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Thread: barking and barking and barking

  1. #1
    Supporter kalynraye's Avatar
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    barking and barking and barking

    As the title says barking boys. The almost the entire time we have had the boys they have lived in an apartment with little access to other people or dogs. Occasionally seeing them when on the balcony but for the most part little access. When living with the in laws they lived out in the country and we had a dog on either side that they would occasionally bark at and socialize with but now we live in a city, in a house across the street from a high school. I have a big front door that has a glass screen door on it and I like to leave it open for the natural light, and a patio on the second floor in the back that also stays open so they can go outside. Well we have tons of foot traffic out front and even more coming soon with school starting(the marching band also marches on the street in front of the house) they bark and bark and bark at every person or dog that walks by. They bark at the mailman you name it they are barking, and they don't listen when I get on to them about it. I want to be able to leave the door open so I can have light, and not worry about them freaking out every time someone walks/runs by. Suggestions?

    P.s. they do fine in outdoor social settings. Dog parks are fine, walks are fine, just in the house we have problems.
    "If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." -- Sirius Black

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    Silver Member anubisa's Avatar
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    Re: barking and barking and barking

    Hmmm...I have three Yorkshire Terriors. Two of them bark when they hear noises and see people. The other is losing her hearing and is going blind unfortunately. We don't stop them simply because they shut up eventually and it hasn't affected anyone (unless it's in the morning). I would try a treat approach. Maybe tell them 'no' when they are barking at the people passing and when they stop, give them a treat. If they don't stop, ask your local vet. He or she may know a way. Hope everything gets better.
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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: barking and barking and barking

    Our lexi is a warning barker. Warning, pizza man is here! Bark. Warning...someone is at the door.....bark. So I started just 'introducing' her to as many people as possible. I'm like here, this is the person you keep barking at. Meet. Smell. Rub belly. Now stahp!

    It seems to work with our repeat visitors. Maybe introduce them to the repeaters passing by? Can't hurt.
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: barking and barking and barking

    Two things...

    1) Block their visual access. Put some coverings over the bottom half of the door, so that the natural light is still coming through but their line of sight is blocked.

    2) Teach them an acceptable alternative. Usually this is something like 'bark once then go to my mat' or 'bark once then go get my toy'. Every time they start barking, ask them to go to their mat then reward them when they do. Eventually they get it. You can also teach them to bark on command (just say 'speak' when they bark) then teach them 'quiet' (say follow 'speak' up with 'quiet' when they have stopped their bark'). This is REALLY helpful as it helps you gain control of the barking and gets them in the habit of seeing barking as another command like sit/stay/come whatever.

    Don't bother yelling at them when they bark... it actually encourages reactive barkers because all of a sudden you are joining in! Stay calm, speak in a quiet voice and give them cues that they know. It can help to have someone come and help you practice, so that you can start them off with a really low-frequency trigger first. Have them walk past the door and when the dogs get up to react, ask them to go to their mat (or whatever cue it is that you're using) and reward them.

    If that doesn't work after a few weeks that pop back in and I'll go through counter-conditioning and desensitisation... but this is a good place to start and works with most dogs who aren't reactive due to anxiety (just reactiveness).

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