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 Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs

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YaYa
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PostSubject: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:19 am

Hey everyone! I hope someone can give me some advice, as i'm stumped confused

Saska is 12 weeks. I have Phoebe (toy jack russell 12 years old). They get along GREAT! Always have from the minute I brought Saska home. I started walking them together daily since Saska is allowed out 2 weeks ago. I noticed Saska barks at other dogs, she is afraid of them. At first I assumed this was just puppy discovering new surroundings etc. Until I accepted the invitation to a friends house to introduce Saska to her dog (kind of a socialising thing). I brought phoebe who had great fun. Saska on the other hand, barked constantly at my friends dog (Alfie - Cocker Spaniel 1-2 year old). Eventually she ventured out to play with the others but any time Alfie looked at her or moved toward her she would run away to me and sit at my feet. I noticed her barking at dogs passing in the vets prior to this but just the once and I didn't think too much into it.

Last night we went along to a puppy socialising class at the local vets. The Veterinary clinic hold these regularly for new puppies that have been vaccinated. I thought it would be good to get Saska around the other puppies her own age to see if it was easier for her... she sat for the full 45 mins barking from behind a chair afraid of the other 5 puppies. One was literally the size of a tin can and she snarled and growled when it came near her. The bigger one had no different effect on her - same response. On a positive she was the only puppy able to respond instantly to any command given - for a food reward, but I knew this anyway as we have been practising these.

Sorry for the long post - but what is wrong with Saska? Does anyone have any clue as to why she has developed this fear/aggressive behaviour of other dogs. Shes totally loving with people. This situation is just in response to other dogs. (to add: the vet thinks it could be because she has developed her hierarchy with Phoebe).

I have contacted a dog trainer today (recommended by the vet). He has over 30 years experience and has travelled the world judging dog shows such as krufts etc. So hopefully he can help, if I can't.

(apologies again - my head is pickled).
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:58 pm

I've read this a few times and keep coming back to one thing.

Let's ignore the fact that a 12 week old puppy doesn't know how to be "aggressive" on one hand and is naturally aggressive on the other.  When we think of aggression in a dog, we think of one who "goes off" without any reason or has very specific reasons - read food or territory or owner; a puppy, playing with their litter mates is naturally aggressive - up to the point that one of them "get's hurt" (yelps! ouch!) and everyone stops.  So please get the word aggression out of your vocabulary - at least for the time being (and probably forever).

Why does a puppy bark?  Well, I can think of a few hundred reasons - but in your case, even though you seem to think it's fear based, I'd think it's more uncertainty than fear.

She accepts Phoebe but not Alfie - reasonable, she lives with and knows Phoebe.  I think that what I'd do is leave Phoebe at home and go back and visit Alfie and then completely ignore both dogs.  Give Saska a chance to warm up to Alfie without her constant companion, Phoebe, being there.  While it might take a visit or three before they're playing comfortably (I'm presuming that the spaniel is still slightly bigger than Saska) they should develop a playful respect for each other.  You indicate that Alfie is looking at her so that indicates to me that Alfie is willing to play but then Saska goes into a barking jab at which time Alfie probably back away. (( Little yapper!! ))

I *would* introduce her to different dogs at different times - and only one at a time and only by herself.
I *would not* have phoebe involved until Saska relaxes around the other dog(s); not "rescue" her unless there's an altercation (her barking is not reason to intervene!)
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:58 am

I agree with Al, that this barking/communicating has a lot to do with uncertainty. Was Phoebe with Saska and yourself at the puppy socializing class? The way I'm reading this, Saska is actually shy. Kinda like the shy kid who watches all the other kids interacting, really wants to be out there interacting with them, but instead hides behind the corner and just watches, hoping someone will see him/her and invite him/her over. And even if invited over, or pushed into the mix, does so reluctantly and somewhat defensively. Saska is not like that with Phoebe because she knows Phoebe very well and so she is confident with her. And pretty much that's how Saska is going to have to get over her shyness, with more opportunities meeting other pups/dogs as she grows up. If you can recognize a very outgoing pup/dog, maybe pull the owner aside and ask if they can meet, one on one, and if Saska keeps barking, just keep reassuring her it's ok, and see if the outgoing one can't bring Saska out of her shell. Saska is just still so very young, and pretty much has just had Phoebe to build her confidence with. The way I see it, Saska just needs to meet/be around other dogs as she grows up. With my two, I socialized them A LOT as young puppies, when they were still pups, and hadn't had all their shots yet, I still brought them to friends houses who's dogs I knew very well, and let them meet, play, etc. Kohdi is a year older than Mishka and I can see a difference in their socialization. I had Kohdi by himself for a year, and so I socialized him with LOTS of friends dogs, and he is AWESOME with other dogs. Whereas Mishka, I didn't socialize as much, without really realizing it, mostly cuz she had Kohdi, but Mishka is more reserved with most other dogs, she doesn't just instantly go up to them the way Kohdi does, UNLESS, she sees Kohdi doing it so I'm guessing she's trusting Kohdi and doing what he does. But on her own, unless she already knows the other dog, she's visibly more reserved and uncertain. Doesn't bark, but I think with your Saska, she's using the barking to communicate she's uncertain.

This is all just my own opinion though. I'm no expert on dog behavior.
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Kmanweiss
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:22 am

I'd say you have a very unconfident puppy. Could be their personality, or it could be a lack of socialization.
You need more 1 on 1 interaction between the puppy and other dogs. You puppy needs to learn to have some confidence. She needs to be gently forced to interact with other dogs, and to come to terms with it on her own. You need to back away and allow her to figure it out on her own. You need to stop rescuing and defending her when nothing is wrong.
A play date with another dog is a great idea. Leave them in the yard together. Sure, your pup is going to cower in a corner and bark for awhile...but eventually, when the other dog isn't looking, she'll start to explore a bit, or play with a toy...and when the other dog comes back, she'll freak again. It will likely take several meetups like this, but keep doing them until she gains confidence in that yard/with that dog. Then mix things up. Have that dog over to your yard a few times until she gains confidence with that situation. Then start the process with another dog, and another yard, and keep expanding your puppies experiences.
If she no longer has her crutches (you and your other dog), she'll be forced to interact. As she interacts with more dogs in more environments, she'll gain confidence in herself and be more likely to approach new dogs in new settings...or at the very least not bark her head off while hiding behind your legs.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:11 pm

Everything Dave's days. And everyone else. Only add... For the playdates, make sure the other dog is not over the top bouncy, in your face want to play. That's the problem I've had with Ami and Z'ev.
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YaYa
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:55 pm

Ok I have to add...

Firstly, I do not ever 'rescue' her when she starts barking and phoebe was not with us at the puppy class. I literally ignored her the entire 45 mins and left the vet to deal with her if necessary (usually when she needed to speak and allow people to actually hear what she was saying). She was gently set in amongst the other puppies at random intervals and each time backed off either behind a chair or my legs (to which I moved seat). I used to word 'aggression' because when an EXTREMELY small puppy (also 12 weeks) approached her she bared her teeth and snarled with a bite attempt (to add, I did not intervene on this either, but from where I was sitting I was concerned for the other pup).

As for socialising her, I do it constantly. A couple of times daily. I'm aware that it might take time but I have always had dogs and have never come across this 'fear' or 'confidence' issue. Obviously, all dogs are different and have their own personality so I understand this and all I want to do is the right thing to help her adjust and learn that other dogs are nothing to be afraid of.

I will just keep trying to introduce her to other dogs on her own, but that will have to be on arranged play dates as walk them together. I will also, hopefully, hear from the trainer who can maybe give me guidance or help with this.

Thankyou for the advice.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:48 pm

Every dog is certainly different. And huskies are even more different than other dogs. I can't remember if you said she was your first husky or not. Shyness can stem all the way back to her interaction with her litter. If she was the runt and/or got picked on by others in her litter it could have caused her some suppression. It will definitely take time. Those who have had to deal with littermate syndrome feel your pain on trying to pull a dog out of what seems like an ingrained anxiety at everything. Make sure you are dealing with a trainer who practices positive reinforcement training.

We shy away from using aggressive around here because it's a term that can be misinterpreted and is a label we hate to assign, especially to pups. When we refer to a true aggressive dog we are usually referring to a dog that is deliberate and direct in it's plan to hurt something. Aggression isn't a last resort in truly aggressive dogs, it's what they go to first in a situation. Your pup was setting her boundaries with the other puppy when she had run out of room to retreat. A bare of teeth and/or quick nip is how she communicates. It will take the other puppies in the class time to understand that communication just as much as it will take time for her to come around to them. Everybody there is learning.

An actual puppy obedience class is a great way to ease her into life with other dogs. She gets to be around other dogs without that direct interaction all the time. In classes the other dogs are being asked to "work" so their attention isn't so fixed on her which gives her time to observe quietly but it also helps that when "working" most pups will eventually calm down a bit which should also help her anxiety. Playing has a lot of energy she just isn't used to. Energy is also a potential cause why she may not have liked Alfie. Some spaniels are...spazzy? Higher energy dogs may overwhelm her more than lower energy dogs so she will take to those first and it will take longer for her to come around to the higher energy ones.

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:54 pm

Very nicely said, Jenn!
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YaYa
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:35 am

Hi Jenn, no she was not the runt, nor did she get picked on in her litter. She is actually quite high energy all the time too whereas Alfie wasn't... this is why i was confused and came on here asking for some advice on ways that I could ease her in to feeling comfortable or less anxious around other dogs. It is my first husky to own but not to know or be around etc. In otherwords, I have not been shocked by anything she has done (and yes she has done most of those husky puppy things). All I wanted was some ideas. I understand why she's acting like she is infront of other dogs... I simply am out of ideas on ways to help her as I have tried all the suggestions I was given. I used the word aggression because that's what it was at that moment. I do not mean that she is an aggressive puppy because I know she is not, but in that split moment she acted that way likely out of fear or nerves. I know it is her way of communicating as she felt cornered so to speak but for me to clearly describe the situation verbally it's the only word that fit.
I have a list of dog trainers recommended by the vet. Under no circumstances would I use anyone not teaching positive reinforcement. I love both my dogs too much for that.
Anyway... this post, or my question rather, seems to have turned into more of an attack or debate over the word aggression and that's not what I came on here for. I appreciate you say you's don't like to use the word on here but not a lot of people know that and it's also opinion of particular members.
I assumed this was a site that people could get along, get advice and have fun with common interests... huskies. I don't feel that it is, I understand opinions differ, but no need for people to be patronising... so will be removing my account.
Thanks to all who gave advice.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:18 am

Tanya, I'd hate to see you go away but that's your choice.

I don't see that anyone was particularly patronizing.  You described a couple of scenarios and we gave our views.  There are still a lot of "old school trainers" around - the guy who'll beat the blazes out of a dog if it doesn't obey immediately and then wonders why he has an aggressive dog - almost without exception we, if the group will allow me, are positive reinforcement trainers and it seems  as if you are well.

We've had people - too many people - come here expounding on the aggressive nature of their 8-14 week old pup and as I said earlier, I don't think a pup that young knows how to be truly aggressive, after my comment I let that drop.

You seem to agree that her behaviour is fear based but seem unwilling to accept that this is often natural in a young pup - it's something they outgrow but it's not something that they get over overnight.

This, as far as I'm concerned, is an exceptional group in that we're willing to look at divergent ideas and see how those ideas may work - or not work - with our dogs.  As far as opinions go, yep, everyone has one but here most of the opinions are based on long term experience with Huskies and dogs in general - and as you've noted, a Husky is unlike any other dog and some people cannot adapt to the Husky way of doing things - I'm certainly not saying you are one of them, the fact that you reach out here and are looking for a trainer - hopefully one who knows how to work with the Husky mentality - show me that you're willing to work with the pup,

You said that you're out of ideas - and we tossed a few out.  You tired all of them and they don't work.  Small surprise there.  At her age everything is scary but everything is changing rapidly, both around her and within her, give her a chance to grow and she'll outgrow most of her puppy problems - not saying that you won't see other different challenges as she grows.  Working with a puppy takes time and a lot of patience and a lot of communication with others who have been where you are now.  The beauty of this place is that we may not agree and sometimes we get rather vehement about our disagreements but seldom have I seen a personal attack over these different ways of doing things - we, more than most groups I've seen - are willing to respect anothers viewpoint while disagreeing with them.  Accepting that it may work for you but it didn't work for me.

As I said, I'll be sorry to see you go if that's the choice you make - but I hope you have the patience with your puppy that you haven't had with us.  Good luck ....
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YaYa
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:48 am

At no point did I state that I was unwilling to accept that any of the behaviour was natural. I also stated that it does take time and said i understood this as I know that all dogs are different. A husky, agreed, is a lot different but it is still a dog... one that I have been well prepared for and extremely willing to work with... so again as I pointed out before, it feels patronising to me how some views were expressed. I accepted everyone's comments and opinions and have tried them previously as I am aware of most of the techniques that were offered. The point I am making is that I used a word to describe her response at the puppy class... I didn't expand on why I used it and almost every response I got focused on the word aggressive and was not really focusing on my original question. I am well aware that my puppy is not aggressive in nature at this point and that she is extremely loveable. I am also aware that I used the word aggressive and fear together as I was simply expressing the type of behaviour she displayed in that moment. Patience works both ways and with new members instead of TELLING people not to use certain words maybe let them get to know people and the site and decide what words to use for themselves. I am 34 yrs old, not 10... and refuse to be told to "get the word aggression out of my vocabulary". Rude. Good luck to you too because if you speak to people like that, they will need patience.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:39 am

We certainly didn't mean to offend. That's never our goal. Some of us have tones and senses of humor that take time to understand and get to know. We also have certain things that stir us based on our own experiences that you don't yet know about, the same as there are many things we don't know about you. It's that lack of knowledge that often lead us down certain train of thoughts until we are answered. We also get many people here from other countries that we may not know what the standard of thought is. Positive reinforcement training is still newish here, but from the sound of it it must be more common where you are.

I'm sorry we seem to have redirected your original question. The intent wasn't to scrub that word but to bring some understanding if it wasn't already there. You will see a lot of reiteration across the forum about that word because people use the search function and where they maybe from May not be as forgiving of labels. Here people and even experienced trainers could completely change their approach to handling your dog based on the use of that word. Since you mentioned a trainer that is personally why I expanded the way that I did. Here at least that word can steer a trainer in a direction you don't want to go. Here in the middle part of the US it's easier to refer to them as outbursts. We just want to make sure you have the tools that will hopefully help you get the most out of the personal help you may seek since the advice we have has been exhausted to no avail.

Good luck with the barking and shyness. It will pass and if you discover something that helps that we haven't we would love to hear it. We spend a lot of time trying to give advice but we love to learn too.

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Kmanweiss
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:52 am

Tanya, I believe you are making a common online mistake. You're projecting tone into people's posts that simply isn't there. It's a common issue with online communication.
The members here listened to the issue and offered up several suggestions, good ones at that.
You seem to have read some judgment or hostility into our comments that simply wasn't there.

We care about animals here, especially huskies, and we do what we can to help out any animal in need. Your dog is in need of help, and we are trying to do so.

With that said, have you had any positive socialization experiences at all? Is there any dog (other than the one she lives with), or any location where your pup doesn't act shy? Simply encouraging every positive behavior with a treat may help her take that next step.
If she allows a dog closer without barking, treat. If she gets close enough to take a sniff of the other dog before getting defensive, treat. If she comes out of hiding while the other dog is still around, treat. Constant positive reinforcement through treats or other rewards may be the gateway to getting her comfortable around other dogs as she'll see the entire experience of being around dogs as rewarding. Maybe even sit down with the other dog, and lure your puppy to your other side with a treat. You'll force her to move in the direction of another dog.
Is there any activity she really loves? Playing in the water at the beach, or in a kiddy pool? Does she love digging somewhere specific? If there is a high enough reward experience that she may engage in this activity with another dog?

You could even create a scenario like this if you had a friend willing to help you out. Freeze some treats (I use cupcake trays, cut up some carrots and hotdogs, pour in some water, my dogs love them). Train your dog to eat them, but to stay in the pool while doing so. Have your friend do the same thing. Once both dogs know to stay in the pool while eating that specific treat, have them together and put two treats in the pool. If she wants the treat, she'll need to approach and likely interact with the other dog. Celebrate those small victories and keep working at it.

As with all situations where people ask for help, it's hard to get the entire picture of what is going on, and what has been tried from a couple paragraphs, so speculations are made from similar experiences. One thing that hasn't been covered is your personal interactions with your pup. I've seen time and time again that extremely shy, unconfident dogs tend to be over-coddled at home. I'm not accusing you, as I don't know your situation, just offering up yet another possibility. The ones I've dealt with before tend to never leave the lap or side of their owner. They don't ever hang out in their own area. They don't ever explore their yard or home. They lack confidence even in their own safe space. It's an easy issue to miss as us humans like to have the dogs hanging out with us anyways.
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YaYa
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:47 pm

Dave the tone was there with the comment to get a word out of my vocabulary. Sorry, but I won't be spoken to like that. There are ways to write suggestions and opinions fairly or politely even... I don't believe that was one of them. Then, again this is my opinion which clearly isn't accepted on this site. So when someone decides to tell me how to delete, I will be doing just that. My dog will be grand as I am quite capable of working this out. I will do so however outside of a community that isn't so "aggressive". Good luck.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:02 pm

I'm sorry but there is no way to delete your account.  You can send a PM to the administrator and she might, but I doubt it; historically we don't delete accounts since various people post in different threads (you've posted 22 messages in 5 different threads, I believe) and 'deleting people' can leave holes in the conversation that cause it to look oddly disjointed.



Last edited by aljones on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:13 pm

The technicality of the term aside... I am raising two little baby huskies, one of them, Jasper was dominant from day one and the other is my little baby Cody. He actually was the runt of the litter and my first experience at the off leash dog park went exactly like yours did with Saska.

I was so worried and terrified of him being that scared, and unable to socialize with other huskies it hurt my heart. He barked at any husky that tried to sniff him, play, come to close etc, etc. We tried to let him do his thing and just leave it but it was too much for me to handle that day.  Jasper the dominant puppy, on the other hand was being the social butterfly of that husky meet up and Cody could only tolerate his brother.

Cody was quiet the whole ride back home and I felt awful about having put him in that situation. I didn't think I could take him back there with his brother again. But my husband pushed for him to get more exposure.That was him at 3/4 months old and ever since than we've been going to the dog parks regularly (1-3x week) and continuous exposure has done wonders for my little Cody. Atm (8mo old) he has three best friends at the dog park and he is probably the friendliest and gentlest dog with puppies and small doggies. He just needed to be assured that it was normal and there is a bit of a learning curve involved with socializing.

Goodluck with your beautiful pup :]. Every husky is different and it will be ok, just give them as much exposure as possible while they are still little.

PS: We also put both of them in doggy day cares on alternative days for two months. Just as an experiment sorta thing to get them to be independent and rule out litter mate syndrome. I am not sure if that helped? But I am really happy with them and have 0 complaints about them... other than destroying new toys in 30 mins.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Help... Barking at other puppies/dogs   Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:24 pm

Makes me sad to read through this thread. I don't even know what to say, except that if anything I posted, offended you in ANY way, I am truly sorry. I rarely post advice, I'm just not good at it, but if a question comes along that I can relate to in any way, I try to keep it to just my experiences and if someone can take anything from it, then great, if not, I'm always certain someone else will come along and give the advice that is needed. Here, the question wasn't too difficult, I pretty much just saw a very young puppy, a shy puppy (as many puppies are) that just needs some time to adjust to the world. I tried to convey that, along with my own experiences, and it never even entered my mind, that it would come off as insulting. This is why I just stick to posting pics in my scrapbooks! Wink I'm really sorry you are leaving, Tanya. I wish you wouldn't. I've been a member here a few years now, have gotten to know a few of the members that have posted here, and in all honesty, I can't see any one of them consciously out to insult, belittle, etc. And myself, well...I've had 4 past huskies, and my current two...and I'm still learning! I think I'm good at understanding them, though, and limit any advice I might give to a "theory" I might have on why I think they may be doing this, or that. But they are only theories, and I normally add that somewhere in the post. Im not like, the husky whisperer or something, haha. Seriously though, maybe give us/the forum a second chance?
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