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Hello all! My 8 month old standard has been a barker for a while now. If he sees a dog out the window, wind blows on the front door, the cat won’t play with him, we’re not paying attention.... But he’s also started barking the minute we walk out the door or pull onto our street in the car. I don’t mind if he’s trying to be protective, but the nuisance barking is unreal. Indoors bothers me the most since it’s sometimes caused by seemingly nothing. Any tips to correct this behavior? Is it just an adolescent irritation?
 

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Read "Barking: the sound of a language" by Turid Rugaas. It is almost more of a booklet than a book, but I found it immensely helpful in dealing with adolescent barking.
 
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Sounds like alert barking and demand barking, which are two very different things and can be addressed separately.

Peggy was the ultimate demand barker and I addressed it in two ways:

1. I gave her whatever she wanted the moment she stopped barking. In my typically human way, I wanted to punish for the barking by withholding the object of her desire. But her brain wasn't making the connection. So I let her bark, just ignoring her completely (even while it occasionally escalated to a torturous degree), and the second it stopped: REWARD. No exceptions. She eventually figured it out.

The cat likely won't be onboard with this plan, so hoping some cat owners have some cat-specific ideas to share.

2. I stopped pushing her patience. I think every dog owner loves to watch their dog sit (and sit....and sit...) for every single thing they want. But don't push it at this age. Your puppy is still learning impulse control. So: Puppy wants a toy? Sure, ask for a sit. You might get a bark or two. Just ignore that. But the moment that little bum hits the floor, send that toy flying with great excitement. Don't pause for even a second. Really rely on your reflexes here. Peggy caught on fast, but even at 16 months, she occasionally needs a little tune-up.

For alert barking, I try to honour Peggy's instincts. Even when it seems like she's barking at nothing, there's definitely something that's triggered it. So I go over to the window, check for danger, thank her and tell her she did a great job. Now let's go relax.

Some days she's more alerty than others. (During her second heat, I almost lost my mind.) But not giving in to my human impulse to shout "NO!!" noticeably reduces my stress level.

For barking when walking out the door, you can try what I did: Arm yourself with yummy things and redirect back to you (position treat directly in front of puppy nose, then deliberately draw a semi circle in the air back towards you). Reward for puppy following the treat and offering silence. Then repeat, repeat, repeat, as much as necessary, never allowing a step forward while barking.

Sometimes it takes until the end of the driveway to get Peggy tuned into me. But I no longer lure her with the treat. It "appears" when she voluntarily quiets herself and looks to me.

You may even be able to solve this particular issue faster by simply leading the way out the door. An adolescent dog charging out the door ahead of the human is recipe for a barkfest.

Just try to remember that even though we just hear BARKBARKBARKBARK, a bark has lots of different meanings, so it's helpful to address them as the unique messages they are:

Is my puppy excited? Frustrated? Anxious? Bored?
 

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Sounds like alert barking and demand barking, which are two very different things and can be addressed separately.

Peggy was the ultimate demand barker and I addressed it in two ways:

1. I gave her whatever she wanted the moment she stopped barking. In my typically human way, I wanted to punish for the barking by withholding the object of her desire. But her brain wasn't making the connection. So I let her bark, just ignoring her completely (even while it occasionally escalated to a torturous degree), and the second it stopped: REWARD. No exceptions. She eventually figured it out.

The cat likely won't be onboard with this plan, so hoping some cat owners have some cat-specific ideas to share.

2. I stopped pushing her patience. I think every dog owner loves to watch their dog sit (and sit....and sit...) for every single thing they want. But don't push it at this age. Your puppy is still learning impulse control. So: Puppy wants a toy? Sure, ask for a sit. You might get a bark or two. Just ignore that. But the moment that little bum hits the floor, send that toy flying with great excitement. Don't pause for even a second. Really rely on your reflexes here. Peggy caught on fast, but even at 16 months, she occasionally needs a little tune-up.

For alert barking, I try to honour Peggy's instincts. Even when it seems like she's barking at nothing, there's definitely something that's triggered it. So I go over to the window, check for danger, thank her and tell her she did a great job. Now let's go relax.

Some days she's more alerty than others. (During her second heat, I almost lost my mind.) But not giving in to my human impulse to shout "NO!!" noticeably reduces my stress level.

For barking when walking out the door, you can try what I did: Arm yourself with yummy things and redirect back to you (position treat directly in front of puppy nose, then deliberately draw a semi circle in the air back towards you). Reward for puppy following the treat and offering silence. Then repeat, repeat, repeat, as much as necessary, never allowing a step forward while barking.

Sometimes it takes until the end of the driveway to get Peggy tuned into me. But I no longer lure her with the treat. It "appears" when she voluntarily quiets herself and looks to me.

You may even be able to solve this particular issue faster by simply leading the way out the door. An adolescent dog charging out the door ahead of the human is recipe for a barkfest.

Just try to remember that even though we just hear BARKBARKBARKBARK, a bark has lots of differently meanings, so it's helpful to address them as the unique messages they are:

Is my puppy excited? Frustrated? Anxious? Bored?
Wow! That was extremely informative and helpful. I feel like he never gives me a break, especially since I now work from home, so I tend to get angry fast and shout for him to stop. How do I tell what he wants though? I feel like I never really know.
 

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Wow! That was extremely informative and helpful. I feel like he never gives me a break, especially since I now work from home, so I tend to get angry fast and shout for him to stop. How do I tell what he wants though? I feel like I never really know.
Ha! If only there was a simple answer to that question. Time certainly helps. With time you start to catch the nuance of each bark. For example, Peggy's "demand bark" is sharp and piercing. I truly hate it.

Her alert barking is often initially muffled, as though she's trying to hold it in. So it starts like "boof boof". If I can convince her I've assessed the threat and deemed it not a concern, she settles. But if a UPS guy suddenly appears at the window, look out! Then it's a furious "Stranger danger! STRANGER DANGER!" bark, usually with a mad scramble to get as close as possible to the "threat." But even still—if I just calmly follow her and then step between her and the window, she will generally drop back. It took some time to get to this point. But she seems to understand now that I've got the situation under control.

There's also scared barking, which sounds a lot like the furious alert barking, but is accompanied by stiff, backwards body language. So instead of rushing towards the thing, she's doing the doggy equivalent of screaming while covering her eyes.

As for the shouting....
I get it. I've been there. I still occasionally succumb. But it's literally the worst thing you can do. If anything, it escalates the barking, especially if your poodle thinks the situation is dire. All you're doing is freaking out along with him, which is the opposite of what you want him to think. So take a deep breath. Stay calm. At the very least, it's better for your mental and physical health.
 

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If anything, it escalates the barking, especially if your poodle thinks the situation is dire. All you're doing is freaking out along with him,
That's so true lol. They bark at whatever then the human "barks" too. That just confirms their suspicions. Calm = quiet. Eventually :).
 

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Except for the Chihuahua, I have taught the word "quiet" by gently closing the mouth. The Chi does not have enough muzzle to grasp!
 
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