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Jo from Henley
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Charlie is the most affectionate & friendly dog & has always been comfortable with strangers but for a while now she gets really protective of us if we are in a pub or cafe when someone comes in or up to her. She barks her head off in an aggressive manner but not always - just to some - usually a very nice person who just wants to say hello. She looks like a teddy bear so people often stop & want to say hello but it is SO embarrassing & we are at a loss as to what to do to stop it. Any ideas fellow briard owners? She is nearly 4 & is never aggressive

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Jo from Henley
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maxnick
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Jo, I cannot give any advice, but I think this must be a Briard trait, Ina is exactly the same Laughing Sometimes people come over, & before you have chance to warn them, she is off, barking like a loon. I think it is because they don't like people making eye contact with them.

I once met someone with 2 Briards who were here on holiday, I went over to them & anticipating what might happen, didn't make eye contact with the dogs & asked if they were ok to be stroked. Before I had even finished my sentence, one of the started barking like mad, it really made me jump, even though I knew it might happen Shocked Just goes to show, Briards are full of suprises.

Good luck, I am sure you will get some good advice.

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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is one of Hugo's (many!) issues, but he will do it to anyone who approaches him on a walk, on a ferry or anywhere! He wears a muzzle to discourage people from approaching him and so it rarely happens now, but I'm sure you don't want to go down that route just yet.
One piece of advice from Hugo's behaviourist is not to let the person walk away while she is still barking or she will think it has the desired effect, but to ask them to wait until she has calmed down (at which point I would definitely reward her and maybe get the stranger to reward her as well, so have plenty of treats ready).
At Hugo's dog training sessions, the trainer drags him over to anyone he barks at and sits next to them, telling the person to completely ignore him. He soon realises there is nothing to worry about, but I appreciate this would be hard in a cafe with strangers!
I would definitely use my cure all tactic, which is to say "Good girl!" really enthusiastically THE MINUTE she claps eyes on anyone she is likely to react to, but BEFORE she has time to start barking. This should be followed up by a treat. If your timing is right, it will calm her down before she gets worked up, she will soon make the connection and be nudging you for a treat whenever she spots anyone new rather than barking, and she will eventually come to associate strangers with a positive experience. Good luck!
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Jo from Henley
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks both for your messages. Ruth your advice sounds excellent & we will try that straight away. I really don't want to go down the muzzle route if I can avoid it so have my fingers crossed we can sort it out

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maxnick
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ruth, I think I will give that a try too, Ina is very quick to learn when there is food about.

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Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
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Brion's Mrs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Many thanks, Ruth, from me too. I like the proactive tip, which, come to think of it, I tend to do but a bit sporadically (Di too responds like lightning when a titbit might be on offer). Dinah has definitely been beginning to develop a bit of a barking at certain people tendency - normally gentle dog loving women, who of course look at her and hold out a hand. Thanks again. Amanda
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Zizou
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

maxnick wrote:
Ruth, I think I will give that a try too, Ina is very quick to learn when there is food about.


Absolutely. Zizou knows everything he knows because, thankfully, hi is food oriented.
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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, it's all from a veterinary behaviourist, but her technique has definitely helped Hugo with lorries, bicycles, prams etc. (he too loves his grub!) and I must say it HELPS him cope with strange people and dogs, but my big fella is never going to be totally comfortable around them. With my next dog I'll be using it from day one with every single new situation to stop these fears developing! With Hugo it's more a case of coping strategies. Good luck everyone!
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lovemybriard
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good question and challenging considering their very nature. I think too it cannot be understated that when they are on a lead or "stationed" next to you, it really is a strong instinct to protect. However...a method that may help is to introduce we call the "Look Who's Here!" command. This is of course a command that tells your dog that this specific person is ok. Delivered consistently and with enthusiam over time they will come to know that that command means this guy/girl is a friendly. Start wtih people they already know and make a point to show the dog that YOU are handing the treat/reward to the person being introduced. Then "Look Who's Here", followed by friendly offering of the treat. Let the dog decide how much touching/interaction may take place but you may at least a pleasantly formality instead of a Cujo mauling (which I think most pubs frown upon these days).

This also works on the house entry routine from friends/strangers to keep any unwanted jumping/hugging to a minimum. Just add in a sit/stay with the promise of a treat, and reinforce. Make a game out of it if you can and get in 10-20 trial runs. They are all so smart, maybe it will help.
All the best,
Mark
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David T
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Have you noticed if there is a common thread connecting the people that get the dreaded bark? Norbert will bark at anyone if they are wearing motor cycle helmets, baseball caps ( our postman now knows to remove his before he gets out the van!), bright yellow anaroks and shopping trolleys! And certain types of gloves. With anyone else, he is totally calm and dying to be the centre of attention. There was one instance where we could not identify the "cause" - a woman was slowly wheeling her bicycle on the pavement, no baseball cap, no yellow anorak, etc, but as she stooped to say hello to Norbert, he gave the loudest bark that we had ever heard. Don't know who was the most shocked - us for his unprovoked behaviour, or the woman who had suddenly gone very pale!
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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

But David, Hugo would tell you that bicycles are not supposed to be on the pavement and therefore must be warned off! And never ever forget "the funny walk." Anyone with a funny walk must be barked at!
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maxnick
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Today Ina really embarassed me. A friend came over to say hello in the coffee shop, Ina barked a little & sniffed & barked & sniffed, & then was quiet, until 'friend' (who was standing over Ina), made eye contact, well that really did it. Ina let out the biggest Scooby Doo bark/howl, until 'friend' made a hasty exit with big apologies. Embarassed Laughing
I was just about to warn her that "NO, Ina doesn't like you staring at her", but I didn't get chance. Hilarious as it was, I took Ina outside to the naughty step Wink

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Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
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lovemybriard
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Needed that laugh today. Scooby bark...right on.
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