teaching the difference between good strangers and bad strangers? (1 Viewer)

CouchPunx

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Ive had my heeler/pit mix pup for three months now (hes six months) and hes the sweetest smartest most loyal little bastard on the planet. The one thing im struggling with is teaching him to be appropriately suspicious of people walking up to my camp at noght. His first month with me was spent on a pot farm where he could pretty much trust everyone, so hes super friendly. This is usually a good thing but when people get aggressive with me he thinks they're playing. He growls sometimes but when the person gets closer he tries to play.
Wheres thw balance here?
 
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Older Than Dirt

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We have been feeding dogs, in return for them barking at strangers, for tens of thousands of years ever since they tricked us into agriculture, and out of being hunter gatherers, in order to get a more regular food supply.

A 6 month puppy is like a toddler. A 3 year would would make a shitty sentry.

Be patient, your dog has excellent genetics for protection, and the main thing you need to worry about right now is training the dog to not bite everyone.

Dogs are mostly gonna be dogs; they are very big on characteristic canine behavior.
 

Eng JR Lupo RV323

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Yeah 6 months old is basically a 7 year old child at most. Depends on the scale you subscribe to. I think the year one=14, year two=24, all following years +7 scale makes the most sense.
A common one is 7 every year but that doesn't really make sense. A one year old dog can have puppies. What 7 year old child is capable of reproducing? Anyway, your dog is a small child right now.

You'd never expect a 7 year old to defend the home. You should start seeing some changes within the next 6-10 months. I personally don't think this is something you need to train. It seems like a dogs natural instinct to take on this role.

Also be careful what you wish for. I wish I could take about 85% of my dogs defense mode down. She's a fucking maniac. Friend or foe she doesn't give anyone a pass. I can know someone for decades, go up and give em a hug and she still thinks they're a threat.

It makes traveling/having guests over/socializing in general extremely hard. I have to hand them her favorite ball and then make them play fetch with her, that's the only way to gain her trust. Kinda hard to do this in hotel rooms or walking down the street.

It's nothing I trained into her. That's just her, steady actin like a mall cop.
 

MFB

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@Older Than Dirt and @Eng JR Lupo RV323 already nailed it.

Dogs are a lot like humans whereas they get more surly w age.
My doggo is 13 and loves nothing more than to sit outside and bark at anything that moves in between naps. 😍
 

Older Than Dirt

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Yes. My 8 year old pit Fifi, and 13 year old cockapoo Maud, vigorously police all moving objects, cars, people, cats and squirrels, as well as frequent menaces invisible to me, on our very quiet small-town block. And if another dog has the nerve to walk down their block, OMG.

There is no possibility of anyone getting near my house or yard, let alone on my porch, without vigorous and strident warning. i have certainly never done a thing to encourage this, and a great deal to discourage it.

They could give a shit. They regard all movement as evidence of attack by dog-hurters and/or dog-food-stealers.

I think it was Agatha Christie who first pointed out why dogs bark at mail-people: they come to your door every day, and you never let them in.

I actually would let my mail-man in, i met him at the only HC show ever to take place in our town 2 years ago. We just got to talking outside between bands, he said he worked for the Post Office, i was like "Oh shit, you deliver my mail", he was like "Wait, do you have dogs?"
 
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Eng JR Lupo RV323

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Sounds so much like Kaya. I find myself telling her numerous times each day "other dogs can exist, Kaya" "People can walk by at 200 yards away, Kaya" she doesn't give a fuck. It moves, it's a threat. She tries to eat sun reflections off the siding of buildings. Like full on trying to chomp into the wall. She's.. unique.
 

Older Than Dirt

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If we are sitting on the porch, we put this wood gate thing across the top of the steps. The dogs hang out by it so they can keep an eye on things.

If anyone walks by, especially with a dog, they run into the house, and into the back yard, so that they can bark at them from where they are behind a 6' fence, and not that flimsy little movable gate.

The little dog does not bark at the neighbors in the back yard, but the big one also polices all the neighboring yards. At least once a day, i have to go out and yell "Hush! Too much foolish barking at the nice neighbors!" I let her get a bark in, but there are limits.

And when there was a deer in the next yard. There are no words for the frenzy.

Then there was the skunk issue. Fifi the pit came in from the yard one night with stink breath, but no smell on her muzzle, and drooling an insane amount.There was skunk smell in the yard. The next morning, i found a skunk carcass in two pieces. The hind end was much smaller. i think she got the skunk by the rear, the skunk sprayed in her mouth, and she shook it to death in spite of this.

Within a half hour, she was desperate to go back in the yard. Then she did more or less the same thing a year later (got skunk-sprayed in her mouth again but killed it). Slow learner.
 
D

Deleted member 13433

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wow... I wish I had some solid advice for you original poster, but I don't.

My dog came into my life from a person who used to be on STP who got her out of a kill pound, as Loki was a To Be Destroyed dog :(

Well, it turns out that in the wrong hands, yes... Loki was not a good dog, and the person who got her out of the pound decided it was time for Loki to go.

At one point, a person on STP was in contact with her about adopting Loki... but I was not cool with it, plus me and Loki were starting to bond, as I lived in the front house and she in the back.

When I saw the free to good home sign go up, I knew I was not going to allow that to happen so I adopted Loki, knowing that I was adopting a stubborn apparently high strung dog.

Well, it turns out that was all Loki crying for help, all my dog really wanted was a safe home, where she could be loose 100% of the time inside, none of that crating shit like she was enduring with the last owner... and man, all of Loki's so called bad behaviors were gone in like 3 days, and within a week she had become the model dog.

Now - I never had a dog, and never wanted a dog - I was a cat person, but I was determined to make this work and in retrospect I did it all wrong because I just figured we'd make it up as we go along, which we did...

I swear she can read my mind.

I also swear she can read other peoples minds - because she will bark - or growl - without being prompted, if she see's something - or senses something that could mean either danger or a threat.

It is incredible what a good judge of character she is too, good people she is cool with right off the bat, questionable get the growl... which I reward her for, because she to me is doing good.

So, again.. I got my dog a little over two years old, she is now 12.
She is still an exceptional judge of character - and I never did anything to tune her into figuring out other peoples vibes.

Now - if I could get her to like other dogs, that would be nice... but it's completely ok with me ifshe wants to be the only dog.

Good Luck !!
Remember - there are no bad dogs....

George + Loki xoxo
 

MFB

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I swear she can read my mind.
Indeed.
But it works both ways right?
Sometimes my dog will look at me and it's as if there is a thought bubble above her head from a comic strip; and I know exactly what she wants.
"wanna walk?"
"still got those carrots in the fridge?"
"throw that stick for me?"
 
D

Deleted member 13433

I deleted myself
No, it doesn't with me - my dog can look me in the eye almost nose to nose and I have to ask her what she wants, and then we figure it out from there.

But it is scary how tuned into me she is, then again I can see why because I'm probably - definately - the first person to give her what she wanted which was a nice home and to be loved.

She is truly the best friend I ever had, and it breaks my heart that someday she will be gone from this earth... but she will live inside of me forever !!

Would I get another dog ??

Short answer is no - unless a similar situation presented itself, where the dog came to me as a way out of a bad situation.

I got so lucky with my dog, because I did literally no training, I just figured I'd treat her the way I would want to be treated if I were a dog, and she has been so good to me - and for me, for when I rescued Loki, she rescued me :)
 

MFB

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She is truly the best friend I ever had, and it breaks my heart that someday she will be gone from this earth... but she will live inside of me forever !!
Ditto Brother. Mine is 13, Ive thought a lot about that day. I use this thought as a reminder to be as fucking sweet to her as I possibly can be. :)
 
D

Deleted member 13433

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Yes.
My dogs quality of life is completely 100% dependent on the quality of life which I provide for her.
 

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