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Please help, why does my pup bark so much now?!(7 Posts)
Hi, my pup is nearly 6 months old. Three weeks ago we found he had an umbilical hernia, it was operated on (and neutered at same time), and we had to keep him confined and with a cone on for a few days.
We couldn't walk him outside for just under a week, and he was out of confinement under supervision as much as possible. We did take him in the garden on the lead in that time.
Since being to go back out for proper walks (with the cone on) he wouldn't stop barking, from the moment we got the the front door and for a good 10 minutes into the walk. It was constant. I'm not exaggerating. We thought after the cone came off he would go back to normal but two weeks on and it's still the same.
It's getting thoroughly depressing to walk him but we're trying 4 times a day to get him used to it and hoping it stops but he's still going!! And he runs, not walks. He doesn't listen to commands on walks now, he won't stop for treats, he doesn't stop if you pick him up, we've found nothing we can distract him with. A tug of the harness or stern voice do nothing for him. Has anyone else had this? I really don't know what to do to help him.
Oh and after 10 minutes or so when he does stop, if he sees another dog or something that catches his eye like a kid on a bike, he starts all over again. We treat and praise when he stops barking.
Have you tried ignoring, I mean when you leave the house if he starts barking just stop, stand still and ignore until he stops, then move again and repeat. You might not get far for a few days but he’ll get the hint eventually if he wants to go a walk.
At his age I wonder if this is not really to do with the op and more to do with adolescence - the timing just being a coincidence. Either way, in all honesty I think your 4x a day approach may have worked against you, not for you.
I suspect the dog is getting 4 chances a day to learn that barking is immediately followed by a walk. By now he probably thinks the barking is what causes the walk to happen...
Buckle up for some fairly boring and repetitive work to break that link.
- Arm yourself with a load of high value treats (cheese, hot dog, chicken, liver)
- Walk to the front door, as if to go for a walk.
- Every step you take that the dog does not bark earns him praise and a treat
- If the dog barks, turn about and go and sit straight back down again; try again after 30 seconds or so of quiet from the dog
- Repeat until you can get out the door and down the street (this may take more than one session so you may not get any great walks done for a while)
- Start to space out the treats and praise to every 2nd step, every 3rd until you feel the habit is gone
I suspect starting the treats in the house before he has a chance to get himself so excited and frustrated he barks will give you a better chance of success.
The tug and stern words won't help, though I totally understand the inclination: the barking is coming from a place of high motion (excitement, nerves) and so adding stressors will just add to it.
Other than that, just consistency and patience and understanding while he grows up. Expect to see signs of your previous impeccable puppy in about another six months or so (breed depending)...
I agree it could be adolescence my previously well behaved pup is an absolute tosser on the lead at the moment and has now decided recall is optional so not getting as much off lead running as he would like meaning more time to be a tosser on lead.
WeAllHaveWings we did think about that but we live in a row of terraced houses and we were worried about the neighbours to be honest, he's a (suspected) Shichon so has a very annoying yappy bark! I've tried when we've gotten around the corner but maybe that's defeated the object a bit and to be honest I don't think I've been probably waited it out long enough. Worth another shot, I'll just have to apologise to the ndn's.
missbattenburg he's completely silent until the door opens, it's bizarre! I'll try the treats before getting out and bring some with me, if we get that far. He's uite food motivated most of the time so it may help. I was just cautious of him thinking the treats were for barking. I only tried the stern words and tug in the last two days, which probably hasn't helped he's been left to bark for the most part until he stops himself, as I thought maybe everything sounded weird when he had the cone so didn't tell him off for it in case he was scared or nervous.
monkeywithacowface I honestly didn't think about it being coincidence with adolescence until it was suggested here. We hadn't even gotten to off lead yet I hope your pup gets back to good recall soon! It's so annoying going back a few steps.
If he's silent until the door opens, do some of MissBattenburg's methods with the door open but not setting foot out of it until he's quiet, then treat and step out one at a time. If you can get him to look at you and maybe even do a sit for his treat, bonus points! It'll be a boring and laborious process but it'll be necessary for the silence.
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