View Single Post
Old June 10th, 2003, 05:10 PM
CanadianK9info's Avatar
CanadianK9info CanadianK9info is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Alberta
Posts: 35
Hi. First of all I recommend that you find a good behaviourist or trainer in your area to work with you and the dog one on one first. I will not give advice for something like this one the net but I will try and give you a little insight as to what might be going on.

You mentioned that the farm hand "came up to give her a pat", how exactly did he come to her? If the man tried to pat her on the head that may be the reason why. Go up to your husband and put your hand out and move it towards his head..... how do you suppose he would react, now put yourself in the dog's position. When approaching a dog, get down to their level first then put your hand out (palm facing you) and allow them to sniff.... never go for their head to pat, give them a scratch under the chin first then approach the head (starting from the chin). This is a common mistake that many people make.

They stated that she had never bitten anyone, was calm, placid and friendly with other animals, children and adults, didn't snarl when people came to the door, and though she would bark sometimes she was not aggresive or hostile.
What can I say, people lie. I wouldn't put too much value to what was written by the previous owners of a rescue dog, they lie because they want to get rid of the dog. They tell the SPCA what they think they want to hear.... rescues know most of it is bs.

I was just wondering, do you think she is just being protective of us? Is it perhaps because she feels that when she's just with one of us it's her job to watch out for us? Perhaps her previous owners trained her to be wary of men when she was alone with one owner?
It is possible that she is being protective but I think there is more of an underlying issue there. She may be a little confused as to pack dynamics etc. who is the boss, who needs the protection? Answer: you are the boss and she needs protection..... she shouldn't think that she needs to protect you from every person that approaches. It is unlikely that they trained her to be wary of men, it is more likely that they didn't socialize her properly to men therefore she sees many of them as a threat to "her pack".

do you think that taking her to obedience training classes would help with this matter and give us a better understanding of why she is acting this way? Is she too old at 4years to attend such events?
I strongly recommend finding a class and taking her. Training not only allows you to get a better handle on her it also serves to teach you a lot about her and what might be going through her head. It is also a great way to build confidence in her and help build your relationship with her. It is never too late to start training!!

I really think you should jump on this right away as a problem like this is one I can see escalating to other issues. I think she is confused and doesn't really know her place in the pack and this is very stressful for a dog as they are a creature that relies on order and stability. There are two great books that I strongly recommend you read, the first is "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson and the second is "The Latchkey Dog" by Jodi Andersen. Both deal in depth with dog behaviour while putting it in laymenís terms for anyone to understand. Good luck and please e-mail me or post here if you have any further questions.

Also visit my website and read through the articles.
Canadian K9 Information
Reply With Quote