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drharps

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  1. Thanks Terrecar. Another question: I know citronella and e-collars for barking are frowned upon by most, but I'm curiuos if it's a tool that can be of value to try to get her to not bark while I teach her the activity I want. My concern is - like today - it's going to be a lot of barking before she knows what is needed. A friend came over and I put her in the crate and while I tried to get her down, she was so focused and barking she was really struggling to pay attention to me and was loudly barking the entire time. Those 'freak out' barking moments will enrage already frustrated neighbors. I don't want to do the e-collar route or citronella, but I can't take months to teach her the right activity in a more measured manner. I want to get the barking stopped, and teach her what I want with the buffer that has allowed. But if it's just going to make everything a 1000x more difficult, I don't want to do it.
  2. Let me clarify that last part: she gets exercise in both evening and morning, but I only do one 'big' exercise one or the other. She also gets continual mind work throughout the day with concentrations in morning and evening. But, like I said, there is more of a focus in the evening but a lot of people say morning is better.
  3. Thanks for the response. I suspect it's fear as she is a very neurotic dog. When she is outside, actually, she is pretty good. If she hasn't been exercised she's of course more reactive, but for the most part she just stares intently at stimuli as they go by. It's when we're inside that she really loses it. Given your response on the second post, my thought is maybe have her go to her crate and reward her when there is a noise. I'm trying to get her to go to the crate anyway when people come to the house so she doesn't jump on them and she's pretty good about doing it. I don't think it'd be hard to do that for every stimulus. Thoughts? Also, somewhat related, is it generally better to exercise a dog in the morning or evening? She is far more active in the evening, and she's generally calm most the day (it's around 4 when she really starts to amp), but I've read a lot of posts of people saying working the dog out first thing was great for keeping her calm all day. (And for the record I realize they need both, but I usually focus more on morning or evening - for instance, she gets a 3-4 mile run most evening as opposed to the morning.
  4. So I would love thoughts on what i'm doing to reduce my dog's barking. She barks at nearly every noise or visitor that is within 40' of the house (to say nothing of fireworks or loud noises some distance away). My trainer said to ignore her and she would eventually get better, but I've tried that and it simply hasn't work, and my neighbors have actively complained now about the barking. She can't always see the stimuli, noise is sufficient. So what I'm doing now is being much more strict with her in every day settings (e.g. making her sit and stay when I make dinner, heel before entering a room, etc.) to try and get her to be more deferential (I feel she got a bit over-confident in her place in the house). Now, when she barks or yelps at a noise, I grab her and drag her into the bedroom and make her stay until she stops - with me standing there watching her until she lays down. I know reacting to her reactions could promote increased reaction by her, but I can't have her barking all day and I'm hoping the 'punishment' and clear sign of disapproval will cause her to mellow. I'm also considering a minor e-collar, and have purchased a citronella bark collar. I'm not a fan of either, but it's really to the point if she doesn't shape up in a manner of weeks, I may have to re-home her because the neighbors are pissed, and it's really hard being in the home with her like this. Otherwise she's very sweet and obedient - it's really the barking that is a killer (and the escapism, but I think I fixed that). Thoughts?
  5. Thanks for the advice everyone. I went the crating method and after breaking out of the crate (she pulled the side panel in and pushed the main panel out, which was amazing as even I have trouble getting them set-up and broken down) she has largely relaxed and accepts it. I only do it when I'm gone and as stated, it's not my favorite idea but it's the best I can do. Unfortunately the way my house is set up I can't block her from all windows. I live in HI so basically the entire house is windows and she has even pushed furniture up against a window then jumped out that way. I think the problem is largely solved for the moment...
  6. So my BC has become a Harry Houdini in a "wow that's amazing," and a "oh boy, that is bad" way. It started where she figured out she could cut screens with her nails and started breaking through open windows. Now she has learned glass is breakable and is breaking the glass out of windows to escape. She doesn't run away - as she's always broken into the yard - but I obviously can't trust her at home now (I just moved to a new spot a week ago). Any advice is welcome. What are people's thoughts on e-fences so I can leave her in the yard when I'm gone and while the fences are secure, the e-fence may offer an added sense of security? I've never really crated her when I leave but may have to do that. Do craters have any thoughts? I recently separated from my girlfriend so I've never had to crate her while gone, and don't like the idea of her being locked up. Some of this is likely nerves as we just moved and I bet she's spooked, but I also can't risk her hurting herself and I can't keep taking these financial hits from this darn dog.
  7. So I posted on another thread about needing a good ball recommendation, and it elicited a number of views on the issues with fetch as an activity. It got me to doing some research and looking more into the issue. What do people think of the activity? Is it good, but only when limited to 30 minutes a day? Is it good, but best when it's on a schedule so the dog knows, for instance, fetch happens in the morning and that's it? Is it something that is a great exercise for the dog so do it when and where you can? Some of the studies I found indicated it can lead to a nervous, anxious, and reactive dog because they essentially become a junkie and it affects their brain activity when they aren't playing. Other trainers/vets I've read say it's a natural and great activity for dogs. Would love to hear what people think because fetch is one of those things I've considered as 'dog-like' as the name fido and love of bones.
  8. Lots of interesting takes in this thread, did not expect it to go this way. For the record, I also do training, walks, hikes, nose work, beach, etc. with my dog. That said, she LOVES fetch and when we go in the yard (which is small) it's a great activity where I can sit and do work and periodically throw the ball for her. When we go to a dog park, all she wants to do is fetch with the toys there. It is undoubtedly her favorite activity outside of something more active, like hiking. Based on some interesting food for thought in this thread, I'll greatly reduce her fetch, but cutting it out doesn't seem like something she'd want, or I'd want, as it's a good way to exercise her when I can't do something more engaging. And for the record, the Champion Sports Extreme soccer ball lasts no longer than any other ball.
  9. I'm wanting to buy a soccer ball (or size 3) to kick for the dog. I bought a regular ball to see if she'd like it and she loved it, but tore it to shreds in seeming minutes. I've tried the jolly ball and we use it only for inside because the plastic is too unpleasant to kick barefooted. Any recommendations? I see chukit has a ball. There are also 'tougher' soccer balls out there. Curious if anyone has tried any before I buy.
  10. Anyone have any tips on when your dog gets excited how you calm them down? My border gets overly excited when a random stimuli happens - say someone talking outside the house, or on a walk a bus's brakes squeal, or the neighbors come out when we're playing frisbee in the yard. She then starts barking and fluffs her tail and runs around the yard or pulls on the leash. When that happens or has happened to you, what did you do to calm them? Did you make them lay down and stay until they relaxed? Start training them to divert their energy? Thoughts?
  11. What are people's thoughts on these, and have they had any experience with them? Our fence isn't secure, so we've had to build a makeshift one cutting off half the yard to our border, and unfortunately she, when fired up, can still get over the fence. (We rent so we're not interested in making a heavy investment for legit fencing.) The yard is pretty small and I'd love to let her run the entire area, so I'm thinking of getting a wireless or underground fence to 'block off' the problem areas (low points in the fence, gaps, etc.). Thoughts?
  12. Thanks everyone for the incredible advice! I've already started with the training, and will dig up the assortment of old clickers we have laying around. We used the clicker when she was younger so she'll pick it up quickly. One thing that will be interesting is I've trained her that when I click with my mouth, she needs to look at me. Hopefully she doesn't confuse the two, but they're distinctive enough I think it'll be fine.
  13. Thanks D'Elle. I'll give this a try first, and slowly work towards LAT as well. Until I get her trained on LAT, I'll try rewarding her when she pauses. One other question: there are times when I don't have the clicker on me, and instead wait for the break and say, "YES, good girl," and reward her. Is there something magic about the clicker, or is it the praise she receives at the right moment to indicate the action we want, regardless of whether it's a click, a tongue click, or a "good girl."
  14. So is one better or easier than the other (click when she pauses/Look at that)? Also, D'Elle, was there concern you were going to reward and reinforce the bad behavior? She absolutely loses her mind and goes vicious when we park by a dog in our car, and I'm afraid if I click when she breathes or pauses, she's going to think it's a reward for the barking/aggression. I'm also afraid she's going to learn that if she barks, she can look at me and I'll click and reward because she stopped (I've had that happen in the past).
  15. My girlfriend likes to call that the spot where the off button is supposed to be, but wasn't properly installed.
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