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Old 11-13-2011, 09:10 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,437,041 times
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Sylbeth,

I understand your frustration, really I do. I have my dog here, who, at times, can be wonderful, but at others is the most obnoxious creature in the world (or so it seems). I love him to death, but there are times when I just wish he would disappear.

Now, with that being said, I've come to the point where I'm going what works in terms of getting him out of his bad habits. For example, I've never been a huge proponent of food rewards, but I've discovered that he will do ANYTHING for a marshmallow. So now, if he's going nuts at another dog barking, out comes the marshmallow....all of a sudden, he starts focusing on me, and the calmness comes.

I'm sure that some "behaviorists" might take issue with this approach, but we do what we need to do.

If I may be so bold, I would offer the suggestion to find something like this for your dog. I've noticed that my dog has progressed in leaps and bounds since I've found something that works for him. It's all good to say that your dog needs "structure", but what does that mean for him? I can say "no", or pull on his collar until he passes out, but until I find something that gets his attention, all of this is for naught.

I get what you're going through, and I wish you the best.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:50 PM
 
Location: South Charlotte
403 posts, read 764,450 times
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mrs1885....Thank you for all of your insight....you surely seem to know what you are talking about....with all the dogs...seven!!!...cats and fiveeeee children. You are right about not finding my pup another home, just because he has issues...even the most well behaved dogs have issues. It wouldn't be right to pass those issues on another family...and possibly have him hurt because he wasn't perfect. He has a family that loves him....along with his best friend whose name is Gracie....they play all the time...even at work. I even have a lady who brings her pup in to play with both of mine once a week.....and when they play...they play all out!! My friend even says it take her pup a day to recoup, when she comes down to the office. They all seem to love one another.
foxywench....I know that barking is a sign of boredom...maybe perhaps instead of that...its just a learned behavior from where he was originally. I don't know...and I wouldn't want to blame the people that had him before me, as it is now my problem to solve...because we really love him. We want to keep him....and keep everyones suggestions...and work on them...to see if we can get a better nonresponse from the pup...as in barking.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,244 posts, read 13,995,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylbeth View Post
mrs1885....Thank you for all of your insight....you surely seem to know what you are talking about....with all the dogs...seven!!!...cats and fiveeeee children. You are right about not finding my pup another home, just because he has issues...even the most well behaved dogs have issues. It wouldn't be right to pass those issues on another family...and possibly have him hurt because he wasn't perfect. He has a family that loves him....along with his best friend whose name is Gracie....they play all the time...even at work. I even have a lady who brings her pup in to play with both of mine once a week.....and when they play...they play all out!! My friend even says it take her pup a day to recoup, when she comes down to the office. They all seem to love one another.
Oh, seven dogs was back in the 'good old days'. Currently we have 14. We usually had 35 or so when the rescue was running, but one weekend waiting for a transport come through we had 2 momma dogs with their large litters of new puppies from the shelter as well as the rescue's dogs and it brought or total to 52 dogs..............all inside the house. Needless to say it was a chaotic weekend. But lots of dogs were saved. Since then the rescue has nearly closed - we only have 1 - 3 dogs at a time here and all the kids have moved out.

Totally understand how you feel. Rico is our barker. He's a foster dog, available for adoption, and has separation anxiety on top of everything else. I am working on that with him. If I can get it taken care of the barking is next. But honestly, as much as he makes me nuts, if he's not adopted that's fine too. He's a happy wiggly little doll baby and welcome to stay here as long as it takes to find a home. Or keep this one. I can always make room for 8 pound chihuahuas in my house. They're my addiction!

He's the brown one on the back of the couch. He seems to think he's my protector.

Also in the picture from right side of the photo at the back is Angus, my husbands chi / terrier mix. In front of him is Tuffy the special needs chi / poss corgi mix, the huge hippo looking brown dog is Diva, our staffie girl and pack momma. On the left of the photo is Munchi my daughter's boxer / boston terrier mix and Randy on the ground playing with her, my APBT / Great Dane mix. Tucked at the back of Munchi's butt is where all you can see is her tiny back is Belle, one of our first chihuahuas. As soon as my friend's son jumped on my lap to wrestle like Munchi and Randy were doing, the other dogs all piled on and the wrestling match started.

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Old 11-13-2011, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,824,914 times
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I feel your pain, I would look into a behaviorist as others have suggested. If all else has failed and you choose to go the de-bark/bark softening route I would make sure you find a vet who is well versed in the pocedure. As a previous poster stated Shelties are often bark softened and a Sheltie club would be a good place to start as they would know vets who have the skills to do it correctly. I've been around A LOT of Shelties who've had the procedure and they still bark but it's no longer ear piercing...just quieter.

I currently own a rescue Swedish Vallhund who was "de-barked" and they still bark only it's soft/quiet.

Again, I would do everything possible prior to going the de-bark route as more and more vets are no longer doing it and depending on where you live it might be difficult to find one who is skilled in the procedure. I would also keep in mind that this procedure is not cheap.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:38 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,403 posts, read 31,403,364 times
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13 pounds!! Be careful how tight you hold his muzzle! Its only ...Ok best I can explain is when you say SIT you Place the dog in the Sit Position! Same as when you say Quiet you hold the mouth shut so he can relate Command to act! NO Food treats wont work with this!! He will soon bark just to get the treat LOL After a few seconds release & praise!! Repeat as Needed! You should see [hear] improvement in about a week to 10 days.... At least you know if it will work by then!
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:09 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,478 posts, read 52,497,423 times
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Our dogs are neither bored nor neglected. As collies, they are personally offended by ANYTHING out of their reach that moves (if it's within their reach, they will race to it immediately and stop its offending movement). Our house is made up pretty much entirely out of windows, and we live in the kind of neighborhood where people spend a lot of time outside biking, walking dogs, running, etc. UPS and Fed Ex make daily appearances. There are also little rabbits and squirrels everywhere.

OMG, the barking. But there is always a reason. I really feel safe, as those dogs don't let a darn thing slip by them. We are not submitting our neighbors to that incessant noise.

We don't believe in leaving our dogs out in the yard unsupervised. If they do start barking, it's end of play time and get your ass inside time.

This breed is a vocal breed, they are not nonsense or lonely barking, and they think they are doing their job. Fine by me. I would never debark a dog.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:58 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,740,335 times
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once again as an ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST (im not making this up) PLEASE DO NOT hold your dogs mouth losed, lightly or otherwise, its considered an AGRESSIVE posture by a dog, its not natural, and it can and will get you bitten eventually!
it also can be dangerousn, the dogs nose isnt structured like ours and the civity is in the top of the muzzle, you apply even a light amount of pressur eto that area you can block the passageways...
PLEASE, dogs do NOT need to be manhandled, and even a 13lb dog can and will bite if its feeling trapped.

im 100% sure he gets lots of playtime, but this isnt enough for any dog...they need directed structure, mental stimulation. runnign round and playing is fun but doesnt activate their mind and while there doign something there still bored.
try multiple short training sessions during the day and practice a nothing in life is free method...
have the staff make him work for treats, turn it into a "how many tricks in 30 seconds" game, ect, keep it short and fun and multiple times through theday, even if its just sit and down....or games like "find it" (yes this is a THINKING game and actualy a serch and rescue training) where a person hides and you tell the dog to find them...it takes some training at first but eventually your dog will know each person by name and find them on command...same goes for items too.
teach him to pick things up off the floor and hand them to you (pens ect) wihtout chewing them...again these little "tricks" are mental excersize and the more mental ecersize he gets the better the physical excersize will do for him.

during the day reward quiet. id teach him "look at me" (or pay attention) pick a word and use a treat so when you say that word his responce is to stop anythign hes doing and look at you and wait for instruction (this is a handy one because correcting him from across the yard is hard...being able to replaibly get him to stop what hes doing and pay direct attention to you will mkae it alot easier) teach the workd "quiet" or "enough"...
i allow my dogs 3 barks total, someone coems to the door, somthing in the garden whatever, 3 barsk is enough to tell me somethings there and for me to check it out. so after 3 its a "enough" takes some training but once they know what it means, best command youll ever teach.

he also needs structured excersize atleast twice a day, a 30 minute walk...no sniffing, no poty duty, no meet and greet, but a structured, pay attention stay by my side no pulling kind of walk...(i allow 5 mins at the beginning of a walk and 5 mins at the end for sniffy fun time) might be worth looking into a littl ebackpack for him, again somehting to increase the mental stimulation. thepoint of this walk isnt realy excersize as much as realy focusing his mind.

in the yard you said you let him out and then bring him in when he starts barking...seems to me hes actually trained you to do exactly what most dogs want...
"if i make all this noise...mommy comes out and lets me in the house with her" most dogs dont like being outside alone...its the complete opposite of everything their instinct tels them...instinct says im a pack animal and my pack is in there...brains say, how do i get back in there with the rest of my pack...try this...nope, try that...nope didnt work...try barking...oh hey i do this and they come get me and let me in..."

dogs are very inteligent and often manipulate us silly humans in ways wed never even consider possible.

i know its hard to be out there with him every 5 mins, so instead of letting him in the moment he starts barking...you said it takes about 15 mins. let him in after 10 mins instead, bring him in BEFORE he starts to bark,retrain that method in his mind so he doesnt think he has to bark for attention.

now obivously there are some times when a dog is going to bark because..neighbors making nise next door could be triggering a territorial instinct...
squirrells...heck even my best behaved young lady (CGC, TDI) cant resist a bark and chase fest when it comes to squirrels, and these are when your "look at me" command works wonders...a leave it comand might be doable too...reward only for the good behaviours and try to IGNORE the bad...
bad behaviours are not the animal "acting up" they dont know its "BAD" they just know it gets them attention of one kind or another...they dont care what type of attention, as long as its a responce.

id also abotuly agree with mrs...whenever possible outside with him on a long line leash (20-50ft) this way you have total control over him even if hes a distance from you...a "look at me" followed by no responce can easily be redirected with the leash imediatly with a GENTLE pull to get his attention or even reel him in...(no yanking needed).

debarking is considered a "cruel" and outdated procedure and has been linked to numerous behaviour issues as dogs age. barking is their way of communicating and when they no longer can bark properly they often get frustrated, theres also the risks associated with going through a surgery and its one prone to causing quite a bit of scar tissue.

it also wont stop the barking, it just decreases the volume. personally even if you could find a vet that would be willing, in this case i wouldnt say it sounds nessicary...it would simply be a convenience to you and i think theres alot more you can do with this dog that while less convenient...would be a much better option
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:22 AM
Status: "Watching the wind blow" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: in my living room
1,126 posts, read 1,863,912 times
Reputation: 1706
I'd never heard of debarking and had to look it up. How awful, I would never do it. I'm constantly trying to get Daisy to stop barking at anything and everything. She's managed to pass on her annoying "habit" to Tripper, who never barked unless it was a worthy cause. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where them barking at the wind only annoys me. After reading this thread I've decided they can bark all they want. I will try some of the suggestions given here though to try to tone it down a bit.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:00 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,192,445 times
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Yes, I just keep an ear out for my dogs barking when they're outside, and as soon as they start barking at something, in they come.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,403 posts, read 31,403,364 times
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Dogs are training you LOL Dogs should be trained that being alone outside is not the end of the world. This is the same a Sepration Anxiety. Except you are training the dog not to be alone outside instead of inside. Same thing in reverse LOL
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