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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Questions on Barking

My Havanese is 5 months now and her behavior is a little strange. We live in an apartment complex so there are always strangers walking around. Normally when someone is at a distance she will bark at them almost frantically as if to get their attention or warn them to back off. When they get close to her she usually stops but is really cautious of them until she gets to know them then she is fine. This is the same with strange dogs.

When we take her to an outdoor mall around a lot of people she is fine, she is more curious but doesn't bark when people are close by. Which is odd she behaves a little different in larger groups of people.

She also behaves this way around dogs. I have enrolled her in dog day care to socialize her more and she seems to do well there.

I'm wondering if there are training techniques I am missing to curb the barking or it's because she is getting close to heat she is being a bit more aggressive? I am still working on moving the commands and tricks she knows and can do inside to an outside environment with tons of distractions ( which is hard ).

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 11:38 AM
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I have a similar issue with my dog, Kipper. He loves people and always wants their attention. But when it comes to other dogs, he gets barky. I did not know whether it was aggression or just extreme excitement and him wanting to play. We had a couple of sessions with a trainer that came to our home.

She thinks Kipper is not aggressive but she did say that how I handle it could tip the scale. I think we're gonna get a few more sessions with her to make sure. That's the only suggestion I have for you. Get someone who can help you determine what he may be communicating with his behavior and what you need to do exactly to curb it.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari214 View Post
I have a similar issue with my dog, Kipper. He loves people and always wants their attention. But when it comes to other dogs, he gets barky. I did not know whether it was aggression or just extreme excitement and him wanting to play. We had a couple of sessions with a trainer that came to our home.

She thinks Kipper is not aggressive but she did say that how I handle it could tip the scale. I think we're gonna get a few more sessions with her to make sure. That's the only suggestion I have for you. Get someone who can help you determine what he may be communicating with his behavior and what you need to do exactly to curb it.

Good luck!
Excellent suggestion. It's pretty much impossible to figure out the reason for a specific behavior via internet.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 11:47 AM
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I love all peoples and other animals. However, when I meet new peoples or new doggies in a public place, I don't bark but I am reserved and it takes me two or three minutes to size them up and then I want to play with them.

Now at mi casa, that is a different story! When a stranger (peoples or doggies) "invades" my personal territory, like even outside the front door, I alert my Momi and Popi with some loud barking. I don't know who it is out there and it could be danger. I have learned when Momi or Popi says "okay", I stop barking immediately and they have now taken charge of the situation, but I still keep a watchful eye on everything. If it is someone I already know, as soon as I recognize them, I give them the grand welcome and lot's of besos.

I have different kinds of barks to communicate. A high pitched "yip, yip" means I want my Momi and Popi's attention (let me out to potty, let me back in, I'm hungry and you are late with my meal, etc.). A long bark/howling means I am under stress and very concerned about something (strangers in my territory). A "yap, yap, yap" means I am happy to see you, let's play (like when I go on a play date with Lucy or my cousin doggies visit me or when I meet a new doggie while taking my Popi for a walk). I have more different barks but sometimes peoples are slow in picking up what they mean . Peoples have to listen carefully.

It is my job to protect my Momi and Popi in our casa and I take my job seriously. You know that we Havanese were traditionally used as guard dogs and it is in our genes to protect our casas and familias.

Your doggie is just behaving according to instinct and is showing you he loves you and will protect you. With the right training, you can use his barking to your advantage to determine what your doggie is telling you. He can be trained to control his barking through patience and practice and the right response from you.

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Last edited by Ricky Ricardo; 12-12-2014 at 12:10 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 07:38 PM
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there could obviously be a number of things going on but my thoughts relative to the most likely/common are as follows:
First, dog behaviour is sooooo contextual so dogs may appear to behave completely differently in only slightly different contexts. However, when it comes to fear and related responses, this is very likely to generalise. The body will err on this side of caution and exhibit fear related behaviour across a range of situations. I am concerned that a pup of this age has strong responses to strangers. Well, this behaviour could worsen given her age and that she is becoming an adolescent when things become scarier and behaviour becomes less predictable. So, the difference in her behaviour is probably related to her stress levels and the inhibition of behaviour that that can cause. So, where she is more confident, near home, her behaviour will be more demonstrative. She moves forward and she warns, asking outright for space and time rather than interaction. Where she is less confident, particularly in a crowd, her behaviour is suppressed and her responding more inhibited. A dog that appears 'calm' is often not - calm dogs act normally, as they would at home, loose movement, interaction, curiosity etc. The opposite of that is what a lot of people think of as being calm when actually the dog's behaviour is inhibited because it's all too much for them. I would have concern for her growing reactivity to strangers if exposing her to crowds of people at this strength is continued. Some help on the ground, with a savvy trainer or resource that can help bump up your understanding of canine signaling, might help a lot. It's also a good idea to give her lots of space from people and teaching her that she doesn't need to react to get space. Really important that puppies at this stage have a lot of choice in their interactions with others. So reading her signaling and allowing her more control over what's happening to her in terms of interactions with people.

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