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mbc1963

Help Wanted: Protocol for Meeting Dogs Without Barking?

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My little rescue girl Cricket has come a long way in a year: from very frightened and submissive to a bit of a firecracker. For nine months, I rarely heard her voice, and honestly couldn't recognize her bark when I heard it. In the last six months or so, though, she seems to have gained some confidence and also some sense of ownership over my house and car. When people with dogs walk by on the sidewalk, she now barks out the window. (And, well... open windows because it's summer!) Where she used to cower behind me when new, large dogs approached us on walks, she'll now sometimes snap if she feels frightened. Double whammy: she obviously remembers which dogs walk by our house, and if she sees them when we're out, she barks at them. (We drove by one of them the other day, and she barked at him out the car window!)

 

I know to not force interactions on her, and to give her time and space to meet new dogs. What I would like help with is how to respond if we meet one of her imagined "enemies" out in the world, so I can cut off the reactive response of barking at them. I want to retrain her brain, let her be calm. Ideally, I'd like her not to bark from the house, either, though I don't hate having an alarm system that passersby can hear.

 

Anyone got a reliable protocol for this situation? I'd really appreciate advice from seasoned veterans. :)

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The "Look At That" game in "Control Unleashed" is a great protocol for exactly this kind of thing. A friend of mine used it on three highly excitable and barky Shelties and it was like a magic charm.

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