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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nice 15 week old Dutch Shepherd that is training in obedience and doing well. The two issues I'm having ( which appear to be breed specific) Issue 1) The pup will not let anyone but family touch her. 2) She is territorial and barks incessantly at visitors within the home and auto (Tail horizontal, concerned but unafraid). Both traits are desirable, but how do I control those behaviors?
 

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I don't see these issues as Dutch Shepherd specific. This is a dog specific issue, Duchies are not that different than than Malinois. Your dog may be aloof, but I would recommend socializing the dog and getting her used to being around people. The barking in the car is normal, though not always desirable. Your dog needs to realize that visitors in your house are friends.

I would have visitors in your home offer the dog treats and get your dog used to having people around. Your dog is young and socialization is super important at this age. Your dog may never be a social butterfly, or the dog you take to the family picnic. But, it has to be solid around people. That makes life so much easier down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jim, I've been trying to socialize as much as possible. Almost daily trips to the dog park, going to the feed and hardware stores, as well as outdoor art shows and weekly trips(s) to farmers markets in the area. She is solid in these environments, healing and sitting with crowds all around, but aloof with people. I'll try the treats with guests, but this puppy, so far is not food driven.
 

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Sounds like a very nice dog! She may be an aloof dog, and that is ok. I have a Dutch Shepherd here that would not go to the family picnic either. Solid around people and even social when out with me. I would not have this dog loose around people with out me being present.
 

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You say the pup barks incessantly in the house and won’t let anyone but family touch but that she is not afraid. If the barking has a defensive rather than play quality, there is fear at play. She is to young to know if those traits will be favorable or not.
 

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I don't see these issues as Dutch Shepherd specific. This is a dog specific issue, Duchies are not that different than than Malinois. Your dog may be aloof, but I would recommend socializing the dog and getting her used to being around people. The barking in the car is normal, though not always desirable. Your dog needs to realize that visitors in your house are friends.

I would have visitors in your home offer the dog treats and get your dog used to having people around. Your dog is young and socialization is super important at this age. Your dog may never be a social butterfly, or the dog you take to the family picnic. But, it has to be solid around people. That makes life so much easier down the road.
 

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I disagree with having friends, people or anyone giving your puppy treats. No one should be feeding or giving your dogs treats other than you. Will just lead to bigger issues down the line. Your pup will begin to see people as treat dispensers then when the are larger, stronger, smarter and you have allowed and encouraged he dogs to develop a conditioned response to here comes a treat dispenser, but this person does not have a treat. Dog will not be happy and the little behaviours than concern you now could likely and will become bigger and harder to control.
Dont expect your pup to be social butterfly at home or in public. Go for neutrality. Clicker train now while young you use treats when marking a desired behavior, click give treat. Dog barks your call to you dog stops barking click treat, you call from door people whatever pups stops looks at you click treat. Repeat and practice start at home move to front yard, move to park bench, car everywhere. soon it is a muscle memory and you can faze out clicker. Personally wehn mine bark at someone at door or any other reason. I compliment in a sfot voice that requires them to shut it down in order to hear what Im sayig. i tell them that is a good job, , quiet and I go check things out. if all is well I say I got it you want a cookie and givve cookie join mike ritlands $99/year Veteran Navy Seal Dog Trainer super easy to do and learn. said in analogies most can relate to. Highly reccommend or get his bookoff amaazon. for a few buck and do what he suggests, you will have the best dog you ever had for both book and school < $120 so worth it.
 

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I disagree with having friends, people or anyone giving your puppy treats. No one should be feeding or giving your dogs treats other than you. Will just lead to bigger issues down the line. Your pup will begin to see people as treat dispensers then when the are larger, stronger, smarter and you have allowed and encouraged he dogs to develop a conditioned response to here comes a treat dispenser, but this person does not have a treat. Dog will not be happy and the little behaviours than concern you now could likely and will become bigger and harder to control.
Dont expect your pup to be social butterfly at home or in public. Go for neutrality. Clicker train now while young you use treats when marking a desired behavior, click give treat. Dog barks your call to you dog stops barking click treat, you call from door people whatever pups stops looks at you click treat. Repeat and practice start at home move to front yard, move to park bench, car everywhere. soon it is a muscle memory and you can faze out clicker. Personally wehn mine bark at someone at door or any other reason. I compliment in a sfot voice that requires them to shut it down in order to hear what Im sayig. i tell them that is a good job, , quiet and I go check things out. if all is well I say I got it you want a cookie and givve cookie join mike ritlands $99/year Veteran Navy Seal Dog Trainer super easy to do and learn. said in analogies most can relate to. Highly reccommend or get his bookoff amaazon. for a few buck and do what he suggests, you will have the best dog you ever had for both book and school < $120 so worth it.
This is a 15 week old puppy and needs to be socialized around people. Some of the critical socialization period has been missed already. Getting this dog more comfortable and socialized with people is a MUST. If the OP wants to prevent problems down the road the dog must be able to be around people. The treat dispenser analogy is a really poor one. I have a good amount of experience raising and training puppies to adult working dogs and working adult dogs. GSD's, Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds are breeds I deal with every day. I own 4 right now, all strong working dogs, all are able to be around people when I am with them. One GSD, one Mali and one Dutch Shepherd that will also bite for real on command and are my current or retired working dogs. They have been extensively socialized and are capable of being with strangers in a neutral fashion. A puppy has to be socialized, it must be neutral, preferably friendlyaround people and calm and confident. One thing you said that was correct is that the dog does not need to be a social butterfly, but it must be around people in a friendly setting. If you do not socialize this dog you are creating a huge liability. The dog is a puppy and needs to learn how to be around and interact with people at this age. Failing to expose this dog to people now in an appropriate manner will absolutely lead to problems in the future.

As far as Mike Ritland goes his book is good, he's a good dog handler. He was a Navy SEAL but he was never a dog handler or trainer in the military. He was never a Team dog handler, he was an assaulter. His dog stuff started after he retired from from the military.
 
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