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Puppy 'guarding' the house, problem?

(5 Posts)
TheHoundsBitch Mon 12-Jan-15 13:00:04

Our 6 month old pup seems to have started 'guarding' the house at times, she sits somewhere up high in the living room (sofa, stairs) and stares very intently out the window, she also will jump up from sleeping to bark if there is an unusual sound outside. If I leave her outside on her own for a while she will often sit at the end of the passage down the side of the house and stare at the gate, again she will bark if there is noises the other side. I've never had a 'guard' dog before so I don't know if this is a problem or not?
At the moment I just try and distract her and reassure her a bit - she is a bit nervy generally.
She is a ridgeback cross btw, rescue since 9 weeks, very early life unknown.

Buttholelane Mon 12-Jan-15 17:47:04

Staring very intently sounds more like anxiety in my opinion rather than guarding, although I could be wrong.

I absolutely would not reassure her in any way, shape or form as she is likely to interpret that as a reward for the behaviour or as confirmation that whatever is outside is scary and anxiety is the correct response.

TheHoundsBitch Mon 12-Jan-15 19:26:18

Thanks, it could definitely be anxiety, is trying to distract her the right thing to do? Show her a toy to play with for example?
Is guarding (generally) a problematic behaviour? If it's just a part of her make up then I will stop worrying, but if it is something that needs to be discouraged then I'll need to tackle it along with all her other ishoos.

Buttholelane Tue 13-Jan-15 20:34:05

I would probably ignore the behaviour and be ready to praise desirable behaviour.
Playing can be useful to show a dog there is nothing to be afraid of, but some dogs might learn to do the naughty behaviour as a form of attention seeking to get you to play.

As to guarding being problematic, well I suppose it depends on the circumstances really.
A good guard dog, one that alerts you to people outside and acts on initiative when sensing danger could be very useful, but it could also be very dangerous.

The current legislation makes it a criminal offence for a dog to be acting in a way that could be perceived as threatening.
So in theory, a dog that sits staring intently by the gate, barking or growling as people go past could be reported and you, possibly, could be prosecuted.
That said, a house on one of my walking routes has a guard dog, inadequately contained that puts on a frankly terrifying display of aggression whenever anyone walks past.
Police have visited but because there is a sign saying guard dog present and it hasn't attacked anyone yet nothing can be done so I don't know if I would too worried about that.

I don't know if she is truly guarding however or just putting on a front out of anxiety.

The best course of action would be a trainer registered with the APBT who would be able to assess the dog and work out the best course of action.

TheHoundsBitch Wed 14-Jan-15 14:40:24

Thanks, I'll have another session with the trainer next month probably for some other things so I'll have a chat with him about this too.
She's completely zonked today after a very exciting training session (with me) she was very switched on and I think a tennis ball is her new favourite toy! And she's had a nice sniffy walk round the wood smile

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