View Full Version : Riley was not too nice last night. . .

17th September 2006, 07:39 PM
Last night we had some friends over for dinner and they brought their 2 sheppard mix pups over to visit with ours. The girl, Nola, is 7 months and the boy, Rudy, is about 6 months. Both puppy are very well behaved and very loveable. The boy actually acts like a cav. He wants to crawl in your lap and love on you. . . very sweet dogs.

Riley had a FIT! She usually barks when anyone comes in the house, but she gets over it after a few minutes. My husbands brother brings his Beagle over occasionally and Riley will bark at Pepper for a bit and then she is fine. She barked the entire time they were here and mad noises which we had not heard yet. Here sweet little eyes were bulging and her ears back and it just broke my heart. We tried introducing them slowly, separating them, everything, but she was so upset and stressed.

The guest dogs never showed any aggression, or even wanted much to do with her (they found the toy box and were in heaven). We have never seen her have this kind of reaction that lasted all night. And our friends want us to join them on a trip to the park with all the pups, but I am worried that Riley will flip out and drive us all nuts and make herself sick.

What can we do to calm her around certain dogs? Is she just "protecting" her home, or is this just really bad behavior? She is 11 months old, so will she grow out of this? Fletcher, our 3 month old had a wonderful time with the pups. He was right in the middle of them the whole night! I thought we had done a good job of "socializing" her. Before she got too big to tote, I took her everywhere and introduced her to other dogs. Thanks guys!

Cathy Moon
19th September 2006, 04:20 AM

I will be watching with you for any advice anyone else can offer, because I have a similar problem!

My Geordie has the same tendencies. He was ok as a pup, then as he neared maturity, he changed. I've read books, taken him to obedience, we do agility. I've tried to follow all the advice I've been given.

When we have a visitor, I take Geordie out on the sidewalk (neutral territory) on a leash and we go for a walk with our visitor. While walking, Geordie gets treats from both of us. Then I hand the leash to our guest and we walk some more before going inside our house.

In the house, Geordie often forgets our guest is welcome, and starts barking. :?

We had one really successful time where we had several people over and I kept the kitchen to deck door open so our dogs could go in or out while we were in the kitchen and on the deck. :)

Mostly it isn't very fun with his behavior, and I have put him in our bedroom with a chew toy and the door closed on occasion. :(

My two girl cavs are absolutely lovely with company, so I'm not sure what it is with Geordie - temperament? He is my little buddy, and we have been going to obedience and agility classes to develop a good relationship. He is very obedient, fun, affectionate - except with outsiders.

I would love to get some advice too!

23rd September 2006, 10:58 AM
I feel for you both, must be hard when you people over. Unfortunately, I can't offer any advice as I have never experienced this. Merlin thinks if someone comes to visit, they've come to visit him! (He thinks he's so popular! :lol: :lol: :lol: )

23rd September 2006, 11:09 AM
OMG what a nightmare! Cathy, you have done what I would suggest that you do. Meet them outside and then walk them together.

We've only encountered this problem once with Charlie and I think he was getting his own back...

We went to my friend's house and he Cavalier Poppy wanted to play with Maxx but when Charlie went to join them in the garden she growled at him and nipped him - it was as though she was trying to keep him away from Maxx :roll:

When Poppy came here next, Charlie just wouldn't stop barking at her. I did manage to calm him down in the end by distracting him with 'sheepy' his favourite cuddly toy but it took quite a while :(

23rd September 2006, 11:11 AM
That's a great idea Cathy, bringing visitor and dog for walks :) Not always feasable here in Ireland though where it's raining so much... don't think visitors would be too impressed if I put on my raincoat and told them they had to come and walk the dog?!! :badgrin:

We've never had a problem with our pups, but they've only ever had pups and like merlinsmum they think every visitor is there for them :roll:
I'm wondering if they might become more territorial in future. Did your dogs have any problems as puppies?

Also I've heard that dogs who might be territorial with visitors should be put in a closed room when the doorbell rings and after about 20mins then be brought to the visitor. That way it's more like them coming to visit the visitor (who is settled by then) rather than the visitor invading their space. Don't know if that would work with doggie visitors though....

Cathy Moon
23rd September 2006, 12:17 PM
(Heather, I hope you don't mind my sharing your thread; if so let me know and I'll start a new one.)

Cecily, when you ask if there were related problems during puppyhood, I did miss my chance to socialize Geordie during his key socialization period, which ends at 18 wks, I think. We brought him home at maybe 16 weeks, and he was coming down with Bordetella at the time. I felt I needed to keep him home until he was finally diagnosed correctly and cured of it. So he really did miss out on all the socialization pups need! He has always been on the shy side, too.

Heather, did you notice any problems with Riley as a puppy?

Cathy Moon
23rd September 2006, 12:22 PM
Also I've heard that dogs who might be territorial with visitors should be put in a closed room when the doorbell rings and after about 20mins then be brought to the visitor. That way it's more like them coming to visit the visitor (who is settled by then) rather than the visitor invading their space. Don't know if that would work with doggie visitors though....

I will try this next time! Thanks for this idea. :flwr:

25th September 2006, 07:42 PM
Hey Cathy! No, I don't mind you using this thread at all!!! Please feel free, it's great to know I'm not the only one with this issue (but I hate you are going through it as well).

Riley has always been on the shy side as well. It takes her a while to warm up to people, but she usually does.

Saturday night, we had 2 couples over for dinner and her reaction was completely different to both of them. The first couple that came do not have any dogs or cats, and Riley barked for a few seconds and then became their best friend.

The other couple have 2 dogs and the second they stepped through the door, she went nuts. She scrunched up in the corner of one of our chairs and barked for at least 15 - 20 min before she finally calmed down. I feel so bad for her because her poor little eyes were bugging out and she just gets so upset. :sl*p:

So I am wondering if this behavior has a lot to do with the smell of other dogs??? But even that theory doesn't always fit. We have friends with dogs that she has no problem being around.

Thank goodness our little guy is not like this so far. He is the friendliest little thing!!! He'll hang out with anyone, so that's good!!!

27th September 2006, 03:17 AM
What kind of reaction do you have when the dog starts barking? What do you say or do? What do the dogs/people your dog is barking at say or do?

27th September 2006, 11:00 AM
Is it worth getting some (sorry bad spelling coming up) feramoans to spray in the house before you have guests - it may calm her down.... I don't have any problem with my guys with people or dogs.

Cathy Moon
27th September 2006, 10:49 PM
Thanks! Good idea!

I will try that - I know there's a thread you started about that topic, Claire!

Found the thread about Pheromones:


28th September 2006, 01:48 AM
I just ordered the DAP collar and spray! I'm so excited to see if it works. I'll post and let everyone know if it makes a difference!!!

Thanks so much for the advice!!!

28th September 2006, 01:54 PM
we used the spray in the room the other day - I felt lovely, so be careful you don't aim it at yourself...... :yikes

29th September 2006, 01:58 AM
Oh that is too funny Claire!!! :lol:

I didn't realize it could have an effect on people! I don't know, after the day I have had, I think I could use a squirt!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

29th September 2006, 11:20 AM
Absolutely imperative: get Riley into some fun obedience classes. He really needs to be meeting mixed groups of dogs especially while young and doing obedience is a great way to do this and also for him to learn to pay attention to you while other dogs and people are around. I know a lot of people don;t think their dog needs formal obedience because they can teach the dog from a book but the socialisation process that happens at group obedience is invaluable.

If Riley has already reached the point where he is getting way too overexcited when other dogs are around and he is not able to handle an obedience class after the first few sessions (often they will be very distracted the first class or two), then this will be something you will need to specially work on and I'd advise getting a very good behaviouralist with APDT certification if possible.

I posted on this somewhere before but the best thing you can do is to get Riley to respond to a 'look' command and also to a 'sit' and keep practicing this introducing more distractions. The idea is to have him able to ignore other dogs to look at you and go into a polite sit so that he isn't overstimulated by the other dogs.

Lily is very barky with other dogs but I am gradually working on this with her. Already she is less exciteable than before simply from meeting more dogs. I also put her behind one of my legs so her view of them is obstructed if she gets really barky. She is working on 'look' and this does help.

29th September 2006, 11:27 AM
I am not sure it is supposed to work on humans, Darren did say I must be an old dog..... ha ha.

29th September 2006, 11:50 AM
Rereading this, part of the issue is certainly that she is being protective of her territory and wasn't too happy to have the visitors there. It would be a good idea to have her get to know dogs that may be visitors on neutral territory in advance of ever having them to your house -- for example meet them in the park or bring Riley to the friend's house who has the puppies.

Even meeting them first at a park for a long walk before going to your house would probably help the situation.

You can also get a plug-in DAP adapter if you prefer it to the spray. These hormones really do work for calming.

But more generally I'd strongly advise classes and working on look and also teaching the 'relax' command because an overexcited dog is a dog that doesn't know self control and self control comes through training and also learning yourself not to accdentally encourage behaviour you don't want. A dog that goes into a relaxed down actually starts to relax simply from being in the position. There are directions on teaching the relaxed down here:

There are other articles you might find of use, too:


The lowering arousal article would be helpful.

Also on teaching look:


molly+charlies mum
29th September 2006, 12:13 PM
my dog charlie is 20 months now and he will bark at anyone who comes in he runs under the table with his ears back and just barks my mum can not bring her yorkie round as charlie will go for him he has only just started to wag his tail at my brother ,my tri cavalier will greet anyone and want to lick them to death she has no problems with my mums dog i dont know if charlie will ever change maybe with a bit of help he can.. :?

29th September 2006, 03:25 PM
I worked with a severely socially neglected dog for a while. She could handle one other dog, but not more than one before she would start getting very upset.

You say Riley is ok with some other dogs, are they large or small? He might be afraid of big dogs? Did the pups come charging in and up to him or were they pretty calm? Were they on or off leash? Leash dynamics can get weird with dogs. Maybe try to only have one new dog in at a time after meeting on neutral territory to see if that helps...