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Aggression towards strangers

maggiemay
December 23rd, 2006, 10:08 AM
Hi,
I have a 11 month old dog/puppy and she goes biserk when people come into my house. Even if I let them in the door. She growls and barks and acts semi-aggressive towards them. After a while of them being in the house she seems to calm down, but any sudden movements and she is freaking out again. If we are out on walks and I meet with someone she is fine, and she is always comfortable with strange dogs loves other dogs in fact. Its just when they come into a house (doesnt even have to be mine) as long as she was there first she feels she has to regulate. I am just worried because I live with my parents and Im afraid she might bite someone sometime when Im not there to be with her, not severely bad but jsut like warning-ish, but some people get really upset about stuff like that and overreact. I just don't know how to desensitize her to people coming in the house? HElp!

pitgrrl
December 23rd, 2006, 10:52 AM
Hi,
I am just worried because I live with my parents and Im afraid she might bite someone sometime when Im not there to be with her, not severely bad but jsut like warning-ish, but some people get really upset about stuff like that and overreact. I just don't know how to desensitize her to people coming in the house? HElp!

Not to sound rude, but if your dog is biting people at all, I wouldn't think anyone was overreacting if they got upset.

Have you looked into finding a behaviorist in your area?

Colubridz
December 24th, 2006, 03:16 AM
I second pitgrr in trying to find a behaviourist to help you deal with the problem . It is normal for dogs to bark and even act aloof or suspicious of new comers especially on their territory but since you are pack leader you get to decide who may and may not enter your home and your dog needs to learn to respect that. I would try going back to some obidence classes to re assert yourself and make it very clear you are on top. Also when people do come to the door make your dog sit and do not let him get to the door before you, its your house and not his and you can tell him when he can meet your new guests, any snapping or snarling behaviour you should be corrected with a firm no, i've seen many cases of people even using pennies in a can to distract the dog and then treating them when they stop. It's best to use a combo of treats and firm but fair disipline but this like any training method will not work for all dogs. Even see if you can get a few family friends to come over on a weekly basis and after you let your dog up from a sit position to greet them get them to offer him lots of treats while not staring at him which is threating to him.

I would still recomend hiring a trainer as this behaviour needs to stop. It's normal for all dogs to gaurd their territory but you ultimately get to choose who may and may not enter and they need to learn to respect that.

Cheers
Kayla

maggiemay
December 24th, 2006, 08:51 AM
well she hasnt bitten anyone yet, but I just didnt want the behavior to escalate. I was hoping to solve it without a bahaviorist, but I suppose I will try to contact one in my area. I guess I was expecting a quick fix when there probably isnt one.
Also you are right pitgrrl, it wouldn't be over reacting and my dog shouldn't be about to bite anyone. I shall definately be contacting someone, but I guess I will have to wait till after christmas. Thanks for the advice.. MY vet should know behaviorist in my area right?

Colubridz
December 24th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Best of luck working through the problem:) Yup your vet should be able to recomend a few.

Cheers
Kayla

pitgrrl
December 25th, 2006, 08:38 AM
well she hasnt bitten anyone yet, but I just didnt want the behavior to escalate. I was hoping to solve it without a bahaviorist, but I suppose I will try to contact one in my area. I guess I was expecting a quick fix when there probably isnt one.
Also you are right pitgrrl, it wouldn't be over reacting and my dog shouldn't be about to bite anyone. I shall definately be contacting someone, but I guess I will have to wait till after christmas. Thanks for the advice.. MY vet should know behaviorist in my area right?

I'm sure your vet can help and there are lists available of certified behaviorists available on the web if you search around a bit.

I think sometimes the best thing one can do for their animals is to admit they're having a problem that is beyond one's own abilities and seek outside help. I hope it goes well, please post an update.