Barking at People
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Thread: Barking at People

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultBarking at People

    Hey All,
    It has been a while since I last posted on here, because Petals has been pretty good. I have noticed that she will bark at people. Here is an example: Yesterday I picked her up from day camp and when I was sitting paying she went up to a woman who was waiting there. You can see that she was very timid with the approach and the woman reached down to pet her and Petals jumped back and started to bark at her. I proceeded to correct with a "no bark". Now I understand that Lab's go thru this "scared" stage. Petals is about 7 months old now and from time to time she will bark at dogs and people. It is not like she does this all the time, but she will do it every once and a while. Now if she knows you then you will have to get a towel because she might lick you to death. I just want to know how to correct this problem of timidness and barking at things that are not even a threat.

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  3. #2
    LJ Guest

    DefaultRe: Barking at People

    I would suggest that you control her introductions to strangers. In this particular situation, I would have had her leashed and in a downstay or a sitstay next to me. If those behaviors aren't trained enough yet, then I would have taken her out to the car first, then come back in and paid. Basically, letting her have the freedom to approach this person while you were busy was a handling error.

    Next, while at home in the living room or other open space, I would teach her a "say hello" behavior. Do this by placing a small treat on a target such as an overturned bowl, a small table, a plate, or some small object placed in the middle of an open space. With Petals on leash, approach the target and tell her to "say hello", encouraging her to approach the object and take the small treat. As soon as she gets the treat, lead her sideways (in other words, don't pull back on the leash, but go in an arc or semicircle) away from the target. Practice this three or four times only, once or twice per day, for two to three days. After some practice in this fashion, transition the behavior to real people. Start with people she already knows so it's fun and easy for her. Have the person hold a small treat out in front of them in the flat palm of their upturned hand, and have Petals "say hello", just like with the target. Don't let her approach the person until you tell her to "say hello".

    Whenever you're out in public with her, don't just let her walk up to any ol body and introduce herself. Make sure that you give her a "say hello" command, and ONLY if there are no signs of fear or anxiety present. By taking control of when and who and how she gets to meet new people, you are putting yourself in the leadership position with Petals. This should help alleviate some of her anxiety about new people. If these suggestions don't work and the behavior continues, then I'd suggest you get some in person help.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultRe: Barking at People

    That is some great advise. i will start today!!!

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS

    DefaultRe: Barking at People

    SO glad to hear from you again, LJ.

    The HD in my computer crashed and I lost all my addresses, files, etc., so I didn't have your e-mail to ask what was happening.

    FWIW, LJ -- if this is the "same" LJ -- has been a member of all previous JL forums, dating back to 2001 or early 2002.* And she's been active in SAR.
    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":


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