Celebrity dog trainer Inger Martens is back to answer more questions about your problem pups!
Let's see if she can help out Mary Martha!
I have an eight month border collie lab mix. My husband and I adopted him from a private home that had found him in their front yard. When we brought him home, he was estimated to be about five weeks old. I need some tips for socialization, he barks incessantly at strangers and strange dogs. We have attempted to socialize him with friends/family and their pets, bring him to family gathering, birthday parties, and community events with little success. We have arranged play dates and still he barks so much. We have given people treats to hand to him, so he can associate good things with people, but with limited success. Is there anything else that I have not thought of to reduce my dog's "stranger danger" mentality?
The magic words to me in your question is Border Collie Lab Mix, that translates to smart. It also means that he needs structure. The structure you build in your daily life will create trust. What I'm referring to is obedience commands taught to him on a leash, such as heel, sit, stay and come. A good obedience class in your area would rock his world, because it would give you both the language that you need to communicate. When people attempt to socialize a dog when it's off leash it leads to coaxing, begging and weird body language from the people who are attempting to give him treats. The leash help you guide him to sit which creates eye contact and trust. It tells him that your driving the car not him, therefore he can relax.
Good luck with your doggie's "stranger danger," we sure hope he works it out!!
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[Image via WENN.]