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Old 04-07-2016, 02:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
JAB
 

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Exclamation 5 mo old spayed female barking at other dogs and strangers while on leash

This is my first post so bare with me if I've missed anything.
This is my second pitbull, my last lady lived a happy 15 1/2 years, never had any problems with socialization. Our new baby is a 5 mo old spayed female pitbull. We rescued her, she was left in a box taped up dumped outside a closed shelter, couldnt walk well because her paws were deformed from malnutrition and cramming. She had two foster families before we adopted her and her legs are totally normal now! We adopted her at about 3 1/2-4 mo of age. Couldnt walk her until recently when her shots were all done. She has graduated puppy preschool and does great in class. Plays with other puppies and loves it. Sometimes is a little nervous with some dogs but tends to submit when feeling this way...

This issue just started... When taking her on walks she has been barking at other dogs while on leash... sometimes its out of excitement cause she just wants to play with them, other times I'm not too sure.
We took her to a somewhat secluded beach and she was playing on the rocks having a great time, then she saw a tall man and woman walking past us and tried to run towards them and started barking at the man, hair standing up and all. First time I have ever seen her do this and it has really concerned me. Since then I noticed she now barks at certain strangers on our walks as well. There are lots of dogs in the neighborhood who bark and hearing them while in the house will sometimes cause her to let out a little bark as well which I correct and treat her for when silent. We have been working on clicker training "look at me" on walks, treating while we see other dogs, sitting and focusing on me. I am looking for tips on where to go from here... I want to make sure we nip this in the butt now before it becomes a serious problem. When we first got her she'd jump on everyone she met (which we wanted to stop, did so by asking them to ignore her and only give attention when all 4 were on the floor) and now she gets nervous when she meets strangers on our walks. Today our waitress gave her a piece of bacon and she was pleased but as soon as she went to pet her she cowered. Thank you in advance, we truly appreciate your time and help!
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
 

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Sounds like you're on the right track with 'look at me', etc. I would keep doing what you're doing. Puppies do go through fear periods, so she might be going through one now, or she might just be one of those dogs who doesn't want strangers petting them.
Riley is like that - his litter was dumped alongside a road at 6 or 7 weeks. I'd taken him to puppy classes, obedience classes, agility classes, we go lure coursing, we scooter, he goes on vacation with us, etc. and he just doesn't want strangers petting him. He's not aggressive but he will duck. If he's allowed to approach people on his own, he's much better than being forced to accept petting. Keep reinforcing that people are okay with treats but I wouldn't force her to accept them. As far as barking - teach her to bark on command, then you'll also have an 'off' switch to make her stop.
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