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Thread: Command Barking for a Quiet Dog

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Inner West Sydney
    Posts
    164

    Default Command Barking for a Quiet Dog

    I have yet another 'problem' that has only just occured last night. It's not so much of a negative thing to me, but more so to the neighbours as they might not understand dogs.

    I wanted to post this up last night, but I think the forum was down!

    Anyway, last night, Milo was happily trying to get his denta stix out of a plastic water bottle until suddenly at like 11pm, he started to bark (in a deep tone, so it's like warning us that something is wrong around the house) non-stop for an hour. I went out two times to see what he was barking at - a cat? suspicious man? a harmless grub on the ground? etc. (He's barked at these before) He was barking at the back fence along with growling and a bit of whining. I think it was because of the trees rustling from the strong winds, or the shadows created by the trees and street light behind our house.

    After the second time I went out and saw that there wasn't anything physically threatening, I went back inside and ignored him. After midnight, he has stopped barking, but I could still hear him pacing around all over the backyard (we've attached a bell to his collar).

    I don't want to discourage his barking to warn us of something strange around me (he once barked deeply at a gothic girl at dog club) or around the house, but I also don't want to disturb neighbours, especially late at night.

    I have tried but found it difficult to train him to bark and stop barking on command as he's a relatively quiet dog. I would say in a day, he would only bark in a normal tone once at the most (if we closed the door on him and he wants to come in). His warning bark, however, is random as he would smell/see/hear/etc things before I even get to notice anything is wrong - this barking is not done often, and like I said, it's random so I can't foresee it.

    This has only happened last night, but if it was to happen again, I would like to know how to stop him barking. Not only to not disturb others, but also to let him know that nothing is wrong/a threat and he can stop barking now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Hi,

    I do understand why you are concerned about what happened last night. but I do not see a big problem, as It could be one off situation.

    In saying that I have found Karen Pryor's training quite useful. Please check the link:How to Stop Unwanted Barking | Karen Pryor Clickertraining

    The link will take you to practical training which I have found really good for my minis.
    I love cooking but I love eating even more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    203

    Default

    Well let's look at it from the dog's point of view. He is barking to let you know that he is not sure about something and he needs his pack to back him up with whatever may be happening. So you go out look around can't see anything and walk back inside and your dog is like "Hey! You didn't help me with my problem!" haha so what I have found to work really well is if he does it again let him bark once or twice then go out make a show of looking around then turn to him and say "Thank-you" or "enough" or whatever then take him gently by the collar and move him away and give him a treat. SO you have said to 'it's alright mate nothing much is going on don't worry about it I have it under control' so he learns that he can bark once or twice as a warning but once you say "enough" or "thank-you" it means you have checked the possible threat out and have decided it is safe.

    make sense? i tend to ramble sometimes haha
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Inner West Sydney
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Thanks for the replies! I'll try the method of treating if it ever occurs again... If I remember!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Is a lot easier to train a dog that barks a lot to be quiet, but in this case - I guess I'd give the dog something else to do like Kaz Tarja suggested.

    Today my dog was having a lovely chat with the neighbour who was putting up new trellis on his side of our mutual fence. So I asked her for a drop stay, and got it and she held it while I went inside and got her some treats, and I think she forgot she was chatting with the neighbour... it shut her up.

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