Axl has always been a very laid back and social dog. He is one year now and is also neutered. He has always been able to be out front in our yard and only goes to the house on either side of us to play (we live in a little cul de sac with no thru traffic). The last two days he has been going to the front of the yard or on the street when someone is visiting a neighbor and and barking and the hair on the back of his neck goes up. Our neighbor came over and said he "attacked" her and her daughters dog yesterday and kept barking and showing his teeth and trying to get at the other dog. I have never seen him do that and he usually loves to meet and play with new dogs. Any suggestions on how stop him. We are keeping him only in the backyard now which is fenced but we have a active household and once in a while he can open the front door by himself it its not shut properly. How do you break this?
It sounds as though Axl is defending his territory. At 12 months he is at that 'coming of age' where he will start to bark at strangers on and around your property. Most dogs are somewhat territorial but each in their own individual way. My dogs bark up a storm when someone walks up our driveway or rings our doorbell. From a security point of view, I encourage it. What I DON'T want is out of control barking, so when I say stop, they stop.
My suggestion...continue with what you are already doing. Keep him in your backyard. If your front yard is unfenced he shouldn't be out there anyway. I live in a very quiet street but I don't allow my dogs in my frontyard unsupervised, ever. It is not worth the risk, plus they would either bark at people or go off with anyone that baited them with food!
I agree with Trickster.* One year olds are very unreliable, even the most mellow ones who have lots of training can find trouble and leave the property.* I live on a very quiet street and we have neighbours who let their dog run free when they're doing yard work or outside with their young kids.* If I walk by with my dogs, this golden always runs over to say hello - runs across the street to meet us without a thought.* I have voiced my concerns to them about cars not being able to stop in time when he does this - they brushed me off.*
Scout went through a stage at 1 - 1.5 years old.* She would bark and get her hackles up at things that never phased her before.* It really bothered me and I spoke to our obedience instructor about it.* She said to be firm with Scout, keep the training going, and be patient as she was sure this was a stage.* Scout has settled down - matured - she's 2.5 years old now.* But she shows preferences now that weren't there as a puppy.* I can tell when she's not enjoying something and then I step in and be alpha, let her know how I want her to handle it.
Good luck with Axl.* I hated this stage, couldn't understand for the life of me why Scout was reacting this way.* I got great advice from a really good obedience instructor.
I agree with the others.
Kassa would bark and the fur on her back would go up when she was excited. If she saw another dog or I gave her a bone and the mowhawk would appear. she would let me take her bone off her so it wans;'t aggression.
I would also try to nip this behavior in the bud. Put your dog on a leash and walk him in the front yard. Have someone you know walk by to 'set up' your dog. Correct the behavior when it happens.