Author Topic: Maisie the Guard Dog  (Read 99 times)

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Offline AndyB

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Maisie the Guard Dog
« on: February 21, 2021, 06:23:33 AM »
Maisie has now settled with me really well and is a total cuddle monster.  However, over the past week when anyone comes to my door, be it friends for a doorstep chat or someone delivering a parcel, she rushes into the porch barking very loudly.  I have a friend who is a little nervous of dogs and she called on Friday.  We were stood there chatting and suddenly Maisie appeared barking very loudly.  My friend stepped back looking rather horrified.  I am wondering if this behaviour is because no-one is actually entering the house now because of lockdown and she feels she needs to protect me in some way.  If so that is quite touching but I do not want this barking in the porch to continue.  She is an anxious dog and normally keeps out of the way when anyone comes into the house.  Any advice would be much appreciated.

Offline ejp

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 01:26:18 PM »
Hi Andrea, interesting you say that.  Daisy is not people or dog friendly, although a cuddle bug with us one or two people he has got to know while she has been here.  Since lockdown she and we, are not having those interactions.  We don't stop and chat on walk, I am working from home and hubby does some weeks too. Her world has become limited and we have noticed a distinct change in her.  Don't know what to do about it though. 

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 04:06:19 PM »
Normally the answer would be to teach her to go to her bed or lie on a blanket when you ask her to and then bring in the doorbell as a cue, so that she immediately goes there instead of racing to the front door when someone rings. This has worked to a point with Humphrey, although getting him to stay there is a bit of a battle when he realizes its a friend but it has taken the initial over exuberance out of the bolt for the door, he tends to amble up sheepishly to investigate after I’ve opened it which gives me a bit more chance of intervening. Its obviously a bit harder for you to simulate and train it if Maisie doesn‘t hear the bell and its also difficult trying to train a dog when the person on the other side of the door is impatiently waiting for you to open it!  :lol2: Could you perhaps get a neighbour or friend to act as a stooge visitor while you train her to show an alternative behaviour - i.e. either going to her bed or even sitting quietly next to you? I think its one of these things you need to train in stages, if you can practise sitting or lying quietly, which you can do at any time and anywhere by giving a hand signal,  (I sometimes just stop on a walk to admire the view  ;) and ask Humphrey to sit ) you can then start and bring in the distractions of visitors etc...
Sometimes I wonder if  its not always such a bad thing when the stranger on the other side of the door believes there might be a ferocious guard dog ready to defend you  :005:, but I agree, it is a bit embarrasing. sometimes!
Its obviously a bit more of a challenge with Maisie‘s deafness but its lovely that she‘s settled down with you so well, you‘ve both come a long way!
 :luv:

Offline AndyB

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 08:24:07 PM »
Well I don't quite know what to say about her.  I think she has had a personality transplant.  I took Maisie for a walk this morning with my neighbour, Sue.  We walked through the local park, which is a reasonable size.  A Cavalier, off lead, came running towards Maisie.  She was grumbling and I sensed this could get nasty.  I said to the owner would you call your dog back please, my dog is a rescue and very anxious  :011: :011:  We then crossed a main road to enter a woodland area and there was a man on a mobility scooter with an elderly golden Cocker on its lead.  Maisie was barking at this dog and almost aggressive.  I felt very embarrassed and held her on a very short lead as we passed the man to enter the woodland area.  In a matter of a week she has gone from a trembling, anxious dog who hides behind my legs, to a quite aggressive, noisy and monty dog.  I told her off by shaking a clenched fist at her, (the sign for Naughty Dog).  However, I now feel a little apprehensive of how she is going to behave when she encounters other dogs when I am walking her, normally on my own.  I can only think she is feeling her feet and has come to the realisation that she now has her forever home and  - Actually I can show my True Colours now.   >:D  Any thoughts.

Offline ejp

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 08:57:18 PM »
I will be no help here, because that is Daisy on a good day.  OH says she is better with him when he is on his own, and he thinks she guards me.  I am coming round to his way of thinking (don't tell him it will go to his head  :005: ) which makes me wonder if Maisie is now guarding you from perceived threats. 

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 09:25:14 PM »
Do you think she might actually now think her role is to protect you and that is causing her stress? If so, then rather than tell her she‘s being naughty, it might be better to try and show her that you have the situation under control and that you will look after her rather than the other way round. I was advised to always try and put myself between Humphrey and whatever it is that is likely to cause him stress, so if someone approaches me, I walk him on the other side of me, or better still give who or whatever it is a wide berth. You could also try keeping a favourite toy or a ball or  in your pocket to distract her until the person or dog  has passed - I can always distract with a treat but I seem to remember you saying Maisie wasn’t very food orientated?
I did a training class with Humphrey last year and we used this method to teach the dogs to stay calm when passing children on bikes, people with wheelchairs, or anything else which might cause a conflict.
I don‘t know if that‘s any help, but it might be worth a try? Good luck!

Offline Emilyoliver

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2021, 02:04:18 PM »
Do you think she might actually now think her role is to protect you and that is causing her stress? If so, then rather than tell her she‘s being naughty, it might be better to try and show her that you have the situation under control and that you will look after her rather than the other way round. I was advised to always try and put myself between Humphrey and whatever it is that is likely to cause him stress, so if someone approaches me, I walk him on the other side of me, or better still give who or whatever it is a wide berth. You could also try keeping a favourite toy or a ball or  in your pocket to distract her until the person or dog  has passed - I can always distract with a treat but I seem to remember you saying Maisie wasn’t very food orientated?
I did a training class with Humphrey last year and we used this method to teach the dogs to stay calm when passing children on bikes, people with wheelchairs, or anything else which might cause a conflict.
I don‘t know if that‘s any help, but it might be worth a try? Good luck!
Good advice from bizzylizzy
Michelle, Emily and Ollie

Offline AndyB

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 08:56:49 PM »
Now that I am much more aware of this new behaviour, when I took Maisie out this afternoon, if anyone approached with another dog I kept her on a short leash and made her pay attention to me and told her firmly no, even though she cannot hear me, hopefully my body language got the message across.  Obviously at the moment no-one gets very near to you and your dog when out walking, thankfully.  However, I could see a couple of times she was very alert and ready to have a good bark.  I was quite pleased with her behaviour this afternoon compared to yesterday.   Hopefully I can nip this in the bud soon. Thankfully, Maisie can never go off lead, because she is deaf,  or I dread to think what might happen.

I have to say, I do find it rather endearing to think she regards her role now as my protector.  Bless  :luv:

Offline phoenix

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Re: Maisie the Guard Dog
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 12:56:16 PM »
You are never bored with Maisie!   I saw someone yesterday with a fluorescent  tabard with Dog Needs Space on the back and front.   It was a large Staffie cross bull, so  very sensible idea. But cockers can look fierce too.
RIP Marti  the EPI springer age 12,  and beloved black cocker Bobby, 8 yrs old, too soon, from PLN.
Now owned by TInker, tiny hairy grey poodle/terrier rescue from Greece and Jack, local rescue,   scruffy ginger terrier mutt.