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Hiya, my cockapoo is 18 months old. She always barks at strangers and used to be growly if we approached her when she was asleep, which is at least a little bit understandable. Today, however, my boys friend was here and my dog was resting on the sofa,she would have seen her coming but when he tried to pet her she bit him. Didn't draw blood but there was a mark left. What do I do?
 

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Personally I'd find a local dog trainer/behaviourist who can help you get to the bottom of why she is generally like that and train it out of her - for her sake as much as yours.

Is she generally trainable and have you been able to teach her general obedience? If she's good at that, you may be able to train her yourself. There are countless good you tube videos these days. But a professional will help much quicker.

Even when asleep, growling when approached would be something I'd want to address.

Opinions are two a penny on the internet, from what you've written it seems like she's generally wary/scared of people.
 

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If she was my dog I would put in place the following rules:

1 - I would up general obedience training - using lots of rewards to reinforce the behaviour that I want. I would always have a pocket full of treats and I would be calling her to me multiple times a day and always rewarding her for coming. I would encourage other household members to be doing the same - your dog needs to relearn that her people mean good things are likely to happen - so when she sees one of you she is already anticipating that you might call her and there will be yummy things in it for her.

2 - when my dog is sleeping or relaxing no one is to try to touch her - she is entitled to her down time... I don't like people bothering me when I'm chilling, why should she? If you want to fuss your dog call her to you, treat and fuss. She will come if you have done stage 1 well and be very happy to do so.

3 - I would increase exercise and fun outdoor time with my dog. Ditch the ear phones grab a dog ball or a tugger and go and have fun and mix in some training at the same time.

4 - if there are guests in the house I would make sure that they understand rule 2. If you cannot trust them not to bother the dog, put the dog in a safe place, behind a baby gate in the kitchen and only allow interaction when you can supervise and then give the guest a treat and ask her to call the dog.... and reward.

5 - she does not get to sleep on the couch unless invited up, and if people get off so does she - it is not a dog bed. Mind you make sure she has a comfortable bed of her own - mine like their's under the kitchen table - it is their safe place.

6 - maybe make her work a bit harder for her dinner too - 2 of my dogs eat dried food and I sometimes chuck their kibble around the garden - they love hunting it out! My totally raw fed dog enjoys a carcass meal sometimes... When she has one so do the other two...

You need to address this because if your dog actually bites it could have very serious consequences. However punishing, shouting at or physically correcting a dog that is already possibly showing either fear aggression or resource guarding will do the opposite of help. Be positive, be consistent, be active and fair and be kind.
 
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