Would you consider barking at dogs that walk past your property acceptable behaviour?
And if not, what do you do about it?
Duncan is an 'inside' dog, but our home opens out by ranchslider to a large deck and decent size yard. Our house isn't huge, and we have a wee child, so to give everybody space we practice indoor/outdoor living as often as possible, and by choice Duncan spends alot of time in the yard.
If someone walks or cycles past, especially if they have either children or a dog, Duncan goes batty! Now, I'm confused as to whether he's trying to say 'hi there', whether he's letting me know people are close, or whether he's just being a nuisance :( I personally hate it when dogs got nutty at me when I walk past a property, but a bark is a dog's voice! I'm a little lost to how I should be reacting. I have been distracting him in the past, but is that rewarding unwanted behaviours with attention?
We do a bit of agility/obedience play and training in the mornings, and head out for an hours walk in the evenings. He's got me for consistant company as I am a stay at home mum, and once or twice a week a couple of dogs come over for a full day, to give them all some K9 companionship, as well as the odd runaround with Dad's boxer or Mum's chiXsausage dog, depeding which parent I visit in the weekend, so I don't think it's a matter of socialisation.
It might be a bit of all of them. You need a distraction. Heres an idea that I thought at one time seemed kind of mean but it really isn't and I am seeing progess with Olie as well my 2 yapping POMS!! Spray bottle with water. When the barking starts spray him and he will stop, when he continues do it again in your no command. If you need something that will spray further then a normal spray bottle get a super soaker from the kids department. They launch pretty far - but you have to reinforce with the No command or whatever you use for him to stop doing something. There is nothing mean about it. Believe me, I didnt get trainers using that method but I was tired of my 2 barking like crazy. And Olie the SP I have doesnt bark much so I did not want the bad habits trickling over.
Hear hear on the spray bottle. My mother did it to the greys, and I do it to my dogs. It has gotten to the point, that they know what the spray bottle means, and you don't even have to spray them anymore. They just stop what they are doing that was wrong.
Names of dogs: Saffron (Spoo), Duke (Dobe), Coco (Englsh Toy Trr), Walter (Lab/Newf)
Poodle Type: Standard
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
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Another alternative to the spray, as some dogs just decide they like the spray, and then continue to do whatever they were doing naughty.
Is to have a whole lot of treats with you and call Duncan to you and when he looks at you reward him and give him the treat. Sometimes you will have to go right up to him and distract him with it. Keep doing this when people walk by, and gradually you will be able to move further and further away from him, and eventually he will just see people walking by as a good thing and wonder where his treat is.
I use a similar method to Jak. When I see a possible barking situation on the horizon, I ask the dogs to watch me, in a sort of hypnotic voice. You have to judge how long they will do this and just before they start to focus on the dog again, reward them for paying attention, walk forward a little way and if the behaviour starts to return, repeat until you pass the dog.
I had tried everything with Ginger, including the spray bottle - nothing worked and to make it worse she taught Teddy - they don't just bark they go crazy when someone goes by. I was getting exasperated and then I found this little gadget on line - I speak "enough" and press the button - they hear a high pitched sound. It has worked wonders with Ginger - she is a different dog. Not only does she respond when I say "enough" (without the gadget now) but when we walk in the woods she used to run away - not anymore - she looks to make sure I am near - she comes when I call her - its like miracle!! lol Its called Pet Agree and I got it at JB Pets wholesale on line for 40.98 including shipping. It only works up to 20 feet but that is enough for me. I have a sunporch that faces the street and there is no way anyone can get by without being seen! yay! Pet Agree!
oh PS Teddy is another story - lol - he can't understand why Ginger isnt barking ha ha - you should see him - but I can control him by making him sit. Of course when I am not at home I don't know what happens ha ha!