obviously have their own character and foibles. I agree that it sounds like a confidence issue. I'm sure it will disappear eventually, given time and encouragement with maturity. Make sure you socialise the dog often, even taking it for walks at places where there's lots of activity as things progress. It's important not to show concern about it when it's happening. I don't think punishment is the way forward here.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
    All dogs obviously have their own character and foibles. I agree that it sounds like a confidence issue. I'm sure it will disappear eventually, given time and encouragement with maturity. Make sure you socialise the dog often, even taking it for walks at places where there's lots of activity as things progress. It's important not to show concern about it when it's happening. I don't think punishment is the way forward here.



    Thanks Pedro, I'm certainly not going down the punishment route with her, it's quite frustrating really as all my other dogs have always been great around people , I've always put that down to letting them play and socialise when they are little, or maybe I've just been lucky in the past.

  9. #9
    Just noticed ur location.Are u throu in the shire? SW scotland?

    Think martin smee is throu there somewhere, trains cockers. Don't actually know him personally but heard a lot of good things about him and his dogs.
    Mibee try and get a wee lesson of him or no other experienced dog boys u know? Even just to get a 2nd pair of eyes and a few different ideas?
    Or they could act as strangers and ignore the dog and let dog come to them
    Last edited by countrryboy; 18-05-2016 at 18:50.

  10. #10
    Evening Countryboy, the nearest town to me is Newto Stewart which is near Wigtown bay. I will google the Martin Smee chap to see if he's anywhere near, I'm certainly nor adverse to paying a few quid if someone can help me sort the problem out. I may be able to bend his ear a little about my little pocket rocket ( Meg my cocker ).
    Many thanks for your help

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