Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

How do we fix this new problem?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Kiay, Apr 7, 2017.


  1. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    Hi guys.. we have a 2 year old Portuguese water dog bitch. She is exercised several times a day and is fairly well trained. Weve had no flummoxing issues with her until about 3 weeks ago.... we live in a small rural village and during the school run, she has always been left tied up outside the gate while we go into the playground. (We can see her at all times)this has been the case for a year and a half and there has never been as issue.
    Randomly, three weeks ago she started barking about 2 minutes after we left her. My partner went back to check she was ok as she never barks! But now it's constant... she's quiet for about the first minute or so and then she barks until we go back out. What is the best way to go about resolving this? She's very rarely left on her own but did do an overnight trial session in a kennels shortly before this started....could it be the cause?
     
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    10,725
    Likes Received:
    12,914
    Probably easiest just to leave her at home? I can't imagine she gains much from being tied up to the school gates while you do the school run?

    She may have been spooked by something, who knows.
     
  3. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    12,156
    I don't think it's the kennels (although a stay in kennels can help a dog find their voice). I think it's more a case of accidently learning that barking brings you out quicker. The first time she randomly barked (as Labradrk says maybe something spooked her) and lo and behold someone appeared! So a habit was formed! I would stop taking her for a while and if needs be reintroduce it later on ...or more simply, if there are two of you, one can stay outside with her :)

    J
     
  4. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    She comes with as we go on from school to do a proper walk. Some days there are two of us, depending on work shifts, so one of us can wait outside, otherwise it's just me. It's the holidays now so she will have a two week break, maybe reintroducing afterwards will make a difference.
    Like I say we can see her the whole time (and she us), there are no roads..backs onto a field, so it's quiet and familiar every single day.
    If she does bark am I best to ignore rather than go back to her?
     
  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    12,156
    In theory, yes. But for me it's not as simple as 'ignoring her'. A dog tied up outside anywhere is hard to ignore. And it doesn't mean she will stop if you do ....as it has worked before dogs can be pretty insistent it will work again.

    So I would get to break the habit first. And maybe 'practice' leaving her in a variety of situations at home. So you can walk away and then come back (in 30 seconds) and reward her for being quiet.

    And then maybe take it from there .......

    J
     
  6. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    Thankyou. I agree, we can't really ignore her, it's not nice for her, us or anyone else attending the school! She doesn't seem to have an issue if left somewhere at home (doesn't bark if left in the dog room whilst wet after a swim for example, however there is no door..she can see us though the gate) but then she's used to that also... will try to find some new situations to leave her and see if we can reward her being quiet that way. She's with us almost all of the time, I work from home so it's very rare that she's left but she's never seemed to have an issue with it before. If we do leave her at home she is in her crate and is always relaxed and quiet when we get back... it's literally just the school these last few weeks. She isn't the only dog left there...but they all 'know' each other and are walked together several times a week. I wish I knew what had spooked her...used to be that we would come out to sunbathing dogs... not a Barking one! :)
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  7. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    5,989
    Likes Received:
    18,578
    I've practised this with my dog. I don't actually plan on leaving her tied up anywhere but for GCDS gold test you have to do "relaxed isolation" and in our class they usually do it by tying the dog up and the owner going out of site for a period of time. The way I practised it, to get my girl used to being left when outside (she was already fine with being left in the house on her own) without going bezerk was as follows:

    Tie her to something in the garden (I used a washing line pole), say my leaving cue "be right back", take a few steps away and then go back (assuming she has stayed calm and not barked or whined) and give her a treat for staying calm.
    I then started to go further away gradually, repeating the same process and again rewarding for her staying calm. The length of time away was gradually increased and then I progressed to going out of site around the corner. Once this had been achieved I started practising it in public places (never anywhere where she would be in danger, but somewhere like our local park when we were the only ones around and I could hide behind something was quite good practice).
    Hopefully if you practise doing this then you can get her into the habit of staying calm and quiet. If she is quiet for the first minute then you are already half way there anyway, just go back to her before she starts barking and tell her what a good girl she is being.

    Hope this helps.
     
    lullabydream and leashedForLife like this.
  8. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    Thanks..that's really helpful!
    Can I check, what do I do if I time it wrong and she has barked? Return, reset and not treat? But she still gets the 'reward' of us returning?
     
  9. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    5,989
    Likes Received:
    18,578
    It depends to an extent whether she is barking out of distress or barking just out of habit. If it was mine I would also teach a quiet command (I often just say "shhh" if she is getting upset as it seems to have a more calming effect) and then go back to her when she has stopped barking. Then bear in mind that next time you do it you need to not leave it as long. If you build it up gradually then hopefully you won't have any barking, but only time will tell.
     
    lullabydream and Lurcherlad like this.
  10. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    OK great. She usually picks things up super quickly so I'm hopeful.. :)
     
  11. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,004
    Likes Received:
    35,619
    I would consider whether leaving her tied up, unattended is a good idea anyway.

    Apart from the risk of her being taken there is also the worry of her interacting with another dog or a child and something going wrong.

    Can't she just be left at home for the school run?
     
    ouesi and lullabydream like this.
  12. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    Thanks for your concern, we live in a rural village where everyone knows who she is. We walk her before the school run, making it our midpoint, then continue on from there. She's tied up, along with at least two others ( but unable to reach each other) away from where people walk, and there is no road. We can see her the whole time, we would never leave her somewhere we didn't feel she was safe and we couldn't see her. She's done the school run with us twice a day since she could come for walks, ( she's walked this way twice a day plus two other walks each day)..she comes pretty much everywhere with us and only gets left home alone maybe twice a month if we go into town. I think leaving her would be more distressing for her, it's part of her routine...she knows as soon as children get shoes that she's going out :). When we are both there then one of us can definitely stay out with her, but when I'm solo I need to be able to fit her exercise around school runs and getting home for work. X
     
    Moobli likes this.
  13. danielled

    danielled Guest

    Still she might get taken or the lead can snap or anything can happen and she can find her way to a road.
     
  14. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    Honestly? The lead could also snap while we are walking next to a road (unlikely as it is thick rope and regularly checked for signs of damage). I do appreciate peoples concerns... but I have judged the situation safe and wouldn't leave her if not so. If we were that paranoid we also wouldn't be able to leave her home for fear of burglary/fire.
    If we lived in a big town or somewhere likely to have people coming by that weren't part of our community then I would probably assess differently. As it is, if a stranger took her, they would then have several minutes walk (through the throng of villagers going to and from the school that know her, and us), with us hot on their heels having been able to see what happened, before they got to a road where they could flee. She is not unsafe.
     
  15. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,004
    Likes Received:
    35,619
    Of course, I understand why you take her ;)

    I would suggest that it might actually do her good to be left alone a bit more tbh otherwise it could come as a bit of a shock if you have an emergency and suddenly need to leave her.

    Rigid routines can become a rod for your back.

    My lurcher would jump up thinking he was coming when I started recently to drive son to the station some mornings (just before our walk time) an I had to tell him, not yet and resettle him. Now, he waits for me to actually call him to join me in the hall for our walk and just stays snoozing on the sofa until I get back from the station.

    As a way of easing her into a new routine, maybe try getting out of the house a few minutes earlier so you can all walk round the block with her, then return her to the house, with a tasty chew or Kong and do the school run without her. You could then work on her barking because when tied up outside school and already barking that is not going to be easy. Dogs are difficult to train once over threshold.)

    Once you crack the barking maybe mix it up a bit and give her a cue word for joining you and the kids some days?
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  16. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14,885
    Likes Received:
    22,572
    Speaking as a dog owner, a mother who has done the school run and never thought anything of quiet dogs left outside schools whilst parents pick up their children, I think its wonderful that you do a family walk. I once got asked what I did with my children in an evening whilst the dogs had a lovely walk...they came with me was the reply. People just presume children don't or won't keep up on a walk, or will want to. Our family dogs needed walking so we walked them after our evening meals come rain or shine!

    However, what I will say, a barking dog puts a whole different slant on the matter. I have a friend who is dog phobic, who walked past those calm dogs every day to take her son to school, but hearing a dog continuously barking would put the fear of god in to her regardless. Not everybody is a dog lover, and a dog that barks continuously whilst you wait for your children to leave school, no matter that everybody knows the dog, does not mean they will be comfortable with that behaviour at all.

    Personally, I would echo what everybody else says, and leave your dog at home for the school run situation. Dogs routines are usually healthier, not set in stone per se, and common courtesy to others should always be priority as a dog owner.
     
    SixStar, ouesi and Lurcherlad like this.
  17. danielled

    danielled Guest

    Anything can go wrong.
     
  18. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    I totally agree, the Barking isn't something that can continue... we need to rectify the situation. Because it had never been a thing until recently I was hoping we could fix it and she could continue to join us on all of our outings as she always has done. If she had always done it and was obviously never happy there then of course I wouldn't take her.
     
    Moobli and lullabydream like this.
  19. Kiay

    Kiay PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    44
    Occasionally leaving her when we dont need to is actually a really good idea, thankyou. It's something we will build into her training.

     
    Moobli, Magyarmum, ouesi and 2 others like this.
  20. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,910
    Likes Received:
    11,492
    Anything could go wrong if the dog were left at home, too.
    But probably won't.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice