Barking whilst being petted by a visitor !

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by bonster, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. bonster

    bonster Disappointed :(

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    Hi
    Another question about Bonnie the GSD-X rescue dog!! She's getting really good/confident/used to being around people but is always quite 'defensive' in the garden and the car - and will often 'woof' strangers/passers by if they come very close, make a lot of noise etc (I think to warn me - we live in a very rural/quiet area) and will almost all of the time stop immediately when told "thank you"! I don't mind this so much, but today a visitor (brought in by me) was confidently petting her - and she was allowing it - but then... whilst letting him continue (ie not backing away)... started to bark at him quite assertively (whilst being stroked!!)... as if she was torn between it being a good and bad thing! She's had this kind of reaction before, but this time couldn't be calmed.
    Aside from the usual tips of increased socialisation, visitors giving treats etc --- any ideas?? Could have been a one-off I guess (she does seem a little off colour today), perhaps this guy reminded her of someone in her past or she just didn't like the 'intrusion'??? I'm absolutely 100% there was no danger of any jumping/biting etc but it was a strong reacton and she seemed stressed out by it all.
    Grateful for your thoughts...
     
  2. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    I too live in a remote area with little traffic & both of mine will bark to let me know someone is around and will stop when I say "enough". They also will bark if a stranger approaches the car which I don't mind as long as they also stop when I tell them to.

    I must admit that I am at a loss as to why your furpal started barking while being pet without anything having happened. Are you sure it wasn't a "You seem real nice, come on & play with me" type of bark? Chloe will do that when she's had enough quiet time & wants someone to play fetch or whatever with her.

    How did you and your visitor react when she started the barking? You said she couldn't be calmed down this time. Did it start shortly after he started petting her or had it been awhile? Sorry I don't have any suggestions other than continue socializing her as you have been.
     
  3. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Maverick did that a few times when he was younger. He gave my mom a scare while she was visiting and was alone with him. she was sitting on the couch and he just started barking at her. Totally out of character. And by then she'd been there for about a week. I really can't explain it. I think maybe he was really trying to tell her something. After he just went about his business. He's not a barker so it was odd. I'd say he hasn't done that in at least six months.

    Can't help you. But I do understand.
     
  4. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    How was your visitor petting her? It sounds almost as if she felt he was trying to dominate her, or posed some threat and she wanted you to know about it. This would explain her not backing away - which would have indicated submission and given him "the upper hand." One thing you do know now is that Bonnie won't be backing away if you ever need her!

    More importantly, how well do you know this person? I'm always inclined to keep my eyes open around someone my dogs bark at, particularly if they are acquainted with the person. So far they've been right.
     
  5. bonster

    bonster Disappointed :(

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    Thanks guys - good thoughts. The person was a new person, dog confident and was rubbing the top of her head - perhaps not "open" enough for a first hello? After a few seconds she started the woofing, which I think was more of an assertion than playful, but as the visitor was confident he didn't really show any fright and initially continued - which possibly made Bon worse... anyway, no harm done, and this was a one off visitor so will just monitor anything similar in future.
     
  6. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Definitely sounds like a human visitor playing dominance games with the dog. Rubbing the top of her head was an egregious breach of etiquete, and continuing was - well, have you ever been around a little kid that does something he knows is obnoxious because he knows you're in a situation where you can't call him down? That sounds like what this visitor was doing to Bonnie. If something like that happens again, just call her to you and have her sit by you, circumventing the whole dominance issue, since you don't want her to start to get the idea that she needs to assert herself over people, but you don't necessarily want other people to assert dominance over her.
     

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