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Cleo's Getting Protective.... :/


Guest OhCatastrophe
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Guest OhCatastrophe

So lately Cleo has been getting a bit protective.. not of me but of her home. When we first got her she would be shy around new people, maybe bark a couple times but that was about it. Lately she has been getting, dare i say, aggressive. People she has met before she barks at like crazy and has even attempted to bite/nip at people. These people are doing nothing. If I hadn't put her muzzle on when my brother came over she would have bit him. I'm not sure what to do.. shes not like this anywhere else.. when were out in the front yard shes fine, or in public. The only time she acts like this is in her home and her back yard. Some tips on what to do about this behavior would be helpful and maybe some reasoning on why shes acting like this?

 

I will never give up on this pup!

 

Also I get free training with my new job at Petco, so maybe that will help a little bit.. :/ I don't know.

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Guest Scouts_mom

If I remember correctly, she has only been with you for a couple months--correct? After a couple weeks or months in their new homes, many greys start getting assertive about protecting what is theirs. It is often seen with greys not wanting people to join them on "their" couch. I think she may be trying to say, this is her home, she likes it the way it is, and she doesn't want new people to come in and change it. I would be sure to correct her quickly when she does this (tell her "no" sharply, put her back into the house or a back room, etc.), and consider having your brother and other people bribe her with treats.

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Guest OhCatastrophe

If I remember correctly, she has only been with you for a couple months--correct? After a couple weeks or months in their new homes, many greys start getting assertive about protecting what is theirs. It is often seen with greys not wanting people to join them on "their" couch. I think she may be trying to say, this is her home, she likes it the way it is, and she doesn't want new people to come in and change it. I would be sure to correct her quickly when she does this (tell her "no" sharply, put her back into the house or a back room, etc.), and consider having your brother and other people bribe her with treats.

I thought thats what has been happening... Ive been doing that and hopefully it works.. everyone who comes in I give them treats and when she barks or bites I sharply tell her no.. maybe it'll just take some more time..

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I belong to the school that says if the dog is doing something you don't want it to, give it something else to do. Does she know how to lie down or sit on command? If not, start training. You don't need the Petco training for this, especially since she is only doing this in the house. Search this forum for ideas. I think you're going the right direction with the visitors giving treats. I'm not a training expert, but may I suggest that after you've taught her to lie down on her bed near the door, for example, you arrange for a cooperative person to visit your house. Leash Cleo. At the doorbell/knock, when she starts barking, give her the command to go to her bed (or lie down, or sit, or whatever) and lead her with the leash, if you need to. When she does, good girl! Reward! Practice until she does it readily. Then graduate to the person coming in the door. Rinse and repeat.

 

Biting is absolutely not ok -- dangerous to the human, and to Cleo if someone makes an official complaint/report. Keep muzzling when people visit until you feel she can behave reliably. Good luck, and let us know how it's going.

siggy_z1ybzn.jpg

Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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I would also suggest that if you know someone is coming over and you know that you can't be watching her every second, that you put her away in a safe spot so you don't have to try to juggle her and whoever has come to the door (utilities workers, a few people for a gathering, etc.). It will relieve her of the feel that she needs to protect her space from people if she's just in a smaller space where no one is intruding on her, and won't allow her to rehearse the protective behavior.

 

We had an X-Pen set up in the living room for a while for an unrelated issue, but if you have her trained to place in her bed in a protected location, she can see people and not be able to interact with them because of the barrier. That only really works if you either have a large living room OR you don't mind losing most of the space in your living room (this was our situation). Then people wouldn't even have to interact with her to give her treats, just toss them to her on her bed inside her "house" and everyone is safe.

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Guest Scouts_mom

Usually I just use a sharp "no" to stop an unwanted behavior--or redirect to something that is acceptable. However as another poster said, biting is an absolute no-no. If it is an actual bite and not just an air-bite, I would really scold the dog (verbally, never ever physically). Do it immediately so she connects the Mad Mom with the behavior. Once you've scolded and put her somewhere save, do not continue act mad at her--she will not understand it.

 

Also remember not to scold a growl. A growl gives you warning that the dog is upset so you can deal with what has upset the dog before it escalates to biting.

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