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Gogo won’t let me kill mosquitoes


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Hi everyone, 

My 1.5y/o BC pup Gogo and I live in Florida, where there are lots of mosquitoes even into late fall. 

I recently found something interesting/weird and I could not explain. So, hoping to hear some insights here. 

If I try to kill a mosquito by slapping my hands, or even if I just stare at a mosquito when it’s flying in the air, Gogo would jump on me and bark. 

I do not think it’s aggressive. But why does he do that? He normally doesn’t bark at all unless a stranger knocks my door. 

Any ideas? Thanks a lot  

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My dog used to do this when my mother hit flies with a fly swatter. (She was my mother's dog at the time). We weren't sure why, maybe it is the intensity behind it or the sudden sound. Your dog might be anticipating it when you stare at a mosquito. We thought she was uncomfortable with our state of mind or perhaps unsure what we were doing. For my dog it wasn't "happy join in" behaviour, but more a "you are being weird stop that" behaviour.

It took some good timing to teach her not to do it. We would pretend to hit a fly and at the same time keep an eye on the dog: as soon as she made a move to come to us we would tell her not to with a stern "uh-uh". The timing was important because we wanted to stop her before the behaviour really started to make sure it was effective. Correcting her while she was barking/jumping up in the past hadn't helped.

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Try keeping treats in your pocket all the time. When you see a mosquito, say "Gogo, sit!" in a happy, upbeat tone of voice. When he sits, give him a treat. I realize this may mean a lot of missed mosquitoes. But if you are consistent with this, and reward him every time, the presence of a mosquito will eventually mean to him that he should sit, and then he will get a treat. This will divert his energy from jumping on you without your having to correct him all the time. If you are always saying Uh-uh or No to him every time there is a mosquito, he may only learn to hate them because their presence means he will be corrected, and it is entirely possible that you will have a bigger problem than you have now as a result.

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I agree with Flora/Molly that you dog probably doesn't like the sudden noise or perhaps thinks your slaps are threatening, rather than that she's reacting to the actual mosquito.  You can test this pretty easily by making random slaps/swats when there are no mosquitoes around and see if Gogo reacts the same way as when you are actually swatting a mosquito.   Assuming it's the swatting that Gogo objects to,  I suggest you do something similar to what Flora/Molly did, and teach your dog to accept you making slapping or swatting sounds and motions separately from actually waiting for a mosquito to show up.   First make sure that Gogo has a solid sit/stay under "normal" conditions.  Then have him sit, and very lightly clap your hands together while reminding him to stay, and reward for the successful stay.   Practice sit/stays with very gentle claps in the air or on various surfaces, in various locations just as you would if you were swatting mosquitoes except with much less force, and with the command to stay given ahead of time, followed with a reward for correct behavior.  Once Gogo is reliably accepting these very calm gentle swats at pretend mosquitoes you can start doing them without the stay command (you might give some quick warning that a swat is coming with a quiet "shhh" or something) and reward for not barking or jumping.  As Gogo gets consistent about accepting these very calm quiet gentle fake swats, you can start very gradually upping them to something more realistic, always acknowledging good behavior with praise, sometimes a treat, or sometimes a quick toss of a toy if Gogo likes that.  

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