Barking with excitement and joy - How to Stop

(10 Posts)
Nettleskeins Sat 01-Jun-19 21:51:29

Dog is 7 months, poodle bichon cross. Suddenly he has started barking as a form of excited greeting to all sorts of things - new male person he hasn't yet been introduced to but would like to play with (lots of tail wagging) dog next door he likes, cat he likes.

He also barks when he is concerned about something..a mouse in the kitchen, a noise in next door's garden, fox jumping over the fence.

Is this hormones? Or can training help? I usually do a quiet with treats or a recall with treats and take him away from thing he is barking at (if in garden) as a form of ignoring I suppose - so I show no interest in the thing he is excited or worried by.

It is a new thing. He used to bark at the cat before but not really anyone or anything else.

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ChicCroissant Sat 01-Jun-19 21:58:21

So the dog gets a treat for barking? Are you sure the dog associates the treat with the quiet command?

Nettleskeins Sat 01-Jun-19 22:20:15

He only gets the treat for coming away from the thing he is barking at, there is quite a big gap in time. I'm not treating him whilst he is barking. The "quiet" command is a difficult one, I will admit. Because as you say, the barking is associated in their mind with the quiet word.

I think I read somewhere you have to train a dog to bark on command in order to stop it barking on command. But I'm not sure if that will make things worse!!!

Really I am wondering what the dog is trying to tell me when he is barking. What response does he want from me? Acknowledgement, positive reinforcement that threat is not a threat? Or maybe it is about desensitising him? Which is why I wondering whether just plain ignoring and redirecting might be the best course, rather than "Quiet".

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Fucksandflowers Sat 01-Jun-19 22:55:19

I have always wondered about the ‘quiet’ command, will some dogs deliberately start barking in order to be told ‘quiet’ in order to get the treat in the same way that some dogs learn to deliberately jump on the sofa to be told ‘off’ and receive their reward...

Personally, I don’t think I would use treats at all and would opt to immediately take him inside from the garden whenever he barks and ignore any frustration/attention/greeting barking only offering attention after a few seconds of quiet.

Fucksandflowers Sat 01-Jun-19 22:58:10

Also,

new male person he hasn't yet been introduced to but would like to play with (lots of tail wagging)

The tail wag is a sign of arousal, nothing more.
It does not indicate friendliness.

It is possible, that what you are seeing is quite the opposite and the dog is actually fearful or territorial of the new man.

Nettleskeins Sat 01-Jun-19 23:24:42

That's interesting..I always thought the tail wagging was a sign of friendliness, and yes without that I would have assumed he was in facct a bit fearful of the new person ( a new friend of my son's and only 15 but really tall and hefty) because the barking at people is not normal for him. Obviously my fault, I should have introduced them in a more gradual way, as it was he just came into the kitchen and dog was startled.

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Nettleskeins Sat 01-Jun-19 23:30:33

well the t'internet suggests redirecting, like training them to go to their bed with treats or playing with a nice toy when barking, to distract them from the barking behaviour/reaction. Not as a reward for barking, but as a way of immediately replacing the barking response with a different set of emotions, ie comfort and security, or stimulation.

So will try that.

Thanks for the tail info!! It is frightening what you find you don't know.

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Girlintheframe Sun 02-Jun-19 05:39:09

Our pup barks a lot when someone new comes into the house. We've been dealing with it by getting visitors to completely ignore him. When he is quiet (even for a second) we give him a treat. He is learning that quietness equals a reward and things have improved a lot. Visitors completely ignore him until he approaches them.

OverFedStanley Sun 02-Jun-19 08:40:41

Waste of time teaching a bark on command and they a quiet - what happens if you are not there dog still barks and still gets into the same emotional state that makes them want to bark.

The age of your puppy is in a fear stage so it may just be that life has got a whole lot more scary for a bit and things will settle down.

I feel the barking you describe is emotional so either fear or arousal, uncertainty.

I would continue to do what you are doing so move away from the source of the barking ask for another behaviour eg sit or down and reward.

Also try and prevent the barking in the first place (this will not always be possible ef fox jumping over fence!) but on greeting new people keep the distance and do not expect interactions with your dog

Nettleskeins Sun 02-Jun-19 10:17:16

Thanks Stanley in fact that is what I was wondering...whether it was the stage in life. Will work on reassuring BY redirecting and not overdoing the scary situations without forethought/planning.

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