Barking Machine/Awful at Greeting People!!!

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emtowns's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-23

Looking for a little advice from the experienced doberman parents on here....

Bandit is 7 months old now, and such a wonderful boy. He is so fun, goofy, and spunky! He has such a big hilarious personality and is such a joy (most of the time)!

One issue that we have is his barking. He barks at everything and everyone! A car drives down our road, he's barking at it, our neigbour goes to get his mail - Bandit barks at him, we are in the car in the grocery store parking lot - Bandit barks at little old ladies crossing in front of us.... literally barks at EVERYTHING. Is there an effective way to try and change this behaviour? I have tried everything that has been recommended (completely ignoring it & staying calm and happy so he knows that everything is ok, telling him no, letting him know I see it and it is time to move on) and nothing seems to work. When he gets to barking, nothing can stop him and he acts like I am invisible.

I can't even take him into the pet store without being embarassed as he barks at everyone and everything!! 

His barking is not mean, it seems kind of shy, and to let me know that someone is there. It is his way of acknowledging things and I would love to teach him a new way to acknowledge things that is acceptable in public LOL

He also has a really hard time greeting other people - he barks at them and goes to them, then runs away, and barks at them, and comes back and is just quite the freak show.

Like I said, he has not ever shown any sort of agressive/attack behaviour and is so loving - he just does not know the right way to act around others and greet other people he does not know.

Any advice would be very much appreciated because I would love to try and impliment some new strategies to change this behavior so I can confidently bring my loving and friendly dober-boy in public places without scaring other people!

It looks like I may have to have a few private sessions with our dog trainers $$$$ LOL but I know it is so worth it! 

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

oh wow I just posted on this again from my take with my other dogs

sounds like he is a bit fearful of new things and barking to "scare" it off and away.......if I had a young dog doing this now I think I would have very little stimulation to begin with, and start slow....have someone come to visit and be prepared to treat/reward for quiet behavior and ignore for bad and that can take place in seconds so you will have to be on it instantly. He needs to learn that the second he shuts his mouth he gets a reward. It would be a long process but that's how I would start.

I know the vet diagnosed my collie with a neuro misfire in the brain cause I would literally have to touch him to "snap" him out of it so I began with dosing him with rescue remedy and working with him. He would sit in the backseat of my car with his back to the back of my driver's seat and look out the back window and bark at the cars behind us, I know people thought I had a pyscho dog, I wondered myself sometimes.....but now in hindsight I think he was barking because he was incubating cancer, he had a horrible cancerous tumor behind his stomach and I think he barked because he was agitated by that ache it must have given him. His bark was a frustrated bark sometimes so I figure he was in pain, like people who snap and get snarky cause they don't feel good.

But yours sounds like too much stimulation too soon......ease him into high stimulation....that's my take on it in simple form. There is alot more that I would do to help him but that's a simple start.

emtowns's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-23

Thanks Tal! I think you are right about him being overstimulated and frightened. Thanks for the tip - I will definitely start implementing it!

Happydance's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-14

Pet Profiles

I'm thinking he needs to go to training in a group setting.  He needs socialization!  Go to a Petsmart training course if nothing else.  Fancy was taught to "meet nice" which means when she sat down and was calm to meet someone, she got a treat from the person whom she was greeting.  It worked like a charm.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

yes all dogs need socialization and stimulation but some need to start in small doses so its not quite so frightening and overwhelming some dogs just shut down, others go nuts with the stimuli.....know your dog and know which you have and go from there. And a dog that is so overwhelmed that they are not listening needs to be removed from the stimuli until they can learn to listen to you in a crowd that has always been the way I did it, it's as if the dog can't even hear you then remove the stimuli, the dog will tell you whether they have reached their tolerance threshold to crowds if you can't get your dogs attention in a crowd but you can solo then slowly introduce them to stimuli to stay within their own emotional threshold where you are stimulating them but they are still listening to you and trusting YOU to handle the information coming from the stimuli, fearful does not lend itself to learning it just reinforces the fear. just my two cents worth

emtowns's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-23

The funny thing is that he has been to group training sessions. We took him as soon as we got him to a 6 week basic obedience, and after that a 6 week intermediate obedience and he was wonderful in both classes! He loved all of the other dogs and people.

I spoke with our trainer who we went to for both classes and I am having him come to our home for a private session to be able to observe Bandit's behaviour outside at our home as his barking is the worst here. It is beginning to be a bit out of control. In the meantime, our trainer suggested to do lots and lots of obedience work outside (as he believes that Bandit is having issues with repecting me outside in our yard, but seems to respect just fine in the home) especially when there are other people outside - there is lots of activity across the street as new neighbors are in the proccess of renovating and moving in, and Bandit feels the need to bark at them nonstop.

I am so sad that my puppy is behaving this way, and frustrated - but I am so determined to change this behavior before it progresses any further. Lots of daily hard work will pay off!!

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I love these topics cause I worked with my collie on this for years, to no avail. He was the only dog I EVER had that barked non stop and stalked the neighbors through the bushes; I tried all sorts of methods and techniques and each one would work but only for a month or less then he would ignore it totally, as he got older a bit of his hearing was going meaning I might get a minute or two of peace and quiet he was the only dog I hoped as he got older his hearing would get less, I know that sounds terrible but even he was unhappy with having to bark all the time so that would have been a blessing for us all.

The only thing that stopped the barking - adopting ben our rottweiler, Goofy the collie just relaxed immediately and aged before my eyes; he instantly stopped barking and became a happy dog; apparently he felt that he was in charge and when Ben arrived he gave the torch to Ben and Ben didn't bark until Goofy died and the neighbor dogs bit him in the face, then he became a barker. But Ben was calm and relaxed and it helped Goofy to do so. Goofy had the best 2 1/2 months of his life with Ben by his side.

So I am very interested in the answers cause I know there will come a time when I will need to have this info too. My chihuahua is about 95% blind so he doesn't bark that much at people anymore until they are past our house then he smells them and barks a little bit but stops when I say so.....so short of blindness and deafness I have not had a lot of luck on this one. The chihuahua does respond to a bicycle horn I got for a buck but he thinks it means come hahahahaha