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Need help with barking!

(8 Posts)
FireAndRain45 Tue 07-Aug-18 19:26:18

Hello! Could do with advice as we have a barking issue that needs work ASAP. Baby on the way in late December/early January and at this rate he'll be woken up every 20 minutes by the dog!

My dog, a cavalier, has always been a bit barky. Mainly at the door/other dogs on tv and for attention. We have mastered the attention barking and he doesn't really do that anymore.

However he now barks at almost ANY noise. Any vehicles reversing/beeping, alarms, people shutting car doors, me dropping something on the floor, a dog barking outside the house, etc etc. If someone comes to the door he will bark hysterically.

I think he's really scared by these noises, he goes almost into a trance and I can't get his attention back. It's getting worse all the time!

Any ideas on how to tackle it? He's had a LOT of training both classes and private, for this and other issues, but he's not made a huge improvement in any area. He's a lovely sweet dog but not that bright and not that biddable so it hasn't been very successful.

OP’s posts: |
Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Tue 07-Aug-18 19:34:03

What have you done already with him to stop the barking?

FireAndRain45 Tue 07-Aug-18 19:39:25

We've tried playing noises on YouTube etc and getting him used to it but he somehow knows they aren't real! The trainer advised we treat him as soon as he hears a noise so he starts to turn around eventually and look for the treat before barking. However he is usually in his scared sort of trance by then and often won't take the treat. Plus he will immediately start running around the house so I can't get a treat to him.

She said you can try to calm him down and reassure him, which does work but obviously can't do that every time.

Was also recommended when he's getting particularly barky to put him in his crate to calm down/feel safe but he will still bark at all noises in there so doesn't really work either!

OP’s posts: |
Emma145 Tue 07-Aug-18 19:43:46

Sorry no advice but want to follow as I have similar problem with my pug. He doesn't bark at every noise but does bark everytime a bird flies past the window which seems to happen all day or motorbikes.

I have an 11 week old and luckily he pretty much ignores the dogs barks think he must have just got used to them when I was pregnant so hopefully isn't too much of an issue for yours either

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Tue 07-Aug-18 19:55:53

Ok they are clever things dogs and always seem to know real sounds from recordings smile

The advice you have been given is good but maybe you need to tweak it to make it work for you. The bit about the crate is not good though sad

Options:

1. Concentrate on one noise to start with. eg the door. Can you have him in a room away from the door. Have him on a lead and get someone to gently knock on the door. I guess he will go balistic at this point put a smelly treat near his nose and then just drop it on the floor, say nothing do nothing. He may when the noise stops then pick up the treat. Keep doing this until he is able to concentrate on the treat or only barks a bit before looking for the treat.

If you could set up short sessions of this maybe one or two door knocks three times a day it would be better than a longer session

At the moment if you an bare it ignore all other barking. Just ignore or shut the noise out or if possible stop him hearing it eg change channel, put on music to disguise the noise - I realise this is not always possible.

Over time he will get used to seeing the treat when noise happens so the hardest one to train will be the first noise, once he stops barking but looks for the treat you can then start on a new noise.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Tue 07-Aug-18 19:56:40

Oh meant to say forget any advice people may give on teaching him to bark on command - it will not stop him barking when he wants to.

FireAndRain45 Wed 08-Aug-18 19:26:33

Thank you for the advice! Very helpful. Tried the door thing today, with chicken...he barked, ate the chicken, and started barking again, even after the noise had stopped. We tried again and it was the same thing, bark, stopped for a second, ate the chicken, went straight back to barking, chicken, barking, etc. How long should he keep the chicken going for?

OP’s posts: |
Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Wed 08-Aug-18 19:33:22

That is what I would expect to start with. I would reward with chicken a few times and then maybe walk away and if he follows you then give more chicken - this tends to break the cycle.

Do be prepared for this to take a while - he has been self rewarding for barking for a bit and it can take a little while to break the cycle.

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