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Struggling with my dog(22 Posts)
I've got a dog who is 14 months who I've had since a puppy. She is a lovely dog but extremely attention seeking and playful. She goes on two proper walks a day (40 mins - an hour), and has lots of five/ten minute breaks throughout the day. She is fed, watered, stroked and played with but sometimes I despair. Her barking is a problem. I've even resorted to using a muzzle sometimes. It's loud and non stop and I live in a flat so recently I'm going to bed at 8pm just so she calms down and because I don't have anything more to give at this point. I love her but sometimes just wish I didn't have her anymore. I can't really see it changing and am at my wit's end. Thanks.
Have you spoken to a vet? They may be able to give you some advice or signpost you to an animal behaviourist or something. You say she’s played with , does she have toys out that she can chew/play with herself. Have you tried something like this to keep her occupied?
www.viovet.co.uk/KONG-Classic-Red-Dog-Toy/c4857/?quick_find=114528&gclid=CjwKCAjwmrn5BRB2EiwAZgL9omi1fREQiYB038Onk3ubdfvgbyoUq5iDSpLKY0GbfhekoEnDqLH04RoCrjMQAvD_BwE If she spends 40 mins getting treats out of a Kong then she won’t be barking.
There are lots of interactive toys you could get.
Does she have things she can just chew?
Please don’t muzzle your dog for barking. Ultimately if she’s too much then you may need to consider rehoming her but hopefully, with some help, you can change her behaviour.
what breed is she? Are the walks off lead so she can properly exercise?
Is she of breed or type that needs to have mind exercised as well as her body? Some dogs are 100% easier to live with if you do stuff with them rather than just taking them out for a walk.
I second PP it may be that she needs mental stimulation too .
Have a look at them puzzles
www.rover.com/blog/uk/puzzle-toys-for-dogs/ for when she is at home. but remember to interact with her when you take her out
My last dog was very energetic so he needed long walks but we also played games and I taught him to assorts of commands basic ones like sit and stay while I walk away , then call him getting him to run to me , then getting him to walk to me and eventually come part way stop and then run / walk . Weaving between poles ( bamboo canes stuck into soft soil ) jumping across gaps ie fallen trees near each other , boulders , across my gate way .
But it all about making it fun , lots of praise and rewards and interaction.
I despair when I see people walking their dogs while continually staring at their phone and paying no attention at all to the dog
You need to reward her when she is not barking. She needs to learn that non barking gets her a reward and barking gets her nothing. Please don’t muzzle her again. She is not a human. She doesn’t understand what that even meant.
Stand in front of her when she is barking. When she stops. Treat and make a fuss. Repeat.
Dogs don’t have the same capacity for understanding as we do. She has no way of knowing that putting that muzzle on her was to stop her from barking. Your thinking she thinks like a human. She isn’t.
What are you feeding her? Once Other factors such as mental stimulation and basic training are addressed (as per previous posters), food can still play a big impact on a dogs wellbeing and behaviour.
Have you thought about getting a decent trainer in?
She's a staffordshire. She does come off lead on both of her main walks. I will speak to the vet, thank u. She has lots of toys but I'll get her some more advanced puzzles too which might encourage her to play on her own. I don't want to re-home her, just sometimes it's a lot more than I thought it would be when I first got her. She's generally ok if it's just me and her; she doesn't like sharing me at all and plays up! Xxx
Feeding her pedigree chum or Webbox plus mixer .
Staffies have boundless energy but so so clever and interactive. I think with the barking, there is advice online, but it might be worth talking to a behaviourist to support you. Theyre very trainable dogs so she will likely get the hang quite quickly.
Dont give up on her yet
I’d get her on to a better quality food for a start .
I was wondering what she was fed on too. Feed can make a big difference.
Keep alternating toys op.. Our dpuppy is 9 months. She bored of stuff easily until I found a chicken flavour nylon bone!! Rope toys get regularly washed in the machine, binned /replaced or given to our other ddogs. She soo wants it then!
Does your ddog like a brush? Very relaxing for ddogs!!
Feeding her pedigree chum or Webbox plus mixer ok, definitely change that! You’re basically feeding her junk food every day and then wondering why she’s hyper.
This is a great website for comparing dog food
But in particular you could try this:
Pooch & Mutt - Complete Dry Dog Food - Calm & Relaxed (Grain Free & 100% Natural) - Turkey & Sweet Potato, 10kg amazon.co.uk/dp/B009P2ZEMI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_gp.lFb2CP4C1G]]
And they have a good high quality wet food if you want that too.
Talk to you get about any good local dog trainers and make an appointment.
Ps just to clarify, webbox is decent quality but pedigree chum is trash. But what mixer do you use?
'Fed, watered, stroked and played with'. You don't mention any training? Some good training classes will improve your relationship.
As others have said, improve the diet and give her a job to do. You don't mention who she's having to 'share' you with but if a regular visitor you could get them involved in her training and care (have them feed her, hold the lead on walks, etc.).
If you’re using a muzzle to stop the barking then it’s clearly on too tight and would be restricting the breathing! Muzzles aren’t meant to stop barking
Mental stimulation. Plenty exercise. Check up at the vets. Brain games, decent diet. Training.
Sorry to be so harsh but it’s not your dog, it’s you.
Tbh, you’d be best looking for a dog trainer - attention seeking is a hard one to crack alone if you’re inexperienced. Not because it’s particularly difficult to retrain, just because you need to be really consistent.
You can stick your postcode in there and find ones near you.
I would start by changing her diet. Poor quality foods like pedigree can make them hyper and can have a huge impact on their behaviour. Look on www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk for some ideas - you can search by protein type, carb type, price etc. and hopefully you'll find a decent quality, affordable food. Brands like Lily's Kitchen, Millie's Wolfheart, Crave and Eukanuba are all good ones to look at.
Secondly, please stop using a muzzle to prevent the barking - it doesn't solve the problem (why she's barking in the first place) and is just a solution that shuts her up for your benefit. Muzzles shouldn't be used to stop a dog barking, anyway - they should be used under supervision and to stop the dogs either biting, or from eating things they shouldn't. A muzzle that stops the dog barking is most likely on too tight and therefore dangerous. You need to train a quiet command - look at Kikopup on YouTube for some ideas. I do sympathise - mine is a barker and it can really grate!
When you take her on walks, what do you do and where do you go? Do you take her to new places so she has lots of new smells? Does she get a chance to play with other dogs at all? Do you incorporate training into walks - things like sit/wait/stay/come?
You sound very overwhelmed but everything you're struggling with can be fixed if you're willing to put the effort in
Do you have a crate for her? Getting her used to some quiet crate time can be good, if you need her to chill out.
Also, what generally triggers the barking?
Is it directed at you, when she wants to play?
I have a 1yr old staffie mix and he does have a loud bark, which he uses when his ball is stuck out of reach, he wants us to play, he wants to walk, or right now, with the hoover.
I find ten minutes of obedience training helps him to focus and stops the barking, I'm also trying to get him to respond to a hush command as he barks a LOT at agility and training classes. It's hit-and-miss, but that's because it is tricky to get in there and pre-empt the behaviour!
Look up some training skills online, and i really recommend a crate for quiet time.
This link has some games to play to help reduce barking and promote a bond with your dog.
This is the last two me I will post with an update. Thank you to everyone who 1. Was helpful, 2. Was kind 3. Did not repeat earlier posts / comments. 4. Was specific; the comment 'Get her on to a better diet for a start' I did not find useful owing to lack of clarity and phrasing. I am changing her diet anyway at the moment since I can kind of tell what she likes by if she is actually eating it or not. My partner is an experienced staffy owner and is doing a lot of training with her now. I bought a food / treat puzzle for her and other toys. The muzzle I haven't (had to) used and intend only as an extreme last resort. Fyi muzzles are advertised rightly or wrongly as anti barking and biting devices. When she has worn it it has no way been too tight in fact I had to tighten it slightly since she kept getting it off. She could still bark but as less likely to as it restricted as opposed to stopped her moving her jaw. Also do not intend on reading any more comments since I don't think there is anything more to be gained. Thank you to the people who bothered to include the links. ❤️