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Stopping barking

(12 Posts)
Rjae Wed 05-Aug-15 12:34:20

Our older dog (10) barks at the front door, next doors dogs and people going by. We minimise this by not allowing unsupervised going In the garden and blocking him seeing people passing, but it makes my disabled daughter very anxious when he barks and we are getting to the end of our tether with it.

He is walked daily. Has as much attention as I can give him (also have a 2 year old) and we've tried an ultrasonic bark collar.

We have tried re homing but no one can take him. He is a Heinz dog so not much hope with private rehoming. The charities are all full.

We can cope with everything but the barking. Has anyone had a success with a different bark collar? He had anti bark training as a young dog but it didn't work.

Rjae Thu 06-Aug-15 08:37:30

Anyone?

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 08:57:03

Hi Rjae

Anti bark collars are aversive and generally not recommended by trainers/behaviourists as they can create anxiety and make the problem worse.

It sounds as if you're struggling with this and your dog is also frustrated. How much attention does he get when he's quiet in the house? Now think about how much attention he gets (shouting etc) when he barks. It's easy to see why barking can become rewarding as often we give our pets more attention when they're doing something we don't like.

You've done the right thing in trying to minimise his access to triggers but you also need to ensure he's getting enough exercise and U.S. stimukated in the house with puzzle balls, Kong wobbker etc that will keep his brain engaged and mean he's less focussed on external stimulation. Also start calling him to you in the house and getting him to sit - reward him for this calm response. Once these things are in place you can think about managing the situation.

If the postie is a trigger give him his breakfast in a long wobbker before the postie arrives so he's occupied. If he barks, ignore it, do not shout. If you can call him to attention to break the barking (this will depend on how much recall training you've done in the house) and once he recalls and is quiet give lots of attention. You'll quickly find that your dog learns if he comes toyon and is quiet he'll be rewarded. Also if he's well exercised and occupied he'll be less excited. Breaking the cycle can be tough though and does require some work flowers

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 08:58:13

Sorry for typos Wobbler not wobbker!

ender Thu 06-Aug-15 09:50:16

Agree with Sunshine. Good advice.
My rescue was a barker and it took about 3 months to train him out of it using the recall and reward method. You need to really stick to it and be consistent. No shouting or he'll think you're barking back at him and things will get worse smile.
We allow a couple of barks, as useful to know when someone's outside the front door or lurking near the house.

Rjae Thu 06-Aug-15 10:49:00

Thanks flowers

I think it will be hard work as he just goes ballistic when the doorbell rings. We do have an outdoor postbox, but need quite a few parcels and deliveries of supplies for DD which we can't avoid.

Next door neighbour leaves their dogs outside all day. Luckily not barkers, but our dog goes bonkers with them and they then bark back.

He is very much a dog which loves people so I think the more attention tack will work best with the training recall and reward too. We do tend to ignore him if he is quiet and react when he barks so we need a big rethink.

Fearless91 Thu 06-Aug-15 15:39:44

Jesus please stay away from those sorts of collars!! What were you thinking confused

It doesn't matter what you do, if you aren't going to be strict with it then it won't work.

You can get these little cans from pet stores which look like body spray cans. All it contains is air. Whenever your dog barks for no reason spray it instantly. Not on him but just near him. He will soon realise when it is/isn't okay... The cab itself is totally harmless all it is is air.

ender Thu 06-Aug-15 16:21:46

Fearless91 the air spray makes a hissing noise which can be frightening for some dogs. You might use it to stop dog barking and could end up with a dog afraid to go into a certain room, or scared of a person that happened to be nearby when it heard the hissing.

Lilcamper Thu 06-Aug-15 16:53:17

Or scared of a person using hairspray or deodorant...

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 17:41:12

Fearless the air spray can you describe are just as aversive as collars hmm they work by creating anxiety but it's easy for the dogs to pair the aversion with something else e.g the owner and become fearful and even aggressive. Not good.

The recall and reward method teaches your dog what the correct behaviour is and is non stressful. Op just to re-emphasis the puzzle feeders etc are really important too. I get the impression you have your hands pretty full so if you can batch prep some and give a couple a day that's great also frizen ice block with treats in the middle can last for ages and are good. It means he's being treated by being positively engaged and quiet and is less likely to react to external stimuli and more likely to focus on you as the giver of good things.

Rjae Fri 07-Aug-15 08:46:40

We will get some toys and a puzzle feeder. I think we need to start some kind of training again. He was a rescue puppy so we feel responsible for his quality of life.

Will be interesting to see how quickly the toddler starts playing with the dog toys as he's only just stopped playing in the dog bowl! Will have to train him too!

chelle792 Fri 07-Aug-15 08:51:22

Have you heard of the book calm down Fido? Or it might be called chill out Fido.

Bought it to help with my hyper boy. The principles are basically to teach dog to chill and that calm behaviour is rewarding. We kept treats in our pocket and if he was lying down/relaxing we would walk by and drop a treat. No fuss, no hyping him up. He spends a lot more time chilling out than barking now and he's a guardy shep

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