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8 month male lab started barking at people

(8 Posts)
PeonyStick Sat 03-Jan-15 16:54:57

DDog . Foxred lab ,male , aged 8 month . Suddenly started barking ( very loudly ) and nervously at people coming to the house . Perfectly ok with people on our daily walks ( unless men with beards ?). How weird is that ..... He's the softest , child friendly dopey lab normally . How do I handle it ?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sat 03-Jan-15 23:52:57

Get people to come in slowly and calmly and after they've said hello to you to get down on his level and hold out a treat. Let him approach them and see that he gets a reward when he has quietly and calmly greeted them. thays what I would do but I'm no expert!

a2011x Sun 04-Jan-15 00:11:03

Distraction and treat , make a noise as soon as your dog goes to bark, preferably before your dog is fixated. Make a sh sound, a squeak, something new and happy and high pitched (not telling off sound) , turn round very quickly , treat , turn back , walk past, treat ,praise ,playing as u go past ,treat , repeat until problem is fixed.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 04-Jan-15 00:44:35

Do not give him the treat when he barks though or you're rewarding him for barking. Dogs associate cause and effect in about two seconds. Give him the treat when he's not barking and is doing what you want him to do, not what he wants to do, if that makes sense.

PeonyStick Sun 04-Jan-15 08:16:24

Ok - thank you ! Will practice today .

Lilcamper Sun 04-Jan-15 11:29:19

Rewards should come from the owner not the visitor as the dog will be conflicted wanting the food but still nervous.

Some dogs go through a second fear stage around this age. Positive associations with visitors need to be built up at a distance where he doesn't react. Visitor in sight, reward reward reward until visitor goes out of sight. If the dog won't take food or is barking you are too close.

crapcrapcrapcarp Sun 04-Jan-15 17:46:48

In addition to Lilcamper's good advice, (and only once you've progressed through it) if dog is relaxed enough and greedy enough, get visitor to throw treats behind the dog. Then dog gets double reward of a treat and being able to move away from scary person. Throwing treats to floor in front of dog to coax it towards someone they're scared of can stress them out and even lead to bites.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 04-Jan-15 18:28:10

Oh ignore me then, I did say I'm no expert. grin

I was picturing it being friends and family. The dog would have to get used to them because they'd be here quite a lot.

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