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Hello every one! My 11 month old Cock-a-Poo girl Shy'lo is starting agility in a month and I'm wondering if you could help me with a problem.

Shy'lo is very smart, has been to two obedience classes (best of both) learns tricks instantly, and has no (big) flaws except one: When she meets a new dog she can't help barking at it. When she starts barking I can't get her to stop, even if I distract her, get her to do other tricks (She'll do the trick while barking :p), or tell her "NO". Normally I just have to walk away, wait it out, or let her meet them. Of course once she reaches them she'll wag like a nut, she loves them all, its just the initial reaction!

In her new agility class we should have at least 7 other dogs, and I'm afraid its going to be a pain if she barks, pulls, and overreacts when she first sees them.

In Petsmart I normally try to see the other dog before Shy'lo, and get close to it without her noticing. By the time she spots them (all of those aisles sure come in handy :rolleyes:) we're walking straight up to them and she just says hi, forgetting to bark. Unfortunately, in class we're out in a open fenced in area so she'll be able to see them from a distance and I might not be able to let her go see them, which will probably leave her barking at them.

My sister keeps saying bring a squirt bottle lol. She normally responds to it quickly at the house, but I've never tried it at Petsmart or on walks. Unfortunately I can't practice on walks because we have no close neighbors and it takes a long car ride before she can see any strange dogs at all. :(

Enneirda.


 

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This puppy sounds awesome but it sounds like you need to be more clear that barking is NOT OK.

squirt bottle
rattle can
squeezey lemon (plastic like you buy in the store)

Shylo gets one bark (ideally none, but some dogs seem hardwired to bark from the get-go). You say "Shhhh" or "That'll do". If she stops PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE (TREAT). If she does not stop barking right away, collar pop her and:

squirt her in the face with the bottle or
rattle the can really hard or
squirt her in the mouth with the squeezey lemon.

Be consistent and carry your method with you everywhere so that you can use it. I think your problem will be fixed shortly
 

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Bring a bottle of 'bitter apple' with you ( you can find it at the pet stores ), when they yap you say 'quiet' or 'ahk' sharply ONCE. On the next yap, and instant introduction of a single squirt of bitter apple in the mouth. This works very well . . . Some dogs like the taste of bitter apple so . . . vinegar and water works well in squirt bottle as well ( a bit cheaper too).

Mark, Jamie and The Poodle Gangsters
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think my best bet would be the squirt bottle. I'll have to be brave and give it a shot lol. Think I'll get any funny looks? I know a shake can will be ignored after the first time. I've never thought of a lemon squeeze. If I had to grab her, wouldn't she just start avoiding me after barking?

I'll give it a shot Mark & Jamie, I'll be sure to update you all in our progress once I try it out! thank you. :D

Enneirda.
 
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