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Old 10-28-2013, 12:42 AM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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Default Need help with Cricket- behavior

I'm trying to figure out the best way to work on this situation.

Cricket is like the perfect dog in my eyes, but she has one behavior issue that seems to have gotten worse over the past week.

A little background...
When Cricket was a puppy we moved to my mom's house for a few months. My brother used to mess with her and purposely try to scare her which I think is part of why tends to bark and growl sometimes when she hears a noise that she can't see where exactly it's coming from. I would tell him to knock it off, but he wouldn't listen to me. I should have worked on it then with her.

She will growl or bark if she hears anything upstairs. Someone walks across the room upstairs.... they run a vacuum or try to do laundry... the baby upstairs starts to cry...

She doesn't usually do it every time she hears a noise and it was maybe twice a week that she would do this, but I've noticed in the past week it's gotten much worse. She growled at Josh when he got home from hunting, but after about 30 seconds or so of growling at him she started wagging her tail almost like she had just realized it was him. Then she growled when he was in the bathroom playing some youtube video on his phone.... she growled when he went to grab toilet paper off the toilet paper roll because it made noise.

Josh had his work partner spend the night twice this past week and she is terrified of this guy. I think it's because he has quite a beard going on, but she absolutely will not approach him and anytime he so much as flinched she was growling and barking at him, even if he wasn't even in the same room as her. She wont attempt to bite and will avoid him, but she will bark and growl from a distance.

Friday I went to pet valu that is down the street from me. Cricket goes with me to pet valu all the time and knows everyone that works there. People come in and out of the store all the time when we are there and not so much as a peep comes out of her, but friday she growled at everyone that came in the store to the point I ended up just leaving. It was so unlike her to do that in public. Her growling is that annoying low deep in the throat growl... she doesn't bare teeth or anything, just growls or will bark sometimes with little growls inbetween her barks.

She did have a tooth extraction recently though I'm not sure why that would cause her to be much worse with this behavior right now unless she is still sore?

I don't want this to continue to get worse so I need to work on this right NOW. I did talk to a friend of mine who is a dog trainer and has witnessed this behavior with her so definitely going to try and get some help from her, but in the meantime I wanted to also hear some suggestions from you guys as to why she might be doing this and how you would work on it if she was your dog. She does tend to really do well with clicker training if that helps, but I need to also do something that my husband can easily stay consistent with as well and I know he wont bother with a clicker.
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Itztli- Standard size coated Xoloitzcuintle
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:21 AM
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Taqroy Taqroy is offline
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If it's escalated that quickly I'd be inclined to think that she's in pain or had an underlying issue. I'm sure you've checked her over already but maybe an infection or something related to the tooth extraction? Murphy growls at everything when he's in pain (he has to be in really a lot of pain, but it's happened).

I hope you can figure it out, that behavior is definitely no fun.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:33 AM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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That was one thing that did cross my mind, but I don't see anything in her mouth that looks like an infection where the extraction was. I've been checking her mouth every other day or so and I think she has an upcoming vet appointment so they can look at her mouth and see how she has been healing up.

If she has pain anywhere else I have no idea. She tends to hide it if she is hurting unless she honestly just feels sick in which case she gets really mopey usually.

This has always been a thing she does, just it seems magnified now. She has already growled at least 4 times at random noises this morning and we have only been awake for about an hour.
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Joey- Ibizan Hound
Cricket- Mexican Street dog (we think Xolo mix)
Bamm- BC mix
Itztli- Standard size coated Xoloitzcuintle
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:47 AM
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Emily Emily is offline
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Barring a medical issue, I think this is a really good case for playing click the trigger. For whatever reason, she's become overly alert and even a little guardy (she sounds hyper aware of anything outside of normal). I would mark and shower her with treats for every strange noise - even if she reacts a little. You should be able to "reprogram" her response to strange noises pretty quickly if she's food motivated. Strange noise = mark = treat party!

For making this practical around the house, I like to leave little tupperware tubs with dry treats (or anything that won't spoil) on shelves so you can have them handy any time. We did this to make our dogs less guardy to people walking by when we lived in the city; the close quarters made them edgy and this helped desensitize them.
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