Barking and more barking.(9 Posts)
Over the past year my lovely cockerpoo has found her voice, she is 3 in feb. She barks all of the time, if someone comes to the house, if someone walks past the house with a dog, animals on TV (any animal, even cartoon), if she hears a loud noise (bad because apparently it's still bonfire night where we live), if a cat comes in the garden, certain noises on TV, if me and DH cuddle standing up, literally anything could set her off. Once she starts it's hard to get her to stop right away without getting really angry with her. I would just let her bark it out but we've just had a baby. She has woken him on numerous occasions. One day all I did was feed, comfort the baby who kept waking and shout at the dog. I cried when DH came home from work. I was that upset I told him she'd have to go live with his parents who adore her. She is such a sweet dog and is like our child, in fact her and DH are inseparable, but she's driving me mad. What can I do? Any advice welcome.
Is she anxious? Have you tried to teach speak and quiet? Lots of videos on YouTube. But if it's anxiety driving it you'd be best trying to address that.
I'm going to be controversial here and recommend the aerosol can "pet corrector". It's great for this sort of problem, obviously only use it if the barking is unreasonable. Just a short spray near the dog (not right at them).
It surely depends on what is causing the barking? It was recommended to me but would've been a disaster if I'd used it. My dog only barks when she's scared and that would make her more scared, particularly as she has very sensitive hearing! All I'd do is reinforce the scariness! Much better to address whatever is causing the problem.
I think some of it is anxiety for example the loud noises but sometimes she is wagging her tail when she barks.
What can I do for anxiety ?
I'll look into the pet corrector.
Tried the training but didn't get very far using it at these times, maybe I'll try again.
Wagging doesn't mean they're happy, dogs do that for all different reasons. If she's anxious I'd avoid the corrector spray it might make it worse!
I'd try an adaptil collar or diffuser. Then I'd work on counter conditioning whatever she is scared of, so for instance I played scary noises that my dog dislikes and feed her treats whilst doing so. Gradually she got to like the noises as it meant treats! Then I phased them out.
I'd also try to make sure she barks as little as possible by management, e.g. covering windows if people passing by sets her off. Barking is vehicle self reinforcing!
I'd also keep going with quiet clicker training.
Agree with pp, if you think some of her barking is caused by anxiety then the spray will just make it worse and you'll end up with a fearful, barking dog instead of just a barking dog.
It's hard, especially when she wakes your baby, but try not to shout at her as this will just encourage her to bark more.
Calm quiet training is the way to go.
I'm very much against chucking pets out when a baby comes, but if the barking is really making your life impossible perhaps letting your ILs have her for a while, if they'd agree, and seeing if they can work on her barking for you might be a good idea. It's a big ask but you say they adore her so you never know.
The pet corrector spray is a bad idea art the best of times but particularly so if there's any chance your dog could be anxious. Using any kind of aversive may appear to "work" in that the barking may decrease but it won't help how she's feeling and you run the risk of her either shutting down or just finding another outlet for how she's feeling.
Kikopup on YouTube has an excellent series of videos about tackling unwanted barking. The first one covers barking at noises in the house and she also has one specifically about barking at the door.
As georgedawes suggests, preventing as many of her barking triggers as possible is a good idea, as is trying something like Adaptil or Zylkene.
Kikopup's Capturing Calmness series may also be helpful in getting her to relax more at home.
Thank you, I'll check out the videos.
I really don't want her to have to spend time else where, we love her so much and she's adapted really well to the baby. I'll try some reinforcement training and watch the videos fir tips x
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