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We have no control over our dog when other people are around.

(11 Posts)
mampam Mon 05-Jan-15 16:46:08

Our JRT bitch is absolutely fine at home when it is just us (myself, DH and DC's) but as soon as anyone comes to the house she turns into an absolute nightmare and we have absolutely no control over her.

I think there are 2 main problems:

1) the continual barking. We live next door to my inlaws, they walk past our window at least 10 times a day everday but everytime the dog barks and barks. She barks or growls if she hears their front door open or shut, the same when they put their bathroom light on (a pull light) or shut their bathroom door or if she can hear theirs or someone elses voice.
She barks and growls at us when we go in and out of the front door (if she can't see who it is). She barks at the postman, cars driving past the end of our drive etc, you name it she barks at it and it's driving us potty.

2) When ever someone comes to the house we have the usual barking but she literally just sprints to the person and starts jumping up at them. Not in a malicious way but to get attention. She won't come when we call her or listen to us because she's too busy trying to get the attention from that person. The thing is she just doesn't calm down. If we let her she would spend the duration of the person's visit to our house jumping all over them.

The majority of our friends have small children and it's frightening for them to have a dog jumping up at their faces all the time even though she means no harm and is just excited.
A couple of weeks ago we had friends over and put the dog in her cage because they have a little girl and the dog barked, growled and howled for the duration of their 4 hour visit (dog was taken for a walk by oldest DS during this time so she wasn't locked up for 4 hours).

I just dread anyone coming to the house now as the dog is just out of control. I know it is our fault as there must be something that we are doing or have done wrong with her.

We feel like we've tried everything but are not having any luck. Is there anything that we can do?

Incidentally she is ok when we take her for a walk as she is on a lead but we can't for instance take her to the beach with us as she is the same as at home, barks at everyone walking past and pulls on her lead the whole time to try and get away to jump all over people.

CurlyWurlyCake Mon 05-Jan-15 16:51:38

How old is she?

We practiced and practiced and bloody practiced some more the sit and treat method by asking a friend to help knock on the door.

I have a link some where...

mampam Mon 05-Jan-15 16:54:59

She's 15 months.

A link would be great thanks. We're willing to put in as much time as it takes just to crack this before one of us goes insane grin

HamperNoShow Mon 05-Jan-15 17:01:23


cupofsneeze Mon 05-Jan-15 17:51:06

I've always had big dogs and never had any problems with excessive barking and hyper behaviour but then we got our JRT ....

What a nightmare!

He barks if he farts let alone someone knocking on the door.

What we've done is made the children knock on the door from outside with me cuddling him before they knock so that if he manages to stay quiet for a milli second i treat him immediately. Any speck of noise, he gets nothing.

I have to hold him in my arms or the bugger goes into such a hyper state i cant get near him with a treat!

Repeated, repeated and repeated again, it has helped a bit and 80% of the time he wont bark which is a massive improvement.

We now have a bigger problem and thats cars, any car that drives down our road gets a full chorus and so do our neighbours unfortunately. We cant work out how to solve this one because i never know who's coming down the road or when.

I will never get another JRT even though he's adorable when the world doesnt disturb us grin

mampam Mon 05-Jan-15 19:25:17

Oh dear there doesn't sound like there is much hope re: the barking at cars. DH and I definitely going to try getting someone to knock on the door whilst we try giving her treats for not barking!! Easier said than done but we'll have to persevere.

Has anyone got any advice about the excitable jumping all over our guests?

Booboostoo Mon 05-Jan-15 19:40:12

What commands does she know? Have you taken her to training classes?

For the jumping up: you need two people. Put her on a lead and one person holds her without moving. Second person approaches, if she jumps up or barks he folds his arms, turns around and walks away. Repeat. If at any moment she keeps all feet on the ground and is quiet, click and treat. Repeat. Then repeat in different rooms and then with loads of different people.

Similar with the door. One person deals with the dog and puts her in a sit stay before the visitor knocks on the door. The second person opens the door but if the dog barks the visitor leaves.

mampam Mon 05-Jan-15 22:11:56

Thank you Booboostoo you could well be our lifesaver grin

When no one else is around she is as good as gold. She will sit, stay, give her paw, come here, go to her cage when told. Outside when it is just us and she is off the lead she will come when called or you give a small whistle. The problems start when anyone else is in the vicinity!! Outside we can put her on a lead so she can't run off to people (which she does) but it's inside when anyone comes to the door or in the house that the problems start.

No never been to training with her but are seriously considering it now as we are at our wits end (but will try your method too).

As I've read on many of the doghouse threads humans are half the problem when training dogs. Our dog is rather a small JRT, looks like a little pup even though she is fully grown and is very cute so people will make a fuss over her even when we tell them not to. We're going to have to be very firm with our guests from now on I think.

Booboostoo Tue 06-Jan-15 10:41:34

She sounds very bright and trainable, she just gets excited when people are around. For now you have to stage manage situations. Get her doing sits, downs, etc before someone arrives so her attention is on you and she is being rewarded for the right thing.

Try the attention exercise as well: have her in front of you, say her name, click and treat when she looks at you. Increase the length of time she must look at you before you click and treat (but don't make it progressively more difficult, always revert to shorter times).

Training classes will be ideal for her as it sounds like she needs to practice concentrating with other people and other dogs around. Remember dogs learn in specific places and situations, so if you practice sit in your living room it doesn't mean that the dog will sit if you ask for it in your garden. Try to train in as many different places as possible.

CarbeDiem Wed 07-Jan-15 14:25:35

OP - I have a 17 week old and until roughly 7-10 days ago she done what you describe in your 2) point.
She goes nuts to get at people, once she does and especially if they invite it by fussing over her, it was very difficult to get her to listen and stop.

I began, once I spotted people coming towards us, distracting her with a 'sit' command and a treat, making her wait until the person had passed us. I kept on and on and on some more doing it, gradually dropping the treating - every second time and we're now on every third time but it's working.
Sometimes she is completely ignoring the people completely even without telling her to sit/treat but not too often yet.
Now I need to get her to allow people at the door without wanting to jump and lick them to death smile

mampam Thu 08-Jan-15 09:43:13

We have stocked up on treats so will update on how we get on smile

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