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Barking/ aggression problems

Cheryl TompkinsCheryl Tompkins Posts: 1Member
edited 23 December, 2014 in Australian Cattle Dog
Hi, I have what I believe to be a cattle dog/australian shepherd mix... with possibly a little whippet in there too. However she appears to be acting most like a cattle dog, she is constantly tracking everything with her eyes and always wants to be outside. I am actually fostering her right now (most likely going to adopt her) She was severely scared (submissively urinated and no one could touch her) which is how she wound up with me and was not thriving at the local SPCA. It is very apparent she was abused and she was not taken very well care of. She is 9 months old and so far in the month I have had her we have made great strives. She initially would not let anyone touch her and for the most part (besides a couple men) people can now walk up to her and pet her when we are out and about. Initially I had problems with severe separation anxiety even when I was in the room. We have been doing independence training and have been working on "place" and she now must "work" to feed her self by solving puzzle games which hold her food. However one area continues to get worse She continues to bark at everything! While in the house if she hears people walking on the side walk she will growl and bark (does not matter what time of day it could be 1 am!) Out side she will bark at squirrels and neighbors kids and dogs however her bark turns more aggressive sounding if anyone gets close to the fence or walks their dogs by the fence. I have tried enough training which is a hit or a miss with her. Sometimes she is SO focused on whatever she is going after that she just will not break. Usually if I use enough and leave it you can tell she understands and is upset because she will look at me then and bark, do a couple of circles and bark some more while looking at me then go about her way without barking. Is there anything else I havent tried? We really don't have any training clubs in the area besides petco/petsmart and I am using the techniques the SPCA trainer gave me for now I will say the last two weeks we have been doing mostly 2-4 hours of ball and no running as I hurt myself and cant run. Also she has limited problems in other peoples yards (usually just dog aggressive then which I don't under stand why as she has been to the dog park and did okay) Also I have never had to worry about children and her she always plays with them and for the most part even the men she isnt keen about right away warms up to them. Its just putting people off when she greets them with a growl and I am having a very difficult time breaking her focus to correct ( hand in face doesnt work, we are still working on watch me and mastering that command but it doesnt work very well either) Does anyone have any suggestions that doesn't include choke or prong collars? (a private training company in my area used prong collars and she cried for hours and was not her self for days later, she listens better now without using them but I dont think its for her) Ive also tried tugging on the leash but it really doesnt help she completely ignores me. From what I have been reading a lot of this is normal for cattle dogs and I have two very strong herding breeds mixed in there. Suggestions and tips would be lovely!!! Thanks in advance!


  • Karen BarnabyKaren Barnaby Posts: 2Member
    edited 4 November, 2013
    Well, cattle dogs are very territorial, and guarding the house is a "job" that they assign to themselves. I don't stop my dog from barking, but I work with him to let him know when it's acceptable. If he goes into the yard and starts running the fence and barking at passers-by, I go out and tell him "Enough". If he doesn't stop, I tell him to "Go inside." My dog used to bark at any noise he heard outside. I would consistently tell him what the noise was, and if it was unacceptable to bark, tell him "No bark". For example, our neighbor Johnny has a very loud truck that usually triggered Ringo to bark. Now when he hears it, he looks at me and gives a warning growl. I tell him that it's Johnny's truck, and say "No bark". The aggression is tough when we're at home, because again it's his territory. If someone knocks on the door, I say "Leash". Ringo has to sit by the door and wait for his collar and leash before we answer it. If he doesn't behave, he has to go out on the screened in porch or in his crate. It's very effective. I continue to use the "Leash" command outside of the house if he starts to show aggression. We're not 100% there, but we're making progress!
  • Theresa CramerTheresa Cramer Posts: 11Member
    edited 23 December, 2014
    Maybelle doesn't have a problem with being territorial at home. In fact, I find it a little frustrating that she never barks at the door. Ever! It doesn't matter if it's a family member, the mailman, or a solicitor...but it's a different story when we're on leash. She is on high-alert and incredibly frustrated by being confined on the leash. This is pretty normal for dogs, but seems to be an especially big problem for her. It's one thing not to be able to dog to dog greetings on the leash, but she gets mad when a dog just walks by on the other side of the road. Eventually her frustration progresses to barking. I've worked with multiple trainers, and while she learns everything very quickly, I've never been able to break her of this habit. I'm considering taking her to a nearby farm where they teach herding. She's not particularly high-energy dog but I thought an outlet for this frustration might help her. I don't know if that's a possibility for you, but it could be an idea.
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