Watch Dog/Barking OK? - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Watch Dog/Barking OK?

Hi, All! First off, let me just say thanks to everyone on this forum. I look back at my old posts and I can't believe how worried I was about "shark attacks" and Albus's behavior at 2.5 months old. You'll be happy to know that all of that worry was for nothing.....he follows me aroundconstantly and (mostly!) obeys my commands. He's my best bud and I'm so happy we decided to go with a V!

Albus is at about 6 months now and he's starting to pick up a new tendency. He has started to behave as if he's always on guard. I work from home so we are together most of the day. Albus loves to sit in our back yard but if anyone comes near the house his ridge goes up and he barks, runs in to alert me, and then runs back outside to watch. Similarly, if my husband comes in later in the evening Albus will wake up and let out a low growl until he knows who it is. This usually doesn't last long, but it's definitely enough to alert me.

He doesn't ever seem to be really aggressive in any way and I honestly think he's just trying to tell me that he's not sure about whatever the "thing" is. If someone comes up to our fence or another dog comes over he always greets them with a wagging butt and lots of love, but only after he's told me that someone's there. Sometimes he will even wait to see if I will go up to the person/thing and greet them/touch it (usually another dog).

Do you think this is behavior that I should discourage? My husband is in the military and is away a lot, so part of me is sort of happy to have a dog that is keeping an eye on things. However, I don't ever want him to come off as intimidating to others. Maybe it's just his instincts? If this is something I should discourage, how should I go about doing so? I usually make a low hissing/shushing sound, which is what I do to call him off of something, but if he's really focused on something it doesn't matter to him at all!

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by thepsandalbus View Post
Do you think this is behavior that I should discourage? My husband is in the military and is away a lot, so part of me is sort of happy to have a dog that is keeping an eye on things. However, I don't ever want him to come off as intimidating to others. Maybe it's just his instincts? If this is something I should discourage, how should I go about doing so? I usually make a low hissing/shushing sound, which is what I do to call him off of something, but if he's really focused on something it doesn't matter to him at all!

Thanks in advance.
Personally, I think that sounds like perfect behavior. Our Sadie who as much as we love her is probably not a good example, barks often, sometimes starting off with almost a shriek. I'll have to admit it is a bit annoying when I am simply coming back into the house after being outside for 20 minutes. On the other hand it is nice to know the UPS driver has pulled up outside, and of course a warning of a stranger near the house. Almost like she knows she is too loud because she will always pick up a plush toy to act as a sort of muffler. The mailman always stops at the box and waits to give her treats and he absolutely loves her. He is greeted by butt wagging and barking, followed by happy growling.
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Last edited by NutterButter; 05-26-2017 at 11:09 AM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:18 AM
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If Albus isn't barking out of control it sounds within it's limits (not out of control barking), but you want to make sure it doesn't escalate into guarding behaviour that you don't want. His behaviour sounds similar to Aspen's, as my husband was also away for work fairly often as well. I didn't want to discourage/discipline him for letting me know something/someone comes onto our property. Him alerting you is a good thing. I always let him get out a couple barks and then tell him "thank you, enough!". I started out coming over to him and putting him into a sit, as I said "thank you, enough" (putting him into the sit would get him to stop barking). Now we've done it enough that I no longer have to sit him, but can just give the command.


What I also started doing was teaching Aspen a "friend" command. When people would come over that he knew/liked, I'd tell him it's a "friend". It didn't take long for him to catch on that "friend" meant the person was okay, and the command would be followed by him relaxing and happy tail wags. Now if someone comes to the door, or even if we are out walking by ourselves if he gets his back up and I don't want him to I'll tell him it's a friend he relaxes. If I'm weary of the person, I don't give the command and let Aspen give out his warning growl and be intimidating (such as if there is a questionable person approaching me during our early morning walks!). You never know who your going to encounter, and I generally trust my dogs instincts.
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