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Question
Posted by: Noleen | 2011/02/09

dog too protective

My dog is overprotective of me. Rushes barking &  growling at any other animal within sight of me. I adore all my animals and they obviously come to me for affection but she wont let them. The other animals just ignore her but the noise continues. Help please.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Noeleen, it sounds like the dog thinks it is in charge instead of you. You need to bring in House Rules as to what you do and dont accept, just as you would with a child and be consistent with them. This behaviour is unacceptable and is a bit like a child demanding your attention whenever you speak to anybody else and butting in continually. What you can do for the time being, is to tell the dog, in a loud voice 'uhuh' or no. As the dog stops, reward it with praise. That way you are opening up lines of communication-'uhuh', i dont like that - immediate praise when behaviour stops - yes i do like that. If that does not work you can perform what is called a reverse Time out. Simply turn around and quickly walk out the room, shutting the door behind you, with your body language showing your are not impressed (arms folded and striding out without talking). Give it about 30 seconds and then walk back into the room as if nothing has happened. If the dog starts again, then repeat.
Also it can get worse and it may be an idea to think about getting a professional in to help you and to bring in modifications. What happens when a dog feels that you are taking control, is that the behaviour will lessen as the dog feels more secure. Hope this helps, do let me know. Thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/02/09

Hi Noeleen, it sounds like the dog thinks it is in charge instead of you. You need to bring in House Rules as to what you do and dont accept, just as you would with a child and be consistent with them. This behaviour is unacceptable and is a bit like a child demanding your attention whenever you speak to anybody else and butting in continually. What you can do for the time being, is to tell the dog, in a loud voice 'uhuh' or no. As the dog stops, reward it with praise. That way you are opening up lines of communication-'uhuh', i dont like that - immediate praise when behaviour stops - yes i do like that. If that does not work you can perform what is called a reverse Time out. Simply turn around and quickly walk out the room, shutting the door behind you, with your body language showing your are not impressed (arms folded and striding out without talking). Give it about 30 seconds and then walk back into the room as if nothing has happened. If the dog starts again, then repeat.
Also it can get worse and it may be an idea to think about getting a professional in to help you and to bring in modifications. What happens when a dog feels that you are taking control, is that the behaviour will lessen as the dog feels more secure. Hope this helps, do let me know. Thanks Scotty

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