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Thread: Help!!!!!!

  1. #1

    Default Help!!!!!!

    Hi, we are new to this forum. We have had our dog for about 10 years. A few years ago, we got another dog. They have been living together for a few years now and have no behavioural problems.
    About 6 months ago, our older dog began barking all day while we are at work. She throws herself at the fence where the neighbours dogs are, and barks pretty much non stop when we are not home. The strange thing is though, when we are home she is super well behaved and she plays fine with the neighbours dogs when they are all out the front together.
    It is only when she is left in our yard she has a complete personality flip and starts barking and attacking fences.
    We have tried bark collars, she simply puts up with the shocks and continues barking, we have tried leaving her in different sections of the yard, we have tried all sorts of things and nothing changes the behaviour.
    Its very odd and worrying and we are running out of options. Nothing has changed for years stimulus wise regarding her environment or anything else we are aware of, and opinions would be most helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Paulf

    You may need some on site help - because you are going to have to break the habit and you can't do that while you're at work. Well, maybe an intercom / answering machine where the dog could hear you talking might help.

    I would have to know where you are (nearest big city) to recommend anyone to help. I would avoid the franchise that specialise in this kind of thing. My neighbours got them in. Found the instructions too embarrassing to follow - so they didn't and it didn't work. I suspect it may not have worked all that well anyway - not enough emphasis on what the dog should be doing instead and too much unpleasant stuff which your dog is already ignoring.

    Barking is self - reinforcing - it's fun and habit forming all by itself. The combination with the bark collar - may have your dog blaming the other dogs for her pain - and completely fail to make the connection between barking and getting zapped. You can't just stick on a collar like that and expect the dog to know what to do to avoid the pain. They have to be trained. And if you could do that - you don't need the collar.

    My dog sometimes does the barking and fence pounding when I'm home. And if she doesn't stop when I say (just the once) - I walk up to her, grab her collar (put one on if she doesn't have it on already), and right there - where she was barking and lunging at the fence, I hold her until she notices I'm holding her and does something that tells me she's calmed down - like a sit. I don't say anything to her until she's calmed down. And then I tell her she's a good dog and let her go to see what she does.

    If she carries on like a pork chop again - I grab her collar and wait again. Usually that's it, she doesn't start up again, even if the neighbour's cat is right there. But if she did - I'd put her in the house (without me) for a while. If she was destructive, it would be in her crate in the house without me.

    So - I'd seriously consider getting a good behaviourist in to help and spending a few hundred dollars to get the good info and follow up support to get the results you want.

    I'd also consider a vet check to make sure there is nothing wrong with your dog like tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and stuff like that which might upset her when she hasn't got you around to distract her.

    And two things to try meanwhile.
    Crate training - again you don't just shove the dog in the crate and leave it. You train the dog to love being in the crate and feel safe and secure there. There's lots of info on the web about how to do this. I have a crate set up near my telly and play games with my dog to go in and out the crate and reward with her fave treats. And I give her some of her dinner in a bob a lot in the crate. So she loves it in there, and will happily drag me back to the crate at club training if I let her. If your dog won't go in the crate voluntarily and screams to get out, you've got more training to do.

    The other thing I'd do is - put the dog in the house while I'm out. My dog is completely silent in the house when I'm out. she doesn't even bother barking at the door bell (so my neighbours tell me).

    She didn't start out like that.

    But I forget my keys and have to go back.
    And I forget my hat and have to go back.
    Then I want to check I turned the iron off (I don't use the iron but you get the picture).

    I go back, I don't talk to the dog, and then I go out again. I walk around the block and come back. I sit in the front yard and come back. I talk to my neighbours across the street - where I can still hear my dog but it's harder for her to hear me... and I go back. You might want to try this on your day off. Or have an early start on a work day.

    Does she bark when you leave her home on the weekends - or only when you go to work? How long does it take for her to start barking? Do you take her for a walk (30 mins to an hour) before you go to work, and maybe do 5 to 10 minutes of trick training - to wear her mind out too? Can you leave a radio on for her?

    And have you gotten her checked by a vet for any problems that would be aggravated when she's on her own (dementia, hearing problems etc). What is the other dog doing when you're out?

    Hope that helps. If it's just a training problem - it can be solved.

  3. #3


    Hi Hyacinth, thanks for your suggestions. As far as our neighbours tell us, she starts as soon as we leave, weekday or otherwise. We have had the same neighbours for years, also the same dogs have been living next door. We took her to the vet a few months ago to check up on precisely what you have mentioned, she got a clean bill of health.
    She won't do it when we are home. She also knows what she is doing is wrong, as when we get home she immediately slinks off to a corner while our other dog comes bounding up to the door.
    We walk her in the morning and beach in the afternoon.
    She has her favourite cushion outside that she sit on to make her feel more comfortable.
    Its a full jekyll and hyde personality flip thing, and we are at a loss to understand it

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