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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Behavior Regression and fear of other dogs

Our Havanese male, Julio (Lio for short) is 6 months old. We are a large family with 6 children. He comes from a well respected breeder whom also has children so he has been socialized well his entire life, arriving with us at 15 weeks. We have taken him with us to every social event since including soccer games with large amounts of children and dogs. He has also attended my father house gatherings with as many as 15 cousins around him at any given time. Lots of sniffing, greeting, handling, etc etc. At first he seemed to be improving as far as being happy to greet other children and dogs. He started sniffing other dogs first, wagging his tale with strange children, etc. He has never met an aggressive child or dog. Now he won't even walk on the same side of the street as a fenced "dog yard". He cowers at the sight of other dogs (except my father's 10 year old male Bichon) He growls at friends who just a month ago treat trained him to roll over, sit, dance, etc. Our friends feel rejected. What in the world happened? He never has been one to run and greet a stranger with a happy hello (figured it was just a puppy thing) but now he growls and barks and acts aggressively toward friends he has known nearly as long as we have had him. He loves his immediate family and is a wonderful addition to our family but we really want to have him be more friendly toward guests and in public. He won't even take a treat from a guest! Please advise- thinking maybe a homeopathic remedy? Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 07:00 PM
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This article might explain what he is going through:

Diamonds in the Ruff
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 11:19 AM
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Shama barks more than we'd imagined she would. She goes out on the deck and barks and neighbor dogs barking in the distance. Yesterday, we took her for a walk at Lowe's (pet friendly), and she barked at customers walking in the distance. Last night, we watched an episode of Game of Thrones, and she barked at the horses. This morning, she barked at the dog featured on the CBS show, "Lucky Dog." At agility training, she'll bark at the other dogs running the course unless I cover her crate with a towel so she can't see. Barking is a topic I keep meaning to work on with Shama. Here is a link to six different videos presented by Kikopup. Maybe one or more of them could help you?

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...Sjia1hG85IyA6a

When Shama was little, I wanted strangers to be able to give her a treat in order to teach her to like everyone. Later, a obedience/agility friend/trainer suggested that my DH and I should be the ONLY people who give her treats so that she always stays very connected to us. She suggested we put her in a sit and give her treats as she allows children/strangers to pet her. You might try that. That way, Lio could feel safe because you and near and giving him treats even as he's allowing a "stranger" to touch him. Maybe then he'd think, "Should I be scared/stressed? Nope. Mom's here and giving me a treat." (I do still like to allow little children to give treats to Shama since it's such a thrill for them!)

Here is a photo of Shama watching "Lucky Dog." She barks for a while then settles in to watch intently . . .
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 12:09 PM
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Any time there's a sudden change in general behaviour it is recommended to have a vet check. This could be a stage of adolescence starting. Here is another article on this sort of thing. https://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/i...ut-adolescence
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ShamaMama View Post
Shama barks more than we'd imagined she would. She goes out on the deck and barks and neighbor dogs barking in the distance. Yesterday, we took her for a walk at Lowe's (pet friendly), and she barked at customers walking in the distance. Last night, we watched an episode of Game of Thrones, and she barked at the horses. This morning, she barked at the dog featured on the CBS show, "Lucky Dog." At agility training, she'll bark at the other dogs running the course unless I cover her crate with a towel so she can't see. Barking is a topic I keep meaning to work on with Shama. Here is a link to six different videos presented by Kikopup. Maybe one or more of them could help you?

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...Sjia1hG85IyA6a

When Shama was little, I wanted strangers to be able to give her a treat in order to teach her to like everyone. Later, a obedience/agility friend/trainer suggested that my DH and I should be the ONLY people who give her treats so that she always stays very connected to us. She suggested we put her in a sit and give her treats as she allows children/strangers to pet her. You might try that. That way, Lio could feel safe because you and near and giving him treats even as he's allowing a "stranger" to touch him. Maybe then he'd think, "Should I be scared/stressed? Nope. Mom's here and giving me a treat." (I do still like to allow little children to give treats to Shama since it's such a thrill for them!)

Here is a photo of Shama watching "Lucky Dog." She barks for a while then settles in to watch intently . . .
My friend's Havanese had the same bark bark attitude. He was harmless but he seemed to always want to sound off at any excuse. I read an article about dogs needing a pack leader. If you as an owner relinquish that duty, then your dog will feel the need to take that spot of "protector" by always having to stay alert. It is wearing on a dog to have to feel responsible for alerting whenever necessary. The dog eventually never feels at peace.

I mentioned this in a prior post, that when I saw Tux beginning to exhibit those behaviors (alerting at a sudden noise, or barking at the door because of noises outside our condo.) I knew I had to find a way to nip it in the bud. When he would bark at the door, I would distract him with whatever it took to rewire his brain. I could say calmly and in a high soft happy voice, "Hey Tux, it's okay. There's nothing out there. Come see me. Come see mom". (I NEVER got up and moved toward the door). The tone of voice is crucial. Tux realized I wasn't concerned, and he was distracted because I wanted him to come to me. When he did, I would praise him, talk to him, distract him, play with him, whatever it took to change his focus from fear guarding, to "Oh, its play time with mom!!!!"

It takes consistency and patience to keep your emotions in check so that the dog doesn't sense your hypersensitivity and translate that into, "Oh yeah, now we both need to bark at the door, Mom and me together!!" If they learn that whatever they were barking at is something you could care less about, but instead you pay attention to them CALMLY, eventually they will learn that a sudden knock or noise or animal walking nearby doesn't concern you and so they let it go.

Visitors knocking on the door requires a bit of practice. If you have to get to the door, don't run, or act excited in anyway especially if your dog is coming unglued. Don't let them get in front of you. Position yourself in front of the dog and let body language show you are the leader and YOU open the door. Tell guests to ignore your dog (not to even look at them) until everything is calm. It really really works but takes time.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 04:05 PM
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I agree with Dave. Also, be careful not to push exposure on a fearful dog or puppy. Let them stand back and observe from a safe distance. (what is "safe" is up to the dog. It should be far enough away that they don't react negatively) Sometimes these phases come and go, and if you don't make too big a deal about it, and don't over-face the puppy, they go away without you doing anything much about it. If it's a bigger problem, a good behaviorist might be necessary to help you though it. (assuming, as Dave said, that you've ruled out anything physical)

Panda went through a phase last summer (and she was 18 months at the time) when she became very hesitant to do the teeter in agility, and also no longer wanted strangers to touch her (something they must allow for some exercises in competition obedience) This was AFTER she had gone through her CGC (where a stranger has to not only pat them, but also brush them and handle their feet and ears) with flying colors a few months earlier. We just backed off a bit, and kept an eye on things. I was out of the country in late Sept/early Oct., and when I got back, I had my confident little girl back again. Flying onto the teeter, perfectly happy to do her "Stand For Exam" exercise... No "training" or "socialization" needed... just allowing her to grow up a little, in a safe environment.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. Not much change yet, but I'm being patient.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 09:11 AM
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Yes. Patience is being "taught" to us by our dogs. We become better people by learning how to communicate with more than words. We learn that our own emotions are easily interpreted by our instinctive dogs who are always paying attention.

Recently two people arrived at our door to clean the condominium windows. Tux began to bark and I told Tux in my happy voice (before getting to the door or opening it) that these were nice people. "Yeah, I said, they're here to see US!.... sing songy tone. By the time I got to the door Tux was wagging his tail cause he knew this was a good thing.

On the flip side, last night two neighbors stopped by and I was busy. My husband ran to the door and swept the barking Tux up in his arm while opening the door. Tux immediately got hyped up, agitated, and even began to growl. My husband's instinct is to verbally correct Tux (which has the opposite effect when a dog is aroused). As Tux got more frantic, my husband was starting to become irritated. This all happened in a matter of seconds. I calmly walked up to the group, said hi in a friendly calm voice and asked my husband to hand Tux over. He was a squirming, whirling dervish. I stayed relaxed, and without saying anything let Tux relax in my arms. He calmed immediately (with no words) and the minute he did, I used my happy voice and told Tux these people were our friends.....again, very sing songy. It doesn't matter what you say....it's how you say it and how you are feeling when you talk. I set him on the floor and he immediately wagged his tail and wanted to be a part of the group. Dogs will always want to protect which is a good thing, but they need help knowing when it's necessary.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 05:29 AM
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quiet please

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Originally Posted by Tux's Mom View Post
... Recently two people arrived at our door to clean the condominium windows. Tux began to bark and I told Tux in my happy voice (before getting to the door or opening it) that these were nice people. "Yeah, I said, they're here to see US!.... sing songy tone. By the time I got to the door Tux was wagging his tail cause he knew this was a good thing. ... I set him on the floor and he immediately wagged his tail and wanted to be a part of the group. Dogs will always want to protect which is a good thing, but they need help knowing when it's necessary.
Perry's 'quiet' command is still a work in progress. When he's doing the bark bark (usually there's something there, often it's one of our guards who patrol every hour, but nothing he needs to alert us about), I'll tell him 'quiet please' (I use it sometimes when he's barking in his crate, which isn't often anymore)... and he'll stop. However, when it's someone at the door, or someone coming up the stairs to our garden/ yard, that command doesn't work (it's as if he's saying 'no really Mom, you need to get out here, SOMEONE who isn't usually here is entering our space), then I will go out and stand between him and the person and say something like 'thank you, it's fine, that's enough' and he'll usually stop barking. I don't generally use the sing-song voice, but it's the same voice every time and it lets him know that I've seen what he's concerned about and everything is fine. I do, sometimes, pick him up and tell him the same thing and he calms down as well - for us it's about the voice and body language. he just wants to know that someone is taking care of it and he doesn't need to be concerned.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 02:05 PM
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Harrah Forum!

This just came up when an unhappy friend visited for five days. My three were in high alert and would bark at the door, on walks and most particularly at her. Their instincts communicated danger. Repeatedly I asked said friend to not correct my dogs (she liked to make a harsh, loud sound) when they barked and she ignored me repeatedly. More barks ensued as my dogs really enjoyed the human who barked along with them.

Finally, I said, "If you need to correct, then harshly hiss at me. They are doing what dogs do and reacting how dogs react. If you truly feel I haven't trained them properly, then I am the one to blame, and I understand what a human means when they make a loud, unpleasant sound." She did not start to hiss at me, but would still correct my dogs and afterwards apologize to me for making that sound she was not supposed to make.

Obviously, she has a personality disorder or dislikes me, I concluded.


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