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Protecting Territory
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Protecting Territory

Hi,

My puppy barks and growls everytime someone comes near the house, knocks on the door or comes inside. I don't really mind if she barks once or twice, the growling I of course dont like and she continues to bark and growl the entire time people come into our home. I know she's thinks shes protecting her territory, but obviously this is behaviour I dont want to continue, what would be the best way to deter her from this?
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82861_tn?1333457511
You're right - she's protecting her territory.  She is doing so because she has it her mind that you aren't doing the job, so she's doing it herself.  Usually, when dogs do this sort of thing, there is more going on than this one area of misbehavior.  I suspect your dog rules the roost in many other areas of life so it's only natural for her to be the Guardian.  You'll have to learn to be her pack leader in all areas of her life, not just with the door and visitors in order to stop this behavior.  

What do you do when she behaves like this?  What form of discipline do you use to communicate to her that what she is doing is unacceptable?  Would you describe her as "your baby" or "spoiled"?  Does she often get you to do things that you really don't want to do, like play fetch, give her treats, give up a favorite chair... ?
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419792_tn?1208274426
She is spoiled but not overly, she only gets treats for being good, she gets to play fetch or go for a walk once a day but on our schedule...she's only allowed places we tell her she is. She does listen when we tell her to do stuff but not to stop barking/growling at people.

When she barks and growls at people, I tell her no/to stop, this only works for about 2 mins then she starts up again, so she gets put in her cage away from everyone.
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82861_tn?1333457511
Great!  Since you have good control over other areas of her life, this problem shouldn't be too difficult to overcome with some patience.  Try to set her up and have a friend come knocking at the door.  Anything that sets her off.  Be ready for it by having your dog on a leash.  As soon as you see her attention directed at that door, stop her and put her in a down-stay.  You can't answer the door until she stays put with no barking.  That's why you need a cooperative friend who is willing to wait while you do the exercise.  It obviously doesn't work well when someone is actually waiting for you!  She's going to keep trying to work around you and get up and get at that door or person, so you just have to be firm and correct her.  Every time she gets up, tell her NO and put her back in a down-stay.  If she doesn't know down and stay yet, then you'll have some additional work to do.

You need to get it through her head that YOU own the door - not her.  Every time you take her for a walk, make her wait at the door until you go out first.  She has to stay until you tell her it's OK to come out.  

Once she gets the down-stay and tbe visitor comes in, tell the person to ignore the dog.  Every time she barks, correct her with the leash.  Until she understands all of this and gets on auto-pilot with the behavior, keep her in a settle or down-stay position by your feet while you visit.  She doesn't get to socialize if she's hyper or barking.  She also doesn't get to cuddle with you because if you give her affection at this time, you'll reward the very behavior you're trying to get rid of.

I had the same problem with Chica, and did the same thing as you're doing.  We locked her up and didn't allow her to socialize.  Too many years of that and she was so unsocialized we couldn't trust her around anyone.  It was only the last two or three years of her life when I started watching The Dog Whisperer and realized WE were the ones who messed her up.  At least her last years were far happier though.  We did the work, and it didn't take long before anyone could come in and pet her without losing a body part.

Well, I hope that wasn't too confusing.  I'm sure other members have had this issue and hopefully they'll chime in with more solutions.
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419792_tn?1208274426
thanx a lot :), she knows how to go down and stay, and I definitely don't like having to keep away from ppl, she very nice, we've taken her on visits to our parents house, and as thats not "her" territory she's very well behaved.
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