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Protective Barking ??

3345 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  itried
Re-posting this here as I got no suggestions under the puppy forum. feel free to tell I'm nuts if this is not something I should be concerned about.

Murphy is currently 18 wks old and has been vocal since the day that I got him. You should hear him playing with his toys.

For example, Whenever I am somewhere with Rosco (11mths old) and we see another dog or a person, Rosco wants to say hello and Murphy starts a barking storm. It's not a play bark or a back off bark but almost like a referee - who are you and what are you doing? Same issue when we're playing in the park and another dog comes over to play.

I have to go out my front door to access my backyard, so he also does this when we walk out the door and there is someone walking by across the street. With or without Rosco. They are walking with or without a dog with them.

I've tried to tell him quiet. Told him good boy after one bark. Tried the settle down or enough commands.

It's not excessive or constant by any means. Seems like forever but in reality it's about 5-30 secs of barking. On one hand it's funny cuz he's tiny and who's he trying to protect. On the other hand, I don't know if this is something he'll grow out of or will become more of an issue. Something sets off his vibe. EG. Today at coffee shop, preschooler who walked by us to go inside.

Everything I've come across is more to do with excessive or out of control barking which I don't think this is. Perhaps I'm deluding myself. Thoughts??
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· Premium Member
4,981 Posts
I had a barker just like yours. She came home from the breeders with her mouth wide open. We tried a bark collar, lemon juice, yelling, etc. Nothing really worked. She would bark at people and other dogs as if to let them know she was there and like to have a conversation.

If I had to do it over again, here's what I'd try and do.
1. Try to look ahead and watch to see if someone coming up the trail is going to make my dog bark. I would call my dog to me and see in front of me. I would treat the dog and say their name. I would keep their attention until the person/dog went past.
2. I would take more obedience classes and come up with a marker to mark the behavior I wanted (not barking when meeting dogs). Like a word to use as a marker. I would combine it with a come and sit and whatever word I wanted to use as a marker. I'd say: Lucy, come, sit, no bark, treat. Treat again if she looks in the direction of the distraction and looks back at you. I hope your dog is food driven it sure helps.
3. I would set your dog up for situations that might spark the barking. Like knocking on the front door. Have a friend come over and knock on the door. Make sure you already have the dog on a leash so you can control better. Then mark and treat over and over while they are quiet.

You want them making a connection between good behavior and the mark whatever it might be. I hope that makes sense.

· Murphy's Human, Kam
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Sorry just saw this reply now. I will try these suggestions. My hearing must be getting better or I can do more things at once as I notice that sometimes it's like his play bark mode. EG. Today we're out playing in a field and a guy has his toddler about 100 yards away from Murphy stands there barking at him, tail awagging. Same behavior he displays when he's engaging a dog to play with him and run/chase him. Maybe since my other one is so quiet, I'm not used to the fact he's being vocal like other goldens. Who knows. Try my best and take my best guess, as no one I've talked to sees it as being an unusual behavior.

· Registered
235 Posts
Hi, Kiki used to bark at other dogs a lot but we've redirected this behavior into the command "focus" or "look". What we did is that we slowly built up her focus by slowly decreasing the distance away from the dogs. I generally dislike dog parks, but we had to train outside the park to get a constant feed of dogs walking by. Perhaps you can try something similar? Focus is the command when you have the dog look you in the eye if I was unclear :)
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