Stranger Coming in

Discussion in 'Cane Corso' started by Ben Curtis, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Ben Curtis

    Ben Curtis Active Member

    As many of you know we've been trying to get Enzo more comfortable with guests to our house, and much progress has been made.

    We are leaving at the end of the month for 3 days, and we are having a local dog sitter come over to our house and let Enzo out multiple times a day while we are gone. Enzo has met her many times, but having her come into our house unannounced with out us initiating the greeting is a completely different level.

    Today we had her come over, with my wife in the other room. We have set up a small gated area around our side door, to give both a barrier from each other.

    Enzo growled and cowered for a short period of time. She eventually opened the gate and the door and coaxed him outside with a frisbee, an he was happy to play with her.

    When coming back in, he growled more, but much less intensely, and settled down shortly after.

    I am pumped that this first test went well. I'm hoping when she comes again Friday to see him more comfortable, and so on each time she comes in the future.

    Just thought you might like an update.

  2. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Just a thought. Some dogs do worse behind a gate. My Ella does. I don't know it that would make any difference or not. Wishing you the best of luck. You've been doing a great job with him.
  3. Ben Curtis

    Ben Curtis Active Member

    It's more that she is behind the gate. Enzo has full range of the house, and she has a little 5' square. Eventually we will remove the gate, but at this point we had no frame of reference to how Enzo would react, so this was the safest option.

  4. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I just wondered because a lot of dogs with fear based reactivity also show some issues with barrier frustration. Barriers can be anything from a gate to being restrained by a leash. You definitely know Enzo best. I just wanted to mention it in case it was something you hadn't considered. Please let us know how it things progress.
    glen and Ben Curtis like this.
  5. Steven C

    Steven C Active Member

    I know you may not like my opinion on this but I felt the need to throw it out there before this girl gets into a possible bad situation. I've learned a lot about Corso in the last 20 months and one of those things is that they do not like anyone besides their immediate family. Do they tolerate, yes they do but they never trust anyone besides those who live with him. I still feel that this is not some fear based thing but rather a puppy coming into its maturity. By you testing this the dog knows you are still around, but be sure that this dog will know when you are out of town or just testing. They know the difference, whether it be seeing unusual changes that week like packing or travel energy.

    You don't know how this corso will act when you are out of town. Already stressed the family is missing can put this person in a bad situation. Last week after going to the ATM with the dog and the wife, we make a quick stop at the 24 hour Walmart for something. Luckily I always only crack the windows maybe an inch. We didn't make it in and the parking spaces are tight, this woman was getting into her car next to mine and she accidentally bumped into my car. We heard and saw the whole thing as we were not yet in the store. The dog tried to break through the window and had it been cracked more to get an arm through (they love to pull) she would have busted out the window. We heard her scratching and barking and I went back to the car until this lady left. She felt it was a threat because this woman bumped hard into the car. Imagine the idiots that think dog theft is on the rise. lol

    When you leave, this dog will be stressed out and when this girl goes over there he may hit a threshold that she doesn't know how to control. Whenever I leave town without my dog, or my previous Bordeaux I take them to a professional that understands these breeds. Even if your dog is a different line than mine, its still a Corso and as much as you want to sugar coat that or think non immediate family are ok to walk into your house, imo no way. Preferably a K9 center with other strong dogs, not some pet motel or dog sitter.

    It takes me a solid 10 minutes to relax the corso when left in the kennel for 3 or more hours. I sit next to the kennel and be patient before opening that door. I do understand that mine is on the higher strung side, but there must be similarities.
    glen likes this.
  6. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I do think Steven has some valid points. While I still believe Enzo's behavior is fear based, fear is likely to make him even more dangerous in some situations. If I were in your position - and I am, with my Ella (fear based issues) who will only allow a couple of people to come in the house without me here - I would be very cautious.
  7. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    Another thing to potentially consider is that someone being home could also be making him more defensive than he would be if he was truly alone. I don't have any experience with fear based issues so I'm just giving a possibility based on how I know Kryten behaves. If someone is home no one can enter the house uninvited, he will corner them and keep them in place until we tell him it's ok. That same person can come over to feed/let them if we're away without any problems. Territory isn't what is important to him, his people are.
    Boxergirl likes this.
  8. tkcro

    tkcro New Member

    We recently replaced the floors in a portion of our house and the person who did it was a very good friend of my brothers. He had met Diesel a bunch of times prior and diesel never had any problems with him. But the day he came to work on the floors no one was home and he walked up to the front door and Diesel refused to let him inside. He appearently was growling and barking like crazy when the guy tried to open the door. He ended up opening the door and hiding behind it letting Diesel run outside and then quickly ran into the house and closed the door behind him.

    So I definitely agree that the reaction can be MUCH different when the dog knows that none of the immediate family is actually home. Diesel never growls at anyone when we are home but as soon as the house is empty he goes into full protection mode and wouldn’t even let me grandma come into the house sometimes.

    So I would practice one day where she comes when no one is home before you guys leave on vacation because it came make a difference.
    Zeela likes this.
  9. Ben Curtis

    Ben Curtis Active Member

    All great points, and most I have considered. We will be having her over with us gone, before the long weekend. Hard to replicated us actually being gone for an extended period of time, but should give us a good idea. As far as using a professional that understands the breed, I would say the lady we use is an expert in large breeds.

    She came over Friday, and Enzo was much more comfortable then Tuesday, and I expect to see more progress on Wednesday.

    The way I see it, the more he sees her the better. The more he sees the routine of what happens when she comes in the better. She's the frisbee, treats, food lady.

    This is all a learning process for both us and Enzo. But thank you for all the input.
    tkcro and Boxergirl like this.
  10. Ben Curtis

    Ben Curtis Active Member

    She came over yesterday and Enzo did not growl what so ever. He barked and was excited to see her and play with his new frisbee. This really feels like he just turned a corner. Hopefully this progress continues. Thanks everyone for your input though all of this.

    tkcro, Jarena and glen like this.
  11. glen

    glen Super Moderator Staff Member

    So pleased its worked out for you, my boys wont let anyone in apart from my kids and partners.
    Steven C and Ben Curtis like this.
  12. Ben Curtis

    Ben Curtis Active Member

    It's been quite a process. She's been over enough, I'm betting Enzo is starting to think she is part of the family.
    glen likes this.
  13. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Excellent news, Ben.
    Ben Curtis likes this.
  14. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    That is great news!

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