Barking At Other Dogs

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Sunny2000, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Sunny2000 New Member

    Ok, I am new here and I need some advice.

    I have 3 boxers - Bella (2y), Toby (5y) and Buddy (10y).
    They are all (of course) wonderful dogs and get on very well with each other and other dogs.

    The issue we have with Bella is when we go to a dog park.

    Some days are just fine and all are playing nicely with all other dogs.
    At other days Toby or Buddy may start playing with another dog and Bella runs up to them and barks at the other dog, usually quite loud and straight into the other dog's ear.
    The other dog's reaction is either ignoring her, submissive behaviour or correcting her. I have to admit, I am quite glad when another dog corrects her as I will never speak "dog" as well as another dog and it seems to be the only thing she understands.

    Of course this barking can be quite annoying and it attracts other dogs, eventually the energy of all dogs raises and I am afraid there could be any issues.

    I thought - how can I make her stop barking?

    Ignore her? Then she just keeps going...
    Shout at her? That even encourages her!
    Try to distract her? I did not find anything to distract her with yet...

    Sometimes I just put her on leash and give her some time out to cool down, usually when I let her off leash again, she runs up to them again and the whole thing starts anew.

    Any suggestions?
    I would really make a trip to the dog park enjoyable for all of us!

    MaryK likes this.

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    It sounds like it could be very rude behavior, and you're correct in thinking it could upset the balance at the park and cause an issue. Calling her off and/or putting her on leash for a time out is most likely a good idea. If it's happening more and more, maybe she's not a good candidate for a dog park - not all dogs are. It could be that there's just too much stimulation at a dog park and she can't deal - not sure, hard to know without observing. Don't let her continue tho. She's going to bark at the wrong dog one day, and get more than a bit of a reprimand, and things can turn ugly in a dog park way too quickly.

    As for your possible solutions:
    1) - ignoring her. You're right, she's just gonna keep on barking. Scratch that one.
    2) - shouting at her. She's probably thinking .. see, mom/dad is yelling/barking too, this is great fun!!! :LOL: Scratch that one.
    3) - try to distract her. What's more fun that barking (unless you could find a squirrel)?? Probably not much at a dog park. Scratch that one too.

    But being taken away from the bark-fest on a leash and made to sit down for a time -now that's not fun. And if, when released, the barking starts again, then back on a time-out, again. And again. Every single time.

    If the behavior persists, I'd really question if she's having a good time? and maybe opt to leave her at home. What we want for them to enjoy, and what they really want and enjoy is sometimes two different things.

    I'm sure others will chime in with suggestions.
    Dice Smith, Mr-Remington and MaryK like this.
  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Great post Jackie. Cannot add any more, as I had the same thoughts reading Dagmar's post. Some dogs just do not like dog parks.
  4. Sunny2000 New Member

    Oh Bella loves the dog park!
    And she plays very nicely with other dogs.
    It is more a jealousy thing I believe. I notice also at home when we try to give one of our other dogs attention she always squeezes in between and tries to get the attention. A behaviour her previous owners obviously rewarded and I am aware it takes a while to train it out of her. It is probably all the same thing.
    Maybe I should start at this end and once she is good with that dog park again.

    Any suggestions how to stop a dog trying to lick your face and trying to crawl up on you with the front paws? That is what Bella does.

    What I did so far is:

    When I am sitting in a chair and Bella walks over to me and climbs up on me I gently put her down to the ground again, I do not talk, I do not look at her. After a few times she seems to get it.

    At other times I "invite" her to my lap to show her the difference and then she gets cuddles and my attention. But that is only after I invite her, not when she decides it is time for attention.

    I have time for each dog and if lets say Toby gets attention and she squeezes in between, I gently push her aside.

    The licking is a bit harder as her tongue is really fast and she always goes for the face. She hates it when someone puts her finger into her mouth, so that is what I am doing now, not easy either, but I could not think of anything better.

  5. MaryK Honored Member

    I wouldn't be putting my finger in her mouth if she hates it, one day she just may show how much she hates it, in a not too pleasant manner! Plus think of the poor vets, she may react to their examinations when she goes for her check up. Doing something a dog dislikes to make it stop that habit/action will only SUPPRESS the action, not stop it, and will have adverse effects later on in the dog's life.

    If you really don't want her to lick your face, then just put her down, or ask for down, each time she does it. Or redirect to her licking your hand if you don't mind that.
    Dice Smith and jackienmutts like this.
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Good advice from Mary on the licking, stop putting your fingers in her mouth - both for the reasons Mary gave, and you don't ever want your hands/fingers to have bad associations for her. You may NEED to put your fingers in her mouth one day, maybe to grab something out that she's choking on, etc, and you don't want her thoughts to be "noooo, not fingers!" and either try to bite or just clamp her jaws shut so you can't.

    Here's a training article from Victoria Stillwell with some good advice, also recommending withdrawing all attention:
    MaryK likes this.
  7. Sunny2000 New Member

    Point taken MaryK ;-) Strangely she does not seem to be interested in licking my hand, I will keep putting her down.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. MaryK Honored Member

    Good point Jackie, I had a dog who got a small piece of bone lodged across the roof of her mouth. Fortunately she only associated my hands with 'good things' and sat like an angel while I removed the bone!
  9. Sunny2000 New Member

    Thanks Jackienmutts - good article! I will give it a go :-)
    MaryK likes this.
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Do you use moisturizer? Some dogs ADORE that, one of mine would, if given the chance, come into the bathroom and lick me all over when I had just used body lotion. That maybe the reason for the attraction to your face and not your hands. Or it just may be that she's showing she loves you doggy style:)

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