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I have a 2 year old JackChi named Sasha who's incredibly sweet and loves attention, however she is a monster when she's outside. I live with my grandma and sometimes she'll forget to close the door, and Sasha will run out and go around the neighborhood sniffing and doing her thing before she comes back to my front door (I try to prevent this, but sometimes I can't do anything to stop my grandma from forgetting to close the door.) When she's outside, she'll bark at everyone and anything, and she scares children and aggravates dogs and their owners. It's really an embarrassment seeing this 13 pound dog barking her head off at everything with a girl running behind her wondering why her usually obedient dog won't listen to her.

The thing that confuses me though is the way she barks at people. She barks at them from a certain distance and will start to follow them until she loses interest and moves on to her next victim. She doesn't lunge at people but she does run up to them and stop a few feet away. With dogs she'll run up to them and it aggravates them so they get into a barking fit. Then she comes inside as if nothing happened.

I've tried to fix this behavior but of course I've failed numerous times. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated!

  • Your title says that the dog barks at people and then follows them, but from your question I get the impression that the dog follows them while barking and then loses interest. Which is it? Anyway, I would (knee-jerk response) suggest getting a heck of a good trainer. Usually (in my experience) the Pet Smart classes are fine for general training, but in your case, I would bite the bullet and pay for a private trainer. Maybe she can tell you what's up. – General Nuisance Jun 11 '16 at 3:30
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To me, it sounds territorial.
She leaves the house, checks out her territory, and successfully scares people off!

For possibly explanation for her barking: to your dog, it clearly seems to work: she barks, doesn't even need to get close, and people still leave! To us, it is "well, they walked on, after all, they only wanted to walk past anyway". To your dog, it is "I barked. The person left. Barking worked!"
If it is indeed territorial, you will most likely be able to see what she considers the border: it is where she looses interest in the people!

Now, how do you fix it. Mind you, this is MY take on this. Alternatives go via "dominance"-theories, but this is what I happen to like.
Does she play "fetch"-games well? The easiest way to make your dog come to your call it to be really really really interesting and important: more so than any people walking past. Take a small pack you fill with treats. Put your dog on a LONG leash -> This is your backup!
Now, basically, pay fetch. The idea is: 1) She gets to play with you. 2) She gets to search and hunt. 3) She has a reason to come to YOU! Because she may have found the bag with the food, but YOU open it, and YOU feed her from it. So, you are fun, AND you have food. You are "doggie-god"!

Getting her to bring you the bag may be tricky at first. That is what the leash is for: She gets the bag, you call her. When she comes to you, you are overjoyed. If she ignores your call, you can just pull her to you. She has the chance to change her mind about coming to you on her own, and you get a second way to get her to bring the bag. Just make sure to reward every RIGHT step she makes.

That mostly brings you closer to your dog. And THAT may already help get your dog to come to you. Because what you want, at the core, is to be able to call her, and she comes to you, without fail.

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My pom is that way too. It used to bother me until I realized that was his way of saying "Hello. Pet me!" Once he makes friends with the stranger he never barks at them again, he just runs up to them to get petted. We just moved to a new apartment complex full of new people, and it has really been evident lately. Fortunately he is getting settled in now and making friends with our new neighbors. Now if I could get him to stop being aggressive to other dogs (he is 5 pounds and less than a foot tall but thinks he is 10 feet tall and bulletproof)

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