Barking Issue

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: Mon Sep 1, '14 3:42am PST 
We've had Sam since the end of June. He's eleven months old and a Beagle mix with we're pretty sure treeing walking coonhound.

He's a sweetheart, loves people and other dogs but he barks out the living room windows and screen door quite a bit. I've figured out that almost anything on wheels seems to get him nervous. He'll particularly bay at wheelchairs or anything resembling them as well as other dogs passing by because he wants to play.
He's most aggressive towards the mailman.

He'll also bark at loud machinery such as:
The vacuum
the sander
the electric razor

We don't feel the barking is too terrible and I could ignore it but my live in Uncle can have a temper with the dog that to be honest spooks me.

Is there anyway to tackle this without the use of a shock collar since it might be out of our price range?

Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Mon Sep 1, '14 10:36pm PST 
Barking / Baying is a way of life for Beagles and pretty much all hound dogs. Shock collars definitely won't help and would probably intensify the barking, especially if it is out of fear.

With that being said, all you can really do is give him something better to do. If you're going to vacuum put him in another room with a Kong or a bullystick. If he is too stressed from the sound to even do that, take him outside to where the sound isn't as loud and have someone else vacuum while you give him treats and play with him so he slowly gets desensitized to the sound. Do this with other machinery too.

With other dogs and people.. it is very similar. You need to start at a distance that he isn't going to react. Feed him treats and reward heavily for focusing on you, what you're teaching him is that you are more rewarding than barking at X. He could be barking out of fear and has learned that barking = scary thing goes away.

Barked: Wed Sep 3, '14 9:34pm PST 
Rewarding him for paying attention to me instead of barking is very helpful advice except that getting his attention away from barking isn't easy. Have I then been taking a wrong approach to reward him for letting a passerby make it from one end of our property to the other without a single bark? It does happen sometimes. As for the distance thing, it's usually from our living room windows and screen door that he barks at all. A few times he's barked at people who don't have a wheelchair, stroller, bike or dog when we walk him but it's usually dark out so it might be an unsureness thing. See he loves people so it's hard for me to understand.

Edited by author Wed Sep 3, '14 9:35pm PST



cuddle time
Barked: Fri Sep 5, '14 5:12am PST 
I think rewarding him for not barking is a good approach. I don't know if you can get his attention this way, but in my experience, giving a dog treats for doing something is more effective than just giving the treat. I often simply ask for eye contact and give a treat for that even if they held it for only a microsecond, and then work up to longer periods of time. If that's particularly difficult for the dog, I'll try to stand between them and whatever is getting them so excited. This would often help them focus on me. If that didn't work, making a funny noise (such as a barking a single time myself) would often make them look at me to try and figure out was going on, and then I could reward them for that. Unfortunately, if I used whatever sound several times, they became desensitized to it.

When Dolce was frightened by something specific (e.g. clothes on a clothes line or automatic doors), I would ask her to do something while whatever was so frightening was at a distance, and slowly go closer to it. You may be able to use this approach to get him used to bikes, wheelchairs, etc. Drifter would occasionally be upset by something as well, mostly when he didn't know what it was. As he didn't do it out of real fear or aggression, I found it most effective to let him go up and examine the object more closely. After he sniffed it a few times, he understood that it was harmless and not that interesting.