It's a long story but I'll try and make it brief. Bruce is almost 18 months old. He is the sweetest dog ever. I have no worries with him around our 9 month old grandaughter he is kind sweet and gentil. He is very well socialized he goes almost everywhere with me. He has many dog friends he plays with and he is always the submissive one. We have encountered many dogs and people on our walks on leash and off and never a raised hair. He usually chokes himself so he can go and visit other people and dogs. He especially loves kids.
That being said he HATES our neighbours. We have neighbours on 3 sides only separated by fence. The old couple on the left no problem he runs to the fence to greet them tail wagging. The ones behind us they have a dog and he and Bruce run the fence together. BUT the ones on the right of us a totally different story. If they walk past the fence he is barking and growling and jumping at the fence. He is repremanded for jumping on the fence and is getting better. They seem like decent people and say they have never done anything to him. They do have a poorly behaved cock a poo who also barks snarles and jumps at the fence and barks 24/7. I Think this is where the hate comes from.
Tonight I let Bruce out the front door to get in the car without a leash (I know my fault) and the son in law was in their driveway. Bruce took off and jumped on him and grabbed his arm. Scratched his leg left marks on his arm but didn't break the skin. I called him and he came right back. Talk the the guy apologized and he said it was no big deal. I felt awful. This isn't the sweet dog I know. I thought all was ok.
After we got home from playing chuck it and swimming in the river the Dad in the house called irrate. What are we going to do about our mean dog. He was very mad and hollering on the phone. I kept my cool and apologized again and told him Bruce won't be in the back yard unattended and he will always be leashed when going to the car.
I just don't know where this behavior comes from .....Any ideas. TIA
I hate to say this, but it sounds like maybe someone from over there did something to him. I just can't imagine him actually grabbing someone without direct provocation unless that someone has done something to him in the past.
Hope this all works out for you and sorry I can't be more help.
I have no idea why Bruce would behave this way. I hope the situation does not get worse.
It could be a territorial thing. Has Bruce been formally introduced to your neighbours? setting up a meet-and-greet would really help. Getting your neighbours to reward Bruce (ONLY when he is calm --never reward a dog while it is barking or growling) would help him associate them with positive things.
My dogs, for example, used to HATE the postman. They would bark, growl and kick up a storm. Not aggressively or anything but still. The local postmen in the area then started up a scheme of giving treats to each dog that showed a dislike of them (again, the reward came AFTER the dog had calmed down). Within weeks of this scheme, EVERY neighbourhood dog LOVED the postmen. Now my dogs can't wait to see them in the mornings. Sometimes I think they like our postman more than me! my point is, rather then being an object of hate (think about it --the postman invades THEIR territory every day), the postman becomes a positive thing.
Perhaps something similar could work for you and Bruce? its simple, but for us it worked. Never underestimate the power of food. If your dog is food motivated there is no greater pleasure in life than a reward.
I tend to agree. All the labs I've ever known have been lovable and affectionate. I doubt it is territorial since he is fine with the other neighbors, unless they are new neighbors to you and strangers to Bruce.Originally Posted by LovingMyLabsLori
Come to think of it, Kody always barks at the neighbor behind us. He has lived there for several years, but everytime he is in his backyard Kody barks until I tell him no. They do say dogs are great judges of character. Perhaps our neighbors aren't as nice as they would like us to believe.
I hope you can smooth things over and work this out.
Dogs usually have a good intution about people. There are people that Rider doesn't like be he usually just avoids them. It sounds like something happened to Bruce by these people and he's just making sure it doesn't happen again.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
I don't think there is anything wrong with your dog, but you can never know what might set them off and living in multi-house lined neighborhoods there are no many things that can do that. It's always safest to keep them leashed when they're not in enclosed areas!
Was Bruce growling when he made contact with the SIL? Is it possible this was an enthusiastic greeting, or was this done in a more aggressive manner? It seems odd that he would have done this without any provocation.
Personally, I would try to consult a behaviorist. He needs to behave in a neighborly fashion (even though cockapoo doesn't). I don't know what you need to do to change his behavior towards the neighbors, but a behaviorist will have some suggestions specific to Bruce and your situation. Try not to beat yourself up over this. It's water under the bridge, and now you just have to work to prevent it from happening again. Making sure that he doesn't have the opportunity to do it again is a great start. He sounds like he is a great dog so this shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. Good luck.
I agree -- see a behaviorist or get a consult with Patricia McConnell ("Dog's Best Friend").
I don't think the neighbors necessarily did anything to Bruce -- I'm much more inclined to think it is a territorial thing more related to the Cock-a-poo and anything, anyone with its smell.
For the first 3 1/2 years of her life, my Puff (YF, AKC field line, 63 lbs.,* dob: 8-'01) has been a barker at neighbors, even though they're the same neighbors and she's seen them probably at least once every day.* Terribly embarassing!!
When they'd pull in their driveways in their cars, as soon as they got out, Puff would charge over barking up a storm, with me yelling, "NO!"
"NO!" and apologizing.* When Puff got to them she'd usually do a quick sniff, sometimes a quick lick to their face, and come running back.
On the trails through woods and fields that we take each morning. we sometimes see other walkers, birders, sometimes joggers and doggers.* Same thing happened -- as soon as Puff saw a person, she start barking.
We met one retired getleman often -- he's a birder -- and I'd give him some kibble to offer Puff from his hand.* That seemed to cut down somewhat on her barking at him but it didn't eliminate it.
AT LAST in the last 6 months or so, Puff usually doesn't bark at my neighbors.* Whew!
But if either of them have guests who arrive ,* then it's back to Square One*
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I agree with Dani. After reading your story I am left with the feeling that your neighbors did something to your dog. I would not leave him in your yard unattended. They could do something dreadful.