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growling and barking at new people?

February 13th, 2005, 03:23 PM
My rotti pup cordy is about 5 months right now and i've had her for almost 2 months. Since i've had her she's been constantly around people and not just family and friends, I take her everywhere and she does go to a very good day care a couple times a week and my office the remaining days of the week with weekends off we're out and about.

That being said the first month I got her she was awesome with all people, people she knew or strangers, adults/kids didnt matter with the exception being late at night if we were on a walk and someone was in the shadowed distance she'd let out a single bark. My trainer said that was her being protective and guarding me so to get her over that I was told to try and get her over to the thing causing her reaction if possible so she could see I was okay with it and thus she should be as well. Then a month into getting her she caught a bug and I had her at home for a week recovering and ever since then it's progressed to the day. She's fine in a crowded area, quiet area wherever as long as everyones doing their own thing but when someone comes over to pet her she'll let out a bark, usually never more than a couple as to say im not into this back up, and shes not big on surprises like doors opening and people suddenly appearing, that incites a bark as well, and her night time thing still continues. I don't know why she developed this attitude as it never used to be a problem and her routine with us and going out in public around people is much the same as it was prior her illness but that break seemed to make her hesitant around people. An old lady wanted to pet her yesterday and she growled at her, I bent down and calmed her and gave the woman a treat to give cordy and cordy loosened after that. Same incident this morning at the petcetera, lady wanted to say hi and cordy let out a bark but the lady being very dog experienced approached her slowly and from cordies eye level and cordy was licking her face within seconds. I'm at a loss as not everyone is going to be as accepting of her bark as these 2 women were, especially from a rotti. Any advice on what I can do to quash the barking, growling and just overall new "attitude" with people would be appreciated. Any advice on her late night bark warning would be good as well.

If you need any more info let me know.

thanks in advance


Lucky Rescue
February 13th, 2005, 06:38 PM
Puppies go through "fear periods" and yours is just about the right age to be in one of those periods.

I bent down and calmed her

When you do this (It's's okay) thing, your puppy takes this as praise for acting this way. You must never soothe or comfort your puppy when she is acting fearful as this will reinforce her behavior as she feels she is pleasing you.

For now, do NOT let people approach her, loom over her or reach out for her if she's afraid. This will make her feel that YOU are not protecting her, and she must protect herself.

Just take her out walking. Bring a handful of her favorite treats. When there people around, or walking by, toss a treat out in front of her. She will make the connection "People are good! When they are close, treats fall out of the sky!"

Just be patient and don't push. Keep her interactions with people very positive. If you want her to meet someone, lead HER up to THEM.

IF you dont' make a big fuss, or force her to have anyone approach her, she should get over this fear soon.

One alarm bark at night is okay. Dogs don't see well at any time and can get alarmed at night. Just say "Enough, good girl" when she barks once, then simply move on.