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My standard is around 7 months old and lately this has become a problem. He used to be an angel in the car, now he sometimes goes crazy with barking and growling at people if they walk by the car. Then I take him out at night he really doesn't like that at all and will bark if he sees anyone at all close. That one I kind of understand and as it is dark and hard to see. In the condo he is barking at many noises, and sometimes will bark when we are leaving the condo in the hallway and we see anyone at the end of my hall. I try to get him to sit when this happens, he doesn't listen or care at all and is way too overly excited to listen. He is good at parks with other people and dogs, and still goes to the dog park quite often, and it isn't a problem there. It feels like he is becoming possessive of " his space". I am not ok with this because I don't want him to become possessive of me. But not sure if I may be over reacting.
 

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I would suggest that you switch the word "afraid" for the word "possessive" in your head, and work on it from there. With the reduced socialization opportunities with covid, I am meeting many young dogs are having this issue .
 

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I would suggest that you switch the word "afraid" for the word "possessive" in your head, and work on it from there. With the reduced socialization opportunities with covid, I am meeting many young dogs are having this issue .
I'm wondering if you know, how do we use treats effectively when these situations happen?

I'm not sure if a scared dog interprets a treat as "im being treated for barking and being scared therefore I'm going to continue to bark and be scared to get a treat when I see someone in the hall" or "I'm being treated because this thing = treat and treat = good". Does a dog associate the fear as a good treat?

Let's use seeing another dog or person at the end of the hallway as an example.
 

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I'm wondering if you know, how do we use treats effectively when these situations happen?

I'm not sure if a scared dog interprets a treat as "im being treated for barking and being scared therefore I'm going to continue to bark and be scared to get a treat when I see someone in the hall" or "I'm being treated because this thing = treat and treat = good". Does a dog associate the fear as a good treat?

Let's use seeing another dog or person at the end of the hallway as an example.
Don’t worry. You’re not rewarding them for being scared. You’re using the treats to change their mental state:


@Jenna2020, I highly recommend taking an online course in the absence of in-person training opportunities. I personally really like SpiritDog. Her online resources have been a great substitute for classes:


I also find it helpful to honour Peggy’s fear. If she hears a noise outside, for example, I step between her and the scary thing, look out the window, tell her how good she is for protecting us and then let her know I’ve got it under control. She will typically then give herself a physical shake as she releases tension and trot away. That’s how I know I’ve been successful.

Ideally what I want is a dog that says “Alert! Alert!” and then easily falls back to let the human take over.

What doesn’t work (as we’ve all experienced at some point) is asking for a sit once your dog is over threshold. He’s not going to hear you and it’s going to stress you out. Lose-lose.

This book will do a great job of explaining his mental state in these moments and will help you make a plan for addressing it:

 

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Yup, Basil - there's a difference between nuisance barking and fear barking, and you will see it. I have occasionally had Trixie learn that barking equals a treat, and try it out - it's very easy to hear the difference between barking from fear or anxiety and 'i want a treat now!'. The trick is (if possible) to back away, and then try and reward even after the trigger is below threshold or before the trigger reaches threshold (before dog has time to be alarmed).

Of course, life isn't perfect, and you won't manage it all the time, or maybe even most the time, but if you see the trigger before the dog, grab your treats and start shoving them in/working on sits, look at me, etc before the dog starts to react. Even if it was possessiveness, or protectiveness, you can treat and reinforce the behaviour you want (calm) before the behaviour you don't want (barking or growling) starts and build good associations. You want the dog to see trigger and think 'yay! Treats!' not 'time to bark!" Then, gradually, you can fade the number of treats, and frequency of treats.
 

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Thanks all. I have tried to let him know it's ok and to calm down, but it honestly doesn't do much right now. I have also been practising sit and quiet with him during times when he barks but isn't out of control with it, and that works sometimes. He is still young. Honestly his training isn't going all that well. He will sit and wait for a treat. If no distractions. And that is about it. He is ok on a leash and doesn't pull much unless he is super anxious to get to something or someone. But as far as training he is way behind on what I read on here. He just isn't all that interested and doesn't seem to " get it". Luckily as long as he gets run time at the park and a long hike every week he is still fairly calm in the house. It is just this darn barking. And I worry once I leave him at the condo for a few hours he will bark at every noise and my neighbours will complain.
 

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Since it is dangerous to try to train while driving and a dog that is over threshold really isn't trainable I would suggest sitting in your vehicle in a parking lot if needed with the engine running but in Park so you can't accidentally apply gas pedal and crash into someone. Start a little away from where there are too many people and work on getting/keeping your pup rexlaxed and attentive. If he alerts to someone walking nearby refocus his attention and reward with a treat for paying attention. I do not believe you can usefully give a treat to calm an over excited dog. That becomes a bribe rather than a reward. If you want to use treats to make being in the car a calm experience throw a bunch of small treats so the dog can occupy himself by searching for the treats and having a bit of a game while in the car. Since my dogs hear harnasses and tethers in the middle row of seats which has a hammock to keep them from falling into the footwells they can look safely and learn not to spend so much time looking out around the car. Generally a vehicle is sort of like a very large crate and for a dog that tends to guard the space of their crate I think it is easy for them to transfer that guarding to the vehicle as an extension of a crate like space.
 

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Oh. I never in the car. I meant just in walks and at my place. Like if I can sense it is coming I will try to work with him. Like this morning he started with a low bark and I knew it was coming full on so I put him in a sit and said quiet.
 

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"He used to be an angel in the car, now he sometimes goes crazy with barking and growling at people if they walk by the car." I was generally responding to this part of your OP Jenna along with parts of some of the other replies. The same concerns apply as regards training or trying to when a dog is over threshold whether in a car, on foot or any other situation though. Trying to give a treat to an over the top dog that is too distracted to eat is only going to serve as a bribe to collect attention. To get the attention back you have to move yourself and your dog until he can collect his own head. Better yet is to avoid going over threshold to begin with. What you did this morning to be aware before things got out of hand and to prevent/be proactive is better than allowing the dog to be reactive and need to be collected.
 
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But as far as training he is way behind on what I read on here.
Don’t go down this road. It’s not helpful at all.

Poodle Forum is a safe place to share poodley accomplishments. It’s fun to brag about our poodles. I guarantee that you, too, could cherry pick all the good things about your poodle puppy and make someone else envious. That’s the best and worst part of social media: People only see what you choose to share.

We also have a number of members who are extremely accomplished trainers. Or they’re folks like me who are home with their poodles, 24/7. Training Peggy isn’t something I try to squeeze into my free time. It’s round-the-clock. That’s a luxury that the average dog owner doesn’t have.

If you have a specific training goal in mind, put it out into the universe and make a plan to achieve it. Start a thread! We’ll help you. We’ll support you. We’ll cheer you on. :)

Participate in a month of Trick Club (link in my signature). Trick training is a great way to build your bond.

Or start a 52 Weeks thread so we can ooh and ahh over how cute Niko is and how much he’s grown: 52 Weeks of Your Poodle

For every hard thing, try to celebrate an accomplishment or two, big or small. We’ll celebrate with you!

Just don’t let comparison blind you to all that makes Niko special.

Back to the topic of this thread.... What were you hoping to accomplish by asking Niko to sit when he was barking today? Because if he was anxious, a sit could easily ratchet up that mental state. This is the sort of thing a trainer can really help with. We don’t always instinctively know what our dogs are thinking or needing in the moment.

Have you considered doing a training course?
 
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