My beloved 3 year old kelpie Gypsy has become a barking nightmare to the point the complaints are beginning to roll in. This is big considering we can only see our neighbors house on sunny days while standing on tiptoes on the patio.
Gypsy used to be a quiet dog would rarely bark at all even at people on the property but since being harassed by cows several months ago, she got more a bit more vocal. But she was only the vocal when the cows were on the property or someone else appeared on the property. She would also stop barking on command.
The farmer moved the cows for a while and it was fine but a few weeks ago the fence was repaired and the cows moved back... and now she won't shut up at all.
She will bark day and night. It doesn't matter if she comes inside or if I leave her outside and now ignores the 'quiet' command.
I understand it's the issues with cows but no matter what we do she won't shut up and the sleepless nights, days of headaches, days of noise and the stress of the neighbors has the entire house on edge. At night putting her on the chain sometimes helps but I hate leaving any of my dogs on a chain so much. She has gotten to the point she won't be quiet for food or even fetch with her favorite squeaky ball
Gypsy gets exercised regularly everyday. She has toys, bones, another dog and other things to keep he occupied when i can't play with her. She has a minimum of an acre to run around on, and we often take her for runs behind the car on dirt tracks to help her get rid of excess energy.
I know her issues are with the cows in the paddock next door, but no matter what I do she keeps barking. I have tried distraction her with food, training, play etc no good. I tried a squirty bottle of water when she barked, all that did was make her hide under the house when she barks where she knows I can't reach her, and the same results with any negative signals I use to tell her to stop. But she completely ignores the positive distractions or the praise for not barking.
I would love to get some advice to help stop the barking for everyone especially since the neighbor is starting to drop hints to maybe get rid of her which I don't want to do, as when she is not barking she a real sweet heart.
Unfortunately a dog trainer is not an option as we are right in the middle of nowhere and the travel they ask to come to us is not realistic for us to pay (the travel is often more than the trainer). I have considered an anti-bark collar but it will interfere with her invisible fence collar and if she crosses the boundary fence and attacks a cow or her calf Gypsy will be shot as a rogue or wild dog. I would rather re-home her to a place with no cows than let that happen.
I currently in tears as I write this as I feel between a rock and a hard place. I have tried nearly everything, I have tried addressing her issues with the cows, I have tried to just reduce/regulate the barking but nothing is working...