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The silent and the not so silent

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We have 2 BC pups, our little girl Sheila just turned 6 Months and a little 13 weeks male which we have since he was 8 weeks.


Sheila is a very ‘silent’ dog, so much that sometimes we wonder if she knows how to bark, hehe. We heard her bark a couple of times when she was very little and there was a toy stuck that she couldn’t get to, but that’s it. She’s also very submissive with all other dogs, apart from her little brother, which we see that she won’t let him run the place, however never in an aggressive way


‘Joe’ on the other hand makes up for her silence… and it’s getting very bad. He is just 13 weeks and everytime they get playing (they play pretty rough) he bark and barks and barks. This is mostly when they play outside(not barking out of being bored or at people passing by) Now he started barking at us when he decides it’s dinner time and he’s very aggressive with Sheila (not with us) over food. We feed them in separate room and he doesn’t care about his food, he wants hers… and as soon as we let him out he runs to where she ate and growls at her if she gets near.


We are very severe with him. We correct him everytime he start barking (when we are there) and when it gets too bad we give him a time out. It calms him down but as soon as he is out it starts all over again. We also use the water spray when we can. When we are in a park with other dogs and he plays with them, he never barks at all. Only at home, which makes us think it’s a battle for superiority with Sheila at home.


On the other hand he is very vocal about everything and a lot of the barking is ‘happy’ lets play, we know that’s a part of him and he will never be as silent as Sheila. We just want to control it so that don’t get very angry neighbours. He’s very loud.


Anyone has suggestions to help reduce the barking? We thought maybe about one of those spray collar. Do they work? For the food aggressions we were thinking about feeding them side by side and control/ correct him when he tries to go after her food. This is going to be a challenge a first. We’re just not sure if it will help or get him going even more. He has never displayed aggression towards us and we make sure to put our hands in his bowl & mouth occasionally when he eats. He respects all of out commands (sit/stay) very well and great recalls… Only problems is the noise and the food


Both dogs get a lot of exercise twice a day, we keep then very active and they do obedience school in weekend. We try to be good pack leaders from all we have learned since we got the dogs but this is getting out of hands and we need some help with him.


Thanks for any help!

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It sounds like a majority of the reasons he is barking is because he is bored or wants to play or just simply wants your attention. While it is a negative form, scolding him for barking is still giving him the attention he is asking for. Simply, don't look at him or give him attention when he is barking for it. Give him attention when you want to and on your time. You're going to want to cut your ears off in the process, but don't give in! He'll learn that barking doesn't give him attention. To enforce this, I suggest praising him for sitting quietly and lathering him in attention for when he is a quiet boy. He's a smart dog, he should get it.


The aggression/aggressive barking may be stemming from the fact that he is given attention when he asks for it. He's fallen into the thinking that he gets what he wants when he wants. So make him work for his food, ask for a sit, or simply feed him when he is a quiet boy.


Both attention and food time and really everything given to him, should be given on your time and when you want to. He needs to learn to respect that and everyone will get along great :rolleyes: You might need to buy some ear plugs in the process, but good luck!



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One of my dogs, Lightning, can be very vocal and demanding too. "Play with me! Play with me! Play with me!" when it comes to any kind of retrieval toy or doing agility. When I was doing agility lessons with him we were using a clicker and the instructor would have me turn my back to him if he was barking and ignore him. As soon as he quieted I'd turn back, click and treat and then he would get to work on the obstacles. If he became too noisy again, same thing. The fun would stop and he'd get ignored. In that way he was learning that barking meant the fun would end, quiet means a treat. At first. Later it was just quiet, get to do the obstacle and then reward. Being vocal is a part of the way he is, I'm never going to change him completely but it did help him learn to control it. I don't work at it all the time but if he's getting particularly demanding I give him a bit of a refresher.

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