Re: Change in Behavior

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liljayp's picture
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Joined: 2009-12-13

Hey All,
I have a question.....my son Doby is 3 months old and it seems like all of a sudden his calm behavior has changed. When we are in the living room and he is in his bed, he stares at me and then growls and barks (repeatedly). Sometimes it scares me cause I'm not expecting that and it catches me off guard.
What is the correct reaction to this type of behavior ? I say NO in a stern voice and if he keeps doing it I crate him and say bad dog. Is this OK..please helpppppppp.  :'(

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Two thoughts... rewarding "bad" behavior with comforting or petting is not all that good.
However Crating is for his security and peaceful alone time.So I don't think that is the answer as he'll equate barking with punishment equals crate..
Redirecting his attention with something interesting like a chew toy or a 'shhhh' ??
  Do you always respond in some manner when he barks? What happens if you get up and leave the room? Let us know

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Are you sure he's not wanting something?

Has he been out recently?

Does he have water in his crate?
(Assuming that "in his bed" means in his crate)

I will be sitting her on the computer in the "office" which also serves as Red's bedroom (only place for his large crate), but his is laying on the floor near me. Suddenly he will get up, face the window and bark several times. Now, if a 3 month old barking startles you, wait until he is over 2 with his full deep chest and the bark starts at his hips and rumbles out when he is 2 feet behind you.

I will look out the window and the dogs in the fenced yard across the road are looking down the road and barking. I can't hear them, but Red certainly does.

My point is that he may not be doing it to startle you, but to get your attention for something. Dogs bark to get attention and when they are unsure of something. Princess whines when she wants out or needs water. Red just comes up to me (when loose) and looks at me. In the AM he wakes me up with his barking (not the full throated, but more of a sharp yip) to go out. Each one will come up with their way to communicate, we then have to learn what it is.

When Red looks at me, I will ask "Outside?" and if he wags his tail and starts toward the utility room the answer is yes. If he just stands there looking at me, I have to check his water bowl - odds are it is empty. It used to last all day, but now with Princess, I have to fill it about three times a day (a gallon each time as it holds 5 quarts).

I never tell Red or Princess "No" when that bark. It is always "Ok" to let them know I heard them and "Knock it Off" if they keep on doing it. I do not want them to think they are not supposed to bark, for after all one of the reasons we got them is to let us know when something is going on that we need to be aware of.

liljayp's picture
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Joined: 2009-12-13

Lady Kate/rgreen4 ::::
Thanks for the quick responses. Doby does this type of behavior after we have come back in the house. He has a round bed with a pillow in it that he sits in and chews his toys and plays in. He will just stop playing or whatever and stare at me and start barking/growling. I'll walk over to him and say no and he will stop, minutes later he will do it again.
I am going to start letting him roam the living room since he is good at only relieving himself when we go outside. I'll stop saying "No" as I agree with you that he should bark.

I do not put food/water in his crate as he has his food in his bowls outside the crate where he is free to get. I know the barks will get louder and more aggressive as he gets bigger/older, I just want to make sure he isn't trying to assert his dominance towards me, that's all.

I'll keep you both posted on today's events.

Thanks again  ;D

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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What fun for you!! Try try again, and talk talk talk. the more you talk, the better the communication becomes.. Rgreen has a great understanding of the doberman ( I think he might have been one in a past life) and listening to what they have to tell you is so important..
I have found Sofia knows more words than I ever dreamed she could learn. Not only is she intuitive and super sensitive, ( QTip calls her my therapy dog) she likes it when we chat.
enjoy!!