Ask Alecia: My Dog Barks at My Boyfriend!

My dog Kodi has been my only companion until now. My new boyfriend and I hope to move in together soon. Kodi likes him a lot, separately. But she barks nonstop whenever he hugs me or gets close. How can I train her to accept him? Kodi also barks (out of her mind-unstoppable) at motorcycles, trailers and large vehicles. She has never been traumatized by any of these things- no idea why … Terri

Dear Terri,

Kodi seems to be sensitive to energy and when it raises she gets over-the-top excited. In the case of your boyfriend, my sense is that she is more excited than anything else but she does not know how to handle it and respond in quieter way.

Have you done any desensitization or positive reward training to assist her in tolerating any of the above vehicles? If she gets highly overstimulated by vehicles you may want to try getting her a Thundershirt which will calm her nerves and then you can work with redirecting her energy to do a sit stay and as she responds to you in the way you want you can give her a treat, then walk away on your terms, not hers.

Another remedy I suggest along with training is the Bach Flower Essence Rescue Remedy. It is a non-toxic flower remedy used to calm stressful situations. Give to her in her water (10 drops 2x day for 3 days) and see if you notice a difference in her responses.

As for her behavior with your boyfriend, I would again go back to retraining her on sit/stays so that she can learn to handle the increase in energy in a positive way and would recommend using the Thundershirt for when your boyfriend comes over as well.

Paws Up! Alecia

Do you have a training question for Alecia? Send it in on our online form!

Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.

The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine,, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.

From Our Store!

About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.