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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a little about this issue a while ago when I thought Jesse was going through a fear stage. Since that time she is much less nervous when out walking which is great. BUT, she continues to bark at anyone or anything that shocks or scares her. It's like barking is her default setting if she is unsure of something. In theory I understand this, but it can also be a bit frustrating. It's particularly an issue when we are walking and she gets a fright - she barks which then scares whoever she is barking at and then it's difficult to calm her down into her usual friendly self. It's generally only 1 or 2 barks so it's not like she's working her way into a frenzy or anything. I try to then introduce her to the person once she's calm, but often the person is afraid she will bite (which I can understand) so they aren't too keen.

Does anyone else have this issue? What's the best way to handle it?
 

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Is it people that you know or strangers that she encounters while on the walks? One thing that I saw on Its me or the Dog on Animal Planet was to have some people you know help you while appearing on the walks and drop small little treats at the dog and she will start to associate new people with good things.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have only encountered it with people she doesn't know, and generally only if they appear unexpectedly or are carrying something that she is unsure of (umbrella's, etc). If she sees anyone she knows she is straight up to them sitting on their feet for a pat and/or treat!! I find it a bit sad that people are scared of my beautiful (usually) friendly puppy - there's no malice in her bark at all because she's just nervous, but she's big enough now that people are a bit wary.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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I would just continue walking her and exposing her to new things. I think a lot of this she will outgrow naturally as the world becomes more familiar to her.

My golden barks at new things too, not so much anymore as she used to (she's 9 years old now). But just today on our walk she saw a snowman on someone's porch and was very unsure about it, and so she barked. Thankfully I knew the people there and they let me take Daisy up to see it and then she was fine. When she was much younger, she would bark at all kinds of things ... silhouette statues, Ronald McDonald, horses you put quarters in at the grocery store. And once when we were at a late night craft fair, we encountered a woman who had her baby in a carrier strapped in front of her -- Daisy was very fearful of that, I was embarrassed and I'm sure the lady was quite alarmed.

Just keep working through the issues as they arise as best you can. Not sure what to tell you about the barking, that's what dogs naturally do, that's the world they live in. I would be careful about trying to train that out of her -- many lives have been saved by alarm-type barking :)
 

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shadow friend
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I'd make sure that you don't discipline her for this behavior but instead, always be reassuring. How old is your puppy? Under a year, so still a baby. As time goes by there will be less and less new things and as long as you are confident, reassuring and unafraid, she will learn to take her cues from you.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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I always draw a happy audible deep breath and say "oh my, what's that!" I think that shows her I'm not afraid and in it's own way, is reassuring.

Of course, there have been times when she's barked and growled at night when we're walking ... and then I take my cues from her and turn around!
 

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shadow friend
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I wouldn't reassure her,as then,she thinks she is right,in being scared!.
I would,just, say:"lets go",in a normal voice and without patting her!.

Well, maybe I'm wrong but this is how I dealt with Max's what is that mommy? oh mommy see it? I see it! It's there! oh mommy! what is that? what? what? stage and it's worked for us. He doesn't startle much anymore.
 

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Flora's almost one and still barks/growls at things she doesn't understand. We were walking a few days ago and encountered two girls sitting at the corner of a street, and Flora froze, all her fur went up, and she started growling at them. Of course, when we got close enough for her to understand that it was two PEOPLE she completely settled down, but I just pretty much ignore it or laugh at her, and she gets over it fairly quickly.

I will say that once she encounters something, freaks out over it, and moves on, she moves on for good. She used to do the same thing with plastic bags (which I thought was hilarious), but sadly, when she sees a plastic bag now she just wants to play with it. So no worries. Your pup will get over it eventually. :)
 

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Hi, Similar answer to most of those above, I would never tell our pup off for barking at somthing she didn't understand and had never seen/experienced before, she is still very young and learning and does'nt know what is good or bad to both me or her, and I know the time will come when she is older and will instinctly know if she 'really' is giving me a warning (picking up a bad sense of something).

Just one example, I took our Daisy past some narrow boats on the canal, and she barked and looked afraid because she hadn't seen one before, I reassured her with my voice and with treats in my hand I led her up to the boat to let her know I was'nt afraid and there was no danger to me or her, she sniffed it and then just ignored it and just ignores them every time now.

I think whilst they are puppies, we teach them what things won't harm us, and we show that with our reassuring voice and treats etc, then as they grow older and have experienced so much more with us, the day could very well come when it is 'they' that 'sense' and tell us not to perhaps go walk that way or this way, or maybe not go towards a certain person by giving a bark - I sure would trust and listen to mine!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies everyone - by the sounds of it Jesse will (hopefully) outgrow this at some stage. It's good to hear that others have gone through a similar thing. I will continue to expose her to lots of different things and hopefully she will learn that there's nothing to worry about!! I tend to use "lets go" or "lets go see" if she's unsure of something so will keep doing that too.
 
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