Territorial Mini Schnauzer Puppy

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

Moderators:emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
Joined:Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:06 am
Territorial Mini Schnauzer Puppy

Post by Appy » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:24 am

Hi all

My pup has recently become very territorial in the house. I'll preface this by saying I know where I have made an error and that is that despite lots and lots of socialisation outside the house, we don't have that many people over, so she isn't used to it.

Initially if people came round it was lots of barking, but this has escalated now and when our next door neighbour and her daughter came over (which they do pretty often), she didn't calm down and was actually pretty snappy.

I do not want this to continue or escalate and twigged last night it was territorial particularly as the conservatory is regarded by her as part of 'her house'. I don't know if it would have been the same in the lounge.

I am lucky in that I know our neighbour and her children would be happy to help us with training, so was wondering whether we should ask them over a lot and, if the pup barks, remove her to the kitchen? ie a time out?

Any other insights/suggestions? She is 5 months old btw and INCREDIBLY friendly outside the house which is what leads me to think this is territorial.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Joined:Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location:West Midlands

Re: Territorial Mini Schnauzer Puppy

Post by emmabeth » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:02 pm

What do you mean by territorial?

I would think that at home she feels more confident and secure, so anything unnerving she feels she can drive away by barking.

But, at the same time, inside the house she may feel more trapped, and so more unnerved by people she doesnst know so well, so more inclined to bark.

Treat it as if it is fear, because if it ISNT - you won't have done any harm. If it IS fear, and you treat it as if it is something else, you may well make things worse.

So - limit the number of people that come to the house. Stick with one person at a time, and someone she knows and likes outside.

Take her outside to greet them on a short walk (just up and down the street near your house) - then once shes happy and shes figured out they have treats (pre-load them with treats, ask them not to give them to her, but drop them in front of her/toss them towards her, as this helps the dog to not accidentally get too close and out of her depth and also takes the focus OFF peoples hands which you want), then have them walk into the house in front of you.

Have them go sit down and TOTALLY ignore the dog - that means no eye contact, no looking in her general direction even, no speaking to her, no movement in any direction at this stage.

You can reward the dog for just being in the same room as the person with treats and/or toys - at this stage it doesnt matter what shes doing if she will listen and take the treats. (Do NOT ask her to 'do' anything just yet). If she will NOT take the treats then just walk her through to another room and see if she will take them then. If she will then you can try sitting with her away from your guest and giving her treats whilst you chat quietly, your guest can try tossing some treats in the dogs direction.

Keep this visit down to just a few minutes and when the guest leaves, first YOU get upa nd take the dog further away (preferably downt he hall out of the way) and then invite the guest to get up and leave. Keep rewarding your dog!

Build on this, a few times a week and understand that people moving, standing up, speaking, looking at her etc is all scary for her. Pairing the 'stuff that happens' with treats or toys means 'stuff that happens is good' but you MUST build on it slowly - just meeting someone outside and coming in and sitting with them for 3 or 4 minutes is plenty (for some dogs even this may be too much). If you were to try and ask her to sit, or take food from the guests hand, or cope with the guest standing up and moving, that would likely be too much and risk her reacting badly, which you want to avoid.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

Joined:Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Territorial Mini Schnauzer Puppy

Post by Appy » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:18 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. As you say, def best to treat as fear, and go slowly - I'll look to enlist my neighbours and start a gentle training plan as you suggest.

Thanks again.

Post Reply