barking at me

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tugidq64, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    WHen we were on a walk my dog was sniffing in the grass when I called her to come along, after a short time she still wasn't coming so I reached down to pull her with her halti and leash (I have her on 2 pts. of contact) when she barked in a menacing way at me.
    My trainer said to have her on 2 pts. of contact with a halti. I always make sure I don't pull on the halti and am careful not to hurt her. I have done this many times before without incident. Her barking at me threw me. She has barked at me before when I am doing something she doesn't like. When she aggresses at another dog I turn her around using her halti. She has barked at me when I have done that. I am getting afraid she might bite me.
    She doesn't pay much attention to me when I walk her on just with a leash on her collar.
    I am getting really discouraged and don't know whether I will ever be able to take her for a walk where she will have to pass another dog within 50 ft. or person within 20ft.
    That eliminates for us lots of places. She is three and a half and I have been working with her for two and a half years. My hope would be for her to obey me so we could walk more places and she wouldn't bark at me. Thank you for any suggestions. Debby and Belle:msnsad:

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I haven't heard of this before, but it could be redirecting her aggression. You're turning her to you in her aggressive mode and asking for her to focus on you. That doesn't get rid of the aggression mode--it could just be redirecting it. I think it is unlikely that it will escalade, but still this needs to be fixed.

    I would really recommend clicker training. Although I'm a fan of head halters in some situations, sometimes other methods can be better(depending on the case). Work on getting a solid "leave it" and "watch me" command. If you can find a friend with a dog-friendly dog, go to a park with very few people/dogs, or a field, or anything without any interferences. Find your dog's comfort zone--this is the distance at which your dog shows no aggression. Have your friend and their dog start out in this comfort zone--this could be 10 feet away or 200 feet away. You'll just have to experiment. No signs of aggression means relaxed muscles, no locking eyes on the other dog, ears back, etc. (Unless she's fear aggressive, in which case she might cower a bit, duck her head, pin her ears back, and kind of avert her eyes but still have her attention locked on the other dog.)

    Have her sit with you somewhere and let your friend wander around in Belle's comfort zone. If she looks that way, ask for a "leave it" or "watch," whichever. Click and treat when she does, even if just for a second--you'll need to be fast with the clicker. Have your friend move closer in very small increments. Continue asking for these commands, and when your friend is past her comfort zone, reward with really high value treats. If she has any outbursts, just turn around and walk away with her. Have your friend stay out of this distance for a while and work more at a slightly further distance. An outburst just means that she's not ready for that distance yet--that's okay, just increase the distance and work again. If it's not very severe, this could take a few sessions to a week or two to get her able to have a dog right beside her. If it's pretty bad, it could take quite a while. It just depends on the dog.

    Hope this helps, and good luck to you! :)

    Edit:

    Have you had her checked by your vet? You want to rule out any problems she might have--let's say she has a bad tooth or something for example that you can't see, and the pressure of the halti there causes enough pain for her to bark. She could be trying to "defend" herself to avoid the pain. If it's a health issue, it could be anything, but I would definitely have the vet check her out. Is anywhere on her head or neck tender? Does she avoid moving her head quickly or certain ways? These are some other things to consider that might be the cause of her little "outbursts" towards you.
  3. snooks Experienced Member

    When used incorrectly a Halti can become its own punishment as it can when a dog is very reactive and always pulling but never really getting a chance to succeed in a big way. Have you tried a gentle leader?? My dog prefers a Halti. Have you watched the ARBI videos on using them correctly. There are several. You also might consider an easy walk harness which is similar in application to a Halti in that it uses physics to control where the dog is able to attain leverage to pull.

    What does your trainer mean two points of contact?? Does this mean you must reach down and also touch the dog? If so part of this may just be real annoyance at you being a little pestering about things. You may also be conveying frustration or annoyance to your dog and she's being annoyed back. I wouldn't take it so personally. I would take it as a challenge to become more interesting than whatever it is that your dog is distracted by. If that means a squeaky toy on your pocket or a ball or food then use those things. Teach a good solid positive happy sounding Leave-it and reward that. Have a cue for loose leash walking like Let's go and try giving that cue or walking in front of her and cuing let's go quickly. Run a little backward and entice her to chase you. All of these things are better motivators than collars or halt’s etc.

    Check out Using gentle leader for pulling on leash at http://abrionline.org/videos.php
    Conditioning an emotional response
    working with on leash aggression
    tips for the easy walk harness

    Also there is an interesting version of loose leash shaping behavior called silky leash from Ian Dunbar's site Dogstar Daily. It's an entirely different approach.

    Let us know how it goes. Good luck.:dogbiggrin:
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Wow, i have no advice, but will follow this thread--my own dog is reformed/reforming gangster, but i just wanted to send along my empathy. HANG IN THERE!! Keep posting how it's going, after you've tried the advice you get, if it still occurs- KEEP POSTING, cuz these people here can really help you tweak it til you find what helps your particular dog. HANG IN THERE!!! DON'T GIVE UP!!

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