barking at strangers

Posted by dawn0901
Nov 21, 2008
I have a 2 year old female cross breed terrier, she is generally well behaved except when she is off the lead and meets walkers ( especially men ) and she runs up to them,barks quite agressively and jumps up.

She will not come immediately when called.

She never behaves like this if we meet men walking dogs.

We also have a similar problem when strangers call although she doesn't do it to all visitors, at home we use a water bottle to squirt her at the same time as telling her to leave which does resolve the problem but doesn't stop her doing it again!!!!!!!

Please can anyone give me some advice on this issue. Thankyou
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Dec 17, 2009
Hi Dawn

It sounds as though you need to reestablish yourself as alpha dog of the pack. There are a few things you can do to show her that you are her leader. These include insisting that she allows you to go through doorways in front of her, feeding her after you have eaten and only acknowledging or playing with her on your terms. If she comes after you and asks for attention just turn away and ignore her completely. Don't greet her the moment you come home, instead she should wait until you have greeted everyone else first, then say hello to her. Lastly, don't forget to reward her when she is behaving herself, as this gives her something to strive towards, instead of just avoiding undesirable behavior.

Teaching her to come consistently is very important, therefore you should make it a priority. As you reinforce your status as leader of the pack, she start looking to you for commands. The simplest way for teaching her to come is to attach a long rope to her collar, with the rope being as light as possible so she doesn't notice it. Take her to a place where there are no distractions and call her to you when she is a short distance away. If she does not come to you immediately, give her a small tug on the rope. In the initial stages, praise her as soon as she takes a step in the right direction.
Find out what is of value to your dog, for example a treat or toy, and use this as a reward when she comes. Even if she takes a while to come to you, make sure you never tell her off when she does come because she won't that you are cross about her not obeying immediately and will think you are telling her off for coming to you. You may even want to crouch down with arms wide open to make yourself appear more inviting. Always put on a cheery voice and praise her lavishly when she does come. Once she is coming consistently, you can reward her once every few times instead. You should tell her to come a few times each time you go for a walk to reinforce this command and keep it fresh in her memory.

If she jumps up at people whilst she is out walking, put her leash on and take her home immediately. Do not make eye contact or speak to her.
Keep up the good work with the water bottle – this is a good way to show her that this behavious is unacceptable. In addition to this, ask your guests to ignore your dog when they come. Tell her to sit and stay before you open the door, then greet your guests. Only when you feel that she is sitting quietly and behaving herself should you allow your guests to say hello then.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training! I look forward to hearing how it all goes