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Thread: What to do about my puppy's barking - help?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Talking What to do about my puppy's barking - help?

    Howdy all. I've been reading here a few weeks, and have finally decided to register.

    I'm just looking for a bit of advice.

    We have a 5yo cattle cross desexed boy (Duke), who we have had since 8 weeks. He was adopted from the pound.
    We recently adopted a 6mo terrier cross desexed boy (Chopz) from a rescue group. The vet paperwork indicates he may have a bit of foxy/jack russell - who knows?

    Pup has been at home with us for two weeks now, and both dogs seem to get along fine. There has been far less scrapping and/or jealousy than I expected. At first, pup barked at every noise. We live on a street that leads down to a train station, so there are quite a few passer bys, and our neighbours are young girls that often come and go. He barked like crazy at them at first, but this has started to settle to a growl, and the odd barking fit here and there.

    Over the weekend, we took them both to the dog beach, as the older boy loves to swim. Puppy barked at everyone and everything. He got really worked up, and was shaking. His heart was racing, and we ended up having to leave because he was so stressed.

    Because of the holidays, we've mostly been home for the last two weeks since we adopted him, and yesterday was both of our first day back at work. Our other neighbours told us last night that he barked most of the day. (They are good neighbours, and weren't whinging - I specifically asked)

    Before I went to work, I spent a half hour exercising them (we exercise at night too), made sure there was food, water, toys, bones, etc. We are also doing basic obedience twice daily. He is very clever, and has mastered sit, drop, stay, beg, rollover, etc. I had my dad come on check on them about lunch time to make sure all was okay, and he said they were just chilling on the verandah.

    I'm not sure what the cause of his behaviour is, and I'm not sure how to handle it. Because he is a rescue, obviously there is some history I don't know. Also, my previous experience is mostly with working dogs - cattle, kelpie, crosses, etc and he is a different breed altogether.

    So, I wonder if anyone will weigh in on what I could do to turn this behaviour around before it becomes an issue? IE, is there something specific I could be doing in terms of environment, training or conditioning that might help?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things already in relation to trying to prevent him from barking from boredom. It is always hard to tell why a dog is barking when home alone. Maybe your neighbours can give you some pointers here? If he is barking at passers by, can you maybe block his view of the street somehow, for example?

    Not sure what to suggest about the getting stressed at the beach. There's another post here about a young cattle dog rescue who displays similar behaviour at the moment: http://www.dogforum.com.au/general-d...ms-bandit.html There may be some tips that you could also use for Chopz.

    Do bear in mind that it does usually take longer than 2 weeks for a pup/dog to settle into a new home too. He might just gradually get over some of his issues once her realises that it is his home and you're not going to abandon him, etc...

  3. #3

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    Like Beloz I think you're doing everything right so far. It could have been excitement overload rather than stress at the beach. Terriers are full on and do tend to take life by the horns anyway.

    The increase in barking may just be due to him knowing you're not home, and the slight change increasing his anxiousness a little. As he becomes familiar with your work routine he should relax into it.

    Try to not worry too much and give him a little more time. It sounds like your neighbours are right on side, and won't mind so much if they know he's settling.

  4. #4
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    I agree with the above comments. You have only had him for a couple of weeks, let him settle in first and see if the barking subsides as he grows accustomed to you and the noises around your home, slowly he will learn your routine and learn what is expected of him. Also i agree with beloz, if you can block his view of people passing by that should help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Tape his muzzle shut

    Just kidding LOL

    Agree with everyone else...let him settle a bit and see what happens. Just explain the situaton to the neighbours, i.e. hes settling in, hes a rescue, he may bark for a bit

  6. #6
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    Thank you all for the replies. I agree that he does need some time to settle in - he was a death row boy, and has been shifted around a bit prior to us getting to him. I think he may also be a bit more of a "barky" dog than my other boy too, so I might be just a bit more sensitive to it.

    I have had the thought about blocking him from the street. We have a large yard though, and it would be a major fencing exercise. I will probably give him a bit more time and see how he goes before I consider that option.

    When I am at home, and he barks at someone or a noise, then I am trying to distract him to another activity - is this a good idea, or am I best to "ignore" the barking?

  7. #7
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    I find that ignoring the barking tends not to work. Because it's rewarding by itself. Ie barking is fun or important to a dog.

    1. I always check out (or listen for) whatever my dog is barking about. Because I do want her to bark at strangers on my place. Including the meter man - cos I don't like surprises.

    2. I play lots of collar grab game. Ie grab collar - say dog's name - give treat. In front of the tellly is good. Just count out five or six treats and play until they're gone. But do this anywhere and everywhere and often. With a rescue dog - you might have to start out gently ie as much as the dog can stand without running away so it might just be saying the dog's name and giving a treat to start with and build up to touching the lead near the collar or the dog's chest or back - what ever he's happy with.

    3. If dog is barking at something I don't want - I grab collar and hold until dog sits. If dog doesn't normally wear a collar but barking is a problem - she only goes outside wearing one (or where ever there is a barking problem). When dog has shown some self control - I praise and release. If the barking starts again - repeat grab and wait. No scolding required. This is important, you just hold the collar and wait - act boring - don't look at dog or talk to it.

    4. I teach my dog to speak on command. I think I wrote what I do somewhere else but it puts a doggy value on the barking - so dog is less likely to give it away for free. Bizarre but it works.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I am pretty much of the same opinion as Hya. Do pretty much the same sort of training......

    I also find a lot of owners yell at their dogs, I don't I am very quiet around dogs. If they do something i do not like, I go to them and do something about it, similar to hya........Or we do have the "time-out" area and i just take them quietly over there and leave them alone in there (5-10min)...it also works. Owners yelling "shut-up" or whatever only makes things worse, the dogs get exited and everyone and everything gets exited and it has a snowball effect.

    Teaching a dog to bark with positive reinforcement does make them very tight with their barking LOL..they want to be paid. And you can also teach "shush" or "quiet" the same way
    Pets are forever

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