My Dog Wants To Bark At Dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by kimw30, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    My dog Prissy she is a 4 year old rat terrier and she barks and growls at big dogs, she will scratch me and try so hard to get to them. She will claw me up when we driving in the car if she sees a big dog and she tries to jump out of the car to get to them. If one comes in the yard when she is out she will jump on it and it will jump on her, she is a very small dog so I am very scared she is going to do that one day and the dog will beat her up. I am taking her to dog obedience classes but they havent helped yet. She also doesnt want me to get out of her site, If i leave her site she will cry. If anyone has any suggestions on what I can do about her barking it would be appreciated, It gets very frustrated at times with all her barking. I spank her and that doesnt help. The trainer that is doing her dog obedience classes says clicker training might help. Anyone ever tried that and do you think it will help her.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    First of all Please Never Ever Hit your dog for any reason, it will never help it'll just make her scared of you. My dog is reactive like your Prissy is. What I have been doing is giving a jackpot of treats when other dogs are in site, make sure you do this when you see she is about to react, because if she is already reacting more than likely she won't take any treats. Also I will click and treat if she looks away from a dog. Calming signals could also help, here is a video on calming signals.

    Here is a thread that might help.
    Here are some videos that could help with her barking at big dogs

    And here is a thread on clicker training, which by the way is amazing.
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  3. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for the information, I will try it. where can you buy the clicker. I know the guy that is doing her obedience training says he may have some, he said he did have some. But I may have to buy one can you buy them in stores.
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  4. southerngirl Honored Member

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  5. MaryK Honored Member

    SouthernGirl is right, please never, never spank your puppy. All that will do is create a fear based reaction and will exacerbate the situation.

    I have had problems with over reaction since my youngster was attacked by a dog who jumped the fence. All the vids above are excellent and really do work. Clicker training, Positive Reinforcement, is the best and really the only way to train. It's been proven scientifically to work as opposed to the the 'old school' training methods. Maybe try to find another school which only uses Positive Reinforcement Training.

    Positive Reinforcement i.e. clicker training, creates a loving bond between you and your dog. You will find she will learn faster too and be happy to train and work with you, not against you, and without any fear based reactions.
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  6. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for the information, I will try the Clicker training. I am also wondering if I would get another dog would it help her.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. southerngirl Honored Member

    I don't believe getting another dog would help. The best way to help her is Positive Reinforcement and clicker training. Let us know if you have any more questions.
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  8. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for the help. I know the man that is doing her obedience training said he didnt think getting another dog would help, he said it probably would cause more trouble. He said he may help if I take her and let her play with other dogs it may help her but I dont know if that will help or not.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. southerngirl Honored Member

    You said she is reactive toward big dogs, so if you took her to play with other big dogs she could end up hurt because she would most likely cause a fight. If you know someone who owns a big dog who great with dogs(doesn't barks at dogs) it might help if you could ask them if you could start walking together. At first keep a big distance enough that Prissy isn't going crazy than very slowly decrease the distance. Make sure you have a clicker, high value treats, and a treat bag.
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  10. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    When she is at classes she doesnt like to pay attention to the trainer she wants to pay attention to the other dogs, even with treats she still doesnt like to do what the trainer says. I was wondering if getting a toy would help get her attention. I ordered a clicker today online because we dont have a dog store where we live so I am going to try that when it comes and I am going to see about going to someone that does one on one training and train her with the clicker.
    MaryK likes this.
  11. southerngirl Honored Member

    That's great that you got a clicker. Like Remi said in the other thread it sounds like Prissy is over her threshold. Is it possible that you can distant yourself from the other dogs, could you ask the owners to give her space? You also might want to try higher value treats, such as hotdog pieces.
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  12. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    That is what the trainer was saying maybe I could go away from the dogs like maybe in another room. I would try hot dogs but she is allergic to regular food and she has digestive issues and it makes her sick, but I found her favorite treats today and I took them when we went off today and she didnt bark because she likes a certain type of treats that I guess alot of dogs like because you cant hardly find them
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  13. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    I got a clicker for Prissy and I am trying to see if the clicker she will learn better, but she is scared of the sound right now. But maybe she will get used to it.
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  14. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    I got my clicker for Prissy, I went and seen one at walmart today so I bought it. I didnt wait for mine to come in the mail. So I am trying to work with her on the training but Right now she is scared of the clicking sound. But she will probably get used to the sound
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  15. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    I got my clicker for Prissy and plenty of treats. But she decided today that she doesnt want to learn anything new but she still wants a treat. she already knows how to shake hands and I wasnt even asking her to shake hands but she put her paw up to shake my hand so she can get a treat, it was so funny because she put her paw out and then looked at the treats
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  16. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I'm going to back up just a little bit. She's barking and reacting at big dogs because she's afraid of them and trying to drive them away. Go very slow with her, don't force her to be around them, play with them, be near them, etc. Don't spank her, hit her, or punish her in any way - she's afraid, and punishing her won't make her any less afraid. (Think of it this way - I hate spiders, and throwing me into a room full of them, and/or hitting me every time I shriek cuz a bunch of them are all around me may shut me up for a moment, but won't make me any less afraid of them!). It will only make her fear you - and other dogs. Oh noooo, a big dog, it's scary, I've got to get it away FAST or I'm gonna get hit barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark (smack) bark barkbarkbark (smack) .... and the big dog is still there, and she's still scared. Now she has even more to be scared about .... she see's big dogs and worries about what they might do to her, plus she worries she'll get spanked by you when she sees the big dogs. Big Dog = Very Scary (not just scary).

    Don't just jump head first into trying to train with the clicker, esp if she's afraid of the noise. You want that "click" to become special to her, not a scary noise. Don't ask anything of her right now. Just "click" and give her a treat. Click - and treat. Click - and treat. Over, and over, and over. And if it's just too noisy, try putting a little cloth over it, it will muffle the sound a bit until she's used to it. You may want to watch some videos on how clicker training is done before you try it - the 'click' is used as a marker for yor dog, telling your dog the instant he/she has done exactly what you're looking for, and it's ALWAYS followed up with a treat. If you search, there are many threads on clicker training, you can get loads of info here on the forum.

    Also search thru and read different threads on aggressive dogs, reactive dogs, words like that - there are also loads of threads and you can find out all kinds of helpful info, lots to read. Southerngirl posted links to great videos, esp one on aggressive dogs - that one started on page 3, be sure you go back to page 1 and start at the beginning.

    There are a lot of us here on the forum with reactive dogs (waving hand here), so we're all here to help you. They do need our patience and understanding tho - they have fears, and we, as they're protectors, must be their biggest advocate at all times. We can never place ourselves into the position as just one more thing they fear.
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  17. MaryK Honored Member

    Jackie is absolutely right! My youngster, Ra Kismet, was attacked by another dog jumping the fence. Up to that point he was fine with other dogs, then he developed a fear based over reaction big time! I worked for a week in my own garden, just click treating him for walking quietly along side me. Then we went outside and only went a few feet either side of my own gate. No dogs around at all, as he was scared of just going outside. Step by step we went a little further, and I click/treated him all the time. (He is clicker trained so understood the clicker). When we did hear other dogs, further down the road, I asked him to 'look at me', something we had practiced in my own garden for a week and click/treat. When he was really good, like not over reacting to a dog barking he got the JACKPOT, which means he was allowed to eat the entire contents of the main pocket of the trick bag (I had some treats in another pocket of the bag of course). Gradually, over several months, he became less and less afraid and now we're almost able to pass dogs coming head on without any reaction. It takes time, and as Jackie has already said so eloquently, it's fear based and the last thing you want to do is make Prissy even more afraid. Had I got angry with my boy, or hit him, I hate to think what he'd be like now. Instead he's now a joy to walk once more.

    Keep working slowly, step by step and do check out all the videos, threads etc. Really study them and learn, don't lose heart or patience, Prissy is a little dog who needs to know you 'have her back' when those big scary dogs are around, not that she's going to be punished further.

    You may find a halti/gentle leader will work with her. Not all dogs like it, mine does, but with the band around the nose it gives them a feeling of security, like you're helping them out, rather than they having to be in charge of things. This is NOT alpha leader of the pack at all, but rather reassurance that you've 'got their back' and they can relax knowing you're protecting them. If you look at the Thunder Wrap site, you'll see they have a special nose band, and it explains how and why this works. It's basically like a halti/gentle leader.
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  18. kimw30 Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for the information, I carried her outside today and I took alot of treats with me and a big dog came in the yard and I was for sure she was going to bark at him but I said Prissy look at me and she just looked at me and didnt even bark but she did shake and pant and cried once but it is a big improvement because she usually barks and barks, I said Prissy that was a very good girl and I gave her more treats than I usually do.I know it is just going to take time with her. I know it is that she is just scared of the big dogs because she is scared of alot of things like rain and fireworks and any kind of loud noisy. I am not spanking her anymore and she seems to do better. yesterday I was trying to work with her and she didnt want to go to her bed when I told her but she still wanted me to give her a treat and I said go to bed and she put out her paw for me to shake and then she looked at the treat bag to tell me to give her a treat. I am trying to practice with her about going to her bed and going to her crate because that is what she is suppose to learn at her next class so I am trying to go ahead and try to teach her that so Maybe she will do it at class.
    MaryK likes this.
  19. MaryK Honored Member

    Good for you and thank you for not spanking her any more, see it is a better way to work:)(y)

    She's improving, that's for sure. Is it possible though for you to work with her somewhere where the bigger dogs cannot 'invade' her space? I know it can be difficult, depending on your house set up, but if you can it will help even more, as the dog will not be 'in HER space". That can set off a reaction in even a bomb proof dog. It's their territory and interlopers can be seen as a threat.

    Use the same method with the other things she's scared off and give her a cuddle or too as well. I know some trainers say don't cuddle it makes them worse, but they're more old school, and I have cuddled a dog who was scared of storms, along with treats etc. and he grew out of his fear very quickly.

    Now this is the tough part:rolleyes::) When you ask for her to 'go to bed' and she offers you shake just quietly ignore that don't reward, it's tough I know I've been there done that and that cute little face and eyes etc. but she'll do that each time if you reward her. Dogs will follow YOUR cue and if she thinks she can offer shake and get a reward, even though it's not what you asked for, she'll do that all the time because SHE THINKS THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. So, 'toughen up' ignore the shake, repeat the cue 'go to bed', even walk across and point to her bed, and when she goes, or starts to go (remember baby steps all the time) reward her and praise like crazy.

    You're doing really well and you'll both be star pupils(y)

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