Welcome to The Boxer Dog Stories

Specs Dogs is a collection of boxer dog stories told from the eyes of Brix, the boxer dog. He is also known as the B-Stud. From these boxer stories, we learn of the joys and pains of puppy-hood to adult life. Along the way, boxer dog and owner learn to strengthen their human to canine bond thru training, playing and just being plain silly. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Barking Min Pin

Oh yes, I definitely wanted to show you guys the barking min pin we have. She's a great min pin and we love her to death but it's tough to take the barking min pin out on regular walks. Lack of socialization during the critical window of socialization is partly the factor. The lack of socialization caused her to become shy and unsure of new or different environments. Mind you she has gotten much much better and she makes a wonderful dog when inside the house. Our barking min pin gets stressed at the sight of dogs, trucks, bicycles, skateboarders and a lot of others things. What do your dogs bark at?

In this clip, she barks at a german shephard as Neilynne tries to calm her down. The barking min pin just won't stop. Her focus is right on the german shephard and we can't get her to focus back on us.

How do we change such behaviour? It's a difficult question to answer. I leave it to the experts. I would only venture to say that a controlled environment is needed with a well behaved dog. Possibly flooding the barking min pin with positive associations to the other dog. Have the min pin approach and walk past the other dog while the other dog is in a down stay. That way the min pin is not stationary while a big creature is coming towards them causing a flight or fight response. If the min pin barks, ignore it, you have approached too close. Try again and you should be able to work at a successful distance where the dog doesn't bark. Reward behaviour that your want!

As a first time owner, Shy has been the dog that has taught me everything about dogs. She has been our "mistakes" dog. I've made many errors with her but at the same time, I have learned so much and made the corrections necessary. This barking min pin, the one that goes crazy at the slightest things, is still a beloved family member, and I thank her.


  1. Maggie's MomJuly 8, 2008 at 9:47 PM

    I too have a shy/reactive small dog. She is not as severe as Shy, but does her fair share of barking when big dogs or strange people approach her. Our trainers suggested we increase the distance between her and the cause of her reaction until her arousal levels go way down....then we use high value food rewards to create new positive associations with the scary situations. Basically we sit on the sidelines and whenever she first spots a dog (hopefully I see it first) she starts getting treats (but before she starts barking). Also, she gets a reward every time she looks at me and looks away from the dog. Obviously from the video, Shy was very aroused and none of this would work in that situation...she would have to be much further away to start with. Eventally could take baby steps closer (over several training sessions). It has taken me a couple of months of intermittent work with my dog to get her where she is now. She still will bark, but it is easy for me to interrupt her, ask for a sit or down and she will focus on me...so much better than it was! Good luck with Shy!

  2. Thanks for the comment! We definitely have to take baby steps with Shy. Right now her focus is not very good outside of the house. It's like we don't exist to her. Until I can get a good focus with her, I won't be able to move onto the bigger stuff. But I am positive that we can get her to a comfortable level. Jason.

  3. Maggie's MomJuly 10, 2008 at 9:12 PM

    Have you ever heard of/used the "auto check in" method to increase Shy's focus on you? If not, check it out on Suzanne Clothier's website, www.flyingdogpress.com. The auto check in is the foundation of all the work I have done with Maggie.

  4. I just read about the "auto check in" I guess I have not formally heard of the term but I definitely know what it is trying to achieve but I have not been consistent with it. I would rewrad Shy for any eye contact she makes with me while just watching tv but it was in a form of verbal praise...no treat. Sometimes when she's sitting on her stool she will give me a good long focus as to say "okay now, I want to come down now," and she really waits for me to give her the go ahead. Shy's really good at focusing in the house. I can also get her to focus on me when we are between the houses and also heel very well in this area. When we start moving towards the driveway though, attention is lost and focus is gone. I must say we have only been working on the focus for about a month indoors and have just started to work on it outside. I'm confident she will get better and thanks for the auto check in method. I should write about it soon.