We took our 3 1/2 year old cocker spaniel to a behavioural assessment last week. This was a one to one appointment with his original puppy trainer. We had been a bit concerned about his behaviour when people came to the door or passed the house--he barked constantly.
He had a full assessment and amongst other things diet was discussed and it was suggested we gave him a marrow bone.
So that is what we did tonight. Bloody hell l was terrified. We could not get into the room without him snarling as we went passed, he barked constantly, DD came downstairs and his lips were curling.
It took a good 10 minutes to distract him out the room until DH got the bone and threw it outside in the bin. He has calmed down a lot now.
Generally he is a really good dog ( although l would never trust any dog 100%) he sits stays etc you can take his food bowl away without incidnet.
This raw bone triggered something and l am a bit worried.
ANyone got any advice. I am looking at him sleeping at my feet just now but still feeling a bit wary .
DH says if that happens again he has to go--we have a GDG to consider..
Sorry if this is a daft question, but what was the idea behind giving him a marrow bone?
If the problem with him is just barking too much, surely it's a case of trying to train that behaviour out of him.
Was the marrow bone supposed to distract him, or add something to his diet that was supposed to magically stop him barking?
I expect the bone was an idea to distract him and keep him mentally stimulated and so would help to calm him down.
You have learnt that a marrow bone is way too exciting to achieve this! Do not be overally concerned that your dog is going to turn into a crazy aggressive dog - just do not give him marrow bones again.
You could try giving him a kong with a low value stuffing in it eg kibble - this would hopefully give the calming, stimulating element of chewing without the over excitment of the bone.
What I would do re the barking at the door is get a clicker and a yummy treats. Get you DH to ring the doorbell and click and treat the dog - he will bark to start with but still click and treat. Build this up until when the dog hears the doorbell he comes to you for a treat.
If in the short term you can prevent him from having access to areas where he can see people passing and so stop him barking that would also help.
cheerfulmarybrown thank you for your very helpful post. Your advice re barking is exactly what the trainer said. Today he is as good as gold . We have bought a kong and will try to fill that. Our trouble is that he is a very fussy eater--always has been, He has not touched his kibble now for 2 days (believe me over the years we have tried so many different wet and dry foods)--he can't be bribed with treats apart from Misfits .
We will practice the door bell ringing today--ear muffs at the ready. The trainer is coming to the house next Wednesday to see how we have progressed.
Huh and we filled the kong with kibble misfits and peanut butter--the magpies are enjoying it. The bloody dog in not interested.
Could you use a different form of distraction? A toy or some other attention? With our dogs who arent remotely food orientated we use lap snuggles as the ultimate distraction/reward. They are not normally allowed to sit on our laps (its not comfortable with three dogs, the lightest of which weight fifteen stone!), so when they are invited to they are beside themselves with ecstacy.
Well you have the two ends of the scale bones overthreshold; kibble can't be bothered!
You are aiming for in the middle, so experiment. Maybe small amount of cheese rubbed on the outside or on a stag bar, misfits rubbed on the outside of the kong. (Although be careful as misfits are full or sugar and additives that can make some dogs hyper)
hahahaha we have hotdogs cut into tiny bits . so in total he has had today about 1/2 small hotdog when doing some fairly successful clicker training but still he has not eaten any of his kibble !
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