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Old 12-30-2012, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Good Morning!

We rescued Achilles about a month ago. He is 80 pounds of pure love. He's undergone 2 surgeries recently for the removal of a MCT and was neutered just over a week ago.

He is an amazing dog. He has clearly been trained well (he sits and waits for the "ok" to eat his food, he won't come up on the couch unless invited, he sits to get his leash on, and he never leaves our side).

About a week after he joined our family, I had a friend over for tea. He barked when she knocked at the door (totally acceptable) and then he curled up at her feet as we chatted the afternoon away!

Then yesterday, my parents came over to meet Achilles for the first time. (Achilles was at the vets over Christmas recovering from a surgery). I was stunned at his behavior.
He barked when they knocked at the door, then he continued to bark and growl (this was a first) the entire time they were in the house!

I'm guessing that during my friend's early visit, Achilles wasn't yet feeling territorial of our home. Now, he felt the need to protect.

My folks are both dog people. They have always had dogs.

My patents ignored him, my husband held him by the harness, but he continued to bark and growl at them.

I don't think Achilles would ever bite, but since he is new to us, we just played it safe. My husband allowed him to sniff our guests, but then the barking and growling would start after a sniff.


When we take Achilles to other people's homes, he's fine! No barking, no growling, nothing. We do take him just about everywhere with us, and there hasn't been any concerns. Just a gentle giant.

Any suggestions? We have company a lot in the summer, and if this isn't under control by then we're in trouble!

Sascha


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Old 12-30-2012, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe tell him "friends" when people come over and have a treat ready for them to give him. The only other thing I can think of is taking him out on a leash outside to greet people then everyone come back in the house together. Need tried it, no clue if this will work, just a thought that came to my head. Also, our 11 year old min pin HATES my dads friend bill....( who he's been friends with for 35 years!) anytime he comes over penny get defensive and barks the whole entire time! It's quite annoying so I can relate to you! There's nothing that will stop her...


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Old 12-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh wow. I agree, try to have treats near the door so when someone comes in as Achilles is checking them out they can give him a treat or even do the greeting outside. Please keep us posted on how he does using this method. Let him know that the people you are invited in are allowed to come into the house. Are you going to do any training with him?? Pheona will growl when someone knocks/rings the doorbell. Once people are in she does find. She gets super excited when my cousin & her fiancee come over as they were here a lot when she was a little pup. I've had various maintenance people in the house & she will never kennel when it's just me & the girls here (or if my boys are here with me). I get her in a sit & she stays on her bed while they are here. She does make them very nervous. I had one guy tell me he was cool with dogs & as long as I was okay she didn't have to stay. Well I released her & she got about half way to the kitchen and she started growling again. Told her if she was going to be that way then go back to bed. She promptly turned & went back to bed. He was amazed & said she's the most well behaved dog he's seen in housing since he started working for them. I will tell you this, she sits up perfectly tall so she can see everything.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Uh oh that's no good! Rosco has only had a problem with the plumber whom he growled and barked at and the plumber was like ehhh ok I'm going outside now lol. And this real bad guy who is a druggie, so I think Rosco knows bad people when he sees em. But perhaps you could teach him to go lay on a mat? I know it helps a ton for others Rosco is just a big goober and wants to wiggle his goofy butt around and do the "stitch lick" looks like he's catching flies haha. Oh and the holding the harness could have made it worse...dogs, and humans, have an opposition reflex, so holding him back will make him want to go forward EVEN more :/ I agree with the above comments as well, click and treat for any good behavior no barking no growling, and let your parents and other people kinda throw treats in his general direction, chicken works GREAT for this!!!! No eye contact just tossing the chicken and things should improve, good luck!


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Old 12-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af_wx_wife View Post
Oh wow. I agree, try to have treats near the door so when someone comes in as Achilles is checking them out they can give him a treat or even do the greeting outside. Please keep us posted on how he does using this method. Let him know that the people you are invited in are allowed to come into the house. Are you going to do any training with him?? Pheona will growl when someone knocks/rings the doorbell. Once people are in she does find. She gets super excited when my cousin & her fiancee come over as they were here a lot when she was a little pup. I've had various maintenance people in the house & she will never kennel when it's just me & the girls here (or if my boys are here with me). I get her in a sit & she stays on her bed while they are here. She does make them very nervous. I had one guy tell me he was cool with dogs & as long as I was okay she didn't have to stay. Well I released her & she got about half way to the kitchen and she started growling again. Told her if she was going to be that way then go back to bed. She promptly turned & went back to bed. He was amazed & said she's the most well behaved dog he's seen in housing since he started working for them. I will tell you this, she sits up perfectly tall so she can see everything.
That's a cute story! Lol. I laughed and my fiancé must think I'm nuts over here


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Old 12-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was going to suggest the same... Have your friends and family give treats
So he learns good things happen when they are there.


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Old 12-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All great suggestions!

I just wanted to add.... When my hubby held Achilles by the harness, he was sitting and it actually calmed him. He was still in high alert, but wasn't pulling at all.

We've put a bag of treats at the door so that we can try this as soon as someone comes over.

I'm taking Achilles to visit my Mom on Wednesday because I want her to see what a charming boy he can be when he isn't barking and growling.


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Old 12-30-2012, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ohhh I see. Well sometimes it goes the other way, like for agility, I seen my friend hold the scruff not hard but it looked odd, and she said its bc the opposition reflex to make them get hyped up more.
Good idea! Take him there and they'll see what a sweetie he is when he isn't so busy guarding the house


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