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Old 07-12-2010, 11:17 PM
TryingToTrain TryingToTrain is offline
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Default Why have both my dogs suddenly started to bark... all the time?

Ok, it must be something I am doing. I am trying to retrain my dogs and taking as much advice as I can get. Yesterday I started and got some great ideas which I started today.
- Both dogs have been on leashes our outside all day
- Both dogs have been given treats for good "sits" and "downs"
- We are are also learning "leave it" around the baby's high-chair

But now, we have another problem. The dogs have suddenly started barking at everything. Cody, who has always been a bit skittish usually starts it - maybe something he heard in another room or someone outside and then off they go, barking and barking and barking.

Also, I have no idea how to stop a dog from barking. Any links would be much appreciated. I have been reading / reading but there are so many conflicting ideas which is why I am still working on this after 8 years. I don't want to use any bark collars, sprays, physical threats, etc... I have heard those all before and that is why I have this problem - because I listened the trainers that sold that junk. Now, I want to do it the right way.

One more caveat... I can't use a clicker - only food or verbal praise because my husband can't take that sound.

EDIT: Just to be clear. I have started training with positive reinforcement today (see the items above) and now my dogs have started barking... at everything. Since this method is new to me today, I am worried I am doing something wrong. What could I be doing that is causing them to bark more?

Last edited by TryingToTrain; 07-12-2010 at 11:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2010, 11:24 PM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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How old are these dogs? What changes have happened in the environment? When your dogs are barking do they respond to commands?

Also your message reads a little something like this to me:

My dogs are doing X annoying behavior but I'm not willing to change a thing about how I run my life, train my dogs, or keep my pets. How can I fix X problem?

You know the old saying. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. If your really want this annoying behavior to stop a change is needed.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:47 PM
TryingToTrain TryingToTrain is offline
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Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. The steps I mentioned that I was doing were the new ways I was trying to train my dogs. I just found this site a few days ago, and have started an entirely different training method based on the advice I have received so far.

The dogs are 7 & 8 years old. For the most part they are good dogs. They don't bite, chew, jump on the table during meals, etc. The biggest problem we have is that they still sneak off and pee.

The reason why I listed what I won't do is because I have had bad experiences with people that have told me to train the dogs using force. So far, those methods have been entirely ineffective. The people I have found here, for the most part have been able to give advice that includes positive reinforcement and training with incentives. In the last day alone, I have seen a big positive change. I think. But, today the barking also started. My concern is that I am doing something wrong and am causing another problem. So, before it becomes chronic, I was hoping someone would be able to give me a suggestion or a link, or maybe just some friendly advice.

But, thanks for jumping to conclusions.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:14 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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So your dogs are just starting to yap today?

Why not use the enough! command? Dogs are barking. Say enough! and draw their attention with a treat. When they stop barking, click and reward. Repeat.

Or is the problem yapping when you're not present?
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:40 AM
TryingToTrain TryingToTrain is offline
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I started telling them to "sit" and then give them a treat. It does momentarily distract them, and then they bark again... is it ok to repeat? or will I be teaching them to bark, I pay attention, tell them to sit and then they get rewarded? or am I giving too much forward planning to a dog.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:18 AM
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Telling them to sit is alright but it doesn't enforce the I want you quiet part of the equation. Just like teaching the sit to the extended sit you have to start for short periods and then extend as time goes on. Right now just getting a moment of silence is where to start.

The best way to teach quiet/enough for me was with the door bell.

step 1 Someone rings the door bell. (A family member is great for this)
Step 2 Dog starts to yap.
Step 3 I say enough! Show high value treat/toy
Step 4 dog shuts up and I say YES! (click)
Step 5 Wait half a second then treat/toy.

Repeat 2 x then I crate the dog. Eventually drop showing the treat to just verbal, move back, etc. When the dog is reliable on quiet/enough in one situation start adding it to others.

Again, this is asking for quiet on command. It doesn't eliminate barking on the whole.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:10 AM
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I would not recommend showing a dog a treat to get them to stop barking. Ignore them, the second they stop barking, say Yes, Good quiet! and then reward. By showing them the reward first, (btw that is luring) it can teach them to bark and get your attention.

I couldn't count the number of people that come to class, dog barks and they shove food in it's mouth. Great way to train a dog to bark and demand attention.

Also make sure you are not training with a food reward in your hands, keep them hidden.

As for clicker training, can't you train the dogs with the clicker when your husband isn't there to build an association that the click is a promise of reward?
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:00 AM
TryingToTrain TryingToTrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
Also make sure you are not training with a food reward in your hands, keep them hidden.
Hm.. Ok, I guess I am not doing this right. I am keeping it in my pocket, but the dogs can seem to tell it is there. Every time I go to "set up" the pocket makes a little crinkling sound (from the baggie I keep the treats in) and the dogs perk up. Is this a problem? Would you recommend being quieter or just reaching into my pocket after the trick is done? I am guessing I should be reaching into my pocket to get a treat after they have completed the trick. I will be working on that today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
As for clicker training, can't you train the dogs with the clicker when your husband isn't there to build an association that the click is a promise of reward?
Ok, I guess I am confused on clicker training then. Do you have a link? Everything I read talks about the clicker becoming the reward - or so I thought. Am I misunderstanding?

Also, I want to be able to train them with my husband in the home. We work together, so we are often at home at the same time. He is incredibly sensitive to repeating sounds... drives him crazy. Amazing, he can't hear me calling him, but get a little repetitive sound and he can hear it from any room in the house.
So, I was using just praise... Is that a bad thing? Is the clicker better for some reason? Course, it is sounding more and more like I just don't understand clickers.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:15 AM
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The click is not a reward, it means the dog just did something that will earn him a reward (food). For example, the dog is barking. He stops for a second to lick his lips or something and immediately starts up again. You could have, in that instant when he stopped, clicked the clicker and he would have known that he earned a treat (which you would then give him). After a few times he'd realize what was causing you to click (his moment of silence) and would stop barking more and more often to see if you'd click and treat. In that short span of silence you would not have had enough time to take the treat out of your pocket and give it to him before he started barking again and would have missed the opportunity to reward his moment of silence.

The click must ALWAYS be followed by a treat (or other good reward) or else the dog stops caring about the click, it no longer means anything.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TryingToTrain View Post
Hm.. Ok, I guess I am not doing this right. I am keeping it in my pocket, but the dogs can seem to tell it is there. Every time I go to "set up" the pocket makes a little crinkling sound (from the baggie I keep the treats in) and the dogs perk up. Is this a problem? Would you recommend being quieter or just reaching into my pocket after the trick is done? I am guessing I should be reaching into my pocket to get a treat after they have completed the trick. I will be working on that today.


Ok, I guess I am confused on clicker training then. Do you have a link? Everything I read talks about the clicker becoming the reward - or so I thought. Am I misunderstanding?

Also, I want to be able to train them with my husband in the home. We work together, so we are often at home at the same time. He is incredibly sensitive to repeating sounds... drives him crazy. Amazing, he can't hear me calling him, but get a little repetitive sound and he can hear it from any room in the house.
So, I was using just praise... Is that a bad thing? Is the clicker better for some reason? Course, it is sounding more and more like I just don't understand clickers.
What I do, is instead of having rewards on me, I have them up on shelves etc in each room. If a dog has been conditioned (which is what clicker training is) to know that a Yes and/or a click is a promise of a reward for the marked (Yes/click) behaviour. In the beginning it will stop the behaviour like a sit/stay but as you add duration they will remain in the sit etc. But you still reward until you get longer durations.

You stated eariler that your husband doesn't like the sound of the clicker, which is why I asked if it was possible to train the dogs to know that a click/Yes means when he wasn't there........Yes they were right in the behaviour and second you are going to reward them (promise). Once the dog/s associate the verbal Yes and what the click means, you can then continue training with just the Yes. One of the reasons why the clicker works the best at first is because it is a clear and fast marker. That being said, I have many students that don't want to use a clicker when training and that is fine. We just use the marker word of Yes.

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I also have a really good link to a easy to understand outline of clicker training, but I'll have to look for it. Can't right now, must go and teach a class. Maybe someone else can provide the link (I know other people here on Chaz have it too). If not I'll look for it later tonight.

The reason I advised not to lure is because too many novice people use luring wrong and for too long without knowing it, making the food/toy part of the cue. Then people say, 'He/she wont do it (whatever it is) unless I have food in my hand or on me.'

There is nothing wrong with luring when the person knows how to do it properly and how fast to fade (usually with the first couple of times), but as I said earlier when done incorrectly the fall out can present a lot of problems and frustrations on the part of the handler and the dog.
I have had dogs in my classes that are so focused on a bait bag that it also has the same effect.
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