8 weeks ago, I got a pom from a couple with a son that had ashbergers that couldn't keep her. She is 4 and in great shape, we got her a check up at the vet, she is happy and a extemely sweet dog, I've even thaught her paw and we are working on sit. She has an excessive barking problem, whenever someone comes over she will sit infront of them and bark endlessly, then she will finally go down stairs but at the slightest noise she will be back upstairs barking. Whenever we go outside she will bark at cars, and people but its not nice barking she will do that bark growl, and will try launching at people that walk by, although she does this she won't bite, she loves people. Today she was barking as such and I thougth if I picked her up it would redirect her attention but she began trashing around and ended up scratching me with her claws. This is gettting worse and is starting to get out of hand. Iam out of ideas. Help plz
Time to go to doggie school! :-) Seriously, it sounds like your pom believes she rules you and your home. She's barking at visitors because she feels you are lower in the pack and she must defend you. She's trying to tell these people to "go away!" Same reasoning applies to her aggressive behaviour outside the home.
Until she learns that you (and anyone else in your home) are the alpha pack member, this kind of behavior will only escalate. It's entirely possible for dogs like this to become biters, so waste no time in finding a good trainer. Once you're established as a pack leader, your pom will calm down and look to you for how to properly behave. If you remain calm; she'll remain calm. Dog training is more about training the human to communicate with the dog. It doesn't stop at the schoolroom door either. Some dogs need positive reinforcement every day for quite a long time, while others pick it up right away.
I had a shepherd mix exactly like your pom. For 10 years she got more and more unstable and unsocialized because we did exactly the wrong thing: kept her away from social situations because we didn't know how to deal with her. Once I learned some dog skills, the results were incredible. She went from an unstable, fear agressive dog to a well-behaved socialized dog in a few weeks. She never wanted to be the alpha dog, but because we didn't step up and take care of "guarding the territory", she did it herself. Any dog will do that if there is a lack of leadership in the home. And make no mistake: small dogs can cause a whole lot of damage in a short amount of time.
Can you tell us exactly how you handle the barking and aggression issues outside your home? We'll be able to give you more specific advice that way.
Outside of my home I am the one usually walking her, I will hold her back by her leash, mostly because am unsure of exactly what to do, then I will bend down by her and try and calm her down by redirecting her attetion but she is so focused on that person anything I do will not distract her. For instance last night we I had her on a tie out leash so she could be outside while I worked in the garden and a couple walked by and she instantly went nuts and I thought picking her up and turning away from the people to distract her to something else would work, but she began like flalling,(sorry I believe I mis-spelled that) scratching and wiggling trying to get down, and thank you, I'm going to start looking for a good dog trainer.
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