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Help with barking(26 Posts)
IV a 10 month old golden retriever who barks at home and it's usually from about 830pm onwards, he seems to have gotten worse due to the dark nights. He tends to bark when looking out of the windows, like when lights go on or people walking past. He doesn't bark on walks or much during the day and never barks in his crate, it's just when something spooks him outside and its when we are home, not when he's on his own.
Any tips or advice on how to help stop him barking would be much appreciated as once he starts, he forgets to stop.
As it's that he's looking at something outside, do you have curtains you can close?
If not consider adding some window film - it's like stick on frosted glass.
I should have said that it's also when he hears things outside. Yes we have curtains that are closed, but when he hears something outside he runs to the window and sticks his head out through the curtain and barks and growls. The patio doors in the kitchen are the worst, so we remove him from there in to the living room, but he just keeps barking.
I would get some of the opaque window film and stick it on the patio doors so he isn't spooked by the reflections etc at that time of the night when it's dark outside. You can get film that is put on with water and you just peel off when you don't want it so there is no mess.
When mine barks at noises outside I just say in a calm manner 'thank you' and pat him because he has done his 'job' at alerting me to a possible issue but we don't make a big thing of it so he tends to stop. If he doesn't stop I do what you do which is distract or remove him briefly until he has forgotten about it.
I feel for your neighbours. I live in the middle of a triangle of barking dogs and sometimes I feel like I’m going slowly insane.
Get a pet therapist (dog whisperer) for the sanity of your neighbours.
Dogs bark though - it's how they communicate! They talk to each other, warn us of danger and in a lot of dogs, they bark to say they need letting out to the toilet as well.
Some breeds are noisier than others - we have a beagle and my God is he loud when he wants to be. He barks at the cats and at other dogs barking - but we have a Jack Russell next door who barks at every single person who walks past, therefore setting off all the other dogs in the street!
It is frustrating but barking is what dogs do. Anti-bark collars and such are thankfully becoming illegal though!
@adaline that sounds like my street. At one time I had four children in my house and wouldn’t let their “communication” disturb the whole street.
I used to love dogs but when I can’t sleep at night because of the domino effect I feel like I’m going out of my mind. I had my own dog and I regularly dog-sit and I do NOT believe that dogs bark all the time.
Our neighbours aren't close and my dog barking in my lounge if someone walks by interferes with no one except us as I have been outside and can see but not hear him bark. The OP doesn't mention their setup so lots of assumptions here that neighbours are being affected when we don't actually know whether that is the case.
I would, before the evenings get any colder, be going out at dusk into the garden with him with lots of tiny tasty treats. Dog on longish lead, dropping treats to him as people pass, lights come on etc. Talk in a cheerful reassuring voice and an aah aah if he breaks focus on you and starts to bark. Move further away from whatever is making him bark, get his focus back on you with the dropping of treats and then slowly, over the next few nights move closer again to the triggers.
Sorry, posted too soon. Hopefully making him more comfortable with the sounds and movements of outside will stop him worrying about them inside. Once he has got the idea of I don’t need to bark at people passing by and is looking to you for his treat, you could introduce a command word like quiet.
Girlsallgrowdup: thanks for those tips, I will give that a go and then introduce the word quiet, as I have read that is something to do.
With regards to my neighbours, I stay in a detached house and his barking doesn't affect them, plus ALL my neighbours have dogs.
I appreciate that dogs bark to communicate and whilst I don't mind him barking, any tips on trying to get him calm again is what I was looking for.
Thanks everyone for your replies and tips and I'll certainly be giving them a go, he's our first dog so everyday we learn/experience something new with him.
No they shouldn't bark all the time, of course they shouldn't @strawberrisc
We do everything we can to stop ours but generally he only barks at other dogs barking - which is really frustrating as there's nothing we can do about other people's dogs!
With Battendog, I just gave him something nice every time someone barked or made a noise outside the house. I also used the Dogs Trust socialisation sounds quite a lot when he was younger so think that helped.
As a result (presumably), he doesn't react to other dogs barking - which is a relief as there are many round here that go off any time ay or night.
OP, it might be worth looking up the DT sounds because they provide an opportunity to play them at low volume (low enough it doesn't trigger a reaction in your dog) and partner them with something nice, like a treat. Repeated often enough you should slowly be able to increase the volume until they are quite loud - over several sessions and provided they don't trigger a reaction. The idea is that your dog gets a chance to relearn that sounds like that are not something to worry about and can mean something good (like a treat).
I have also found being deliberately jovial about noises also helps some dogs - literally giggling and speaking in joyful happy voice to them rather than the worried/stern "quiet" that it so tempting to use.
Missbattenberg: thanks for your advice, I'll give that a go. He sometimes barks when other dogs bark, but he's generally not to bad, he was worse for barking back at them when he was younger, but if he started to bark when he was outside, he was taken indoors straight away to calm down, which seems to have worked for him.
Our young dog’s barking was a bad problem and we had tried everything. I concluded that there is no way to train a dog out of the habit, or the discoverer would be world-famous.
In despair I bought an anti- barking collar. It doesn’t shock the dog, it beeps and has worked wonderfully so far. Our dog can go out into the garden without barking and being called back in immediately.
Yes, it’s a physical restraint (very out of fashion) but so is the lead every dog has to keep him safe.
We have a rescue I tried to teach stop aka Victoria Stillwell style but alas she is never just milling around for us to teach her stop = treat! She isn't the brightest!
See if you can look up VS teaching it she made it very straightforward with arm signal too.
Ours don't bark inappropriately, but sometimes when they get excited they howl... We keep a pot of kibble handy, and sprinkle a handful on the hard floor. This distracts them from the howling (the noise of the scatter helps), but because it's on the floor, not from me, they don't connect it as a reward for the howling (if that makes sense?).
Please don't get a bark collar. They can be triggered by all sorts of noise and as a result can make an already fearful dog even more anxious.
Dogs bark for a reason - fear, excitement, communication, boredom - if your dog barks out of fear and you put a device on its neck that emits a
scary sound at random (because they're not just triggered by barks) you could end up with a dog that's a nervous wreck and scared of the most innocuous things.
I will have a look at Victoria Stillwell, IV watched many it's me or the dog programs
He started to bark earlier on at something (not a clue what) and I distracted him with very happy cheery actions and got a toy to play with him and he stopped! Success!
Will he hold a toy? When mines starts incessant barking, I toss him a ball, it distracts him, and also acts like a dummy, as he can’t bark and hold his ball at the same time!
Our anti bark collar beeps at the third bark then vibrates if dog continues barking. It doesn’t react to any other noise. Our dog looks surprised at the beep but is not scared.
He didn’t need a reason to bark, any noise, any movement would set him off. I tried every training method on the web and none had any effect. The collar works and dog doesn’t at all mind me putting it on him, which is only when he goes out into the garden.
They're being banned soon anyway @almondsareforevermor