Just like his big brother Bruno, Spencer is showing signs that he will make an excellent watch and guard dog when he gets older. It was night and Spencer heard something outside and started to bark. Spencer has seen Bruno bark at things outside to alert us. This is a behavior that we have not tried to stop, as we want our dogs to tell us when they think something is not right. Bruno will bark and growl to alert us of something outside and we can tell him to stop barking but remain alert, or stop barking and relax and lie down. We can also tell him to keep barking. Bruno watches us for direction and is always ready to do what he thinks we want him to do.
Recently Bruno was walking off leash in our woods with my husband and he spotted a couple of men walking toward them. Bruno let out a little growl to alert my husband that someone he was not so sure about was coming. It is rare that Bruno will react in a manner such as that when he sees strangers. Usually everyone is immediately his friend. Therefore when he does we know to not dismiss his senses too quickly. My husband told him to be quiet and heel next to him but stay alert. This communication was through body language and small sounds. Bruno did just that; he heeled quietly with no leash. Had my husband wanted Bruno to bark but stay with him, he could have done that too. If he wanted Bruno to totally relax, he could have told him that too.
People often ask me if they keep their dog submissive and under them in the pack order if their dog still protect them if the time ever arises. One can never train or raise the guard dog out of a dog, however you can train and raise the dog in such a way that the dog looks to you for direction and commands. In a pack even the lowest ranking members of the pack come forward and protect the pack leader should something threaten them. The best guard dogs are those that see the owners as above them and look to them for direction.
I can now say "cage" and Spencer will get up and walk into his crate. I taught him this by saying "cage" every time I led him into his crate.
At this age Spencer is still peeing often. Bruno, on the other hand, holds it a lot longer. Sometimes I wonder where Spence gets all that pee. He is not marking when he is peeing because he is squatting and peeing until he is down to drips. Not long after he goes it seems he has to go again. Therefore we make sure we take him out often.
OK Spence, the driveway is better than the porch, however I really would prefer the grass. I do not ever correct him if he already starts going outside just because it is in the wrong place, as I do not want to confuse him. I am going to have to start watching him after he eats rather than just putting him outside so I can guide him to the grass and teach him that is where I want him to go.
Spence, pooping on the welcome mat is not really a nice welcome to visitors. To get him to poop off of the porch someone needs to walk him to the grass. Got to work on getting the entire family to follow him out.