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The barking MUST stop now...


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I moved into an apartment last weekend and I realize that Jade's barking MUST stop. She doesn't have a real serious barking problem, usually its one or two really sudden really random barks that I don't see coming every couple of hours. I don't really think she's 'alert' barking, not that I really care for that either. Fortunately the walls adjoining the other apartments are made of cement, so sound doesn't really go through them very well. I haven't really tried anything yet because I don't know what to do or where to start, all I've done so far when she barks is look at her with really low "Nooo!" or 'aaaght!" but I'm not sure that's actually doing anything. I know you're not supposed to use the crate as punishment, but would crating her when she barks cause her to stop this behavior?

 

She's still doing the growling thing, but I'd rather have her growling than barking right now...

 

There are several yappy dogs around, a little schnauzer that barks its head off every time it sees someone for instance, but so far from the other dogs I've seen/heard, Jade's single barks are easily the loudest. She's also one of the bigger dogs here, the weight limit for dogs is 30 lbs, but the managers said her 45 lbs was alright.

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I've yet to put this theory to the test, but I've heard the easiest way to get a dog to stop barking is to put it on command. Teach her to speak and enough or ok to stop and apparently that'll be that....worth a shot?

Are they attention barks? If they are, then just refuse her attention when she does it and give her attention when she's quite, which should be easy if it's fairly random. With this method though, they might get worse before they get better. It might be easier to solve if you figure out why she's barking in the first place.

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I've yet to put this theory to the test, but I've heard the easiest way to get a dog to stop barking is to put it on command. Teach her to speak and enough or ok to stop and apparently that'll be that....worth a shot?

 

I saw this done on Its Me Or The Dog and I'm not sure if this would fit Jade... the dog on that show barked a lot in rapid succession, and it seemed to work for that dog, but in Jade's case, it is literally one (maybe two) barks and she runs off growling, so I don't know if that would work. She knows 'speak' and I'm worried if I try this by commanding 'speak, speak, speak speak, speak,' then she might start barking regularly like that.

 

I guess I want her to understand that it's not alright to bark in the first place... she never gets away with it...

 

It might be easier to solve if you figure out why she's barking in the first place.

 

I think she's barking at other doors and people in the hallway, and, our favorite thing to bark at (and always has been) is car doors shutting in the parking lot...

 

ETA: I think it might work to try and desensitize her to car doors, but i'm not sure I could do it without pissing off the neighbors. she doesn't bark at the doors when we're right next to the cars so I can't go off somewhere and 'practice' it. I've thought about treating her whenever she hears a car door, but with the car door comes the barking/growling and I don't want her to think she's being rewarded for barking/growling.

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Do you leave her there alone? If so, is she barking then to? If she is then it's going to be tough to train away from, she may learn to not bark when you are there and then get worse when you are not. When I lived in town my neighbors threatened to have me ticketed for my dogs barking, even had the police knocking on the door. Amber started barking when their little kid started teasing her over the fence. Their kid started the problem and I had to deal with it but I could not get a handle on it without being their 24/7. What ended up working the best for Amber was a bark collar, I was able to find one that admitted a shrill beep. She is so sensitive to it that I could just hang it by the door or her kennel gate and she would not bark, and actually get upset when another dog barks. The bad thing with it was that it is sound activated, the gingle of her tags, thunderstorms and other dogs barking right next to her would set it off, hence just hanging it by the door so she could get away from it once she connected the barking to the beep (it did not take long, within a day). I tried the vibration activated shock collars, they were inconsistent, sometimes setting off during play or when she would trot around the house, and I couldn't take the yelp from her even when it was set on the lowest setting. I heard that the citrenella ones work pretty well. If you decide to try that route look for one that takes a 9V battery, some take camera batteries and are expensive to replace.

 

Deb

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I should also add that her barking (maybe it is alert barking?) is in response to any loud 'thud' she hears- doors, car doors, knocking on doors/walls... how can I desensitize her starting with knocking on walls? Seems to me that would be easiest to do...

 

I don't think she's doing it for attention... this is the pattern: *initial noise*, BARK! duck and cover, turn around, ears back, grooooowwwl, cower to nearest human...

 

Debbie, as far as I know, she doesn't bark when no one is home. I haven't ever gotten any complaints, and my shut-in brother never indicated that she would bark when we were away, I doubt she knew he was even in the house. She's very quiet in her crate...

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Rachel, did you go back and review the suggestions everyone gave you a few months back when you were trying to deal with this problem?

 

Deb

 

i'll try and search for the old posts when I get back from class this afternoon... thought maybe this would be a little different since i'm out of the trailer and into an apartment complex this time.

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When I lived in town my neighbors threatened to have me ticketed for my dogs barking, even had the police knocking on the door.

Deb

I live in the country and DID get a fine. My dogs spent the day fence fighting when I wasn't home. They are angels when I'm here, but I do have to work for a living (to buy all that expensive dog food.....) I had to use bark collars too. It worked pretty well, but they did learn to bark "around" them. It did curb the crazy fence fighting though. I've given up now. They spend the day in crates in the house. I hate it, but they're getting old and sleep alot anyway.

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What was she like before this move? If the barking is new because of new sounds, then it may be a matter of her needing to settle in. I've had this with new/young dogs when the winter hits and my windows start rattling (I have really crummy windows). They growl and even bark a bit, but learn it is part of "normal" sounds.

 

It does seem like offering treats would be rewarding the bad behavior, but it is all in the timing. You reward after you have told them to quiet and they comply. Not as they are winding up barking. I cured my most relentless, Wall of Sound barker through a combination of positive reinforcement and negative punishment (in her case, making her come in from the backyard which she loved).

 

"Teach the dog to bark and then teach it to be quiet" is an old standard I hear and read frequently. I've never tried it and until It's Me or the Dog, I never knew anyone who could actually tell me they used it themselves successfully. As the proud owner of Shelties and a Lhasa who thinks he's a Sheltie, it never made sense to me. It did seem to work well on the TV show, though. Some of the problem with barking is it can be very self-reinforcing and that is where positive reinforcement isn't always enough. That is why I also used time outs to get the point across to my dog.

 

One of my friends bought a citronella no bark collar and used it with much success on a dog who was a long established (9 years old), self-reinforcing barker. It worked as quickly and effectively with her dog as my approach of positive reinforcement/negative punishment did with my dog. So that is another route to consider.

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The bad thing with it was that it is sound activated, the gingle of her tags, thunderstorms and other dogs barking right next to her would set it off, hence just hanging it by the door so she could get away from it once she connected the barking to the beep (it did not take long, within a day)

 

Yeah, I couldn't use the sound activated collar because I didn't want my barker punished if another dog barked. I never even thought of thunder setting it off - yikes. My dog was very frightened of thunderstorms at that time. Good think I returned the collar. Shelties do not need any help with neuroses. :rolleyes: If you do use a no-bark collar-- sound or vibration activated -- you should take off the dog's regular collar, especially if it has tags.

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"Teach the dog to bark and then teach it to be quiet" is an old standard I hear and read frequently. I've never tried it and until It's Me or the Dog, I never knew anyone who could actually tell me they used it themselves successfully.

I did teach a Samoyed to "sing" (she sang/whined ALL the time to the consternation of her owners) on cue and then to be quiet. Their attempts at punishment only made her sing louder. It really worked for her.

L

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Rachel, I might be reading it totally wrong, and I'm sorry if I am, but if she is not reacting to the noises by barking and is quiet and peaceful when you are not there then the problem could be with you. I think it was suggested before that you make a concience effort to not respond to the noises yourself, make sure that you don't go to the window to see who just got out of their car, don't try to figure out which neighbors door is closing. It really sounds like she is keying into you. Is it possible that you programmed her to respond ahead of time, for example if as a pup you went to the window everytime you heard a car drive up it only takes a few times before she will let you know before you could hear the car?

 

Deb

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Forgive me if this sounds like a really stupid question to you (I've never had to deal w/ living in a apt. complex where barking could be a problem). Is it because of you that the barking must stop now or because of your neighbors and apt. personnel?

 

The reason I ask... it just seems to me that if its only a bark or two at a time and its on occasion (as in maybe 1 or 2 times a day) then I just fail to see it as a major problem. Dogs are dogs and they will bark at times. I do understand completely if it happens all the time. I guess I have no real advice to give on getting the dog to stop barking, but as far as you are concerned, try and be patient while training and try not to get upset if it doesn't happen as fast as you would like. :rolleyes:

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Just took a 5 month puppy with me to her first nicer hotel (inside entrance, elevator, we have low standards LOL) for a weekend. She tried some alarm boofing at noises from other rooms and the hall but it was quickly stopped with a collar shake and a growl.

 

The number one reason I got on her hard was because being allowed to check in at 2am with dogs is a privilege we weren't going to blow - for us or anyone else with dogs. That said, I wouldn't have handled her much differently anywhere else unless we could see what the object-de-spook was. We go check those out together.

 

If I had to leave her there during the day (at hotels I don't leave them ever) I would put her in a covered crate and leave the TV on to mute any hallway noise.

 

Teaching dogs to bark to be quiet is usually as successful as teaching children to shout on command to prevent such in places like church. Unsuccessful at best.

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I have lived in a lot of apartments, and in single-family home neighborhoods where people keep their barking bull masiffs and yodeling beagles outside all day and all night. A dog that barks, even loudly, once or twice in succession every few hours or so would NOT be on my list of things that make me angry. I've found noise issues that cause me to complain are those that go ON and ON, whether it be barking, yowling cat, loud party, loud stereo, booming base, 4 hour teen dance party above my head. While I wouldn't complain about it, I also abhorr constantly screaming babies. (YEs I know it is not very PC to be upset about screaming babies or loud children, but have you ever lived next to one?)

 

Odin alarm barks a bit, and I've found me going to the window/door with him, looking out exaggeratedly, and then giving him a pat on the head and "good boy" shuts him up right away. My DH's "Shhh Shh" and "Odin, knock it OFF!!" don't seem to work at all, and Odin quits when he would quit himself anyway. I personally don't mind a bit of alarm barking in my detached home, and neither does my landlord. He considers it part of Odin earning his keep - keeping the property safer. Not sure if this is true or not by why argue with the landlord? :rolleyes:

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Is she afraid of thunder too? Is it only when you're in to house or does she do it outside too? Only when she can't see what the noise is?

 

I would either not worry about it if it's not very frequent or desensitize her to random generic "thuds". Most people are generally ok with a dog barking once in a while like Ooky said. God, Daisy gets really loud and rowdy sometimes while playing and frequently barks at people walking by our house if I can't catch her in time and our neighbours L.O.V.E. her (we live in a duplex) although they are a tad nuts and also dog lovers, but unless someone's complained already, I wouldn't really loose any sleep over it.

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For the bark collar

I have used one and would use one again. THey work wonders without much effort on your part. I don't think the correction is any worse than one from a human only this in self activated. That being said, it wouldn't work for you as most of them have a warning beep or what ever and don't really do their thing till the second bark so if your pup is only barking once per incident it wouldn't work.

I did have a dog long ago that was my first try at a bark collar. He was set in his ways and wouldn't stop. Darn dog learned to bark once, wait 30 seconds for the timer to reset then bark again.

It took my spying on him to figure that out. I had lots of dogs at the time and he was outside (not kept out there, but just hanging out in the back yard while I was doing dishes). I'd go look to find the barker and he'd be there with his eyes shut just lazing in the sun. So I watched long enough and sure enough, he'd snooze 30 seconds or so, let out one bark then back to snoozing. He didn't even open his eyes from his snooze just a quick bark! Only dog that it didn't work on!

 

I'm with the others, if it's only an occasionaly bark what's the harm?

 

Kristen

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I did have a dog long ago that was my first try at a bark collar. He was set in his ways and wouldn't stop. Darn dog learned to bark once, wait 30 seconds for the timer to reset then bark again.

 

:rolleyes: That is too funny! What a smart (and naughty) dog!

 

 

I'm with the others, if it's only an occasionaly bark what's the harm?

 

Is that what this is? Apparently the barking has been a concern for a while, but I agree if it is one or two quick alarm barks, it seems fairly normal for an alert dog.

 

One of my friends just had her house broken into while her family slept in the middle of the night. No one heard the intruders who came in through the window. She has a barky Corgi who never made a peep -- she says because it was crated and never barks in the crate. I would have been so mad if that had been my dog. In fact, I was mad at her dog! All the barking our dogs do over stupid stuff like an old man shuffling past the house, and then not barking when criminals coming in through the window???

 

Anyway, outrage aside, I now am more lenient with my dogs when they bark in the evenings or at night. I do tell them to quiet, but I don't feel as irritated even the couple of times they have woken me. Really, the biggest benefit most dogs offer as far as protection is making noise. Even friendly dogs.

 

So is Jade's barking more than once in a while, or combined with some other behavior that is annoying/concerning/unacceptable?

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I think she's barking at other doors and people in the hallway, and, our favorite thing to bark at (and always has been) is car doors shutting in the parking lot...

Teach her to do something else to alert you to the fact that a door has closed, a person has walked down the hall, a car door has been shut, etc. She's trying to tell you something, so just ask her to do it in a different way. For instance, teach her to pick up a certain item and bring it to you when she hears those sounds. Shouldn't be too hard to do, and much easier than training her never to bark, especially in situations where she wants to get your attention. You can even skip the item and just teach her to tap you on the shoulder (or whatever) when she wants to tell you something.

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One of my friends just had her house broken into while her family slept in the middle of the night.

Ha. Last night I had to go to a friend's house when he wasn't there and get something from his bedroom. He warned me about the dog barking, but actually she was delighted to see me and only barked when I left without taking her along :rolleyes:

 

I have another friend who was burgled while the humans were asleep. Their dog helpfully padded around after the burglar to keep him company.

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I have 4 dogs. One would bark like no tomorrow if someone tried to break in all tuff but backing up the whole time, one would welcome him right on in, another would never wake up and the 4th would be wanting to hide under the covers with me. :rolleyes:

 

I really do wonder what my dogs would do if I acted fearful with someone coming into the house. Usually I'm telling them to be quiet or saying hi with them. I think they would react to anything that I would in the same manner as me. Or at least that's my plan!

Kristen

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ok I've been reading the replies throughout the day but this is the first chance I've gotten to post back. Debbie makes a good point about maybe the problem being me, so so far tonight I've tried ignoring her when she lets out a bark, which so far has lead to longer barking periods, but for the most part I think it is actually improving. It's going to be a process, that's for sure, but it's worth a try. I only got after her once tonight when she was getting ridiculous. As far as the ignoring goes, should I then praise her when she gets quiet again or just act like nothing ever happened?

 

Oh in response to someone's question, Jade doesn't have any problems with thunder (of all things...).

 

Seems the general concensus is that a couple of barks now and again are reasonably acceptable, guess I hadn't thought of that. This is the first time I've had neighbors on 5 sides of me that I'm concerned about (the dorms don't really count!) being bothered by noise from my apartment.

 

The stories about the burglars are somewhat alarming, so I guess I should be happy that she isn't completely silent. I'm positive that if someone entered our home that wasn't supposed to be there, she would MAKE me know- she barks or growls at anyone she sees coming in even if she knows them, then she gets wiggly once she figures it out. Have to admit, I would be pretty angry if my dog kept the burglar company!

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I have no doubt Sophie would bark at the very least, and full out protect me with teeth if necessary. Good thing, because Taz and Craig would be hiding behind the couch.

 

This is going off topic, but i was trying to imagine what our pack would do with an intruder--I think Tansy and Rafe would defend home and hearth with all they have--barking, teeth or whatever (Rafe might even pee out of general concern); Hamish would be worried about keeping Rafe in line; Renzo would bark and dart in and out like a maniac, but stay out of general reach of an intruder; the other three would be hiding under the bed.

 

Back on topic--I think Alaska's advice is great if you're really concerned about the barking.

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