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Excited barking

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Parker

1076122
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 13, '09 9:44pm PST 
My 4 month old min pin doesn't bark at everything, but he barks when he gets really excited. When I get out his food, he just can't wait! And he especially whines and barks and jumps up on me when he wants something I'm eating (He's never been fed "people food"), and the worst... he barks and gets super excited when we start training practice. He starts biting and trying to paw the bag of treats I have hidden... and then he isn't patient enough to learn new tricks so I have to stop. How do I stop the barking?
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 5:20am PST 
Try getting him really tired prior to training - run him, play a big game of fetch, long walk something to take the anxiety/wind out of his sails and make it easier for him to focus on you.

Are you sure you are feeding him enough that he is satiated throughout the day? What type of food are you feeding? How often are you feeding him? Keep in mind that not all people food is bad. What type of treats are you using?

How long are you working with him each time before you stop? It is not good to be frustrated with him while training and I understand that his insistance for the food can be frustrating. Try calming standing up and ignoring his "push" for food until he is in a calm state then treat that calm sit state. This will reinforce that he only gets attention/treats when he is calm and sitting.

I am sure others will have long very informative posts but this should atleast get you started

PS DON"T GIVE UP!!
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Jack

Sniffin' butts- and takin' names
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 6:10am PST 
It's possible that your training treats are *too* high value. It might be worth trying a less exciting treat. (Easy fix to try, anyway). Kibble? Or Cheerios?

As for the other stuff, a few thoughts...
--How excited a person are you? I have a friend who's practically a cheer-leader in her everyday life. Her dog is also excitable. They're fun to hang around, but her dog doesn't respond well to her training. I guess I'm not nearly so stimulating 'cause her dog will listen to me. (I bet it's more fun to live with her, though!).

--Have you tried training "speak" and then "enough" or whatever commands you'd prefer? That often trainer's first recommendation for problem barking (not easy, but worth it if it works!).
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Jack

Sniffin' butts- and takin' names
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 6:14am PST 
Also, if he's barking to get your attention you could do two things:

(1) Make sure it *never* works. Eventually he'll try something else.
(2) Teach him to do something else to get your attention, and make sure that it nearly always works. Maybe sit? Or wave. That could be cute. But for quite some time you'd have to drop everything and pay attention at the cue to reinforce the new "hey! look at me" behavior.

Operant Conditioning is about the animal "Operating" on his environment. It's really about them training us. So let him train you to give him attention on a less annoying cue!

Good luck!
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Phoebe, CGC

I'm a Brussel- Sprout!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 2:05pm PST 
Phoebe was like this when I first got her, and to a certain extent still is, although it's about 90% better than it used to be. Literally when I would come home at night and she would be in her kennel she would hear me pull up in the driveway and set off such a racket that it sounded like she was being scalped! Additionally, in just about any situation if she gets too excited, her "default" is to start barking hysterically. Start-line stays in agility were a huge challenge, for example. Basically, what I have found is that it is all in the way I respond. If I am calm, I can bring her under control very quickly with just a glance at her and a finger to my lips. If I'm uptight, edgy, impatient, etc. - her behavior escalates. What I had to learn to do, therefore, was just to stay calm, wait for the barking to abate, and then reward her immediately.

The behavior is always the worst when I just come home, so especially if I have had a bad day I take a moment to sit in my car and compose myself. And about three times a week, I come in the door armed with a high value treat. Nothing brings her under control more quickly than seeing Tucker or the foster boy getting their treats for sitting quietly before she gets hers. One thing about her is that she likes to "nail it." She likes to be first, best, etc. Not necessarily characteristic of her breed, which tends to be stuborn and somewhat of a challenge to train, but there you go. Sometimes I'll break the treat into two pieces rather than three, and the first two to give me what I'm looking for get the treat and the last one to comply gets nothing. Boy, does that tick her off if she doesn't get her payoff. laugh out loud

Anyway - I think the others have had good suggestions - maybe treats are too high value and are getting the dog too excited, maybe he is not getting enough food (or enough of the right type of food) to suit his needs and is constantly in hunger mode, or perhaps you just need to slow down your own energy and have the patience to wait him out until he settles down, so that you have the opportunity to reward the behavior you DO want.
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Parker

1076122
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 2:45pm PST 
For treats, I use Zuke's Natural training treats. They smell really bad. The only time he barks is when he gets excited. I'm pretty stern when I'm training him, too. I only say "good!" in an excited voice. He knows "Sit" and "Down" very well... sit, he can do all the time, but doing down requires a lot of barking beforehand. We just played a 20 minute game of fetch before I told him "down" and he barked like he was being attacked.

He's eating about a cup of taste of the wild everyday... I give him two 1/2 cups and then if it's before 8 or 9pm and he starts biting his bowl, I give him a little bit more. He always randomly whines, too. I even play with him until he seems tired! He's lying down a few feet away from me right now, and he lets out a whine every once in awhile. Ahhh, it's so frustrating!

I didn't think he should do a puppy obedience class, because I know how to teach the commands from a previous dog I had. He goes to socialization classes every Saturday and he's opening up more and more. So I just can't figure out what to do. I'm a pretty patient person, but this is just too much! Randomly whining while he's falling asleep, and when he's just walking around, he has a bunch of toys he doesn't play with (even interactive ones that he can't figure out how to get treats out of so he gives up) He always whines and tries to jump on me when I'm eating a snack like chips.. and I have NEVER given him one, and I have never talked to him while I'm eating, or told him to be quiet. etc

Help!

Edited by author Mon Dec 14, '09 2:48pm PST

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Parker

1076122
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 5:54pm PST 
wow, i got some cheerios and there was maybe 1 bark while training. maybe he was getting too high of a treat! that's awesome though. i'm glad he's able to stimulate his mind again! i just taught him "stay"! i'm excited. now, maybe when he barks, i can just tell him to sit and then he'll get his reward.
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Parker

1076122
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 5:54pm PST 
wow, i got some cheerios and there was maybe 1 bark while training. maybe he was getting too high of a treat! that's awesome though. i'm glad he's able to stimulate his mind again! i just taught him "stay"! i'm excited. now, maybe when he barks, i can just tell him to sit and then he'll get his reward of food or whatever! smile
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Jack

Sniffin' butts- and takin' names
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 6:30pm PST 
Yay for Parker! With Elly I had to try hard to find something that was valuable *enough*. You have the opposite problem -- with a much cheaper solution! This is great!

One thing I wonder about, is how to avoid creating a chain of behavior:
He barks, you ask for a sit, he sits, you give a treat.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to avoid inadvertently training a chain of behaviors? Maybe asking for different behaviors? Or maybe this won't be a problem at all?
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Tucker, CGC,- TDI

Bloggin' Dog
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 8:59pm PST 
That's great, Parker!

One thing I want to mention to you - TOTW is not really suited for puppies - so I'd recommend that you switch to another premium food that is either formulated for puppies or is an ALS food. I'd also suggest that rather than feeding him out of a bowl, you instead use a treat ball, Buster Cube, Kong, Tug-A-Jug, or maybe a few of these in rotation to serve him his food. This will keep him occupied and engaged, and he'll have less time to whine, bark, or carry on.

Also, I'd urge you to reconsider on the puppy or basic obedience class. It's not really about whether you know how to teach sit, down, stay, etc. at home. Most people do know how to do this, or can learn how fairly easily. But the additional socialization and the opportunity to proof the behaviors in a distracting environment is not to be missed, IMO.

And finally - however much exercise he is getting, I don't believe it to be enough. Min Pins are little powerhouses of energy - and to me the whining, barking, etc. indicates to me that he is trying to tell you that his needs for both mental and physical exercise and stimulation are not being met at this point.
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