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Old 10-24-2010, 08:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Too much barking!

I am posting this for 2 reasons, I am sure there are owners that deal with some amount of barking. And two - we have 2 with barking issues when returning home. Although this is not poodle related, I do not see anyone minding.

The poms - are crated 2 plus years old. They do not bark when we leave or get up in the morning but when we come home using the garage door they bark as if someone is inside the house KILLING them. It has gotten extremely bad over time. My daughter will likely move into an apartment when she moves out and is taking the poms. This barking will not be an option - as they will do it when using the front door as well. Just not as bad as the garage.

They are not excessive barkers in other areas as we worked HARD to train them NOT to be mouthy yappers.

Has anyone experienced this with positive results? What was the scenario?

I know there are shock collars, citronella etc - I want to hear experiences with these options.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There is a lot of evidence that dogs' stress levels go up when they are expecting you home or - as in this case - when they hear you on your way. Shock collars etc are likely to make stress worse - they may control the immediate symptoms, but can then lead to something even more difficult to deal with. I would concentrate on reducing the excitement and stress of coming home. Come and go very frequently - every few minutes, varying how long you stay out. Keep greetings very low key. Consider giving the dogs the run of a room or two, so that there is less contrast between owner out, dog in crate/owner home, dog free to play.

Don't get upset with them, yell or shout or anything else that will convince them they are right to be worked up when you come home. Look at it from the dogs' point of view - here is the rest of their pack at last, after what has seemed an age, and it is wildly exciting and time to let off all that pent up energy. Then the humans join in the noise fest! Then the humans get cross, which makes it all even more of a high-stress moment. Keep it all calm, de-sensitise them to the sounds you make when coming home, and things should improve. Mine used to yell all the time they were alone - now I just get a few minor yips when they hear me at the door (and often not even that if they are still asleep!).
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We use an enough command. I started by waiting for the pause in barking (sometimes one, sometimes both) and c&t the one who stopped. Kept doing that, then added a hand signal, then a verbal command. I actually want my dogs to bark some so I know someone is here (in case I am asleep or don't hear it) but they stop when I tell them to.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Before going to extremes like shock collars, I'd ask 'why are they barking' and 'what do I want them to do instead' and work from there.

As fjm said, if they are barking because they are stressed, work to make it low-stress. If they are barking because they think that gets them out of the crate sooner, wait until they are quiet before you let them out.

I'd teach a command for quiet, using clicker or some reward based training, then walk in the door, holler 'quiet' and freeze until all barking stopped.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, what works for me is a squirt bottle and water. It doesn't hurt the dog, but it interrupts the barking. Of course, outside it doesn't work because Lucy can run faster than I can! I let the dogs bark when someone rings the doorbell. But when I say "quiet" (or more truthfully, as JE-UK says holler "quiet") they have to stop. Once they have told me there is someone at the door, continuing to bark is just excitement and I don't need that. If Tyson keeps on barking - and its usually Tyson that does, I touch him on the side - Cesar Milan style and say "quiet" again. Then he almost always stops.

I do believe Cesar Milan is correct -- one of a group of dogs is generally the one that starts the barking - and the others follow. If you can quiet the ringleader by focusing on him - the others will generally stop too.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would work in baby steps with them. Have your BF/daughter go out side and keep putting the garage door up and down. Even if they dont get worked up by this since you are there, it will still hopefully work when you arent there. While someone is putting the garage door up and down you are giving them treats, and training the "enough" (whatever) command. Work up to longer peroids and harder. Also do this with the front door.

Once they are better with someone making the noise while you are there with them, then you start working on leaving and returning with the noise. Start pairing it together.
Also as suggested, make leaving and returning very low key. Good luck!!
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was looking for any experience more so with the collars as one option. Likely my last. Many resources recommended this.

Also, we are not "yellers". I have much patience with all the dogs.

The water bottle is great for immediate options when you are with the dog - I have had much success in the past with the water bottle and always recommend. You really need to be close for the distraction.

Little more info here:

My dogs all go into their crates willingly. The do not whine while in there or seem distressed. The poms love their crates and frequent them with the door open. The barking starts when the garage door goes up and then once I open the kitchen door and enter the house it stops. I do not open crates until they are calm, calm meaning relaxed body as well. Excitability gets you very little in my house. Its not productive long term.

The bad part is nobody is hear when the garage is opening.

Staying inside and trying to train with the garage door is difficult because they will not bark - go figure.

BPP - At this point not using the garage may be something we will try for a while - unless we are training. (It is not a reasonable solution long term as it is a need at times.) Also, I agree I need to work on the front door training as well.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purley View Post

I do believe Cesar Milan is correct -- one of a group of dogs is generally the one that starts the barking - and the others follow. If you can quiet the ringleader by focusing on him - the others will generally stop too.
I agree - and Coco boy is our culprit!
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default

I have heard that using a "school yard" whistle will interrupt the barking. Haven't tried it yet. My house has a reverse floorplan, so the main living area is on the second floor. No way to "be present" for barking mania. I bought a whistle in the camping section that I think will work, but I had bought it for my emergency/disaster preparedness, and haven't broken it out to try yet.

As to the collars or other devices. My friend has a Cirneco dell Etna rescue that barks literally nonstop in the car(including 7 hours straight on a drive to Seattle), and quite a bit at home. They tried an ultrasonic device that sends out a sound only they can hear which is triggered by barking. This has worked in some households, however both she and I have other breeds both of which started being very scared from the sound this device emits (I tried it to try to get the Poodle to stop the "separation anxiety" barking). My firend also tried the Citronella collar, we drove one hour with the dog barking, she completely emptied all the citronella, barked right through it, we refilled when we drove back, she barked the whole way. Again, depends on the breed and the nature of the particular dog I think.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default squirt water bottle

Purley -- I like the idea of squirt water bottle.

I have a male toy that barks and barks and will not listen to my commands lately. I am almost convinced he is a Schizophrenic. No, I'm not kidding. He hears sounds in his head. It happens a lot when he's in the phase of falling asleep, but he does it plenty of other times while he wide awake too. There are no sounds that prompt his barking. And, its more like a woof, woof, woof bark. I have been using the little box that sends a sound frequency to the dogs ears that we can't hear to make him stop after a "no bark" command. But, that doesn't work anymore.

I'm going to try the squirt water bottle. Years ago I used it with my Spoos and it really did work. I'm going to try it again with Guido.
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