I have a 7 year old male shepherd. He has always been the protector of the house. I have had him since he was 10 weeks old, so he has always been one of my boys.
He is great with people and children, but when someone new comes into our home or when I am sleeping, he will guard me by barking at anyone who comes near me. If they try to approach me he will get between them and me as if to stop them from getting to me. If they try to touch me or move closer to me, he will growl at them or bark at them until they leave the room or go away from my bedside.
I have tried everything I can think of for this behavior: scolding him for it makes him afraid of you because he thinks you are mad at him; praising him for it makes him think that guarding is what you want so now he does it all the time (even when no strangers are present); ignoring his behavior makes him think that this is not something worth paying attention to so now he just continues doing it without any concern about whether or not there are strangers around; etc.
Last modified: November 16, 2022