Barking at children

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Saba's Boss, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. Saba's Boss

    Saba's Boss Registered Users

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    I've been away from here for a while as Saba settled into a decent, calm(ish) and usually well-behaved three-year old. He's fabulous with all five of our grandchildren who are aged between nine years old and just six months, yet just lately has taken to barking at other children. He has a great big bark which is quite scary when it catches you unawares, and I hate to see him make little ones shake in their boots when he speaks up.
    As Saba is always walked by one or other of us, I'm confident enough to say that he has never had a bad experience around children, and our little ones have been taught to respect him and give him space. They know that his crate is his safe place, and we watch them as closely as we watch him. This latest behaviour has come out of the blue, and I'm keen to find a solution.
    I would very much appreciate any guidance or words of wisdom please.

    Many thanks
     
  2. EmmaHughes

    EmmaHughes Registered Users

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    Hi sounds like you have and are doing a wonderful job. It is strange that this behaviour has come out of the blue, and you watch him so well.
    Is he feeling ok in himself? Have you noticed any other changes in him?
    Sorry not been much help
     
  3. Saba's Boss

    Saba's Boss Registered Users

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    Thank-you for your reply x
    Saba seems well in himself, full of love and mischief, shiny coat, wet nose and waggy tail! He's being a bit picky with his food just now which is something we see now and again; there may be a bitch in heat nearby as this happened when his best mate Meggy who lived two doors away came into season. I'm completely baffled :confused:
     
  4. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    Cooper reacts like that to skate boarders, even though she has never had a bad experience with a skater. She even reacts to our neighbors when they don't have their boards.
     
  5. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Ski-Patroller is he barking out of frustration that he can't play with the children. Or is it a warning bark? The first will tend to be higher in tone.
     
  6. Saba's Boss

    Saba's Boss Registered Users

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    It is a higher pitch, and his tail is wagging, so I guess it could be a playing bark - hadn't considered that, so thank-you for the thought.
    I'll start working on distraction to stop the barking. We can sit in the park as the children arrive for nursery school, close enough for him to see them but far enough away so he doesn't do the scary barking, and then get closer as he desensitises. Any other ideas or suggestions are warmly welcomed x
    Thanks again! x
     
  7. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Saba's Boss if it is indeed a desire to play with the children, then you need to do things that will teach the dog steadiness, and that the dog is more interested in doing things for you than running off to play with the children. Perhaps down stay with the prospect of a high value treat transitioning to intermittent rewards. If I were you I would teach my dog scent detection at home. When you have that well trained take it on the road. A reward for being steady around the school and children is a round of scent detection. Scent detection is calming and dogs generally love it--Labs in particular because the dog remains on continuous reinforcement.
     
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  8. EmmaHughes

    EmmaHughes Registered Users

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    Your welcome, sorry I’ve not been much help. Glad Saba is well and full of love /mischief.
    Maybe distract him with high value treats every time you are close to other children.
     
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