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Need a solution when we have visitors

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Maggie Mul, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    So we have had Maggie for almost 1 year. We have had a continuous problem when we have visitors over in that she will not stop barking at them. She is fine with people she knows but not with people she doesn't know. We have tried so many things, keeping her behind a gate, this made her bark even more, kept her in a different room, her bark changed to a panic bark. We have tried giving her treats, kongs etc which work initially and then when she has finished them she is back to barking. It has got to the point where we have stopped inviting people over! She is always on a leash when people come over. We have even let her greet people with a sock in her mouth as they are a her favourite thing in the whole world and then she's not able to bark!!! This works ok at the beginning but not completely. We thought we should try and get her to be upstairs in her crate when people come over, so she doesn't have to interact with them at all. At the moment, when she knows someone is here she barks like crazy in her crate and doesn't stop. Obviously we can't do this, so anyone have any suggestion of how I go about getting her used to being in her crate upstairs in the bedroom and being fine with that?
     
  2. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Firstly and Im sure you know this a crate should never be used as a punishment. But if Maggie thinks it is then she will never accept it as a place of safety and be happy there. So if you are determined to crate train thats a starting point you have to make her crate a good place to be.

    Secondly I understand a lot of your problem, Ive just started classes with Murphy because he isnt very social and on the odd occasions people come to the house who are not family, the postman (he loves Ed) or our neighbour he barks , just like Maggie. Food wont distract hm nor will his favourite toy.
    Normally I clip his lead on and keep him close to me, I tell the person to come in and sit down then simply keep the conversation calm and brief so that he stays calm. But its not idea which is where the classes come in ...I thought training him to focus on me rather than whats going on around us and getting used to being around other people and different situations would ease his nervousness.
    Im not sure if any of this helps you but youre not alone and yes it drives me mad too!
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  3. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    Hi, thanks for your reply. Sorry, maybe I didn't phrase it well. The crate isn't used as punishment. Maggie is very used to it. She has used one as a puppy and sleeps perfectly in it at night and up until recently we put her in it if we had to go out. I just meant that when we had visitors over she could go upstairs in her crate with a kong and chill out. If she hears someone in the house then she just barks constantly, so this method is not working. I am at my wits end with it all really. I just wish she would let people come in and just ignore them and get on with her own thing. Our guests don't interact with her and ignore her mostly but Maggie just won't relax and chill out when they are here. The minute they cough, move, laugh too loud she is up, alert and barking at them!! It's exhausting!
     
  4. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Maggie Mul , I didnt want to imply that you did use the crate as punishment but lots of lurkers read these forums and I would hate to give anyone the idea that it is a good idea.
    She does sound like Murphy who is always 'on guard' and it is a problem but I just think keeping a dog in another room adds to their stress because they cannot see that you are safe so their guarding goes into overdrive.
    Im sure there are others with more knowledge after all Im in much the same boat as you, which is why Im doing the classes! Maybe we should start a support group! lol
     
  5. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think it kind of depends what sort of barking it is. Is it an attention seeking bark or a worrying bark?
    What do you do when she barks?
    Because if it's attention she's after and you give it to her when she barks you're rewarding her for barking. Try the removal technique, as soon as she barks, calmly and quietly (dont say anything to her) remove her from the room and leave her there until she's quiet, I know you said she barks if you put her somewhere else as well but it's just about patience, wait for a gap in the barks, all you need is a 3-5 second break of quiet and then let her out again, repeat until she understands that if she barks, she doesn't get to be with you. This can take many repetitions so be consistent and persevere! Try doing this daily until she gets it, this means getting guinea pigs (obviously not actual guinea pigs haha) to come to the house everyday to practice.

    If it's a worrying bark because she's nervous around people she needs to understand that people are good and give her good things! Like chicken, get them to throw her bits of chicken when they're over so that she associates people coming over with getting a high value reward (chicken, cheese, whatever she absolutely loves and doesn't have very often). This can take a long time too so be consistent and persevere! Again, get people to come over every day if you can, as with most training, it needs to be repeated daily so that they can learn. And also with this situation, talking to her and giving her attention when she barks is telling her it's okay to be scared of people.

    I hope this or someone else's suggestions help you!
     
    millymojo1, Mad Murphy and Toffeedog like this.

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