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Hi! I need some help. I adopted a 2.5 year old male neutered BC, I've had him for about a week and a half now. He barks at everything. Sometimes I cant even tell what it is he is barking at. We live in an apartment with a pond and ducks out our back door (1st floor), which means there is plenty of activity going on outside. How do I train him to not bark? With our lab we used bitter apple and said "no bark", the bitter apple doesnt seem to phase Sam (the BC), so we are using the grab his muzzle and say "no bark", but I can be on top of him all the time to be able to do that---not to mention most of the time by the time i get there hes done barking. Occassional barking is fine with me as long as they stop when i tell them to (which Molly--the lab--does most of the time lol), but Sam is barking all the time. Any tips?

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I am lucky - with four dogs only one is a barker ( a BC/bernese mountain mix). I figure the guarding part of the dog is causing the barking. We got her when she was dumped about 5 months old ( and 50 pnds). We have done two things. Everytime she barks, we make her come inside ( if she is out) or go to her bed if she is inside. We are not mad or yelling. So now, if she is outside and barking - we say "Boots, no barking come inside" and she does. If barking inside the house - we go look, tell her everything is okay. Usually this stops the barking, if it does not - she goes to her bed. In the long run, it has cut down on her barking about 75%. She still barks more than the other dogs, but she is not crazy. Still makes me smile when you tell her " No barking, you have to come inside" and the goofy girl trots in with a hang dog look. Good luck.

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Hi! I need some help. I adopted a 2.5 year old male neutered BC, I've had him for about a week and a half now. He barks at everything. Sometimes I cant even tell what it is he is barking at. We live in an apartment with a pond and ducks out our back door (1st floor), which means there is plenty of activity going on outside. How do I train him to not bark? With our lab we used bitter apple and said "no bark", the bitter apple doesnt seem to phase Sam (the BC), so we are using the grab his muzzle and say "no bark", but I can be on top of him all the time to be able to do that---not to mention most of the time by the time i get there hes done barking. Occassional barking is fine with me as long as they stop when i tell them to (which Molly--the lab--does most of the time lol), but Sam is barking all the time. Any tips?

 

I've had dogs barking for just about every reason under the sun since so many dogs come to me from shelters. Which method you use depends on why your dog is barking. If he's alert barking I typically tell them thank you or enough and redirect them away from the window. Sometimes dogs new to an environment may be worried by things outside and need to be reassured by you that yes, you see it and that you aren't worried by it. I also keep the window shades down with an x-pen blocking access to the window until the dog has adjusted to the house and the new things. If he's worried by everything outside or is simply curious, taking him outside and letting him explore may help. Of course, if he's quite fearful of things outside I would used methods that can be found in "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons and/or BAT training. On the other end of the spectrum, if he wants to get out there and move those ducks and/or is being reactive you may want to check out "Control Unleashed" by an author I can't seem to remember.

There are so many methods to approach the problem but which method you use depends on why your dog is doing it. If he is fearful or anxious and you tell him no with bitter apple spray you may actually escalate the behavior or cause other fear behaviors. If you aren't sure why he's barking, you might want to have a positive trainer or certified behaviorist come check it out. They can point the way and help your dog adjust. I hope you and your new dog have many happy years together. :)

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First off is the dog getting enough exercise?? It sounds to me like your dog is reacting and barking to all that is going on outside....what sort of things are you doing for your dog to stimulate him mentally and physicly?? Is he crate trained??

 

Rescue dogs need strong leadership..you need to have a clear idea of what you expect and work towards making your new guy understand the house rules and boundaries....whitch include no exessive barking(I imagine your neighbors and landlord won't tolerate this)..

 

I know you mentioned not wanting to follow the dog around but getting a resuce dog you definetly have an obligation to work with this dog and make sure he understands what is expected...with the rescue dogs I have worked with and other I know...the dog is giving freedom gradually as he learns the rules and how he is to behave...This dog seems to need some guidance...

 

SO...I always crate train my fosters right away...the crate is a great place..they get special cookies, kongs with frozen pb..or other puzzle toys ONLY when they are in there....Makes them feel secure, keeps them busy and teaches them to CHILL OUT!! With new fosters I also spend ALOT of time one on one...pockets full of cut up turkey hot dogs, etc. getting them to trust me and look at me...teaching them basic tricks..

 

All dogs especially fosters get ALOT of exersice...not free running, mindless high intensity fetching...but long walks or runs with them by my side tend to be very calming and kind of re-assures my leadership role....this eventually goes to walks on a long line where we work on recalls, etc..

 

In your situation I would have the dog either in the crate, with a bone/toy/etc. or tethered to your side...he shouldn't get the opportunity to go over to the window and start barking...barking can become a VERY self rewarding behavior...and the more he's allowed to do it the harder it will be to stop it...

 

I would sign up for a dog obedience class in your area...working with a great trainer makes all the difference...someone who is experienced, many years of succesfuly training dogs....also getting your rescue out into more high stimulating environments and learning how to manage them, correct and reward for good behavior will boost your confidence as a team and re-inforce your leadership role...

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I finally figured out a way to stop my recreational barker Sheltie (well, ok, that describes most Shelties but she was hard core even for the breed). After years of trying punishment based methods, including a no-bark collar to little avail, I finally went the route of positive reinforcement combined with "time outs" and better management. She quickly became by far the quietest of my dogs and I felt stupid for not thinking of a reward based approach sooner. Basically, I taught her that if she came when I called she got a treat. If she came quickly off a barking jag, she got a bigger treat. If she stopped her barking jag on her own or "called herself off" some stimuli, she got many treats and praise. If she ignored my call, she was made to come inside which was the worst punishment since at the time there was nothing she loved more than hanging out in the backyard. At the same time, I stopped leaving her with access to the backyard when I left the house and could not intervene if she started barking too much. In other words, I didn't let her practice and self-reinforce the behavior. That is very important because barking can be very reinforcing for some dogs all by itself. My former barkaholic is now 12 1/2 and still my quietest dog.

 

I highly recommend Click to Calm by Emma Parsons as a great clicker book that is very useful for a variety of training challenges. Also, you have only had your new pup for a very short time. Both he and you are figuring out this new arrangement and what will help him feel secure and happy (and quiet). I second the use of a crate to help your dog learn to be chill out or when you can not actively keep an eye on him. Shysherdess has lots of good advice about helping a new dog settle in. Good luck!

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Its actually pretty normal dog behavior to bark at stuff, and some dogs are just barkier by nature. Herding breeds tend to be super excitable by stuff they see, especially if that stuff is moving.

 

Add to this that you just got him, hes not 100% up on what you expect of him and hes a young male...reciepe for a barky excitable dog.

 

So, my suggestion is to start with management and limit her access to looking out the windows for a while. Shut the blinds, move furniture, or get some cling film that you can get at a hardware or home improvement store that looks like frosted glass, and cover the lower part of your windows with it. It isn't a sticker, it clings with water, it looks nice and will come right off when you want it to. This will help keep him from being over excited at every little thing.

 

Next, spend some time with him, training basic stuff and stupid pet tricks. A Border Collie needs mental stimulation to get tired, and when he is a little more tired he will be a little less reactive to stuff he catches sight of. Exercise is good, mental exercise is better.

 

Next, teach him what "no bark" means by sitting with him on a leash in front of the open window, and when he gets excited lower your voice and very quietly ask him to be quiet, and if he is quiet you can pet him, give him a treat maybe, and leave the window open. If he makes noise, close the curtain. You want to look? Then you have to be quiet. By doing this in planned training sessions, you don't get caught "off guard" and you will have patience. By being calm yourself you will prevent yourself from winding him up and "barking back" (yelling) which doesn't help. Remember, he doesn't understand what the words mean, and in his world barking at exciting stuff is a normal dog reaction. You have to teach him what you want for him to get it.

 

If he can't wind down and be quiet when you shut the window, you can quietly (not angrily) say "oh, too bad" and pop him into his crate for a bit (like 2-3 minutes).

 

Add to this the recall training with rewards Shetlander described and pretty quick I bet you will be able to squelch the barking.

 

If he alerts at something when you are not training, quietly get up and look and be not-excited by it, then block his view. If he persists alerting, employ the "oh, too bad" and pop him in his crate for 2-3 minutes.

 

I live with 3 very barky dogs (2 Papillons, 1 Border Collie). My rule is, if they alert I will look, make the decision about if its something to get excited about, but when I say "OK, enough" its time to quit. If they don't abide by the "enough" then they get popped into the kennel for a few minutes. They figured that out real quick.

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thanks for all the tips, i will put them into action, hes already barking at the ducks (thats what im assuming it is lol), he does get 45 min of ball time outside and short walks several times a day, and he has a variety of mental exercises in the apartment. the idea of sitting with him rewarding him for not barking is a good idea, bc i do find myself getting impatient with him. the funny part is our lab hasnt been barking nearly as much at the duck/people/leaves since Sam came. lol. i think she's enjoying watching him in get in trouble instead of her. silly dog.

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the funny part is our lab hasnt been barking nearly as much at the duck/people/leaves since Sam came. lol. i think she's enjoying watching him in get in trouble instead of her. silly dog.

 

When I had two Shelties, one used to be the outside barker and the other the inside barker. They divvied up the duties. :lol:

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thanks for all the tips, i will put them into action, hes already barking at the ducks (thats what im assuming it is lol), he does get 45 min of ball time outside and short walks several times a day, and he has a variety of mental exercises in the apartment. the idea of sitting with him rewarding him for not barking is a good idea, bc i do find myself getting impatient with him. the funny part is our lab hasnt been barking nearly as much at the duck/people/leaves since Sam came. lol. i think she's enjoying watching him in get in trouble instead of her. silly dog.

I agree with a lot of what folks have said. I have two BCs and one loved to bark at anything that moved. I also like the book click to calm, but would also recommend two Susan Garrett books - Ruff Love and Crate games. Both positive based, but help to teach your dog the rules of the house, self control and also stimulate their brains. I would also suggest doing more than just ball - finding a good job for him is important, whether you can take herding lessons or agility, or something else that engages his brain well as provides exercise should help a lot. see if your local ARL or training club offers a clicker class to start.

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I agree with a lot of what folks have said. I have two BCs and one loved to bark at anything that moved. I also like the book click to calm, but would also recommend two Susan Garrett books - Ruff Love and Crate games. Both positive based, but help to teach your dog the rules of the house, self control and also stimulate their brains. I would also suggest doing more than just ball - finding a good job for him is important, whether you can take herding lessons or agility, or something else that engages his brain well as provides exercise should help a lot. see if your local ARL or training club offers a clicker class to start.

 

 

we do plan to eventually put him into some type of class, agility or frisbee or something of the like, but right now we are focusing on good manners, i dont yet trust him to be in a situation like those yet. he was not well socialized prior to us. so if we want him to get the full benefit of those classes i want him to be trained well enough that im not doing corrections for manners the whole time. trying to give him time to adjust to the new home first and get the basics out of the way before adding too much. :)

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