Dog Barking!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Botty110, Aug 7, 2011.


  1. Botty110

    Botty110 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    We have a 6 year old male west highland white terrier who is always barking in the garden and in the house. The thing is he doesnt just bark when he hears a loud noise or something but he barks all the time when there is nothing there!
    Anything we can do??
    Thanks
     
  2. Sammy123

    Sammy123 PetForums Senior

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    Hey Botty110...I am just trying to find some information on that as well..Our Bella is a big barker too! The lady that looks after her when we are at work recommended spray collar and she said she is using it herself. I am not too keen on this method but would like to hear from others as well. Search engine on PF doesn't seem to bring anything up. :confused:

    What I am doing so far is treating her when she is quiet, saying, Good Girl Quiet and also asking her to be quiet when she barks. Sometimes it works. However, when she decides to bark it seems like nothing can stop her, not even a sausage! She mostly does it when excited or when she sees another dog. She doesn't do it when in the garden though.

    I hope someone will be around to give us some advice.

    I heard it is good to teach them to bark on command first and then to be quiet on command. However, I am not sure how effective this method is with dogs that are known ''barkers''. :huh:
     
  3. Sammy123

    Sammy123 PetForums Senior

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    Is there really no one who could offer some good advice? :confused:
    This thread has been on for a couple of days now.. ;)
    Come on kind, knowledgeable people! :D I am sure there are/were barkers around!
     
  4. Botty110

    Botty110 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Sammy123... thanks for your reply, we used a spray collar with our dog but it just made him worst as the spray scared him and made him more aggitated which meant he barked more.

    Hope there is someone out there with a source of information :confused:
     
  5. bewitched

    bewitched PetForums VIP

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    Wish I could offer some advice, hopefully someone will be able to help. Didn't want to read and run. Good luck.
     
  6. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Well I can tell you what I do with my 1 year old Westie - not sure if it's 'right' or not but it mostly works.

    If she's just doing 'normal' barking I call her to me and tell her to go on her bed and stay, and then treat when she does. Most of the time this works really well. Sometimes just a 'Kenzie quiet' will do as well, rewarding when she is quiet. I will also often go and 'see' what she is barking at so she registers that I'm aware of the 'danger'.

    If she is going mental barking I actually go and get her (I pick her up but I guess with a bigger dog you could just get them by the collar) and take her into another room and get her attention on me to stop the barking. I think some people say this isn't the best way as it rewards them by removing them from the stressful thing, but it works for me.

    I should say that I get her have a bark or two first, I don't jump on her every time she makes a little noise, only when it's excessive.

    The problem with barking is it can be self-rewarding - they bark at the people going past and the people go away.

    I've heard about putting the bark on a cue but haven't gone down this path myself.

    I personally wouldn't use a spray collar or aversion products like that.

    I don't know if this helps at all. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along soon :)
     
  7. Sammy123

    Sammy123 PetForums Senior

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    I am so delighted that there is no other dog owners that have/had the same problem.. :rolleyes: :p
     
  8. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I just did a title search for barking and came up with 15 pages so maybe try doing that first. Sometimes people get sick of answering the same questions over and over again.
     
  9. Sammy123

    Sammy123 PetForums Senior

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    Hey, I don't know whether I am blind or not but I can't find any threads open on Barking yet :eek: :)

    Never mind, I just bought a shock collar for Bela so hopefully this will help!
     
  10. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    If you go to 'Search' on the top bar and choose 'Advanced Search' and search for 'Barking' under titles only it will give you lots of threads that have the word barking in the title.

    Are you serious about a shock collar? I hope not - this is not something that I nor most other people would recommend!!!
     
  11. CarolineH

    CarolineH PetForums VIP

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    Sammy, is yours a Samoyed? If so then you will have known when you bought her that Samoyeds are prone to be 'barky'? :eek: By 'shock collar' do you mean the type that sprays or the type that electrocutes? If it is the latter then I suggest you put it round your own neck and have someone zap you. :eek: Then you will see why so many are against those. That's all I am saying on that score as discussion about them is really not allowed on PetForums any more.:cool: If you mean the spray type please do bear in mind that it only masks the behaviour (and normally for so long!) It does not 'cure' it as the dog will still bark when not wearing it - so it has learned nothing in effect.:huh:

    Ok, now let's look at yours and Botty110's dog problems 'holistically'. In other words, get to the root of the problem instead of just trying to control the symptom. Dog barks, gets attention, barks more! Owner gets het up, shouts at dog, dog assumes they are joining in and getting excited too so barks more! Owner tries to bribe dog into being quiet, gets the timing wrong and dog barks more! Barking is fun, it is exciting and it is something to do! It also gets the dog attention! What you are doing Sammy is halfway right but as you have found it does not always work! So, what you both need to do is to teach your dogs to bark on command! Yes, that's right! On command! :eek:hmy:

    Clicker training can be used to do this or you can use simple 'reward for response'. :) From now on, no more shouting, telling off or punishing. You will be rewarding good behaviour and totally ignoring the not so good. ;) I have actually only ever done this with the Reward For Response method so I shall detail it simply here.

    Titbits secreted in hand, dog nearby, say 'Speak' in a happy but steady tone of voice. Get dog a bit excited if you need to and if he so much as makes a murmur, REWARD! Do this a few more times but DO NOT reward if you have not said 'Speak' first! Then, using a calmer, clear tone say 'Be quiet'. If dog barks etc, ignore it and repeat the command if neccessary. (But don't start saying 'Be, quiet, be quiet, be quiet' etc. 'Be quiet' on it's own will do, only uttering it again if neccessary. AS SOON AS dog shuts up, REWARD! Repeat several more times then ask dog to 'Speak' again and reward for speaking. Remember if dog 'speaks' without the command, he gets nothing. (Do not say 'No!' - just ignore and carry on. Practice several times a day and then practice randomly too, especially when dog is being a nuisance with barking.:)

    Oh and I have 5 dogs. Imagine if mine all barked as much as they felt like! The above works so give it a go. Not for a couple of days either - commit yourselves to several weeks, even months of several 10 minute sessions daily and lots of nice rewards like tiny bits of ham, cheese, cooked liver, pepperami, whatever gets your dogs tastebuds screaming! Also remember that rewards can be toys, play, games, tummy tickles or whatever the dog really loves to do or play with!

    I have explained how I do it as best I can but there are also other things you can do. Educate yourselves with a book or two - Dog Training / Behaviour Books - Cross Keys Books If you start taking more interest in educating and amusing your dog you will find that you will develop a stronger bond. That normally results in a dog who is much more likely to do behaviour that pleases you rather than just do behaviour which pleases him! ;)

    With yours Botty110, he is six years old and this habit will be quite ingrained if he has got away with it all his life. But you can still manage the behaviour better if you put some time and commitment into it. With proper dog training and behaviour modification there are no quick fixes, unlike the magic of TV. :eek: It takes time, effort and patience along with praise and rewards in the right places. Owners of excitable dogs invariably make them worse by shouting and getting irritated - the dogs just think they are joining in! Then the owners just want to paper over the cracks (quick fix) instead of changing their own behaviour and learning how to effectively retrain their dogs. :rolleyes: The fact that you have both come on here to ask for help shows that you want change so I hope the above all helps.:wink:
     
  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife PetForums VIP

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    http://tinyurl.com/3g6jrgm

    the link is to a Search of PF-uk for the term "nuisance barking".


    nuisance means the dog barks too long, or at the wrong stimulus, or at the wrong time.
    anything over 5-mins is pushing the tolerance of listeners; barking at the next door neighbor for getting into the car
    to leave for work is excessive sensitivity, IMO. Barking WITHOUT a dam* good reason anytime after 10-pm during
    the work-week [M-F] is also excessive, & barking from 11-PM to 6-AM is especially rude.

    YES - teaching 'Speak' & then teaching 'Hush' help.
    whisper when U ask the dog to hush. Despite barking, dogs can hear U.
    Yelling or even raising Ur voice are counter-productive - louder volume from U encourages the dog to be louder.
     
  13. Sammy123

    Sammy123 PetForums Senior

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    Thanks for help McKenzie, I never knew how to properly use the search engine and wasn’t aware of advanced search at all! So, thank you for that.

    In regards to the shock collar, no, I wasn’t serious; it was attention seeking. And, it worked!! :D



    Thank you CarolineH, thanks a lot for a long post. Bella is a Samoyed and as I said above, I’ve mentioned the shock collar in the post so that I made You posting. :eek: I am mean, I know. :devil: I do know that Samoyeds are barkers and I don’t mind it AT ALL! It is just the excitement barking which I want to control. Sometimes it can go on for longer than 5 minutes. It is more that others in the park get annoyed rather than me. :) So again, thanks!

    And leashedForLife, you are a star anyway! :wink:

    Botty110, lets go and do it! :)
     
  14. CarolineH

    CarolineH PetForums VIP

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    You're very welcome. :)
     
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