Okay, here's the problem. I'll preface this by saying that I live right next door to an old age home.
I have a delightful little eskie, she'll be two in the spring. I live in a quiet residential neighbourhood, work from home and don't have a yard so my dog and I are out walking about five times a day. It's fine in the morning and the evening but in the afternoon all the elderly people from the old age home emerge for their afternoon "constitutional". My dog, when faced with an approaching elderly person using a walker or one of those automated wheelchairs, absolutely freaks out, barking aggressively. I can get her to stop fairly quickly by getting her attention and making her go into a down but jeezus, she doesn't seem to 'get' that I don't want her to start this behaviour, only that I want her to stop.
Not only is it embarrassing but it upsets the poor old folks. Yes, I can walk her in the back in the afternoon but it's icy as hell out there. Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.
(I got the dog at about four months of age and she'd been living with a pack of crazed terriers which I think left her with a few 'issues' - she's fine with myself, my kids and extended family but anyone outside of that sphere is generally either ignored or cringed from)
Anyway, TIA
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I can get her to stop fairly quickly by getting her attention and making her go into a down but jeezus, she doesn't seem to 'get' that I don't want her to start this behaviour, only that I want her to stop.

Bark collar. I personally think the citronella ones are annoying to people, so I'd go with the e-versions myself.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
I can get her to stop fairly quickly by getting ... start this behaviour, only that I want her to stop.

Bark collar. I personally think the citronella ones are annoying to people, so I'd go with the e-versions myself.

My sister's dog was confined to 'doggie gulag' backyard a lot and she got a citronella collar for him, he just learned to ignore it.

Hmmm, I must admit to having a visceral cringe at the idea of an electric bark collar but maybe it would only have to be used a very few times for her to get the message. This dog is under 15lbs and incredibly sensitive so I worry that it would create other fears. I was hoping for a less physical technique but her reaction seems to spring from an uncontrollable impulse sort of place so the bark collar - if it only had to be used a few times - might be the best idea.

I'll look at any other suggestions and keep that one in mind, thank you for taking the time to respond.
LF
Hmmm, I must admit to having a visceral cringe at the idea of an electric bark collar but maybe it ... the bark collar - if it only had to be used a few times - might be the best idea.

I understand your reluctance. I do think that sensitive dogs do WELL with an e-collar of whatever sort, because it's totally non-emotional. Eskies are generally really barky dogs, and not all that accepting of weird stuff. I have a friend who takes hers to work with her. He needs to NOT bark when she has visitors, is on the phone, etc. She has a bark eliminator "box" on her desk. You can always buy one and carry it with you - it emits an annoying (non-audible to humans) tone. I just think it's simpler and ultimately more effective to use the collar. I think there are some collars which can emit the tone as well, but have never gotten feedback on their effectiveness.
I'll look at any other suggestions and keep that one in mind, thank you for taking the time to respond.

Correction can take many forms. A collar correction from you will probably carry some emotion (and from reading your response, guilt, from you). The e-collar is easier on everyone generally. Barking can escalate to even less attractive behaviors, so I hope you're able to nip this in the bud soon. BTW - retirement home is prpbably a little more PC than "old folks home" ;-D.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
in thread "Lemony Fresh" (Email Removed) whittled the following words:
Hmmm, I must admit to having a visceral cringe at the idea of an electric bark collar but maybe it ... the bark collar - if it only had to be used a few times - might be the best idea.

anti-bark collars are management tools. They, in themselves do NOT teach a dog NOT to bark. They give opportunities of silent times when the barking is suppressed for you to train the dog not to bark. You might try a barking buddy antibark area control system, and perhaps even combine it with a e- bark collar. And be sure to train the dog while in the process.
Have you considered that she may be afraid? Not of the people themselves but of the canes, walkers ect? If this is the case desensitizing her to these objects might be more effective than a bark collar. Could you borrow a cane and walker to use to help her over this fear? Let her look at and sniff them while they are not being used..then let her see you using them, then let her see other trusted people usng them..reward her for not barking. Let her see that these things are not to be feared.
Another note..is it possible that she was beaten with a cane or had a bad experience with a walker as a pup before you got her?

Sonia and Nana
Okay, here's the problem. I'll preface this by saying that I live right next door to an old age home. ... faced with an approaching elderly person using a walker or one of those automated wheelchairs, absolutely freaks out, barking aggressively.

Don't really have an answer, just a similar question: GF's dog behaves pretty much the same way toward skateboards and skaters. Our only conjecture is that it's either (1)the sound of the wheels or (2)the unnatural motion, i.e. the person is moving but the feet aren't "walking". (FWIW, wheelchairs and walkers don't bother him.)
Is this common?
Lee
Again I will mention that this may be fear. Get a pair of skates and a skate board..let the dog investigate them while not being used..have trusted (by the dog) persoons use them around the dog...reward appropriate behavior.
Sonia and Nana
Have you considered that she may be afraid? Not of the people themselves but of the canes, walkers ect? If ... other trusted people usng them..reward her for not barking. Let her see that these things are not to be feared.

That's pretty much what I would do.
Gradually desensitize her.
Another note..is it possible that she was beaten with a cane or had a bad experience with a walker as a pup before you got her?

Not IMO.
She's probably just never been around anything that looks or sounds like walkers, canes, wheelchairs, etc.
Early SOCIALIZATION to situations like this one would likely have helped to avoid just this kind of situational spookiness.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply by e-mail
"We can once again set history on a hopeful course away from poverty and despair, and toward development and the dignity of self-rule; away from resentment and violence, and toward justice and the peaceful settlement of differences. Seizing this moment requires idealism: We must see in every person the right and the capacity to live in freedom." http://www.strategypage.com/onpoint/articles/2005222.asp
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