Do people assume barking is bad? I took Chief with me to PetsMart and he was being a good boy. He does get excitable when he's close to other dogs though. He looks at them for a couple moments and then usually starts barking if they stay where they are. I always thought it was a friendly bark though- his ears are perky and his tail is wagging. I tell him him to sit and be quiet then give him a treat after he sits and stops barking. One of the men we encountered today asked me if Chief was aggressive toward males and I replied that I didn't think so, he just gets generally excited around other dogs. He had a small white pit bull and the lady with him had a chihuahua mix.
Is it OK that I'm bringing my excitable dog into the store? I have been able to keep physical control of him so far, but there have been a few times where he's gotten pretty worked up and tugged at me pretty hard to go explore another dog. I've always been able to keep him a short distance away from the other dogs though. I'd like to keep taking him out with me because I think the difference in scenery is good for him. He's used to going everywhere with his 'pack' due to his time as a Service Dog but now his outside time is just walks, the pet store, and the vet.
Another thing is that my cousin has four Goldens, and I would love to arrange play dates for our pups. All of them are females and adults. They have been spayed. They are rambunctious and not well trained though. Should I be pursuing this? I was thinking that perhaps we could meet up with my cousin and one of the dogs at one of the dog parks, because I wasn't sure if going over to their house would cause problems. But I've never done this sort of thing, so I don't know. My experience is mostly with cats, not dogs and cats are usually very territorial!
NO ,i would'nt say that barking is nessasarily a sign of aggresion.Jack tended to act the same way.he'll bark in order to get the other dog's attention with more socialization he grew out of it.socialization (play dates) may be the thing for Chief.with more socialization with other dogs he may cut down on his need to bark for attention.and dog's have a way of correcting each other's manors.
Meeting and greeting othres dogs has always been somewhat problamatic with my dogs also. I had one who was "non-reactive" to dogs. He was a dominent dog and didn't feel the need to react to other dogs, and other dogs seemed to know that they didn't need to threaten him either. Emilu was much more dog reactive, sometimes in a negative way, and Baxter, at 15 months is still very excited to meet other dogs and I can have a hard time controlling him too. First thing - don't let the dogs get into a "stare-down", as soon as your dog starts looking at another dog, redirect them to you, praise and treat. It's ok for them to look at other dogs, but don't let it escalate into barking (even friendly) - redirect and praise, then move away. If he does bark, just move away, and when he is quiet, praise and treat. I also use a prong collar on Baxter when he is out and about, just so I have better control of him.
Chief was a Service Dog??? What type of service dog? Seems odd he's as reactive as you claim since they are generally well socialized and trained.
Short answer, yes, I do think it's rude to allow your dogs to bark inside an establishment (mine get scolded if they bark in my house too-- I just don't like it).
It sounds to me like a good obedience class is in order.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Chief aided my mother in law, who is wheelchair bound, for 5 years. Mom sent me a copy of his commands list from training which has over 50 commands on it and I'd say that while he was with her they used about 75% of the commands on a day to day basis. I will need to ask Mom which ones they used the most. I don't think his puppy trainer worked with him at all while he was there, except for giving him the job of fetching the newspaper, so perhaps he is now just a bit rusty on what to do?
As for classes, which level would be best for us? Due to his history I think he could be considered advanced, but I may not be!
EDIT: How much do the classes at PetCo and PetSmart usually run? I can't find pricing information on their web sites.
Last edited by carrot; 11-05-2011 at 08:34 PM.
i would correct him every time he barks at other dogs. tank used to do it adn it even came that people in the neighboorhood were terrified of him(now they love him ) I would teach him that if he deosn't bark he gets a treat plus gets to meet other dogs.
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
If I may, I would like to direct the attention to the other end of the leash.
I read that this dog was a service dog for 5 years. From that I have to assume that this dog was trained, well trained. This is what generates my opening comment.
An obedience class would be great, but the concentration needs to be on training the trainer. I suspect this dog knows exactly how to react when directed the right way. I would try to contact the person or organization that provided the Service Dog. Then try to arrange a few sessions with them to train the person holding the leash. It shouldn't be that hard.
I am not trying to be nasty toward the OP, it is just how I read what has been posted.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Yes, most people assume that barking dogs are aggressive. My Mitzi, the most gentle dog I have ever known, started excited barking when she was older (around 8YO). She barks nonstop when she's excited (meeting people or dogs) or when she's nervous or scared (at the vet). The only way I can control it is to get her to focus attention on me instead of what's making her excited. Then I can get her to calm down and stop barking.
From what I read, Chief must be an older dog who spent the last five years in service to a wheel chair bound lady, then transitioned into a normal dog life of walks and visits to the pet store. This is a big change in his life. No wonder he gets excited. It wouldn't hurt to see how he behaves with cousin's rambunctious goldens. He may not want to play, being an older guy with four wild goldens, but it will give him a chance to get accustomed to being with regular dogs.
It's hard to tell from your description, what "level" he's really at. He may be fine as a home companion/service dog, but it sounds like his basic public manners are severely lacking. From my perspective as a breeder, competitor, pet owner and trainer, if a dog can't behave by the time he's an adult (~age 2) around other dogs, he has not been trained well. I EXPECT my dogs, who go w/ me in my work at times, to behave and not make spectacles of themselves (or me). Bringing a dog to any establishment is not a right, rather a privilege, in this country. Even service dogs can be ousted from an establishment if they are unruly. I also will not put my dogs in a competition if I'm not 100% sure that they won't bother another dog. Most of mine are in the obedience ring by 14-18 mos, if that gives you any idea of what is expected here.
I didn't read anything here that barking is a sign of aggression. To me, it's just rude, disruptive behavior to allow your dog to bark "just because". I'd suggest taking him to doggy day care or a park if he wants to play, not into a business establishment.
As for Petco/Petsmart... I'm not impressed w/ either curriculum. You'd be much better off going w/ a balanced trainer. Chief needs some guidance from you-- he's too old to not correct for bad behavior at this point.
I also agree w/ Ed's comment about training the other end of the leash but that's (IMO) the main target of most good dog training facilities.
Last edited by windycanyon; 11-06-2011 at 12:59 PM.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
I hate them barking, but have to realise this is their way of communicating. I think of it like a child interrupting. Kassa did it when excited. Gems and Erns for attention. I tried treats when quiet and Erns becomes worse demanding a treat.
Tessa doesn't which is great.
Inside or at a cafe it isn't acceptable for me and if the hand signal ssshhhh don't talk doesn't work he went to the car. At the dog park he is excited and very hard to control when other dogs are doing it.