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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We have a 5yr old border collie who has always barked a lot

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We have a 5yr old border collie who has always barked a lot 'but has got quite aggressive to certain people outside which is a great concern to us .
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. Your question wasn't showing up in our list of questions so I do apologize for the delay in getting a response to you.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Is she in a fence?
Is she being aggressive when people walk by the fence?
Can you describe the behavior?
Is Ruby spayed?
Has she had any obedience training?
Do you walk her regularly?
Does she have other activities?
What have you tried so far?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ruby has been with us since a puppy ' we got her from the dogs trust .she is a house dog and is walked several times a day ,she has been speyed .she has not had obedience training ,having had dogs before we didn't think she needed it .ruby is very aggressive when anyone comes to the door and people walking past the house .doesnt like the postman or anyone in caps ,anyone on cycles ,the list goes on .she has just spent 3 weeks away in the new forest plenty of exercise .behavior getting worse .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have not received an answer
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
JaCustomer,
Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. I did mention it would likely take 30-45 minutes. Any response that only took 6 minutes to type up would likely not be very effective.
It sounds like she is having territorial aggression issues. This is a pretty common problem.
You never let me know if you had a fenced yard or not. If so, keeping her off the fence line usually helps. This can be accomplished by another physical fence inside the current one or a more attractive option is an underground fence system. Putting the line along the fence line keeps a dog about 3-5 feet off the fence which usually helps.
For the excessive barking issue, you can train her to not bark so much. We got a dog from the pound that barked literally at the wind. Here is how we stopped his excessive barking. We left his leash on in the house attached to a chain collar. Each time our dog barked inappropriately we gave a quick tug correction to distract him, said "no bark" and had him sit. After a few corrections right in a row, he would finally stop barking for a second. When he didn't bark I'd give him a treat. By the end of a couple of weeks, he had reduced his barking significantly. We did go through a lot of treats.
We did this over the course of a month all together, giving treats for non barking and eventually phasing out the treats and using praise instead with a treat only once in a while. Now he rarely ever barks.
As crazy as this sounds you may wish to teachher the speak command and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after the dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.
http://www.dogskool.com/web/news/summer2002/page3.html
You also have the option of getting a bark collar such as citronella spray collar or shock bark collar. These are very effective at stopping excessive barking.
Obedience training should help with territorial aggression as well. You don't have to have a formal class but you do need structured training meaning train at the same time and train every day. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html
This works by establishing the humans as the bosses and leaders and thus it is their job to protect the house and her job to just help when you request her help. If she is following your lead, if you are relaxed about someone at the door, she will be as well. You can also then use the obedience training to teach her to sit and wait at the door when someone knocks. When first teaching, leash her and slip the leash under your foot so when you command her to sit and stay, she can't jump up and run to the door. The quiet command comes in handy during this as well As you can see, it is a combination of techniques and building on one another that achieves the desired results.
You might also want to mentally stimulate her more. Perhaps agility training will help. Tunnels are often found at thrift stores though they were designed for toddlers and you can make jumps and teeter totters with spare wood. Teaching her to jump small jumps and weave in and out as well as tunnels will help keep her mentally stimulated and tire her out. A tired happy dog is more likely to be calm.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
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