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Can we stop dog barking at the neighbours?

(60 Posts)
GladysKravitz Tue 07-Feb-17 15:13:21

If he sees them coming in or out of their house, in the garden etc, he strains at the lead and barks like he would like to rip them to shreds. It's very embarrassing. If he smells the other neighbour's gardener while in the back garden he goes mental barking with hackles up, trying as hard as he can to get over there!

He's 8 months old and a large guarding breed (presa canario cross). Apart from when he's being territorial like this he's very friendly to people and dogs, and will greet strangers in the park fine.

How should we address this, or is it just something guarding breeds do?

Whitney168 Tue 07-Feb-17 15:51:58

I guess saying "What on earth possessed you to take on a Presa cross without extensive experience of large guarding breeds" isn't particularly helpful ...? No, thought not.

Yes, I suppose it is something all guarding breeds have the potential to do, and it is vital that you train him to ensure that you are able to control him and divert this behaviour.

Given your inexperience, I would suggest you contact an APDT registered dog trainer and get advice, pronto, while there is still no aggression in it. At 8 months old, your dog is barely starting to feel his feet yet, and it could get much worse very quickly indeed as he matures.

SandunesAndRainclouds Tue 07-Feb-17 15:55:28

I had to google the breed as I've never heard of it... wow that's potentially a HUGE dog! What is yours crossed with?

SandunesAndRainclouds Tue 07-Feb-17 15:57:17

I may have just highlighted my own ignorance there blush

Whitney168 Tue 07-Feb-17 15:57:47

The random sale of some of these very specialist breeds and their crosses is frankly terrifying.

GeorgeTheHamster Tue 07-Feb-17 16:01:47

So your guard dog is beginning to, erm, guard?

You're going to need help with training I think.

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Feb-17 16:03:09

Don't allow him to see them coming in or out of the house?
In the garden is he on a lead or longline so you can ensure recall?

CalmItKermitt Tue 07-Feb-17 16:05:50

I can only echo Whitney.

Find a good, positive reinforcement based trainer NOW.

The APDT is a good place to start looking but be aware that some APDT trainers use aversive methods. They're not supposed to but I know of at least one who uses rattle cans/water sprays etc.

GladysKravitz Tue 07-Feb-17 16:07:39

He's crossed with a Siberian defence dog apparently although I haven't seen proof of either parent's breeding. We didn't choose him as such, he was from an accidental breeding by an idiot friend of ds and no money changed hands for him.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 07-Feb-17 16:10:18

Um, gosh. They're huge!

A quick google brought up this:

This breed requires an owner who understands the alpha nature of canines. No member of the family can be uncomfortable around the dog. Canaries make outstanding guard dogs. Just their appearance is a deterrent, not to mention their ability to confront any intruder. As with all guardian type dogs early socialization and obedience training are a must.

I'd get advice from a good trainer sooner rather than later, tbh.

GladysKravitz Tue 07-Feb-17 16:11:49

Thank you for your advice I will look into training.

Our garden is secure now so no he is not on a line. A few weeks ago he found a gap in the hedge and got next door and stood and barked at their gardener, but didn't try to go near him.

YouWillNotSeeMe Tue 07-Feb-17 16:12:36

In the mean time, maybe apologise/wine to the neighbours tell them you'll keep him out the garden at certain times and are looking to train him. Then knowing you want to do something about it will help the situation where they feel like they can't use their garden/be prepared to be jumped On going into their house

JanuaryMoods Tue 07-Feb-17 16:14:18

If I was your neighbour I'd be complaining to the council. What if it gets hold of one of them?

Whitney168 Tue 07-Feb-17 16:18:22

Serbian Defence Dog?

You say your garden is secure? Presumably you mean that you have 8 foot solid fencing with in-hanging defences too? I suspect you probably have no clue what you would need to secure a dog of this type, to be honest.

I cannot stress enough that this is not a dog for a novice, and unless you can find the right trainer and show a natural prowess for focusing this dog on you, you are probably in for a very rough ride.

Please take this as helpful advice, rather than ridicule. I think it is vital that you get professional advice ASAP with this dog, but even then I would accept the possibility that you may not be able to control him and that he could literally be a lethal weapon.

picklemepopcorn Tue 07-Feb-17 16:18:28

Get a behaviourist as others say. Generally, the advice would be to see the neighbour before he does, attract his attention and treat him, keeping his attention on you. As time goes on you can get closer to neighbour before distracting and treating him. Then just randomly reward when you see people out and about, keeping his attention on you.

My neighbours have Akitas and it makes me very anxious. And I love dogs.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 07-Feb-17 16:21:52

I think it is vital that you get professional advice ASAP with this dog, but even then I would accept the possibility that you may not be able to control him and that he could literally be a lethal weapon.

I agree.

But worried about your reference to 'a gap in the hedge', OP. Is there more than a hedge (no matter how thick) between the dog and the neighbours?

GladysKravitz Tue 07-Feb-17 16:23:01

Thank you pickle that is something constructive that I can do right away.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 07-Feb-17 16:24:30

(Btw, good on you for taking on an unwanted dog - flowers. Just a bit concerned for you!)

GladysKravitz Tue 07-Feb-17 16:27:28

It is hedge with either wall, wooden fence or wire fence along the hedge too. He is never left unsupervised in the garden, and if he starts barking we bring him in.

GladysKravitz Tue 07-Feb-17 16:31:35

Thank you Koala. I never wanted a dog and if I did would not have chosen such a breed but we love him and are determined to do the best by him. He is loving and gentle and responds well to commands most of the time, he just hates strangers near 'his' house.

Blackfellpony Tue 07-Feb-17 16:38:18

If he were mine he would be going out muzzled and I would be consulting a good trainer asap, too big and strong to mess about with!

Whitney168 Tue 07-Feb-17 16:39:39

At 8 months your dog is still very much a puppy, and you are barely starting to see his guarding behaviour yet - hence why it is so vital that you get advice from someone who can help you get reliable control through positive methods.

I am sure he has the potential to be a fabulous companion, but he will get MUCH stronger and heavier, and his guarding instinct will develop at pace from here. You absolutely need to be in control, and you need to be able to understand and anticipate his behaviour. Time to call in the experts!

TrionicLettuce Tue 07-Feb-17 16:45:27

Definitely seek out a decent behaviourist/trainer who has experience of working with hardcore guardian breeds. I would also make it a priority to properly secure your garden.

You need to be extremely careful to find someone reputable so I would go through one of the following organisations: APBC, CAPBT, APDT or IMDT.

You could also join this excellent FB group and ask for recommendations.

CuddlesAndShit Tue 07-Feb-17 16:47:33

I have no experience of either of those breeds, so other than echoing the excellent advice you have already been given about getting a trainer and securing your garden - I'm only here to see a picture of him! Pretty please smile I'm picturing a dog like Hagrid's one in Harry Potter in my head!

CalmItKermitt Tue 07-Feb-17 16:48:51

Pickle - actually that's the wrong way round and a common reason for things to go wrong when trying to change a dogs emotional response to something.

Before trying to teach an alternate behaviour like looking at the owner, it's important to teach the dog that the sight of the trigger - the thing that previously provoked a bark - means GOOD things. Therefore you wait for the dog to notice the trigger - at a far enough distance that it's noticing but NOT so close it's reacting - and feed.

To start with we don't expect the dog to do anything. We want the connection to be "dog means food. Food is good. Dogs are good"

Classical conditioning. Not operant at this stage.

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