My friendly dog was bitten on the nose and now barks incessently at other dogs

by Nadine
(PA)

This is my very friendly and lovable dog!

This is my very friendly and lovable dog!

Our friendly 5 yr old Husky shepherd loves kids, he wears a Halti collar for walking to the elementary school bus stop. He was recently bitten by another dog in the nose and now as we walk to the stop, as soon as he sees any other dog he barks incessantly.

It breaks my heart that he is so friendly and this turned him. Immediately after he was bitten he let out a series of quick ‘”I cant believe you did that to me”barks, he was so hurt emotionally from the other dog, you could see it in his posture, he was being friendly!

How do I stop this?

It was this website that helped me identified the barking problem as his safety mechanism for protecting himself. I had been thinking he was still heapin' mad...

Another dog owner stated that using a Halti collar was the reason for the unfortunate bite that turned my dog into a barking dog that can’t accompany us to the bus stop any more. Could this be true?

Please I need advice, I feel cheated by what that bite took away from him, the bus stop crew looks at him as the bad dog, he used to be the friendly one.

Signed,
Frustrated

ANSWER


Hi Nadine,

I am glad you found our site and I do hope we can give you some advice. I know how frustrating it can be when a dog’s personality changes because of an unfortunate and stressful situation like a another hound bite.

The first thing I need you to understand is that your dog is still your friendly pooch. But he just went through a very stressful situation and now his alarm system is heightened. I don’t know when this event happened, but I suggest you give your dog a break from other dogs for a few days to begging with. Basically, try to walk him at times when you know streets are likely to be deserted. This will help him relax and flush out all those stress hormones that are making him so jumpy. In addition, if you do come across another dog, simply turn around and go a different direction. You must act before your dog reacts, so be alert!

Second, you will need to use two training methods called "Systematic Desensitization" and "Counter-Conditioning" . It will take work, practice and patience but in the end you will be closer to your dog for sharing this training experience. If you click on the links you will find easy to follow guides to apply these dog training techniques to help your dog stop barking.

The idea is to slowly re-introduce him to other dogs and reward him for good behavior. At the same time, if you notice your pooch starts to get stressed you must immediately remove him from the situation (otherwise the stress hormones kick back up), this will show your hound that you are a "good leader" that can be in charge of the pack and keep him safe, without him having to scare every other dog through aggressive barking.

Third, "praise and reward" all good interactions with other dogs. This is important to help him regain confidence around other hounds. If your dog likes to be around a friend’s or neighbor’s dog, ask them to spend a little bit of time together each week and reward!

Fourth, it is unlikely that the Halti collar had anything to do with your dog getting bitten or becoming a bark maniac afterwards. These types of collar are designed for easy walking and even though they resemble a muzzle, they are not. The dog can eat, bark, growl AND bite if he needs to.

These articles have more advice to help you out.

     
  1. "Fearful barking"

  2. "Barking to alert"

  3. ”Stress and anxiety barking”



Hope this helps! Keep us posted with your progress!

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