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New rescue dog barking at cars and dogs(17 Posts)
We adopted our first dog 12 days ago. He is a bichon frise, possibly a cross but it's hard to tell. He is 1, don't know his exact age as he was a stray. On about day 3 he started barking at other dogs and on day 8 he started barking at and trying to chase cars out of the blue. We have three children so walks have become very difficult. He is also nipping alot but from what I read, this is very common. As he didn't display these behaviours until after we got him, I doubt he would have been rehomed to us if he had. I've spoken to someone from the shelter and their dog trainer is going to call me back. He is really friendly to anyone who comes in to the house so far and he loves cuddles on the sofa. Can these things be fixed or are we going to have to deal with it long term? Thanks
I would really take a step back. Stop all walks and opportunities for him to get over threshold.
It is a good idea with rescue dogs to give them a couple of weeks with very little stimulation to start with.
He is over threshold,stressed and this is showing in his reactive behaviour.
Give him time to relax totally over a week or so and then gently add in a quiet walk with limited reactions to dogs or cars.
Thanks so much for that advise. That makes total sense. I'm not sure how no walks will go as he has so much energy but he is clearly agitated on walks so calm and quiet sounds exactly what he needs.
Brain games, scatter feeding his food,lots of sniffing out food in the garden and house etc.
You will find his energy is also adrenalin driven so should settle down with less stimulation
Sorry but there is no way I would keep a 1yo dog without walks for a few weeks, he will trash your house and lose the plot.
Start by leaving the kids at home so you can concentrate on the dog. Arm yourself with loads of tasty treats and make yourself more interesting than the distractions. Call his name and reward him for looking at you. If you can’t get his attention with his name, use a treat, if that doesn’t work start walking backwards to distance yourself from the distraction and repeat earlier ideas.
Also make yourself very interesting at home by doing little bits of training very often and in different rooms.
Nipping at 1yo is unusual, he should have grown out of that. Does he nip when excited or playing? Give him a bone or chew, or get him to train a behaviour that is incompatible with nipping. If you cannot distract him or train him, consider putting him in a quiet room, behind a baby gate so that he can see you but have a chance to chill a bit. Is he crate trained?
Try watching the Dogs Behaving (very) Badly programmes....he comes up with some very effective strategies to control challenging doggie behaviour.
@Booboostwo he jumps us and nips us when he is excited to see us and sometimes when he doesn't want us to do something like put his coat on. He has started to chew on his ball alot so I will buy more chew toys today.
He is not crate trained. He always wants to sit on or beside us and the kids aren't on top of him at all. Do you think a crate is still needed? It's all new to me.
Thank you @heyday I will take a look at those
If he jumps and nips when he is excited to see you do this:
You need two people. The dog is on the lead and one person holds the lead without doing or saying anything. The other person walks up to the dog. If the dog keeps all feet on the ground and doesn’t nip, click and treat. If he jumps up/nips, fold your arms, turn your back on the dog and walk away. Repeat. If you repeat 3 times and he is too excited, walk out of the room for a couple of minutes and then repeat.
Loads of bones and chews are great for a dog that needs to chew a lot.
If he were crate trained, the crate might have helped him relax, but I wouldn’t necessarily introduce it now.
We had this with our rescue. The first thing is to buy a ‘perfect fit’ harness. This has D Ring on the back and under the chest, this stops them lurching forward.
I would begin by taking him out without the children and when the roads are quiet. Buy a treats pouch and put in some with kibble. Remember to weigh it and reduce his feed accordingly. You can either use a clicker or a voice command. So as you are walking say ‘look at me’ , ‘what’s this’ or click. When the dogs turns his head give him the treat. If you do t want to use kibble the. Other treats work well but cut them up very small. At home practice the clicker technique to get his attention and reward with a treat. Be consistent with the command so that he recognises that by coming to your side he will get a treat.
My Rescue terrrier was a nightmare for this behaviour. We used a personal dog trainer who spent 2 hours with us. And after a couple of weeks of following her advice, it was like having a different dog.
Also she got through so many toys so now we only give her Kongs which are much stronger. Chewing on a toy is a good anxiety buster.
I would follow Booboo and FLOrenze advice here. Both are describing ways that have been proven to deal with this behaviour - which is not so uncommon.
My rescue GSD was like this. No problem off lead but on lead he'd bark and lunge at other dogs, kids on scooters, anything that made a noise such as luggage being wheeled. What helped was letting him carry a ball in his mouth, it seemed to calm him down and funny to see him try to bark without letting go of the ball, kind of a muffled "oof" .
I also kept a look out for potential triggers so we could keep a good distance away and would remind him to "be quiet" and praise him when he was.
He gradually got better over a year or so and is fine now.
@meluey please don't follow advice in the programmes @heyday has mentioned. The training approaches are outdated and veterinary behaviour associations have written to the TV channel to advise they're promoting outdated training which is potentially dangerous
Booboostwo your advice is great for a 1 year old dog happily established in a home.
A rescue dog that has been in a house for only 12 days it is way too much.
jinxpixie I've used positive reinforcement for 23 years and it seems to have worked quite well with dogs from all sorts of backgrounds, plus a couple of horses and one cat. To be fair I have never heard of anyone who kept their dog in the house without walks as a training method but I know one bonkers lady who kept her puppy in her apartment for a year to keep him safe and that did not end well.
Ummm that is not quite what was suggested I love the typical MN overeaction to a comment
Trigger stacking in rescue dogs is normal .
The 3 days 3 weeks and 3 months protocol is commonly recommended for all rescue dogs.
Of course positive reinforcement is the way to go but give the dog time to relax before jumping into a major training regime.
Nor was I suggesting the OP overload her dog nor embark a major training regime. For someone who claims not to like overreactions you seem to use them quite a bit.