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Extremely Protective?

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I have had my male grey about 2 1/2 months now. For the most part he is easy going, but I have noticed in the last several weeks that he is getting very protective of me. If we are doing our walks and he sees someone (usually a male) a block away he will start barking and jumping and tries to position himself in front of me. No matter how much I try to correct him, he will not let up until the person is out of sight. He also is extremely pig headed about anything in his mouth. I am afrail someone is going to get hurt...probably me.

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Guest Swifthounds

Sounds like you need to work on positive associations with people on the street. Verbal corrections or tugging on the leash will probably encourage the behavior. I would go with positive reinforcement when he isn't reacting to reinforce the behavior you want.


Regarding things he has in his mouth you'll want to teach the command "leave it." Start with something that he doesn't feel really strongly about. Say "leave it." Wait until he drops the item and give him a treat and praise. Work up to having him give more valuable items.

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Guest Giselle

For one reason or another, he has associated other people with something negative. It could be that he's sensing your tension or fear. It could be that he now associates strangers with corrections (leash pops, etc.). It could just be an awkward phase. Whatever the reason, however, the cause isn't a huge factor in this situation since your plan of action is pretty simple:

1) Teach him to focus on you, especially in these situations. I recommend searching this forum for my posts on shaping a "Watch me"/"Focus". I highly recommend shaping a "watch me" over luring because it tends to be more easily learned and more consistent than luring.

2) Teach him to neutralize strangers. They shouldn't elicit negative feelings or overly excitable feelings. They should just be neutral. If he sees strangers as completely neutral, he won't react. To do this, I would also suggest reading my past posts on the "Look at That" game. If you can't find either the "Watch Me" posts or the "Look at That" instructions, let me know and I'll post it again. Good luck! It's a bit of work, but it's fun and you'll have a more reliable, happier, calmer dog in the end :)

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