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Hello! I'm having a weird thing show up in my 1 year old border collie, and I was wondering if anyone had any input. 

It has been going on for a few months now, and doesn't seem to be improving.. Whenever he hears the trash bags being handled, he (if he is free in the house) runs forth and back between the garbage can and the door to the outside. He whines in a very high pitched, loud and long manner that in the house we refer to as "screaming", since it is so different from his usual whining. 

When he is in his crate when we start handling the bags/taking it out, he will start barking relentlessly (even if he is in a different room) until there are no more bag noises.. 

Any advice on what this behaviour comes from? Or how to make it stop? Having him bark so furiously for minutes at a time while taking out the trash has got to be bothering the neighbors living upstairs.

Apart from this, he is a wonderful dog in almost every way (although still an adolescent ;), apart from his fascination with cars (which has gotten better). He gets three walks a day, trick training and obedience training regularly, and doesn't have a problem relaxing and winding down in the house. 

Would love any helpful feedback! ❤️

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1 hour ago, GentleLake said:

1) It doesn't matter what the cause is. What matters is figuring out how to address it.

2) Classic desensitization and counter/conditioning.

Thank you! Suppose I find the behaviour puzzling, and was curious about the potential cause. But of course you are right in finding a way to address it is the main concern.

I have been using a CD of scary sounds (fireworks and gunshots in particular) to help with preparing for New Year's, and that has worked beautifully. But I started doing that since he was about 3 months. I am considering recording the sounds from the kitchen when we take out the trash (without barking sounds present) and have that on repeat (starting at low volume) to do the same thing. 

Just wanted some other input, as I'm very scared of just making it worse..  

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Quote

1) It doesn't matter what the cause is. What matters is figuring out how to address it.

2) Classic desensitization and counter/conditioning.

Exactly.

One of my dogs lost her mind after her first heat cycle.  She took offence to the shower curtain, the light above my bed, the printer - even when it was turned off - and bottles.  She was aggressive toward everything except the bottles, these she was terrified of (I'm still baffled over 20years later).   Mostly we just used stuff until it was boring, ignoring the stupid behaviour and interacting with her happily when she would look away or leave the offensive items.  I did have to kick her off of my bed a few times so she would quit barking at the ceiling but she did give up eventually.  

The bottle fear was different.  I had to turn the bottle from something scary to something to look forward to seeing.  I happened to be eating chips with sour cream one day and had a bottle of light beer on the little stand beside me.  Darcy lost her mind when she saw the bottle but she was super obedient.  I told her to down and then spit about a half teaspoon of beer into the almost empty sour cream dish and coaxed her to lick it.   Then I held the bottle so she could get a small whiff of where the beer came from.  Another half teaspoon into the sour cream dish and let her smell the bottle.  Worked so well that I spent the next nine years trying to keep any and all beer bottles out of her reach.  :) 

(No I don't condone giving alcohol to dogs, it was what I had in the moment so I used it.  She was never allowed beer or anything else like it again.)

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