My dog barks at everything Help!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Stuart123, Jul 1, 2010.


  1. Stuart123

    Stuart123 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everybody, We currently have a 3 years old shih tzu named muffin we got him from a dog shelter it took him a while to settle in but now hes very calm and relaxed HOWEVER ! my mum and dad allow him to constantly go on the window he barks at basically anything that walks past even little old ladies! he has problems stopping and does not listen to anything anyone says ive even tried loud noises like banging pan lids together and getting no response. I have to literally lift him off the ledge to stop him he dosnt bite or anything its just really troublesome to get him to stop, aside from that he also has very big discipline problems when taken for a walk aggresively barks at most dogs while on his lead and gets to the point of where he starts choking himself to get to the dog its pretty bad. does anyone have any training advice for this im pretty much in the dark here, my mum and dad dont really seem to do anything they treat him like a human... thanks
     
  2. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    11,639
    Likes Received:
    1,856
  3. hutch6

    hutch6 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,078
    Likes Received:
    350
    Is it a window ledge that the dog gets onto?

    How does it get onto the window ledge? Does it jump up or climb up?
     
  4. Stuart123

    Stuart123 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Its a bit of both , there is a table in front of the window ledge that he jumps onto first to get onto the ledge. ive put the idea forward to remove the table all together so that he cant go onto to window ledge at all but nobody listens lol. And thanks Cleo ill give it a shot interesting way of training will try it :)
     
  5. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    I hope it works for you!

    If your dog is still mainly untrained, you may need to let him trail a long lead at first so you can 'help' him come away from the window.

    When we did our first round of bark training when Jessie was young, my walking over to her at the window was sufficient to break the barking for a second and I quickly rewarded in that pause and gave the cue "Enough". If she started to bark again, which she did at first, she got an AH AH! and then reward again for the pause in barking with the word Enough.

    It's difficult at first if the dog is allowed to practice the window barking when you're not home, so you may need to block off access to the rooms with front windows in the beginning to help break the habit and to deny the opportunity for rewarding himself for window barking. (When the people, dogs- whatever- move past your house, he thinks he's scared them away with his fierce bark, so it's a self-rewarding behavior). You want him to only be rewarded for quiet behavior, for being distractable (as in moving away from the window, looking at you and following your commands), and to associate seeing things at the window with something fun and rewarding from you if he's quiet.

    In our first rounds of window training we also varied the games we played. Sometimes it was fetch, tug, etc. Sometimes I just called her to me and ran through basic obedience commands and rewarded for those. So you can get creative with your distractions and rewards-as long as the dog is learning that he gets more satisfying rewards for being quiet and paying attention to you than he does for barking, any reward or distraction will work. Rotating the distraction/reward can help to make him think it's worth his while to comply with your direction.

    Because our recent problem with the neighbor's dog was so much worse than our early window barking problem, I primarily used the Find It game as that is far and away Jessie's favorite game. I needed a very high-value reinforcer to get and keep her attention on me instead of the neighbor dog out the window.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
    #5 JessiesGirl, Jul 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  6. Stuart123

    Stuart123 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds perfect to me jess ! thankyou very much i shall try that for a bit and see how it goes will most likely message back on here if anything changes.
     
  7. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    Stuart,

    Re-reading your original post, it sounds as though you have a generally reactive dog. I do too! A shelter mix that is highly reactive.

    Have you ever heard of Karen Overall's Protocol For Relaxation? I've used this program with great success with my own and other reactive dogs. My own dog would have been PTS without this Protocol.

    It was developed by a US veterinary behaviorist from UPENN, the best veterinary hospital in the US.

    Let me know if you need a link to it! It's a very simple training regime that you do yourself at home. While it IS simple, it is very time-consuming.(Once you are really deep into the program, you'll be doing a half hour per day, every day.) But it's very effective. In essence, you are teaching your dog to calm himself and look to you for direction when he gets too wound up for any reason. If you stick with it, you WILL see results.

    If this is an unknown training scheme in the UK, I'll happily post it here for you all.
     
  8. Dans Mum

    Dans Mum PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    2
    Jessiesgirl, could you post details please? Sounds like it would work a treat for my (very) anxious and reactive border collie.

    Thanks! :thumbup:
     
  9. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    Sure! Let me go search for a link for the details directly from Ms. Overall!

    But essentially, you are training a long series of sit/stays or down/stays with ever-increasing levels of distraction. The dog is only rewarded when he is truly calm and looking at you. This is why it is simple to do at home, and also why it is time-consuming! We can all do a sit/stay or down/stay (I hope!) but over time, you will be taxing your brain to add new distractions and demand longer times in those states.

    Off to find you a link!

    I began this Protocol because my dog is dog aggressive. She is now able to ignore dogs on lead and if an unleashed dog runs up to her, she sits and looks to me for help! It's helped with so many issues that I never anticipated--from thunder phobia to noise sensitivity. Priceless!
     
    #9 JessiesGirl, Jul 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  10. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    Here is a very good link from a dog blogger who also used the Protocol. She recounts her experience and provides links to the Original Protocol. (I got it from my vet in hard copy after my dog's first aggressive incident, so I didn't have a ready link for you guys!)She adapted the Protocol into mp3 files she could use in training her dog so she didn't have to keep stopping to read the training pamphlet.

    Champion of My Heart » Relaxation Protocol MP3 Files


    Here's the direct link to the Protocol: http://championofmyheart.com/wp-con...Protocol-for-Relaxation-by-Karen-Overall1.doc

    And oddly enough, her dog looks just like Jessie! LOL Dan's Mum, her dog is a Border Collie too!

    And a note:If your dog does a down/stay in the "Sphinx position", that is not a relaxed down stay. You have to wait until he rolls over onto one hip. ;)
     
    #10 JessiesGirl, Jul 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  11. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    You may also want to check out Patricia McConnell's pamphlet "The Cautious Canine". It's a good primer on working with fearful/reactive dogs.
     
  12. Stuart123

    Stuart123 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thankyou very much jess this relaxation protocol is right up my street in terms of training our dog , the only problem is my mum and dad think im traumatising the dog but in reality im helping him and our family :( ill do it in secret loving the MP3 files
     
  13. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    I truly hope you find it helpful. We certainly did! Sometimes it feels as though you're not making progress, but the dog will learn and then surprise you. We worked this program hard almost daily for 6 months and then occasionally for another year. (She was literally on the verge of euthanization due to the aggressive incident I mentioned, so I was desperate to turn things around. I don't think most people do it as long as we did, nor is it necessary!) Here are some surprises we got:

    -My dogwalker tripped while walking Jess and landed flat on her face. Jess just lay down beside her and waited for a command!

    -A tree fell in front of my house during a storm. Jessie came over to me and lay down and waited for a command. And she kept doing it for every thunderstorm over the next year. (They don't worry her any longer as no more trees have fallen.)

    -She does the same when there are fireworks.

    -On a walk one day, a Jack Russell burst through a window screen and tried to attack Jess. She sat next to me and looked to me for direction.

    I'll admit, sometimes I didn't even put together what she was doing! But eventually I did-when she's been startled, she will lay down next to any handler and look for help from the handler.

    It's always slower going if all household members don't get on board, but you CAN make progress on your own. I'm sorry you don't have everyone's cooperation, but thank goodness your dog has you to try to help! Perhaps once your parents begin to see some positive changes, they'll join you in training. Or maybe they'll think it's just a mystery that his behavior improved--but we'll know how hard you worked.
     
    #13 JessiesGirl, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  14. flufffluff39

    flufffluff39 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    31
    Shitzus have a character that if you give them an inch they will take a mile :) Plus they are miniature guard dogs of old anyway. My dogs are'nt allowed anywhere near a window as they will watch out for the slightest thing to bark at.