Kubrick & Hitchcock's Mom
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
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Well, growling when dogs are near the house wouldn't bother me that much, unless it was extremely aggressive. Kubrick growls at the doorbell, because he's warning me that people are coming. We live in an apartment building and when people are being loud, he'll sit by the door and grumble about the fact that they're being loud. When people come in, however, he knows to be nice and he stops the growling. Is this what Boo does or how does he react when dogs come over? Keeping him from growling when dogs are around isn't solving the problem, it's just keeping him from growling. If he's afraid, you may find that he'll snap at a dog next time because he'll think that growling is not okay, so his only alternative is to bite.
6 weeks is also not a long time for a rescue (or even any dog in fact) to be 100% okay with a new place. He's still getting his bearings and you'll find that he'll become more comfortable as time goes by. If you want to work on how he deals with dogs walking by, that's something you can definitely do by distracting him with commands and treats! Most trainers I trust will tell you that if a dog is really upset by something you shouldn't force him to be okay with it, especially if he isn't ready.
If I were you I would work on training when a dog comes by. Of course, you need to do this when dogs aren't around as well. When Kubrick was young he was scared to death of other dogs (due to his not being well-socialized before he came to me) so I worked on getting him to focus on ME when other dogs were around, and not on the other dog. So when we were out for a walk and another dog was approaching, I would make him sit and watch me (the watch command is important for this) and feed him lots of treats (small pieces, of course) until the dog passed by. In other words, I wanted him to ignore the dog. The first thing you need to teach Boo is how to ignore a dog altogether then, and only then, should you work on teaching him how to be friendly with them. And Kubrick is now possibly the most friendly dog (to other dogs) I've ever met, so it does happen, it just takes time.
ETA: I hope my post makes sense... I just realized that it seems all over the place. Let me know if you need clarification as I'm too cold to fix it... my heater isn't working today and it's 40 degrees. Blegh!
Last edited by Lina; 12-01-2009 at 11:54 AM.