I got Otto at 8 weeks old. He mostly stayed home with myself and my two little dogs.
The problem now is that he is getting very aggressive towards our neighbors (we just moved). It looks like he is scared mostly, his ears are back and his hair is standing up on his back. He just seems to go a little crazy when the neighbors are out or when family members he hasn’t seen for a while come over.
I’ve begun spraying him with a water bottle when he starts barking. But I want to know some more tricks. Giving him a treat when he calms down… Need help! Thanks
The problem is most likely that Otto IS scared or anxious when he sees people around that he’s not familiar with. It’s because he’s not had enough socialization yet and he’s not very self-confident around strange people or places.
He’s only 8 months old so he’s got plenty of time to learn and you can overcome this, but it will take time and patience. I’d also strongly recommend dog obedience classes as they will help you both tremendously.
Correcting him when he barks is necessary, but unless you can correct the underlying lack of confidence and nervousness it won’t fix the problem. You need to help him understand that strangers aren’t a threat to him (or you) and that there’s no need for him to be scared. He’s also at that adolescent age where he’s starting to experience his protective instincts, but isn’t really sure what to do with them!
I’d recommend that you check out this page… Socialize Your Puppy as it has tons of tips and advice that can help you. If you take it slowly and easily and introduce Otto to more people and places over a period of time, letting him get comfortable around them and rewarding him when he’s accepting and relaxed, he will improve. Baby steps and lots of love and praise will get him there.
I wish you both lots of luck.