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-   -   german short haired pointer charging (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=55305)

blaster1985 August 9th, 2008 10:21 PM

german short haired pointer charging
 
Hello everyone, we have adopted a 2 year old GSP and she's fantastic except in one way; she charges the front gate of our yard whenever someone walks by. She has a very loud and intimidating bark that startles passerbys and we would like some suggestions on how to inhibit this behavior. She seems to want to alert us to some intrusion, that is not necessary to us, but we don't wish to become the annoying neighbors on the corner! We appreciate all ideas and thank you in advance!

kigndano August 10th, 2008 10:10 AM

here is what i would do.

get someone from the house to play the "passer by" of the gate. have them go outside 10 minutes or so before hand so that the dog doesnt know who will be walking by. (if your gate is easily seen through this may not work anyways, so you might need to rercruit someone to help)

have the person walk by - and go back and forth in front of the gate. it is YOUR job to walk in front of your dog, and claim the area next to the gate. you do this by simply standing in front of the gate facing your dog. and whenever the do charges the gate, YOU get between the dog and gate yourself.

you MUST stay with the exercise until the dog moves backwards away from the gate and stops barking. once that happens you yourself move from the gate.

if the dog goes back to the gate you must repeat the process until the dog surrenders to the exercise.

i did this with my dog a few times when he barked at squirrels in the backyard. i simply stood between him and the glass door, and pointed away into the house. when he turned and moved, i left. it only took a few reps and he doesnt do it anymore.


it worked for me, so give it a shot.

and good luck:goodvibes:

blaster1985 August 10th, 2008 10:16 AM

gsp charging
 
Thanks for the advice; we are doing something similar, without much success; let's face it, without any success. Very stubborn dog but we will try your suggestion of getting in between her and the gate to get her to back away. I want to be able to let her be free in the fenced yard without her barking at people passing in the front of the house. By the time I get there, the person is already gone and her barking usually is over. She is alerting the pack(us) of a perceived threat; she probably feels she is doing her job, but we don't need to be alerted just because someone is walking by!

kigndano August 10th, 2008 01:58 PM

exactly!

and to let HER know that you dont want that from her you must claim the area, that way, in HER mind someone is already controlling that situation, and she does not need to because you are!

good luck!

Lissa August 11th, 2008 10:39 AM

Is this the only time that she barks or does she also do this indoors or when riding in a car?

Is she getting enough physical and mental stimulation? How long ago did you adopt her? Does she have an enough command that she listens to 100%? Can you call her off when she is barking (ie: is she responsive to you)?

Is she simply barking or when you say "charging" do you mean that she is running back and forth, barking constantly? If so, I would consider that barrier aggression/frustration more than a "alert" barking.

I personally wouldn't continue attempting to "claim the area" in front of the fence... Dogs who are so focused on their trigger will likely find your presence rewarding ... While you are trying to let the dog know that the fence is yours:p - the dog is likely to ignore you completely or be REINFORCED unintentionally or it becomes a game of trying to evade you and get to the fence... Not to mention, that most dogs learn that when you aren't in proximity they can revert to barking/charging.
I do not see a problem with using your body as a barrier/interruption between your dog and her trigger but it won't work alone IMO.

Since barking is a self-rewarding behaviour, I wouldn't let her outside unsupervised - you don't want her to continue practicing the barking.
I personally would use positive reinforcement because instead of focusing on what you don't want, you are focusing on what you DO want from your dog and rewarding heavily for appropriate behaviour.
First, I would suggest you shape a "call off" cue - one that means "run to me as fast as you can because great things will happen". You need to have a reward ready that your dog LOVES. You will need to train this cue away from her triggers first and slowly add them. This will help you when you start adding triggers and it will also help you manage the situation when necessary.
While you are training a call off cue, I would take her to the fence and have a volunteer walk by. Reward her the instant your friend walks by and continue to do so until your friend is out of sight (even if she is getting a few barks in). Do this a couple of times and she will start looking to you instead of barking. At that point, ease up on the rewards - now you only reward if she is actively engaged (ie: run through OB commands)... If she reverts to barking, you can ignore or use your body to interrupt or use a no reward marker (which indicates that she made the wrong choice) - when she looks back at you reward. It won't take long for her to realize that barking isn't as rewarding.
You can also try big-time desensitization (borderline flooding) where you have a lot of her triggers walk back and forth constantly, regardless of what your dog does. While flooding is not something I generally like, it is what I had to with my friends Std. Poodle as nothing was as rewarding as barking and anything I did only reinforced him. I let him react and did nothing, I asked my volunteers to keep walking back and forth, acting like the maniac poodle did NOT exist. Eventually the Poodle realized that no matter how much he barked, nothing changed at that point he stopped for instant and I marked and rewarded. He gave up on the barking and engaged with me. While there was is always a tendancy for him to bark whenever he heard or saw something it was 1-2 ALERT barks and then a call off had him running back to me.

kigndano August 11th, 2008 12:51 PM

"While you are trying to let the dog know that the fence is yours - the dog is likely to ignore you completely or be REINFORCED unintentionally or it becomes a game of trying to evade you and get to the fence... Not to mention, that most dogs learn that when you aren't in proximity they can revert to barking/charging.
I do not see a problem with using your body as a barrier/interruption between your dog and her trigger but it won't work alone IMO."

A dog will learn that the fence and the area belongs to the human, same principle as teaching a dog what to chew/not chew on. over time they understand what things are acceptable. the dog will certainly not ignore her if she stands in front of her and moves towards her as she is reacting. it is impossible for the dog to ignore you if you are in her line of sight (esp. her target...aka the fence)

i totally agree with your logic for a command to usefor when people are there, but a standard recall command should work there, no need to train a new one right?
BUT that doesnt help if no one is around.

it also does nothing in the dogs mind to change her feeling that she has to control the gate. THAT is the issue here IMO, the dog feels that she is controlling the entrance to the house when she should KNOW that the humans control it.

just my :2cents: but i dont feel like a command will do the trick.



"While you are training a call off cue, I would take her to the fence and have a volunteer walk by. Reward her the instant your friend walks by and continue to do so until your friend is out of sight (even if she is getting a few barks in). Do this a couple of times and she will start looking to you instead of barking"

im not sure rewarding her even while barking wont just confuse the dog, isnt that a mixed message?

im not a positive training guru or anything, just seems like mixed signals for the pup.

:2cents::2cents: only.

Ford Girl August 11th, 2008 02:25 PM

[QUOTE=Lissa;638529]
Is she getting enough physical and mental stimulation? [/QUOTE]

This is the first thing I thought too, exercise, how much exercise does your dog get? Backyard wandering doesn't count, real exercise outside of the yard. And socialization.

Dogs become possesive of their yard if they are bored. :shrug: What else does your dog have to do in its day?

Do you have a leadership role with this dog already? As in, is this your only problem area? Proper exercise and stimulation and structure often solves issues such as this. :)

Ford Girl August 11th, 2008 02:31 PM

[QUOTE=kigndano;638595]
i totally agree with your logic for a command to usefor when people are there, but a standard recall command should work there, no need to train a new one right?
BUT that doesnt help if no one is around.

it also does nothing in the dogs mind to change her feeling that she has to control the gate. THAT is the issue here IMO, the dog feels that she is controlling the entrance to the house when she should KNOW that the humans control it.

just my :2cents: but i dont feel like a command will do the trick.
[/QUOTE]

I agree it doesn't help if no one is around but dogs shouldnt be left in yard unattended for extended periods of time - as in long and often enough to feel they control the gate.

This dog does sound bored and it sounds like it is guarding the gate, the dog needs to know this isn't their job, and that starts in the house and all other aspects of the dogs daily routin.

Once you've burnt off the energy, leash the dog, stand in the driveway and correct unwanted behavior with a gentle correction and a word like "enough". If its a long drive - teach them to stay on the steps and not even approach the gate. Dogs who guard and become possesive need a leader who will do this for them so they dont have to. You should look up N.I.L.F., its an excellent way for you and your family to learn how to be leaders.

My dog charges at the mail man, we work with her as oftens as possible and if we can't be out there at mail time - she's inside with us. :shrug:

blaster1985 August 11th, 2008 05:08 PM

claim the fence
 
Thank you for your great suggestions! I wouldn't say my dog is barking out of boredom; she gets plenty of exercise and stimulation. A one hour power walk/run in the morning that lasts an hour and a walk at night that goes about a half hour. She is never alone here and can go in and our of the house into the fenced in yard at will. The fence barking is really the only issue for the moment and your suggestions of claiming the fence seem to make sense(to me, not the dog!) I'll keep you posted.

Lissa August 11th, 2008 09:06 PM

[QUOTE=kigndano;638595]A dog will learn that the fence and the area belongs to the human, same principle as teaching a dog what to chew/not chew on. over time they understand what things are acceptable. the dog will certainly not ignore her if she stands in front of her and moves towards her as she is reacting. it is impossible for the dog to ignore you if you are in her line of sight (esp. her target...aka the fence)[/QUOTE]

Perhaps you haven't delt with extremely reactive/fixated dogs? It is quite [B]easy [/B]for a dog to ignore you or find your presence reinforcing when they are zoned in on their trigger.

[QUOTE=kigndano;638595]no need to train a new one right?[/QUOTE]

Actually there usually is. Aside from needing a more sacred command than "come" (which is often overused)... teaching a new command builds value for the relationship and in my experience, spending a little extra time with your dog is all that is necessary to solve behaviour problems.

[QUOTE=kigndano;638595]it also does nothing in the dogs mind to change her feeling that she has to control the gate. THAT is the issue here IMO, the dog feels that she is controlling the entrance to the house when she should KNOW that the humans control it. [/QUOTE]

IMO dogs bark because its self-rewarding not because they think they control everything. Dogs IMO aren't on a power trip, they are simply doing what works.

[QUOTE=kigndano;638595]im not sure rewarding her even while barking wont just confuse the dog, isnt that a mixed message?[/QUOTE]

I said a few barks in... Most people do not have impeccable timing and it will happen. It's not the end of the world and since the trigger isn't going away the barking is not working on any level. Eventually the dog will realize what works and what doesn't, even if they manage to get a bark or 2 in. The idea is to focus on what you want not what you don't want. I didn't say reward while she is manic barking.

Lissa August 11th, 2008 09:10 PM

[QUOTE=blaster1985;638713]Thank you for your great suggestions! I wouldn't say my dog is barking out of boredom; she gets plenty of exercise and stimulation. A one hour power walk/run in the morning that lasts an hour and a walk at night that goes about a half hour. She is never alone here and can go in and our of the house into the fenced in yard at will. The fence barking is really the only issue for the moment and your suggestions of claiming the fence seem to make sense(to me, not the dog!) I'll keep you posted.[/QUOTE]

For a sporting dog, that is actually not a lot of exercise IMO. Also, since you do not mention mental stimulation, I would wager that part of the problem is boredom.

Freedom to come and go as she pleases (and reward herself with barking/charging) is the problem. She has yet to earn that privilege!

I am surprise that "claiming the fence" makes sense now when in your second post it was something you have already tried unsuccesfully.

Good luck and I hope you find something that works.

kigndano August 12th, 2008 09:31 AM

[QUOTE=Lissa;638861]Perhaps you haven't delt with extremely reactive/fixated dogs? It is quite [B]easy [/B]for a dog to ignore you or find your presence reinforcing when they are zoned in on their trigger.



Actually there usually is. Aside from needing a more sacred command than "come" (which is often overused)... teaching a new command builds value for the relationship and in my experience, spending a little extra time with your dog is all that is necessary to solve behaviour problems.



IMO dogs bark because its self-rewarding not because they think they control everything. Dogs IMO aren't on a power trip, they are simply doing what works.



I said a few barks in... Most people do not have impeccable timing and it will happen. It's not the end of the world and since the trigger isn't going away the barking is not working on any level. Eventually the dog will realize what works and what doesn't, even if they manage to get a bark or 2 in. The idea is to focus on what you want not what you don't want. I didn't say reward while she is manic barking.[/QUOTE]


lissa...come on now...

after reading all my posts i would think you would know how reactive my dog can be..and fixated...lol..talk about cassius in a nutshell when we walk.

dogs barking is one thing, charging of the gate is a different story. the dog is definitely trying to control the situation. saying dogs arent on a power trip CAN be true. But if the dog is a natural born alpha-dog, it is FAR from true.

spending time with the dog is always great :thumbs up

spending time with the dog and not addressing what you consider misbehaving does not solve anything IMO :2cents:

training the good in your dog is always the best option, but you, again IMO, MUST address the bad as well, otherwise you arent doing justice by your dog. someone must tell him when he is wrong too, especially since ignoring this behavior (the golden "correction" in +R) will have ZERO effect on this situation.


+R cannot solve all behavior problems, thats just how it goes. it should be the first step and method attempted, as well as setting the dog up for success, but some times a dog needs to know something IS bad, and HE is bad at times too.

just how i feel.

kigndano August 12th, 2008 09:36 AM

[QUOTE=Lissa;638864]For a sporting dog, that is actually not a lot of exercise IMO. Also, since you do not mention mental stimulation, I would wager that part of the problem is boredom.

Freedom to come and go as she pleases (and reward herself with barking/charging) is the problem. She has yet to earn that privilege!

I am surprise that "claiming the fence" makes sense now when in your second post it was something you have already tried unsuccesfully.

Good luck and I hope you find something that works.[/QUOTE]

i think that is plenty of exercise, 1.5 hours of walking? good lord, thats enough for any dog. thats a good 4-5 miles a day.

maybe the OP had tried but hadnt stuck with the exercise and followed through until the dog had calmed down to an acceptable level? if you dont follow through of course it wont work.

mental stimulation can be something as simple as keeping a heel position on a walk, an out of control walk, is not mental stimulation at least as i understand it.

also, a challenge like giving the fence up would be IMMENSE mental stimulation and challenge, especially since the behavior seems to be ingrained in the dogs mind.

luckypenny August 12th, 2008 09:58 AM

[B]Blaster1985[/B], I also have a dog that charges/lunges at the fence. What works best for us is we taught her the "upstairs," "inside," and "let's play" commands (we vary them depending on who and what is going on on the other side of the fence). She gets too aroused to listen to the 'come' command.

At first, we taught her the commands with no distractions until she had them 100% using high-value treats she only gets for those particular commands. For approximately 1 month, we accompanied her each time she was in the yard with a 3 foot drag line attached to her collar. When a dog would walk past the fence, I said, for example, "upstairs." If she didn't comply (I only say it 1 time), I picked up the leash and took her to the top of the stairs by the back door, ran her through a few commands, and then treated her. She was not released until whatever she felt threatened by had passed.

We're at the point now that while she may still sometimes charge the fence, all it takes is me saying "upstairs" (even from a window) and she immediately runs to the back door waiting for the next command. Even better, there are times that when she sees something arousing, she runs to get her favorite toy and zooms around the yard waiting for me to play with her. Indirectly, by training her, now even our other two dogs come running straight for the door (if there's another dog on the other side of the fence) waiting for me to run them through commands :thumbs up.

Originally, I did try 'claiming' the fence but, naturally, she could outrun me :laughing:. There were also two occasions where she turned to nip me (redirected frustration) so I soon realized this method would not work for us.

I hope you find a way that works for you and your dog :fingerscr.

BenMax August 12th, 2008 11:51 AM

If she understands 'here' or 'come' and then reward. Another way (which I always use and it works is umbilical cord training or leash training if dog is too strong). Like someone said here, have someone walk by the fence. If she responds to come ensure that you have the leash to draw her to you. Then reward.

Scenario:

Someone walks by the fence, use the word here or come. If she does reward, if not correct the behaviour. Immediately use here and reward.

Claiming the fence may be futile since the dog is already in a different state of mind and the dog will work it's way around you. Not having contact (by leash) and then reward - you will be trying to get the attention and it may not work.

kigndano August 12th, 2008 12:10 PM

i still stand by my statement that if you stick with it for long enough, and simply walk back and forth in front of the fence WHILE FACING THE DOG HEAD ON and makign yourself stand tall and proud the dog will submit to you and leave the area.

it may take 10-20 minutes, who knows, but if you stay with the exercise long enough i think it will work.

Longblades August 12th, 2008 04:51 PM

I've been reading with interest as this goes on. The only area I have experience in is the exercise and I have to agree, the one hour in the morning and half hour at night may not be enough. It sounds like it is on-leash too? So even more, not enough. My 10 month old Lab is doing more, 50 to 60 minutes AM and PM, partly or entirely off leash. An adult dog could do a lot more than 1.5 hours a day and off-leash burns up way more energy.

Just think, a GSP is bred to hunt ALL DAY. They are a high energy breed and need lots of exercise. There can be a problem with giving more exercise to dogs like that, they just get more and more fit. Hard for we feeble humans to keep up, unless we are into marathons. Mental stimulation can really help fill in with something else for the dog to do. In a hunting home the dog would be working on what might be extreme obedience for us, absolute rock steady stays till bird is flushed, directions for finding the bird, precise handing off. I agree with Liisa that a combination of more exercise mixed with mental stimulation is certainly worth a try for this dog.

t.pettet August 12th, 2008 10:37 PM

german short haired
 
Intervening yourself between the dog and gate everytime he lunges and barks at passerbys is ridiculous - you'd have to take up residence at the gate or continuosly be running back and forth from house to gate. Some basic obedience training as Lissa recommended would be the route I'd go.

Smiley14 August 13th, 2008 03:15 AM

As a fellow GSP owner, as much exercise as possible and as much training as possible!!! :) I found continual training classes for the first few years (we earned his CGC in the process!) was a great way for mental stimulation for the dog and establishing and maintaining the alpha position for the owner. This, along with as much exercise as you're able to give go a long way. I too have a fenced in yard with a doggie door. I think that is a necessity with a GSP. :)

I will say this, GSP's are EXTREMELY high energy and extremely inquisitive and are prone to one adventurous disaster after the next for the first few years. Around three years, I finally felt like I had some measure of control, LOL, and now at five years, he's the perfect dog. :thumbs up My neighbor's 12 year old GSP still manages to get into mischievous trouble on a regular basis. They are eternal puppies. I'm lucky in that mine has a lazy streak. :rolleyes: But they are also one of the best dogs you could ever have! I adore this breed.

Ford Girl August 13th, 2008 04:00 PM

[QUOTE=kigndano;639162]i think that is plenty of exercise, 1.5 hours of walking? good lord, thats enough for any dog. thats a good 4-5 miles a day.
[/QUOTE]

I disagree with this, this is not enough exercise for a sporting dog, especially if its leashed. And especially with behavioral problem or those dogs who are hyper, young dogs need more then 1.5 hours a day of leashed walking. They need at least that daily, and then every other day they need to really burn the edge off, drain the batteries - off leash parks, play dates, socialization, agility, etc...Throw in some mental stimulation as in training and comands and you get a balanced dog.

There are high energy dogs...and then [I]there are HIGH ENERGY dogs[/I]...:laughing: They are also "bred" for certain reasons, tap in to what they are meant to do and you will find she is more balanced.

Just my experience with a high energy dominant dog. The more we work her, the less issues we have. :thumbs up She doesn't bark at the mail mail of she's taking a nap. :laughing:

Smiley14 August 13th, 2008 07:54 PM

[QUOTE=Ford Girl;639929]I disagree with this, this is not enough exercise for a sporting dog, especially if its leashed. And especially with behavioral problem or those dogs who are hyper, young dogs need more then 1.5 hours a day of leashed walking. They need at least that daily, and then every other day they need to really burn the edge off, drain the batteries - off leash parks, play dates, socialization, agility, etc...Throw in some mental stimulation as in training and comands and you get a balanced dog.

There are high energy dogs...and then [I]there are HIGH ENERGY dogs[/I]...:laughing: They are also "bred" for certain reasons, tap in to what they are meant to do and you will find she is more balanced.

Just my experience with a high energy dominant dog. The more we work her, the less issues we have. :thumbs up She doesn't bark at the mail mail of she's taking a nap. :laughing:[/QUOTE]


I agree! My dog walker takes Petey out running for a few hours a few times a week on top of his daily walks, he goes running for a good 12 miles plus at the dog park on the weekends and I LOVE this latest thing I just got where he runs alongside a bike. :thumbs up

[url]http://www.walkydogusa.com/[/url]


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