Neighbour complaining about constant barking

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Woodycuk, Apr 6, 2013.


  1. Woodycuk

    Woodycuk PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,
    I have a 2 year old male Jack Russell which is in most ways a well behaved, lovely family pet! One of his only bad habits is his incessant barking at times in our back garden.
    He has open access to the garden through a cat flap which he & both our cats use. As soon as he hears either a noise in our neighbours garden or in the street on our other boundary it sets him off. We can easily nip the problem in the bud at home given as soon as he's set off barking we only have to open back door and issue stern command of 'come' or 'in' and he stops almost immediately and returns to the house as instructed.
    The issue we have is trying to control it when we are not in! We are a working family out for anything upto 6hrs a day. Quite often as we leave the house he will go straight in the garden & start barking. My neighbour has mentioned it twice now stating he's constantly on the go when we are out. He's admitted he's not a dog lover & can't help think he's over exaggerating a little as everytime we return to the house he's always cosy indoors happily chilled but then I would hate our neighbour taking it further legally & therefore need guidance on the best way to tackle it!!
    Would appreciate any advice, our neighbour has even gone to the trouble of printing off different products/anti barking devices such as spray collar & ultrasonic stopper.
     
  2. Mark Walden

    Mark Walden PetForums Member

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    We had similar problems with our beagles, whenever a person rang our bell they would go crazy!

    From personal experience I've used spray collars. They usually learn really quickly from them. Only when they have a bad moment I might put one on for a couple of hours, and when they sleep in their crate I can hang it on their door, turned off and they usually get the hint and relax. I think it's the shock of the spray that gets them.

    You always know when a Beagle has been barking when I go into the room smelling and it like fresh lemons! :D
     
  3. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    The first thing I would do is to close the back door flap!

    There is no need for your dog to have free access to the garden and of course whilst you are absent your dog can practice all sorts of inappropriate behaviour and, get better at it.

    Even though I am a dog owner I do NOT appreciate hours of barking from other dogs, it is particularly galling when on shift work.

    Dogs Trust - Barking when Alone

    Noise from barking dogs - Noise - Manchester City Council

    Controlling your dog and its barking is your responsibility, provide the dog with something more interesting to do then bark and keep the flap closed.
     
  4. Mark Walden

    Mark Walden PetForums Member

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    Very good point actually, the more freedom your dog thinks it can get, the worse the behaviour can get. If you let your dog out in short but frequent intervals then he will stop thinking about barking at anything that moves outside and more about going to the toilet, etc.
     
  5. sskmick

    sskmick PetForums VIP

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    I can't add anything to what has already been suggested.

    My dog only has access to our garden when we are in. Before we go out I will give him a walk which allows him to toilet and then he is locked in the house.

    I would change the cat flap setting to in only so the cats can come in if it rains, or change the cat flap to one that reacts to the cats microchip (if they are microchipped).

    When the dog is in the house, home alone, make sure you get plenty of stimulating toys to reduce any barking indoors and bordem.
     
  6. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    I would like to echo what has been said apart from the advice to use a spray collar (quick fixes simply confuse the dog).
    The simplest remedy would be a baby gate into the room that has the cat flap so the cats can enter, but not the dog.
    I think your neighbour is being extremely reasonable btw.
     
  7. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    Which is one of the problems with using spray collars. The dog is being continually punished as the citronella remains in the air for a very long time.

    The other issue is that ALL dogs get punished even if only ONE dog has been barking.

    I think there are better ways

    http://www.deesdogs.com/documents/Barking-at-door-window.pdf
    ClickerSolutions Training Treasures -- Retraining Manic Alert Barking
    ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- Solution for Doorbell Barking
    Barking Mad! | Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors
    Barking Fact Sheet - Clever Dog Company
    Stop Barking! « Ahimsa Dog Blog
    Excessive Barking:  Why Some Dogs Bark and How to Fix It | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
    Barking Dogs | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
     
  8. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    I would restrict the dogs access to outdoors too. My lot can use the cat flap to get into a cat run (then have to be let out into the whole garden) but if they are barking and after dark I shut the flap so they cant get out. I also keep it shut whilst I am at work as I dont want them out in the run barking when I am not around.
     
  9. HoneyFern

    HoneyFern PetForums VIP

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    My Leo learnt to use the cat flap at an early age. We didn't want him out at all hours and definitely didn't want him out while no one was home but we still wanted to let the cats use the flap so we put a gate over our kitchen door. In our case our cats can fit through the gaps and he can't. My sister has a similar situation and the gaps in her gate are narrower, the cats just jump over it.
     
  10. Sacremist

    Sacremist PetForums VIP

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    I think the gate is a good solution too. We use a gate in our static caravan to restrict the dog's access to the bedroom. She can see us but she cannot get to us. We cannot let her in the bedroom because she keeps us awake all night, whereas the cats do come into the bedroom because they just sleep. The cats jump over the gate. We did get a gate with a cat flap in it thinking the dog would not be able to get through due to her size, but she managed to wriggle through anyway so that was a waste of time. LOL
     
  11. VickiGS

    VickiGS PetForums Senior

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    I have to agree with the other posters. I think you need to restrict his access to the garden. As your cats use the flap then I would recommend keepin your dog in another area/blocked off area so that he can't get to the cat flap. This should in theory, stop the barking if he is only doing it while outside.

    I'd never let Baxter outside if we weren't home, anybody can get into our garden due to an access gate, so I'd be too worried about someone dognapping him!
     
  12. Sacremist

    Sacremist PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I agree, I am terrified of leaving my dog in the garden when I'm not around. You never know who is going to pass by. I know someone in my local area, who also had a Pomeranian that she kept in the garden behind the hairdressing shop she owned. She was busy working so didn't keep an eye on the dog and twice it was stolen. The first time, she got the dog back, when a friend saw a man walking it on the local market. She called out the dog's name, it recognised her and started barking wildly. The man dropped the lead and ran. I don't know if she got the dog back the second time or not. You think she would have learned after the first time, but apparently not.
     
  13. VickiGS

    VickiGS PetForums Senior

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    That terrible!!!!
    I hope the dog wasn't taken for fights etc!
     
  14. Sacremist

    Sacremist PetForums VIP

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    I don't think it was taken for fights the first time, but I have no idea about the second. It is obviously one of the reasons why some dogs and cats are taken. A lot of cats in this area have gone missing for this reason but it is the reason why I would never leave my dog in the garden unattended.

    It is also the reason why my cats' only access to the outdoors is in a cat run.
     
    #14 Sacremist, Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  15. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    I think locking the cat flap is all you need to do. The cat can be left in the house too when you're not there, there's no reason either of them have to go out if you're only away for six hours and even the cat can be vulnerable if out with no one home.

    My six dogs are in a secure house if we are all out, as is the cat if he's in at the time. There have been so many dog thefts up and down the country that even my 60kgs Mals are never out unless we are there. They take all breeds and sizes too, little ones as bait dogs and big ones for a challenge - sick people that they are! :(

    Never mind his barking his safety is what would worry me more and you could find that keeping him in the house will solve your problem, he will likely sleep most of the time and if you leave a stuffed frozen kong with either raw mince or his usual wet dog food I'd wager he'll be more than happy - your neighbour too. :)
     
  16. Willylee

    Willylee PetForums Junior

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    Rather than simply calling the dog "IN" when he barks, beacuse that teaches the dog NOTHING, go out with him, settle him by being there and associate the noises with your reassurance when he's quiet.
    Ask your neighbour to talk to you whilst the dog's with you, mow the lawn, rattle a ladder, accustom Fido to the sounds and praise when he DOESN'T bark. A little patience and understanding and you will be amazed what can be achieved in such a short period of time.
    Spend time with the dog and let him become aware of his position and what is expected of him. Communicate with the dog at his level.

    If you're unsure of the correct procedure, invest a small amount of your hard earned on a local behaviour/trainer.

    Train without pain, beat the owner, ne'er the dog. Learn the language of DOG.
     
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