The dog won't shut up

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(Page 2 of 4: Viewing entries 11 to 20)  
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All business no- play, I have a- job to do
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 9:34am PST 
We put her outside or another room with company because no the whole time they are over she barks and barks and barks. She barks way literally everything. Open fridge, walk by, baby toy goes off, cars, if fly goes by her head, phone ringing, opening or closing cubbard, running shower. There are many days that she barks so much and so loud she has made herself hoarse, she still barks through it but is a bit quieter and rapier. It is constant. There are many days I wish could regime her and just tell hubby she got out on me and is lost.

The Tinydog
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 10:39am PST 
I empathize. I am not a small dog person at all - I don't relish a tiny dog sitting on my lap, or their constant desire to be close, or their hair-trigger barking. Megatron is with me because she came with my fiancé.

For the barking, what really helped was a change of location, a citronella collar, and hardcore counterconditioning to her triggers. Obviously moving house is not an option for the vast majority of people, but getting the dog into a new environment where behaviour patterns hadn't yet been created helped hugely. We used a citronella collar because we simply could not have her barking in the apartment while we were out during the day (we had issues with the landlord, and didn't want to give him any ammunition to use against us). I'm not a fan of the collars, but if used together in conjunction with positive reinforcement and counterconditioning they can be effective. We shoved food into Mega's mouth every time she heard a strange noise, or the kids downstairs laughed, or a dog's collar jingled outside. She began expecting food each time she heard these things, and her barking decreased. She hasn't worn the collar for months now, and her behaviour has improved remarkably.

We upped her exercise so that if she wasn't out walking/playing she was sleeping. We fed her all her meals through training/conditioning exercises. We kept her so busy she didn't have much of a chance to bark.

Basically to address barking you can't be half-assed about it since it's such an intrinsically rewarding behaviour for so many dogs. Within a month or so Mega fell out of the habit of barking at everything, and life has been MUCH quieter ever since. But if we bring her back to my fiancé's parents' house her barking escalates to near her old levels since the environment plays such a heavy roll in creating and patterning behaviours.

For the relationship issues, I would try to find something that you and the dog can do together one on one. I started taking Megatron to training classes and I've recently started her in agility (where she's doing better than I expected). I take her out to trials to observe, and all around the city. I admit, I still don't really "get" tiny dogs, but Mega has come a long way - to a point where she's well behaved and easy to live with.

Instilling fear- is cowardice; be- brave!
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 2:54pm PST 
Megatron has given you many good ideas, as have others who've answered.

Telling a dog "No" when they're barking MAY work for some, but I've never met a dog who "shut up" immediately after being told "No" so I don't recommend it at all. Besides that, they don't really KNOW you're talking to them. Many of them actually think you're barking WITH them, hence why they continue. Some even develop a "habit" of continuing to growl/huff/chatter afterward - as you said, like they're talking back. In conclusion, it just... doesn't really work in this case.

With Poppy, we've worked on counterconditioning, and working on his triggers - that is, what makes him bark. Poppy, like your small dog, barks at EVERYTHING. So we've had a lot to work on, but life is definitely easier.

For the doors, we basically brought Poppy to the backdoor(this was one of his triggers), opened it, and while it was being opened, clicked and treated(or you can just say "Yes" and treat, or just treat). You'll DEFINITELY be doing this kind of training, so I highly recommend you measure out treats, and then take that from her meals. For example, if I were to, say, use an entire chicken breast for Poppy, that's an entire day's worth of food for him, separated throughout the day. So he would basically get no "mealtime" that day - which is okay, because he had all the food he needed during training. Get it? This is to make sure they don't get fat.

Giving them a sport/job is another AWESOME idea. We do low-impact agility stuff in our backyard, and I'm looking for some earthdog things to do with Poppy. We also do some nosework, but we don't go to classes or anything like that. There have also been small breeds who do weight pulling and seem to enjoy it - same with carting/drafting. Poppy, however, isn't in either.

There are some videos on YouTube by Kikopup that talk about eliminating barking in dogs, if you wanna look those up.

I also love the advice of teaching a "Speak" cue as well as a "Quiet" cue. I taught those to Lobo. It's actually pretty easy, surprisingly enough, and it works! laugh out loud

Your "quiet" cue could be something like "Thank you" too - you know, thanking them for alerting you to whatever.

Something that helps to keep Poppy quiet, too, is when he barks, we ask, "What's wrong?" and then follow him to wherever he's barking. For Poppy, it's helped him to sort of depend on us, as well as learn that sometimes, those little sounds aren't a big deal. He barked a lot less, and it's good for us to move around throughout the day, anyways.

And, of course, you always have the option of finding a trainer. The only thing is, this would likely be a private session, and private sessions are usually quite expensive.

Woo, okay! Hopefully everything turns out okay! Best of luck to you!


Giant Shih Tzu
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 5:18pm PST 
Everyone gave great advice. Gunther virtually never barks as opposed to every terrier type dog I've ever had. Please don't judge all small dogs by this one experience. Gunther is NOT vocal, hyper, or bouncy in the slightest. Our neighbors both across the street and next to us have two Miniature Schnauzers each, and They Never Stop Barking. It's terrible.

The World Is My- Playground
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 8:27pm PST 
What worked for me was every time my dogs went to the window I would say Come (They knew the command well) and praise them right away. If I was in another room and they started barking I would still call them to me and give lots of praise. Scolding doesn't work as they think well The humans are making noise so guess it's ok for me too. A crate should never be used as punishment or the dog will start to dislike being in it which creates another problem. JMHO but I don't believe in putting a dog in a different room when company arrives as they will again start to dislike any company because they know it means being locked away, Dogs are social and love people.
Ch Zena

We don't- doodle!!!
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 6:14am PST 
Reading the posts by the OP, I can actually feel the intense dislike for this dog. If I can feel this on an internet post, most likely the poor dog is getting these vibes in a major way, and excessive barking can be a way of reacting to this stress.
Zena is a case in point. She is a toy poodle, and was rehomed due in part to constant barking. Her constant barking was an attempt to gain some attention, and was the only way she knew to try and appease an owner who didn't like her and didn't want her.
She has been with me since January and her barking is almost nonexistant now. She still alert barks, but will stop instantly when whatever she is barking at is acknowledged.
The change is she is now in a home where she is loved and not getting bad vibes and she is not constantly being yelled at for the barking.
I would suspect this dog would be much happier being rehomed.

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 6:33am PST 
I was thinking much the same thing, Zena. However, re homing the dog will most likely cause problems between the OP and their spouse.

OP,I was going to suggest that perhaps the dog is experiencing a lot of anxiety due to pretty much what Zena said. The dog may be picking up on your feelings about her. A couple of things that sometimes work for anxiety are thunder shirts and rescue remedy. Mind you , nothing is going work if you unless put a lot of time and effort into it. You have been given a lot of good suggestions here , but only you know if you are willing. If not, it would appear you and your spouse need to have a very long conversation. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Miss- Pig!
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 2:53pm PST 
The thing is she knows she is not allowed to bark because after she does she immediately looks down and either stays there looking down or she goes off running usually to her crate. Cause she knows she is going to get yelled at

Dogs don't "know" they are doing something wrong. She is reacting the way you describe, looking down, running off etc, because she's learnt from previous experience that you yell at her and get mad. You've got to get to the underlying problem and that will take time and commitment.

As Zena said though, i instantly picked up on your dislike of her. You refer to her as "the dog" rather than her name, you say you ignore her ( other than when you're telling her off ) and i'd definitely say she's picking up on your negative vibes towards her. I know you said you wanted to ignore her because she's your husbands dog, but really, i don't think that's necessary to help strengthen their bond. I'm not sure what you mean by "regime her", but telling your hubby she got out and is lost is just cruel IMO. Does your husband know you feel? What's his reaction to the barking?

I have a barky dog myself and while i've not been able to stop her barking completely, and likely never will, i've found that saying "it's ok" or just "ok" on it's own when she barks helps calm her down. I'm gently acknowledging her barking, not getting frustrated ( which riles Missy up more ) and then i go on to distract her by grabbing a toy or moving around the house, basically anything that redirects her attention.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 7:05am PST 
"The thing is she knows she is not allowed to bark because after she does she immediately looks down and either stays there looking down or she goes off running usually to her crate. Cause she knows she is going to get yelled at"

What you are describing is called appeasement behavior. Dogs do it as a response to your reaction, not out of guilt. They anticipate the yelling, so they often take on a submissive posture. That doesn't mean that they 'know' what they are doing wrong, we need to train them what to do instead. Taking off running to her crate sounds to me like she might also be frightened. That creates a heightened level of anxiety, and anxious dogs tend to bark more. The dog needs some training and a sense of security. Lots of good suggestions here; teaching speak and quiet as a pair, conditioning the dog with treats before they can get started on a barking jag.

The sense of security comes when you can accept and care for this dog, working through this issue with patience and kindness. Until then, it's doubtful the dog can feel safe with you and that often leads to...you guessed it, more barking. Then the dog really can't help it, it's become a habit that the dog engages in to cope. If it's gotten to that level, sometimes rehoming is the best option for all concerned. Maybe hubbie would consider hiring a trainer or behaviorist to help you all with this issue?

Waitin' at the- Rainbow Bridge
Barked: Tue Jul 24, '12 10:51pm PST 
With Harmony she was brought into a home where the dog bark at EVERYTHING. there where 2 doxies living here before. Boomer ran off but Sooner learned from the yippiest dog ever and taught it to our room mates new 4 year old giant lab. Sooner and the lab Houdini bark at EVERYTHING so we where concerned about Harmony learning the behavior too. we conditioned and praised and taught Speak and other "make noise" commands soon she learned "enough" and "leave it" means to stop whatever she is doing and go to mom/dad. gamma, our pit growls at anything outside and a sharp no makes him shut up and look at me for further direction. the key is extensive training. teach her alot of words and tricks. teach Speak and Enough or Quiet. maybe walking isnt enough to get her energy out. run. do you have a bike? run her as fast and as long as she can with it. or a treadmill train with her, feed her, walk her. she already had bonded with your husband now get her to like you. a walk is the fastest way to form a bond with a dog. watch Cesar Milan. find a close example to your dog, try some of the training yourself.
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