My dog will nip at strange people if they come to the house and come towards me. How do I stop it?
is a Carolina Dog
, both her parents were captured from the 'wild' (feral groups) in the Savannah River Basin by Brisbin himself. She adores me, my mom, her other family, and is shy of anyone else; at the dog park she loves to play with other dogs and avoids the people there. She weighs 35 lbs and is 16 months old. I am her second owner, having adopted her at a year old; long story but she basically chose me over her previous owners after I was dog-walking her for several months, and they wanted to get rid of her, so I agreed to take her.
She is not aggressive to people she -knows- at all.... but when people come to our house, or a place I am staying (I house/pet sit), especially men (such as delivery men, gardeners, etc) she will bark fiercely and loudly and wildly and constantly. If they persist in coming towards me, (as delivery men etc must do), she will eventually charge at them and nip the back of their calves, all the while barking. She hasn't drawn blood (yet) but she can give a mean pinch, I gather.
I have tried yelling at her but I think it makes it worse, because she picks up on my fear (that she'll bite) and she thinks I'm afraid of the man. If I have enough warning I get her on leash or lock her inside, but sometimes delivery people just stroll right up into the yard through the fence and the first thing I know about it is her barking.
Part of me is glad to have a dog who is willing to protect me, and part of me thinks people that come barging into a yard full of barking dog should know they're walking into trouble, but I know this is a liability and I would really prefer she stick to barking without biting.
Treats-for-not-biting don't help as 1. she's barely interested in food and 2. when she's in "DEFEND THE OTTER LADY!" mode she can't be reasoned with; as I say, shouting/calling just makes it worse.
The other problem is the randomness of the situation; I don't have any warning when someone's about to come through the yard, so I can't get treats/punishments/etc ready. And I can't really ask folks to come play 'delivery man' into my yard 'so that my dog can maybe NOT bite you'.
I feel like I should know what to do; I dog-walk and dog-sit for people, I even went to dog-training class!!-- but I am really kind of at a loss here.