I have an adult 7 year old Australian Shepherd female. We have just relocated to a new home and taken her with us from Melbourne, it has now been 4 weeks. She is an obedient dog in everything apart from her barking, and some whining (which is less of a problem).
I find that my Aussie barks at noises that are close and at one particular neighbour. Our house sits a bit higher than our neighbours so she can see into their house - she sees them moving around and hears their noises (talking, dishes, etc). They also have their clothes line close to the fence and when they do washing she will bark at the fence running up and down.
Other noises, that are far away she has muffled barks and does not react as strongly as if it were right at the fence. She is quiet otherwise. In her old home in Melbourne we had high fences she would ignore the neighbours if they were talking as it wasn't too loud and the only time she would bark strongly is if they moved their bins, which was right next to the fence.
I have tried training her if she barks:
- I will ignore it for a bit and then tell her to come, sit, down, wait a bit and say good quiet and reward her.
- I have taken her close to the source of the noise told her to sit, down and be quiet and reward her for being quiet (but she still has the urge to bark).
- I have tried getting between her and the sound she eventually goes away but will want to return to bark at the sound.
- I have tried walking her around outside while noises are occurring and when she looks that way but doesn't respond I reward her for staying quiet.
I have consistently tried each method extensively with no change in behaviour.
I need some help, hints and tips on how to train her not to bark at noises or respond to seeing neighbours. She is obedient in all other respects, she is friendly, listens to commands (apart when barking). Please help as I am at the point I will need to resort to getting a dog trainer/behavioural specialist who are expensive and will be difficult to pay (bark busters)
I want the piece of mind that she wont pester the neighbours at any hour especially if I'm not home (bark collars out of the question).