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Dog that barks constantly!

(8 Posts)
Greyhorses Mon 07-Dec-15 20:09:40

Have posted about her before but she has driven me to the point of insanity today.
She is a lovely dog but very reactive and everything involves barking and lots of it.
If she's happy she barks in excitement. If she's scared she barks. If she sees a person/dog/car/anything unusual she barks just because she's seen it. She even barks when she is playing and barks in her sleep.
Her favourite trick is to bark in the car from the moment I close the boot until the moment I open it again.
She is very loud and sounds evil.

My behaviouralist has given me lots of tips to deal with her reactive behaviour and I have managed to get her to sit politely and wait for people or dogs to pass and she means no harm but the barking just won't stop and it is driving me crazy! Basically she sits as still as a rock but barks and barks until the person is out of sight.

I have her at work with me this week and she barks every single time someone moves, opens a door, shuts a door etc etc and she is driving me crazy blushangry I can hardly get any work done or speak on the phone as I can't hear people!

We have tried telling her off, she screams and yelps as though she is being murdered (ive never hit her!) and then barks about it.
If I touch her she stops for 20 seconds then starts again.
If I ignore it she barks until her voice dies or the person goes away, which ever comes first. She never gets bored.
She is crated at work and I have tried a thundershirt with a blanket to cover her up but noise sets her off as well as sight.
She thinks being shouted at is great fun. hmm
I have tried treating her when she is quiet but she is hardly ever quiet and she will bark with a mouthful of treat! She literally has the memory of a goldfish.

Please does anyone have any soloutions before I buy ear plugs or lock her in a dark room!

GiddyGiddyGoat Mon 07-Dec-15 22:53:18

No, but you have my sympathy (as the owner of a very noisy terrier).

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 08-Dec-15 10:16:12

You say your behaviourist has given you tips to deal with it but have they shown you how to train her out of it?

Personally I would let her bark and then when she stops reward her for being quiet. Keep feeding her titbits or something. As soon as she barks again turn around and ignore her. When she's quiet again reward her. I'm sorry if that sounds simple and if you've already tried it. That's what I would do though but it does sounds like you'll have to do it consistently and repeatedly for a long time! But sometimes that's all that works. Consistent rewards of good behaviour and repeat, repeat, repeat. Don't deviate from it, don't change the reward, just reward the quiet, ignore the bark, reward the quiet, ignore the bark. Dogs soon work out what works for them. Unfortunately she has learnt that barking gets attention, gets the shouting, scares the postman away etc and you've now got to un-train that behaviour. Most of all though it gets your attention and that's what all dogs want. If you ignore her when she barks and reward her when she's quiet, she really ought to learn that being quiet gets her what she wants.

It just might take a loooong time though. Some dogs, bless 'em, with the best will in the world, are just a bit dim. grin

Dieu Tue 08-Dec-15 10:24:58

This would drive me to the point of insanity. Really feel for you, OP. What breed is your dog?

Greyhorses Tue 08-Dec-15 11:04:57

Thanks to all of you!

We have mostly worked on getting her to sit politely and not lunge and air snap at things and she has got so much better but the barking is the last thing I can't seem to crack.
She is very reactive and something will set her off and it can take ages to calm down, she isn't that interested in treats when she's up a height but we have been trying to treat her for quiet.

She is a german shepherd, vocal breed at the best of times but ive never met a dog like her!

Chrisalice Tue 08-Dec-15 11:21:10

Oh god, that must be awful, massive sympathy - and admiration you have managed not to strangle her!

Am sure behaviourist and others have covered anything I can think of (and she's well exercised, and not on a food that encourages manic tendencies), but thinking of whats helped with my reactive dog...

Clearly no kind of solution to the whole problem but was trying to think what behaviours are inconsistent with barking - obviously can cross eating off that list...!! Playing tug? Not going to help while driving obviously! Holding ball in mouth... muffling at least. Laying with chin on ground, thats pretty hard to do while barking, could that be an option while dogs pass?

One thing I found that was humbling because it showed how reinforcing I was compared to great foods, is that the value of the treat makes such a difference. I really thought I was using GOOD stuff until I found even better and had a dog who was 110% more attentive and compliant! Even the better stuff was no good for her cat fixation though, 'look at me'...? Not a chance! I could pop even a-m-a-z-i-n-g treats under her lip and she might mouth them absently, certainly no hope of her following the lure to look away.

Anyway, fish is her downfall and I finally discovered her nose would betray her using a really aromatic stinky wet food, then I could get a super-fast turn-and-grab, progressing to orientating her whole body to me and glancing at cat in garden, as opposed to the opposite. Very very messy process, handling wet fishy food, ick. I dropped small splodges onto the hard flooring as this took more time and attention to slurp up. Different scenario but maybe there is something out there that is more reinforcing than barking that can capture her attention, so she focuses on procuring the food and eventually looks to perform a behaviour for it that hopefully doesn't include barking...?

Maybe also worth putting her on a pay-as-you-earn system so she gets her daily ration in one piece increments for doing behaviours you ask for, as well as only allowing access through doors, play, petting etc if she first sits, quietly if only for a gzillionth of a moment.

(looks at silent adolescent dog with slight forgiveness for kangaroo 'heel' episode)

Teapot101 Wed 09-Dec-15 10:23:30

I've used the pet corrector spray. It's worked really well to teach the command "quiet". You only need to use it a handful of times and then showing them the can is enough. You also need to be quick in with a treat and make it really positive once they are quiet.

Pancake2015 Wed 09-Dec-15 10:27:14

There a plug ins you can not sure what they do but im sure they set off a tone when the dog barks.
I was tempted to get one when my young one was barking at everything, thankfully he has died down now. I feel for you, barking alone drives me up the wall, nevermind constant barking

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