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What is this behavior and what can I do about it?

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  • What is this behavior and what can I do about it?

    7 year old dog I’ve had since she was a baby. No separation anxiety and she is not barky at all unless someone knocks on the door. Protective of the house but only woofs a couple more times after I say thanks/enough/chill/whatever and then not again if I open the door.

    There was an issue when I moved into this house 18 months ago where she slept in the raised bay window and barked at people passing by. Never when I was home but neighbors told me about it and a couple said it was escalating to jumping at the glass. I solved that by blocking her ability to get in the window and same people said they never heard her again. Still don’t but the new issue is kind of an old issue from the previous house.

    She recognizes my car pulling up and starts barking. Not whining, full on barkety bark, bark, bark and it escalates if I don’t immediately come in the house. She did that at the last house when the garage door opened but now I don’t have a garage and might need to get the mail, pull up the trash can or talk with one of the neighbors for a few minutes. I can ask them to hang on for a second, open the door, tell her to knock it off and go back to our conversation in peace but she will not respond to that unless she sees me so yelling through the door useless. My kids say she abandons them when she hears my car coming down the street and the barking is no different if they are in the house or not. There is no reaction to other cars that park in front of the house, car alarms, other people talking right outside the front door and I can get the mail, talk to neighbors take out the trash, beep the car all day long and she does not care that I leave.

    The obvious answer is to get a new car every few months or park on another street but I’d like to find an easier solution. LOL
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I forgot to mention that she now recognizes the car of a person who frequently brings me home but has no reaction when he comes to the house if I'm already inside.

    Comment


    • #3
      This actually is separation anxiety. I have a dog with similar behavior. Super annoying.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know. My friends dogs do the same thing to her and her husband when the garage door opens. Have you a doggie day care near by so your dog can play with others during the day? Even just a few days a week? How about hiring a part time dog walker during the day? That's what I would suggest if it be a kid who is lonely during the day and needs more playtime. Other than that maybe call a dog trainer and see what they say.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CrazyGuineaPigLady View Post

          She recognizes my car pulling up and starts barking. Not whining, full on barkety bark, bark, bark and it escalates if I don’t immediately come in the house.
          I had a similar issue about 10 yrs ago when fostering a deaf Great Dane. Believe me, they can hear a diesel, esp. when their previous owner drove one. I was honestly afraid she would go through the window. But otherwise a quiet sweet girl.

          Dial down your greeting to an .05 on a scale of ten. Open the door, drop your keys on the tray, open your mail. All matter of fact. Totally ignore dog. This is not punishing them, but reassuring them that the pack leader is home.

          It is very, very hard to ignore them, but this worked for me. When doggie is quiet, have a nice pet and a treat, maybe even a sit-stay. Again, it is not a punishment, but a confirmation for them that steady-eddy leader is home & thus no pressure on them. It may take one or two times, or maybe 30. Consistency is key.

          I've since used this method on the farm "greeters" who swarm me at barns I visit. They glom on to me like leeches but no more jumping up and barking. It makes them feel secure.

          The wonderful animal behaviorist & DVM who coached me is now gone (suicide) and I, and many dogs and cats miss her.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I’m not sure that she has true separation anxiety but definitely likes to know where I am. There have never been any issues with crating, loose in the house or being destructive in any way. She doesn’t want to be at my feet or in the bed and I rarely get more than a sideways glance when I leave. By all accounts she just sleeps when I’m gone and when the cat snuggles up to her, she doesn't get up or react in any way. LOL

            I am a dog walker myself so I’m in and out of the house at odd times throughout the day but she can also go 8 hours without a problem.

            I mostly do the ignore thing but she’s not overly excited once I get in the house. It’s just however long it takes me to park and make it to the door that’s the problem and it sounds like she’s barking AT me, not because she’s excited to see me.

            I’ll try to switch some things up to see if helps. Maybe driving past the house before parking would throw her off a little.

            Comment


            • #7
              Rather unique issue, CGPL. I look forward to some of our dog pros to chime in. In the meantime maybe Uber (I kid).

              Comment


              • #8
                OP, this may or may not work, but could you try waiting her out? The “reward” (you) should only appear when she’s quiet...If you continue to come in when she barks, she will think you are coming in BECAUSE she barks.

                Of course your poor neighbors.

                (Driving past a few times might work, along with driving away - then parking down the street - mix it up a bit?)
                "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brown Derby View Post

                  I had a similar issue about 10 yrs ago when fostering a deaf Great Dane. Believe me, they can hear a diesel, esp. when their previous owner drove one. I was honestly afraid she would go through the window. But otherwise a quiet sweet girl.

                  Dial down your greeting to an .05 on a scale of ten. Open the door, drop your keys on the tray, open your mail. All matter of fact. Totally ignore dog. This is not punishing them, but reassuring them that the pack leader is home.

                  It is very, very hard to ignore them, but this worked for me. When doggie is quiet, have a nice pet and a treat, maybe even a sit-stay. Again, it is not a punishment, but a confirmation for them that steady-eddy leader is home & thus no pressure on them. It may take one or two times, or maybe 30. Consistency is key.

                  I've since used this method on the farm "greeters" who swarm me at barns I visit. They glom on to me like leeches but no more jumping up and barking. It makes them feel secure.

                  The wonderful animal behaviorist & DVM who coached me is now gone (suicide) and I, and many dogs and cats miss her.
                  YES, absolutely. Could add don't even look in dog's direction just totally ignore. Mine will stop with and upraised hand, Upraised hand Palm facing them means NO.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is a great video on YouTube by Victoria Stillwell that addresses this subject.
                    Basically she taught the owners to teach the dog to be a self soother.

                    I love her videos. I watch them for entertainment cause I don't even own a dog.
                    Certified Guacophobe

                    Comment

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