How to stop my dogs being overbearing towarsfs visitors?

Vindaloo

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Brief introduced to my dogs. I have three, all came home with me from India. We lived there for 5 years and despite not wanting to take on any dogs, managed to come home with three.

In brief, they are fear aggressive but have managed to get them to being able to walk off lead nd be very well behaved.

My problem is that anyone coming into the house (other than people they know) are viewed with extreme suspicion and are at risk of being bitten. How do you get the dogs to back away from the door and relax? I've tried treats, I've tried being very strict but with three it's a bloody hand full.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.m many thanks.
 

cbmcts

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Dog gates and shut doors are the only safe way to manage it IMO. You really can't take the risk in this day and age that a visitor gets bitten.

You can teach them to go to a certain area when the door goes - you need a stooge to ring the bell and you offer a treat/fuss/toy (whatever works for your dogs) when they go to where you're going to shut them away before you open the door. It'll take a bit of practice and desensitization work. They're obviously well trained already if you can take FA dogs out off lead so you should be able to train the inhouse behaviours without too much trouble...
 

Alec Swan

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A difficult one Vindaloo, because you've brought them, I suspect (!), from an environment where their guarding capabilities have been (perhaps subconsciously) encouraged. Generally in such situations, it's not so much the dogs, but the owner and the guest.

How to stop them? What I'd do in your shoes is have a few well trained visitors turn up, those with the courage to ignore the dogs and to avoid eye contact (not always easy!), and for you, in a calm voice to send your dogs to their beds, and then with your visitors completely ignoring the dogs, and making NO attempt at being 'friends', then eventually the dogs will learn that visitors are not to be feared.

You and your dogs, because of a previous life have possibly become a rather 'self contained' pack. The trick will be to swamp them with what they fear, and without a fearful or predictable reaction on your part. Difficult, but do-able! :)

Alec.
 

planete

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I am using a trainer who belongs to the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers right now for a fear aggressive dog. I realised I could manage the behaviour in order to keep dog and people safe but did not have enough experience of this type of problem to change the dog' s state of mind (and it has to be changed to find her a home as she is a rescue foster). I can honestly say that I am very impressed with our trainer. A change is already evident after two one hour sessions and the dog is generally much more relaxed and reacts much less to situations she found fearful two weeks ago. You can find a trainer near you on the IMDT website.
If you do not want to use a trainer, Alec's advice is good but please muzzle them, it is extremely easy for your visitors or yourself to be unaware of a trigger or to make a very small mistake which could have dire consequences.
While I was assessing this dog, I muzzled her every time there was a chance she might come in contact with people. And I took a week to get her used to a muzzle.
 

Vindaloo

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Thanks guys, in fairness to them, they have improved dramatically since being in the UK. Training and also meeting people who are dog friendly has helped enormously.

Whenever we have visitors the dogs are kept away until they are calm. Once they have met the visitor they are fine. It is just strangers that are the problem. I will do as you have suggested and see how that goes. Thanks again.
 

Vindaloo

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Greenwich, London.
Alec, swamping is exactly what they have had and yes, it seems to be reaping rewards.

For anyone worried, I would NEVER put anyone at risk. Just this morning we had a workman in. The dogs were removed into another room and simply didn't meet him. No point in it. However, with dog knowledgeable people I do allow them to meet them. In a controlled manner and on leash... Just in case.
 
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