Please help, my dog does not stop barking

(14 Posts)
beeefcake Mon 27-Aug-18 10:52:47

My 1 year old pug barks constantly at everything and anything. I can't watch tv because she will bark at absolutely every noise and will bark even if someone walks past the house.

She has started barking in the middle of the night at the slightest noise and it's starting to set my older one off as well.

Trying to distract her does not seem to work at all and I'm at my wits end. As I write this she is sitting here growling because he neighbours have opened their gate.

Does anyone have any advice at all??

OP’s posts: |
Singlenotsingle Mon 27-Aug-18 11:00:59

My dog's a bit like that, especially if children come to the house. She hates children. There was a thread on here like this a few days ago. People were talking about anti bark collars - some are cruel and some aren't. .Maybe there's some training you can get. See if you can find the thread, or maybe see what the vet says

LEMtheoriginal Mon 27-Aug-18 11:04:02

Several avenues to go down i think.

Firstly - is this behaviour new? My jrt has always been a barky bastard - during the day when one or other of the family is out. Any noise sets him off - its separation anxiety. He is on high alert. He is also losing his sight which is making it worse.

So is your dog anxious? Unwell in some way? Maybe a visit to the vets to rule out illness.

If there is anxiety there are treatments/things that can be used to help. Adaptil collars and plug ins release calming pheramones which are very effective in SOME cases.

If its not anxiety then he needs to be trained out of what has become a habit. Thete are collars available that release citronella spray when the dog barks and they dont like it. Again this works really well in some cases. These collars are expensive but your vet may have one to loan you and you just pay for the refils. This is not quite so popular method now and any anxiety as a cause would only be made wirse by the collar so you need to rule that out first.

My jrt drives me crazy when im home alone with him so i feel your pain.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Mon 27-Aug-18 11:55:50

Do not use the citronella collars Also at last they are being banned in England hopefully going through parliament next week.

I agree if new behaviour to see the vet for a check.

The problem with barking is that it is great fun. Dogs realise loads of endorphins when they bark and it makes them feel good so stopping barking is hard BUT not impossible smile

If I were to come to you for a behavioural consult I would aks loads of questions re livestyle daily routine exercise chill time etc as sometimes it is the whole habitat rather than one singe thing that encourages the barking.

However in the short term I would look at increasing calm exercise, lots of sniffing on the walks.

I would create a food trail for feeding, so if you feed kibble drop it in a long line in the garden for her to sniff and find(It is knackering and also realises similar endorphins to the barking)

I would increase if possible activites like grooming, if she likes it, gentle activities that will calm her down generally but also keep her occupied.

This on it own will not stop the barking but will hopefully help to keep her busy, give her the endorphin buzz without barking.

Now barking is not her only way of feeling good.

When she does bark I would say nothing ( It is sooooo hard not to bellow at her to tell her to be quiet!) but drop a treat near her. You are NOT rewarding the barking you are giving her an alternative behaviour which is to sniff on the ground. Do this if possible every time she barks (not in the night obviously) and very quickly she will pause before she barks as she is looking for the treat.

If this does not work eg she carries on barking and does not go for the treat let me know and we can do Plan b!

Good Luck!

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Mon 27-Aug-18 11:56:29

God my typing release = not realise! need to use glasses when using phone!!!!!

beeefcake Mon 27-Aug-18 12:05:43

Thank you for the helpful suggestions I will give them a try. She has always been like this since she "found" her bark as a young puppy. Someone walking past the house just sneezed and she went mad.

She also barks like crazy if someone she doesn't recognise comes round. This was really embarrassing when I had a man round the other day to take measurements for our shutters- we literally could not hear each other speak.

Other than this she is the most lovable and gentle little thing

OP’s posts: |
Chimpd0g Mon 27-Aug-18 12:10:15

When you say she found her voice, how old was she? Praying that my hardly ever barking pup will never find hers - she's a schnauzer! Dogs bark at the back and she's listens but doesn't reply..

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EachPeachPearRum Mon 27-Aug-18 12:19:45

I can't see how giving her a treat every time she barks isn't going to reinforce the barking.

I agree with giving her lots of mental stimulus like treat trails, hide and go seek etc. With one dog teaching him to bark or "speak" on command helped. We rewarded with a treat for "speak" but then also taught "quiet". So it became a game that accomplished teaching the command "quiet". Getting her t bark will be easy then say "quiet". Soon as she even has a one second pause give the treat. Then start to demand a longer and longer pause to get the treat.

Teach her to greet people. Set it up so when people come to the door you tell her "quiet" once you've taught it. Then "say hello" which means getting her to politely go over to the visitor and they give her treats.

Flapdoodles Mon 27-Aug-18 12:29:51

My dog barks a lot too but it is mostly when we are out - if one of us goes into a shop and she is left outside (with the rest of the family) she barks, if we stop on a walk to talk to someone she barks and she barks at us in the house - it's almost like she is telling us off! It is really annoying and I am starting to consider not taking her places with us where we go as a family because her constant barking ruins it. However should someone come to the house or walk past, she doesn't make a sound.

We have had dogs before and this has never happened - sorry for the hijack op but does anyone have any suggestions?

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Mon 27-Aug-18 12:37:52

EachPeachPearRum distracting the dog with a treat when barking is fab - research counter conditioning - science based training that has been successful for decades smile

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 27-Aug-18 12:43:44

I'm another one who will warn against using anti bark / shock / citronella / vibrating collars of any description. Thankfully they're soon going to be made illegal www.gov.uk/government/news/cruel-electric-shock-collars-for-pets-to-be-banned--2

Rescue DDog came with a vibrating anti bark collar. I was always surprised at how little he barked, given his breed. However, he also came with a whole host of anxiety based behavioural problems - far worse than any barking would have been! Basically I suspect that he was too scared to bark - which is pretty sad really. As his underlying anxiety has improved, the behavioural problems have faded but he's started barking more. I'd much sooner have a barky dog that can cope with everyday life.

MasonJar Mon 27-Aug-18 12:52:52

Distracting with a treat worked for my rescue GSD, he used to bark at everything when I first got him. I used to ask him to sit first, then give the treat.
He caught on quickly, if he heard a noise would sit and look at me expectantly. I gradually phased the treats out and just told him he was a good boy. 2 years later he still sometimes looks at me, or comes to find me if there's a strange noise, hardly ever barks at things now.
Letting him sleep in our bedroom stopped the night barking.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Mon 27-Aug-18 13:11:14

The thing about giving the dog a treat when he barks works on several counts.

We don't always know what makes the dog bark so by the time it has barked and we tell it to stop it has already got emotional and it it much harder to stop barking and also the trigger still makes the dog bark

So

If we disgtract the dog with a treat when the dog hears whatever it is that caused it to bark (ofte we will not hear it!) it soon will hear the sound, look for the treat and not bark. The treat is giving it the endorphin release instead of the need to bark.

Veterinari Mon 27-Aug-18 17:11:29

It’s likely the barking has been inadvertently reinforced with eye contact or you ‘joining in’ by shouting to quiet the dog - from the dog’s point of view yelling just reinforces the noise-making behaviour. How often do you reward calm quiet behaviour? It’s always interesting that we expect our dogs to be calm and quiet yet hardly ever reinforce this (we tend to ignore them when lying quietly) and yet we shout and give lots of eye contact for unwanted behaviours and so inadvertently reinforce them.

Now the barking behaviour has been learned, it has to be unlearned. Whenever your dog displays a behaviour you don’t want you have to replace it with a different behaviour. Exactly like in the example above train her to sit and reinforce this heavily instead of bark. You can also teach her to bark and stop on command, and be sure to praise heavily when calm and quiet - you can train calm on cue.

Avoid citronella collars - they seem more humane from a human-perspective but from a dog’s point of view the reason that they work is that they are just as punishing and therefore distressing as electric shocks

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