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So Darcy has recently started to get a little barky, and I am trying to figure out the best way to get a handle on it. He has a bark for most occasions, as below:

- To get my attention (eg: he wants something from inside his crate but the crate door is shut)
- Alarm barking/ To alert to something (noises in the hall, things that are "out of place" (like a pack of paper towels I had left in the kitchen))
- Play barking (when we are playing fetch or he wants me to play fetch)

My approach so far has been to ignore the barking, like stop play and any activity until he quiets down. For the attention barking I make him do something like sit before I get whatever it is he wants. I'm not sure how much of an impact my efforts are making.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I should be doing? I live in a condo and don't want this to become an issue!
 

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Big meanie here.... I use a squirt bottle. Sometimes I add vinegar to the water. I know, I know. Compulsion training. I will no doubt someday go to doggie owner Hell.

I do have really quiet dogs, though. :)
 

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I teach an alternative - Come or Settle Down, depending on the situation. I also try to get quieter and calmer myself (not always easy!). If it is a warning bark, acknowledging that you have heard, and are on the job sometimes help. I found both of mine went through a phase of constant warning barking in early adolescence, when every unexpected noise or movement outside would set them off, and then gradually learned what was normal and what was not. They still have bouts of yapping more than I would like (the chap who delivers the papers sets them off every time if they are awake that early!) but it has got much better. Attention barking has been less of an issue with mine - they are not crated, and I taught them to "Ask nicely" (ie sit or down as an indication of please) when they want me to do something. The classic advice is to put the barking on cue - and then fade the cue. Don't know if it works!
 

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Big meanie here.... I use a squirt bottle. Sometimes I add vinegar to the water. I know, I know. Compulsion training. I will no doubt someday go to doggie owner Hell.

I do have really quiet dogs, though. :)
My quiet dogs and I will have to join you. I've never used vinegar. Since I spray just about anywhere, would it stain? Or leave a smell?
 
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