nayah: How can I socialize my 11 month old rat terrier?
So, she is 11 months old, is spayed, and is a terrier breed. She was quite fine with dogs and people when she was younger. I don't know what happened. She barks at people on certain occasions while we're walking; it's not an aggressive bark though. However, she will bark like crazy when she sees another dog! It's almost to the point where it's getting really embarassing. I tried setting a play date for my dog with my friend's dog once, who is this huge boxer, and she tried to bite him and pretty much wanted to kill him.
Can you give me any techniques or tips for helping her socialize? I know the only way to help is to introduce her to other dogs, but I'm scared that she'll never stop barking at them. So, how will I be able to get her near another dog? I also know that it will take a lot of patience and work, but I'm willing to do it.
Also, will walking her or playing outside with her for more than 30 minutes calm her down? She's either really jumpy or relatively calm
Answers and Views:
Answer by sugar_piggie_18
This is quite a hard and frusterating habit to break, but kudos to you for wanting to, as youre right - it is quite embarassing and not very pleasurable for the other people having to hear it!
What i would suggest is that you first establish that you are boss with your dog, if you havent already. That will make this training go more smoothly. Just make sure when you give her a command, that she listens, and if not, repeat until she does, force her to do it (ex. push her bum down to make her sit), or punish her for not listening (ex. grabbing her collar and shaking it, not very hard though).
After that, i would take her to a place with lots of people and dogs and maybe stay in your car and if she barks correct her - that way its less embarassing for you, in the car. Also, be sure to praise her for not barking at people!
The main focus though is you get her to listen to you, so that when you tell her to stop barking she will. Once that is established, teach her to not bark in the first place by socializing her, with the above in-car scenario, and then taking it further, by going to dog parks. Usually people at dog parks dont get as annoyed by barking, and if you explain to them what you are doing they might even give you some suggestions!
Tiring her out first like you said, may help. 30 minutes for a rat terrier should be enough exercise to tucker her out, so take advantage of that time and socialize her then, and reward and priase her for not barking. Positive reinforcement always works really well.
Good luck! :)
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