A little after I moved in with Jim, we’ve been lucky enough to have a maid come in a few hours a day to take care of our home. Our place is a modest 2-bedroom condo and Jim’s tita happens to have a unit exactly 4 floors below. We talked to tita Fely and her maid Leahyn and agreed on a set-up where Leahyn can come over daily to make some extra income! She is very good at cleaning, I believe she’s a little O.C. because she not only dusts and sweeps, she actually rearranges everything in our condo to create more space.
Normally I would go ballistic if my things were rearranged but as of now we’ve got boxes of stuff to go through and dispose of so it does get a little too messy without Leahyn to put everything in its proper place. The bottomline is that I am obsessed with her. Haha. She has drastically reduced my arguments with Jim because from my experience, a messy home equals a moody husband.
The only problem is that Joey seems to hate her (Oh yeah, I haven’t updated you guys. Joey’s been back home and perfectly back to normal after her surgery). Everytime she arrives Joey barks aggressively and will go into a panic. Even when Joey calms down, whenever Leahyn exits our bedroom or guest room (Joey and I are usually in the living room watching TV), Joey starts barking at her again!! I was so alarmed at first because from what I’ve heard, dogs know when a human eats dogs. Those are usually the people they bark at daw. I doubt this is true. And I highly doubt 19-year old Leahyn eats dogs!!! She lives with tita Fely who has 2 dogs of her own and before I moved in with Jim, I usually bumped into Leahyn walking them regularly. She also walks Joey 20-30 minutes daily when I can’t and Joey is fine with this. I thought the barking would go away because of their daily bonding of but after 2 months it’s getting on my nerves.
Of course we suspected that Joey is probably smelling the other dogs on Leahyn but I have other dog and cat owners come over and Joey has no problem with them. Joey is absolutely all over Lauren and if you follow Lauren online you’ll see that her dog Melo is always all over her too. After weeks of exchanging “bakit kaya?” looks with Leahyn, I don’t know why I only researched on this topic today.
Most people believe that dogs usually bark at a person that reminds them of someone who mistreated them in the past. This is usually how it is for shelter dogs that were adopted a little later in life but I got Joey at 2 months. After reading up on the issue a little further, I came to the conclusion that Joey is freaking out because she is being overly protective of Jim, myself, and our home. She’s super nice and lambing to our friends who come over but the thing is, they ring the doorbell first and we are the ones who open the door. I think Joey is getting angry at the fact that a new person is unlocking the door and “taking over” her territory.
Here are some tips I got on how to help curb her barking and I think it can be useful to you if you’ve got a similar problem (source):
Countercondition your pooch to view the person he growls at, for whatever reason, as a positive thing rather than something bad or scary. Start by having the person your dog growls at sit quietly in a chair. Remove from the room all toys and food that Fido could guard. Bring your pooch into the room on a leash, distant enough from the person so that she’s not scary to your pup but still in his line of vision. When there’s no growling, give him lots of praise and treats. Repeat this daily for 10 minutes at a time, bringing him closer and closer each time. Between sessions, don’t allow your pooch access to the person until his behavior consistently improves, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends.
Once your pooch learns to stop growling at a person, continue to use positive reinforcement to maintain this good behavior by having that person carry treats around and occasionally drop them near your pooch. When the person enters the room where you and your pup are, give Fido some treats and praise. Occasionally have the other person feed your pup or take him for a walk. This way, he’ll eventually associate that person with good things.
Never punish an aggressive dog for his behavior. This will result in a pooch that becomes more aggressive and dangerous than he was before, petMD warns. Speaking in a loud tone of voice or suddenly picking him up might scare him and lead to growling. Other potentially scary things include certain articles of clothing, such as a hat, says the ASPCA. Advise whomever your pooch is growling at to remain as calm and soft-spoken as possible around Fido and to remove any extraneous clothing.
During training in the presence of the person your pup is growling at, he should wear a muzzle, the Humane Society of the United States recommends. Take training slowly; keep your pooch on a leash at all times. Have your pooch spayed or neutered to cut down on territorial and dominance aggression issues. If, at any point during training, your pooch lunges or tries to bite the object of his aggression, seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist, who may suggest special training or psychoactive medication to help curb his behavior.
In Joey’s case, there’s no need to wear a muzzle because she never bites or snaps at Leahyn, she only ever barks at her. Will need to stock up on some healthy treats for Leahyn to give her when she’s behaving well. I’m very eager to curb her aggression not just because the barking drives me insane but also because I want her to be at ease that this person is only trying to help keep our space nice and clean.