S.A. Barking Help! At the end of the rope
At wits end here and probably close to being evicted. This dog has everything, treats, toys, another dog, background noise, food, water, even an enclosed crate and we have sadly had to resort to a muzzle to try and mute the barking, and even that has not helped. I don't know what else to do! I have tried crating him, then walking out, and walking back in when he's quiet, I've tried scolding, I've tried ignoring, everything and so far nothing has helped. He's barked anywhere from minutes to an hour or possibly longer. I am going to school soon and if I can't control the barking, I can't take him with me and then we may lose everything. Please, any and all suggestions are helpful. I can't afford a trainer right now, and am left with only things I can do myself. Please help, this guy doesn't deserve this stress, he's had too much of it in his life already.
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Hounds (particularly Beagles) are very very vocal dogs...as you are learning right now.
You listed everything vital, except THE most important: exercise. He needs to be worn out DAILY, physically and mentally. I suggest a brisk walk twice a day, fetch, making home made agility stuff, teaching him nose games, stuffed Kongs, other brain-teasing treat games, teach new tricks, etc.
Change your lifestyle and exercise him for at least 30min twice a day, and see how he's doing in a week.
If he's been worn out and is still noisy, try a squirt bottle with water/vinegar when he barks. I honestly wouldn't be opposed to going to extremes of trying a bark collar (shock or spray), that way he's corrected even when you're away.
The bummer is, he'll probably never be perfectly quiet like you're hoping - it's in his genes to bark, just like a sight hound will ALWAYS be liable to chase moving animals, and huskies will always want to go go go.
I'd love to help more-message me if you'd like ;)
Shasta answered on 1/3/14. Helpful? / 2
Separation anxiety barking is NOT a behavioral issue and adversives, such as bark collars, worse yet SPRAYING the dog with VINEGAR???, yelling, scolding, etc, are not going to help and are only going to make the issue worse.
It is impossible in an answer limited to 1000 letters to even begin to help with solutions, not to mention this is something that you will need professional help with, and not a trainer but a certified veterinary behaviorist. Many times your vet is the best place to get a referral to a certified behaviorist. And, many behaviorists will give at least reduced rates, if not no charge to dogs which have been rescued.
Also, often good rescues will have contacts with a behaviorist experienced with SA. Have you contacted the place you got him from???
Finally, PLEASE do not use any more punishment, expecially not physical such as sprays, shock collars, etc. As you said, this dog has been thru enough and doesn't need any more punishment!!!!
Toto, CD, RN, CGC answered on 1/4/14. Helpful? / 2
Try calming sprays, collars and a calming pheromone diffuser. If you can't find a way for your family to help you with a trainer, you probably should find him another home. Reason being, if you are a serious student there's no way you will be able to study with constant barking, and neither would your neighbors. Maybe at school you can find another kid with more dog experience to help you train while you tutor them or help them study (on barter). Good luck and since you care about this dog, you ARE going to make it work... just be creative. ^_^
Tasha (in memory) answered on 1/5/14. Helpful? / 1
I have had success with a citronella bark collar. Not painful or harmful. They learn really quick that the little mist of a smell they don't like will come if they bark. I bought one at Petco but the same PET SAFE brand is cheaper on line. It;'s worth a try as well as walking your dog twice a day.
DeeDee answered on 1/8/14. Helpful? / 1
Are you sure it is Separation Anxiety? Barking alone is not S.A. pets.webmd.com
Does he bark for other reasons?
It sounds like he gets a lot of attention, is it too much attention? (Is he a bit spoiled?) Have you tried some independence training while you are home? I notice he is on a bed in photo, does he sleep in your room? Will he sleep elsewhere? Is he able to be in another room of the house by himself?
You have another dog - how does that dog act when your leave home? You live with other humans - how does he act if you leave and they are home?
This may be best if it were in forums.....
Snickers answered on 1/9/14. Helpful? / 1
It’s easier to teach your pooch to shush when he’s focused and calm; therefore, you should teach him to woof on cue first so he’s not barking uncontrollably when you’re trying to train him.
Have an accomplice outside your front door. Say “woof” (or “speak”) to cue your assistant to ring the bell. Praise your pooch generously when he barks (due to the doorbell) and maybe even bark with him. After a few woofs, say “shush” and wag a treat in front of your pet’s nose to get him to stop barking. Praise your dog again as he sniffs the treat and give it to him.
Repeat this process about a dozen times and your dog will learn to anticipate the doorbell when you ask him to speak. Similarly, he will learn to anticipate getting a treat after you tell him to be quiet. Soon he will be able to bark and shush on cue.
Gradually increase the length of time between saying the shush command and offering the food reward. Also alternate your instructions to woof and shush.