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Miniature Dachshund with a Big Bark

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by RalphDog, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. RalphDog

    RalphDog New Member Registered

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    so.... Ralph is 3 years old and is great around the house and the kids....
    He loves playing in the garden and running around playing fetch.
    The problems start when;
    • Someone walks passed the house - he barks
    • Someone comes in the garden - he barks
    • We go for a walk and he sees another dog - he really barks
    It is quite embarassing as he is about 10 inches tall and 2 foot long (roughly) and when he is starting on a dolberman or even a great dane - yes this has happened - then its time to take him home.

    We haven't even attempted off the lead at the park or anywhere with him because he is a little too quick for us to chase after...

    We are now in the process of introducing him to a friends dog regularly, bring them here or going to there house and letting them meeting more often. This is slowly helping improve his behaviour around other dogs but it is definitely taking time

    Anyone else had these sort of problems and what did you do to rectify it?
    Please share your stories.
    What dog do you have?
    What does he/she do?
    How did you fix it?
     
  2. Waggy Tales Blog

    Waggy Tales Blog New Member Registered

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    I have a mini dachshund too, he's a rescue, around 5 years old. He barks at everything, it's a dachsie thing I am afraid. Darcy thinks it's his job to guard us against pigeons, squirrels the postman! we try to convince him that he really doesn't have to worry about us by saying 'everythings fine' in a really calm voice. It has helped a little! When my daughter brings her huge dog round his fur goes up and he growls, there is no fear and in his head he is a Great Dane. As well as the protective side he also gets very jealous but he is a rescue dog so some issues are expected. I wouldn't change him but I do wish he was a little quieter!
     
  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    There's quite a lot to unpick here so bear with me.

    There could be a couple of reasons for that but probably based on territory as they are near or on his turf. As @waggy tails blog says, try to reassure him that you have this under control so doesn't have to.

    This short video by Kikopup is about stopping barking at the door but the principles should help.



    This is likely to have a different root cause.

    He likely feels anxious but being on lead, he can't get away so has to put on an even bigger display of 'I'm big and scary, don't mess with me'. Incidentally, @Waggy Tales Blog, your dog also sounds more like this to me than having 'big dog syndrome'. The fur going up and growling suggest he is anxious, not brave - maybe have a look at
    Body Language

    However, back to @RalphDog. He will have an invisible radius of space around him where he feels secure . Find out what that is and keep him far enough away from other dogs that he is relaxed. Reward his calm behaviour. Gradually, over weeks and months, not days, work on reducing the distance. But - be aware that if your dog has had a stressful episode the stress hormone can stay in the body for up to 48 hours so a distance he was comfortable with the day before might be too close that day. So the safe distance can change, watch his body language.

    Trainers describe behaviour like this with reference to the three Ds. Distance, as above but also be aware of Duration (your dog might be tolerant for 10 seconds, but not 15) and Distraction - how distracting the stimulus is; a calm dog might not trigger any reaction at a given distance but a bouncy one might.

    Alongside that you could train a 'watch me'. As your dog looks at you, mark and reward the behaviour. Ask for longer periods of watching. Then if a dog approaches, after you have worked on the distance issue, you can get your dog to focus on you and not the other dog. BUT - some dogs find this scary as they cannot see the thing they are anxious about so you need to judge your dog.

    Regarding keeping him on lead, thats great until his recall is sound. You might want to continue with this until you are confident but if he is on a flexi lead or long line, please use it on a harness and not a collar - if he is running and reaches the end and gets stopped suddenly he could damage his neck or trachea, or being a dachshund; possibly his back. The book Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson is very good.
     
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  4. Waggy Tales Blog

    Waggy Tales Blog New Member Registered

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    Thank you so muchJoanneF, that is really helpful. You're absolutely right, Darcy is extremely anxious and it comes over as aggression. As I said before, he's a rescue, I knew exactly what I was getting, but he was at risk of PTS. He is much better, but it has taken 3 years. He has many issues, all linked to anxiety. Thank you again. Louise
     
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  5. gypsysmum2

    gypsysmum2 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Well done for taking on a rescue with all his issues. It will be a long road ahead to improve his confidence. You can get yellow leads/jackets/neckerchiefs with the slogan "I Need Space" on them. This helps people understand him and they will know why you are keeping your distance or turning away from them as they approach :)
     
  6. Waggy Tales Blog

    Waggy Tales Blog New Member Registered

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    That's a great idea. I always worry about children running up to him. I pick him up quickly and the mums are offended that I don't want my dog near their children! lol (he's never offlead btw)
     
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  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Never worry about people being offended. I will literally make a stop sign with my hand and say STOP to prevent wild children running and screaming near Murphy. Everyone expects dogs to be social and bombproof against strange screaming children running up and mauling them. The reality is that many dogs are not used to or fond of strange children grabbing them. Feel free to protect your dog from unwanted attention.
     
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  8. Waggy Tales Blog

    Waggy Tales Blog New Member Registered

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    I will ! He has history of biting (through fear) so I really need to be careful. There are also adults who insist on patting him saying 'He won't bite me, I've had dogs for years' or the strangers who think they can 'fix' him! I think the yellow jacket is a great idea.
     
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  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Have you considered muzzling him? Even with a yellow jacket there's always a chance that someone will get bitten, blame your dog, and demand their pound of flesh. My dog is always muzzled on walks and is perfectly happy with the muzzle on.

    A muzzle can also help you be calmer when an incident arises, which will avoid your anxiety being sensed by your dog and making him more likely to react.
     
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  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    And tends to keep people away too!
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    In theory... I've still had someone come up to Jasper, clasp his head in their hands, put their face up close and tell him how lovely he is - and then ask why he wears a muzzle:eek: People just seem to assume it's because he 'chases things' or 'eats stuff'. Well yes, he does both of those, but...
     
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  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, JoanneF:

    And (a basket-muzzle) tends to keep people away, too!
    ________________________
    .

    Except for those weirdos who are apparently drawn to “violent” or presumably dangerous dogs... who may not be the majority of folks, but can be quite worrying. :confused:

    When I lived in Centre Co., PA, with my Akita as a pup, all dogs who were too large to be carried in crates had to be muzzled on buses. // This meant habituating my pup to a basket-muzzle as part of her routine wardrobe, & I discovered there is a subset of humanity that finds muzzled dogs magnetically attractive. :rolleyes:
    I don’t pretend to know why, & can’t even provide a hypothesis - but they exist, believe me.
    Some would follow us, seeming to wait for an eruption, others would try to strike up a convo... it is distinctly odd when someone only wants to meet Ur dog when s/he is muzzled, but not when they are bare-faced. o_O Same individuals... completely different reaction.

    Just sayin’, keep a wary eye out for those folk who think muzzled dogs are (sexy? / fascinating? / exciting? _____?_____ ). They aren’t legion, but they are out there.
    If such a person tries to pet the dog, approach & tease the dog (I had a few of those, too, mostly pre-teen boys, aged 10 to 12-ish years), or engage U in a conversation, be ready to tell them to leave the dog be, & that no, s/he is NOT “dangerous”, this is training. Then turn up the speed, & get the dog out of the situation, would be my advice.

    There are also kids & adults who are simply curious, & then i’ve explained that every dog should learn to happily don a muzzle, so that if they NEED one, it’s not scary or distressing, it’s familiar & no big deal. :) Those are the conversations I enjoy having - teachable moments come along rarely, & I take full advantage of them. ;)

    - terry

    .
     
  13. Waggy Tales Blog

    Waggy Tales Blog New Member Registered

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    I've got a muzzle, he wears it when he visits the vet for a nail trim (that's a whole other story!) Do you think it dampens down the sensory enjoyment for the dog? I agree it might keep people away. I'm always careful to walk him at quiet times, away from crowds and I always keep him on a lead. I find myself blabbering on about him being a rescue, bad start in life, not his fault etc etc but I want to say 'Its people who have made him like this, just leave him alone!'
     
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  14. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    I remember some years ago when we were walking around our local market with one of our dear old ladies who was absolutely "bomb proof" and loved everyone. A child came over and started to stroke her, I pulled the dog away and said to the child that she should ask before touching a strange dog! (this is what my parent's taught me) The child's mother proceeded to shout at me saying that I should not have a nasty dog walking in a busy public place! I ignored her and continued walking!
     
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  15. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    If you use a basket muzzle that doesn't restrict mouth opening, so he can still smell, drink, pant and bark, then not a lot, if at all - and he will learn that it's 'normal', just as putting shoes on is normal for us. My dog is very resistant to anything he doesn't like, but if I have to take his muzzle off on a walk - usually because he's been eating cow poo through it - I don't have any problem putting it back on again. He can even play with (stolen) balls with it on, and does a great Pele impersonation, kicking it up into the air with his muzzle and then chasing after it. He can even pick up tennis balls, as he can push his nose to the end and get a bit of the nap in his front teeth.
     
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  16. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    It was interesting to me that when the Am Vet-Med Assoc surveyed their members, the Dachshund - in all 3 sizes - was the Breed Most-Likely to Bite, by quite a large margin.
    Vets put dogs into many stressful situations & often see them when they are in pain, feel very unwell, or are just plain scared, so biting is among any vet’s daily risks.
    None of the “usual suspects” made the top 5 in the survey - pit bulls / APBTs / AmStaffs, Dobes weren’t even in the top 20, I think GSDs were among the top 10; Cockers, Chis, & JRTs were in the top 5.

    I class Dachshunds with all the classic terrierrrists - not due to intended purpose, but shared temps. They are all vocal, reactive, & snappy, inclined to bite 1st & apologize if needed, after the bite is inflicted. - they may or may not pull their punches (limit their bite pressure) when startled or scared.
    If I trip over the average JRT in the dark on my way to the bathroom, I figure my odds of being bitten are about 50 / 50. If I trip over a pittie, even if i’m a visitor in the household, my odds of being snapped at without contact MIGHT be 50%, but my odds of being actually bitten with a pink scratch from a tooth, let alone any sort of puncture, are less than 1 in 10, IME/ IMO.
    With a smooth-coated or wire-haired Dachs, i’d put bite-risk with broken skin right back to 50%; the outcross that brought long-coats into Dachs as another variation, seems to have softened their temp considerably, so while long-haired Dachs seem more prone to timidity, they are generally a lot less snappish & less prone to bite. This is of course, IMpersonalE - also IME, smooths are the worst of the 3 for biting, & also for stranger intolerance when visitors come to the house. Moreover, Smooths have been IME the worst of the 3 for turfy behaviors toward other dogs when at home (bark at passing dogs, charge the fence, bark angrily at others’ barking even at a distance when at home, etc).

    Re the barking:
    I’d install an on switch, then teach an off switch- IOW, teach “Speak!”, then when the dog knows that well, teach “hush...”. Once under stimulus control or “on cue”, it’s much easier to halt barking.
    Remember when U teach Speak & Hush, both actions are rewarded, & U might also want to jackpot for ‘hush’ the 1st few times, then after the jackpot, QUIT for the day & let him sleep on it... any animal with a brain dreams during sleep, & we consolidate & store the day’s events as retrievable memories in our dreams. When U *stop* after a novel event, particularly when it was highly rewarding, it becomes more memorable, & learning is faster.

    I teach ‘hush’ in a literal whisper, with exaggerated body language to clue the dog - I bend forward, eyes on eyes, brows raised, put my index finger upright to my lips, tilt my head as if LISTENING,& whisper “hush...”
    I move my eyes off the dog’s eyes & back to their gaze again, as if i’m listening to a distant or quiet sound, & then looking at them, brows still raised, to see if they hear it, too. // all this is just mime to help the dog, & don’t think s/he can’t hear U whisper as they bark - U are right there, this is training, U are not 20-ft off. :D U must be within arm’s reach to deliver that tidbit, right?
    ;)

    Along with a jackpot-then-quit-for-the-day tactic for Hush, i’d Also reward them differentially- with super potent tho small tidbits for Hush, & good but not fantastic tidbIts for Speak.
    Perhaps Speak could be rewarded with a game of tug, using a tooth-friendly tuggee, as he will already be slightly excited / aroused, & tug is great for bleeding that arousal off safely, while Hush is rewarded with pea-sized or even half-pea sized but EXCELLENT high protein tidbits - cubed lean beef, diced chkn or turkey breast, freeze-dried lamb lung or green tripe, etc.

    The reason for the differential reward is that he will find barking much easier than stopping, so we want to underline how marvelous it is to STOP on cue.
    Also, acknowledging what he is reacting to, helps most dogs. - a simple “thank U” to the dog after looking out at the passerby, or harking to the slammed car door, or whatever it may be, recognizes that he’s barking to communicate, not just to be a PITA. After all, most of us do want our dogs to alert us to intruders & even to visitors, to let us know when the roast is burning or the dish towel catches fire, to bark in the middle of the night if the smoke-alarm goes off or there’s water coming into the house, & dogs need to know that apropos barks are good, it’s persistent barking for very minimal reasons that we don’t like, & indeed, don’t want.

    After a while, many dogs will hush when U simply & sincerely say, “thank U, that’s enough. - i’ve got it...”, & take care of whatever might need to be done, praps closing the window if the neighbor’s lawn mower agitates Ur dog, or distant fire-sirens are starting a neighborhood howl-a-
    thon.


    Barky dogs are a trial, there is no disputing it, but most of them, in fact nearly all, IME as a trainer, can become livable-with, given some consistent feedback & especially if they learn Speak, Hush, & for bonus points, Use Ur inside voice...:D that last one really does help!

    JMO & IME, YMMV,
    - terry

    .
     
  17. Waggy Tales Blog

    Waggy Tales Blog New Member Registered

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    Thank you for taking the time to post this I will start straight away. I've had long haired dachshunds in the past and they were much calmer than my mini smooth, my mum had a mini long haired though and he could be nasty. I think the first weeks of a puppies life are crucial for training, Darcy was kept in a kennel and used as a stud dog. he had been passed through 5 'homes' before he came here, aged around 2. The first step was getting him to trust me, once a bond was there I could go back to basics, but everything takes time. I do apologise I seem to have hijacked a thread here but I am so grateful for everyones help, I take all your advice on board.
     
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