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Westie Barking in the garden

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by timsmum, Mar 23, 2011.


  1. timsmum

    timsmum PetForums Newbie

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    Can anyone please help?
    My Westie is 2 years old and his barking is getting worse especially in the garden.
    He saw a cat in a garden 2 doors away from me and now as soon as he goes out he barks towards that garden even though the cat isn't out in the garden.
    Yesterday was really bad and I heard someone shouting at him to shut up and now I'm anxious that someone will report him for all the noise he's making.
    He barks in the house sometimes but I can manage to quieten him down but it's not that easy when he's outside and when I go out he runs away from me as I've now started to pick him up and bring him in.
    Someone suggested a collar that shocks him-is this a good idea as it seems cruel to me?
    Thanks.
     
  2. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    The TV programme "Victoria Stillwell in the USA", shows techniques for dealing with this, if you get a chance to catch it.

    Basically, it involves building a great recal by positive reinforcement to call the dog away when the cat has excited it, rewarding calm behaviour in the garden and also deterring repetition of barking in garden by removing from situation (a line attached may help) when you're out there.

    Unfortunately if the dog is unsupervised in the garden, unwanted behaviour like barking at the cat, is very likely to increase because it's self rewarding, and the neighbour shouting at the bark may reinforce it to, as it increases the excitement levels.
     
  3. keirk

    keirk PetForums Member

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    It would be. Dont leave him in the garden to bark.
     
  4. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    The shock collar won't teach him the fun things he can concentrate on and do, to be happy without barking. He won't understand what's happening so the consequences can be unpredictable, even if it conditions him not to bark it is for unhappy reason, being suppressed is likely to lead to frustration. The world is an oppressive place, where unpleasant things happen.

    Having play activities, might help relieve stresses and boredom which could be making him more prone to barking. In many dogs, play is the greatest motivator, they'll even ignore nice food treats if there's a loved game on offer.

    If your only interaction with the dog in the garden is to fetch him inside to spoil the party, then it's hardly surprising if he starts to avoid you, is it? So it's important that the dog has fun with you, not just when you're absent.
     
    #4 RobD-BCactive, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  5. NicoleW

    NicoleW PetForums VIP

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    Duke loves being in the garden, but sometimes will bark at passing neighbours. As soon as I hear him barking he comes inside for a second or so, then he goes back out.

    When we first started this it took him about two weeks to catch on what was happening, and now he lets out a little bark if that. I still bring him in and when he goes back outside he's quiet.
     
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