Barking Questions

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!


Barked: Tue Apr 16, '13 8:08pm PST 
Ok, bear with me here. Ever since we got Sam we noticed that he tends to bark mostly at strangers or strange animals. I'm not sure how to interpret this bark, though. It usually starts as a 'huff' sound, then he'll start barking and tugging at the leash towards whatever he's barking at. If it's another dog, and the dog actually comes towards him (friendly, not aggressive), he'll immediately start whimpering loudly and running around like a crazy dog, staying low to the ground with ears down, but tail wagging. Today, for example, he saw another dog approach and he started barking non-stop. The dog came to sniff him and he freaked out and started making those noises, only tentatively coming close to the other dog. He would sniff and lick the other dog's face, who wasn't at all phased by Sam. He tried to play with this dog, but the dog just seemed more interested in observing us than playing with poor Sam. If it's a person, he'll get close to them, stop barking, and then start sniffing them. I really don't know how to interpret these barks - what do they mean? I don't want other people to think he's aggressive, is this barking something I can train him out of? If yes, how? If he gets too barky I normally just tug at his leash and lead him the opposite way of whatever it is is stimulating him, and I try to give him only attention when he's being calm.

Barked: Tue Apr 16, '13 8:27pm PST 
He is excited! and submissive. He just gets too excited and starts to bark,if it was anything bad he would be snapping ot being aggressive.

You can try these with him: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4099/4747776030_da5297737a_b.jpg

an d: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5096/5498602890_b9bf164a0a_b.jpg

Al so try playing Red Light Green Light with him.

He pulls: stop. he stops pulling. walk.

And have him meet lots of people and dogs so it stops being a novelty for him. My pup never reacts like that,he just greets calmly wagging his tail,then jumps on you if he likes the you.

I only had introduced him to lots of people,situations and doggies and its just part of his environment. so,socialization and good training can work,also teach him too speak. yes. its called counter-conditioning. adding a cue to a "negative" behavior,so the dog waits for the cues and stops doing it.

Of course,don't practice in real-life situations,let him master all first,then slowly add distractions. Use leftover meats from your food as bait,cut it in small pieces.

Edited by author Tue Apr 16, '13 8:32pm PST

Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Wed Apr 17, '13 12:12am PST 
Jake had this problem really bad except for the submissive part of it. He used to drag me through petsmart barking and acting extremely over excited at seeing other dogs. It got so bad that he used to have to wait in the car if i had to run in and get something.

we went to training class the the help of the "focus" command worked wonders. Even to this day if jake starts to get excited about something a quick "Focus" has him looking at me and away from the stimulus.

Jake used to be triggered on and off leash by stray dogs, people walking dogs, people in general and anything and everything we'd encounter outside of our house.

If you have questions i'd consult a clicker trainer and some basic obedience to address the pulling and barking behavior.

Good luck!

Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 6:04pm PST 
You are super cute, Sam! Yeah, I agree, he's an excited puppy, not aggressive. And he's a herding breed, so it's in his nature to be interested in other dogs and animals. Try exercises teaching him to focus on you and reward him with a treat for turning his attention back to you from the distraction.

I love Pat Miller's book, "The Power of Positive Dog Training". She pretty much covers all the basics. Another good book is Gwen Baily's "the Perfect Puppy."

Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 2:08pm PST 
Forgot to thank you guys for the responses earlier!

I've been trying to apply what you guys have mentioned and am seeing some improvement. He's still extremely excited though! Teaching 'Focus' is a great idea and I should've done it sooner, but it's never too late to start!

Also glad to hear it has nothing to do with aggression; I don't want people to be scared of him.

Do you think it would be too stimulating to take him to a dog park yet? I've taken him to Petco before but instead of being crazy-barking he greeted people normally (going up to them), and he even sniffed at other dogs without barking or jumping all over them, but sometimes it looked like he was shaking frown Since I wasn't sure if he was scared or not, I quickly paid for what we came in to grab and took him back outside.

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 2:55pm PST 
I wouldn't take him to the dog park until he has had all his shots (It says he's 3 months, I thought dogs finished their shots at 4 months... but I could be wrong lol)

Also, instead of jumping right into the dog park, are there any puppy kindergartens or anything like that in your area? Something where you can have him meet dogs around his own age in an environment with a trainer to help supervise and encourage good manners and interrupt manners dogs shouldn't practice or play that is too rough. Or if you have friends/family with dogs you know are friendly he could be meeting those dogs and having play dates with them.

Only then would I take him to a dog park. And before you take him: go yourself. Go and just hang out. Watch the people and their dogs. Are the owners in control of their dogs, are they paying attention to where there dog is and what the dog is doing? Are they stopping their dog from doing undesirable behaviors? (Humping or a dog that seems to bully/pester other dogs or playing too rough?) See what the energy level is like. If the people are in control of their dogs and paying attention, and the dogs are playing well and getting along, then you could take your boy at a time when it's not so busy for his first time there.

My boy is fairly timid, so for me I had to take him really early or really late when there were very few dogs so he wouldn't feel overwhelmed. The RIGHT dog parks with the right people are a god send, dog parks with the wrong people or the wrong dogs are disasters. You want to make sure you've found a good one before you take your boy to ensure a good experience, especially since he's so young.