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Barking: timeout or reward the pause?

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So after a little drama which I posted about last week, with all of your help Darcy (6 month old pup) and the Humans have chilled out so it seems Darcy is here for the long haul. So now on to a more mundane training question...

Darcy barks at noises coming from the floor above him (which are pretty much always my children tromping around.)  I have tried saying “thank you” and checking out the ceiling he is barking at (as Doggy Dan suggests) and then quietly putting him in timeout for a couple minutes (bathroom) if the barking persists. He quiets right down in timeout but then the barking starts again with the next clunk he hears. 

So before I go and do a hundred timeouts, I wanted to check with you, The Wise And Experienced, if you think I should persevere with this approach. I have seen others here post that their approach is to simply reward any pause in barking and then slowly require longer and longer pauses. 

Any reason to choose one approach over the other?

(Meanwhile we are also working with the Relaxation Protocol to help with general chilling out.)

Oh, and we have an e-collar but we don’t use it. My sense from this forum is that we should continue to not use it for this or just about any other training challenge. Right? 

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Right to not use the shock collar. Unless used in very experienced hands it can do a lot of harm.

I advocate regularly for both the reward pause method and the time-out method for barking. I don't think one is necessarily better than the other, you do what works.

Since the method you are using doesn't seem to work, maybe try something else. If you are familiar with Control Unleashed, use the "Look At That" protocol. If you don't have the book, then get it. :-) 

Also remember that a 6 month old border collie is usually pretty excitable. He may calm down on his own in time. In the meantime, training the "Look At That" is still good, because it is useful in many circumstances. I have a dog friend who used "what's that?" as her phrase, and applied it everywhere it was needed. Shelties are very barky dogs, by nature, and she had three. All three would bark like crazy at the slightest thing, but would stop immediately and come to her when she said "what's that". 

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Thank you D'Elle!

I have just gotten started with the timeouts, but I can already tell it is probably going to take a substantial commitment for a little while. So I thought I better steel myself with some good advice from here before I get too far into it. But if it seems to be going nowhere I will try the pause-reward approach. 

Meanwhile, Control Unleashed is already on its way from Amazon! (Actually, it's Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program. I assume the Look At That protocol is in there too, but if not I will track it down.)

What? Darcy excitable??? Lol. 

As I mentioned we are also doing Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol, which I am finding both fun and helpful. We call the towel he sits on for the sessions his "Yoga Mat". I think in his mind he thinks of it as "The Towel where the humans give me high value treats for doing absolutely nothing!".

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