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Old 10-26-2009, 12:30 PM
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sparks19 sparks19 is offline
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Default How to handle this with Beezer

OK so as most of you know we had a bit of an incident the other night with an "intruder"

Beezer was in a rage... he was what woke us up to realize that anything was going on. he was barking an alerted us to the presence of someone. when this person appeared in the door Beezer charged the door hackles up and barking a major warning to the guy at the door.

ANYWAY....

Since then he is HYPER sensitive to noises at night. Last night was the worst. it carried on for like an hour until I finally let him out in the yard to check things out for himself that everything was ok. After that he was satisfied and went to sleep.

So... Of course I don't want to stop him completely from alerting us that there is someone there... but anyway I can help him RELAX and not react to every little noise he hears at night now?
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:38 PM
babymomma babymomma is offline
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Is he barking? Or just getting up to check things out?

If its barking/growling try teaching him the quiet command?
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:46 PM
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he's barking. I come and tell him quiet and lay down and he does... but then the next time he hears a noise it starts again
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
So... Of course I don't want to stop him completely from alerting us that there is someone there
That will never happen.

What has worked with my dogs, but it might not with Beezer, is that I'll go to the window or open the door to look out and then say, "It's okay....nothing there." I try to be calming. (which I'm sure you've already tried) I use "enough" too, which they have been taught as an intensive and separate training endeavor. That usually works, but not if someone IS actually at the door. I didn't practice enough with that much stimuli...didn't follow through far enough.

Anyhow, like Babysmomma says, you could teach to be quiet on cue. (A good method in Culture Clash) The cue word basically is paired with HIGH value treats. But you have to set up triggers, set up the environment for training. Don't try this when he's had no training and is in the midst of a frenzy. You can start with milder triggers. Or you could just let him out to check things out, I guess. But that might not be convenient always.

Another thing you can do is set up a "safe" place...a crate or another room and teach him that the triggers (that you set up) ARE the cue to go to the safe place. I think this is discussed in Click to Calm. I'm not sure if that's the book, but I seem to recall it was.

It's not an easy thing. But don't worry about him stopping alerting you altogether. That's a very hard-wired behavior.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks19 View Post
he's barking. I come and tell him quiet and lay down and he does... but then the next time he hears a noise it starts again

And he will. In your set-up scenarios, work up to duration. There are time outs for "re-offending" in too short a time. That's only after he's gotten a solid "quiet" in lesser circumstances.


Quote:
Excessive barking: (From Culture Clash)

Increase exercise, physical and mental and more socializing.


THE SEQUENCE:

You cue "Bark!"

(get something to make the dog bark...door bell)

Dog barks

You praise: "Good!" after a few barks

You cue "quiet"

You show the dog the treat (to prompt quiet)

The dog's eventual distraction from barking by the treat

3 to 5 seconds of quiet during which you praise: "sooooo gooood."

You furnish treat after the 3-5 seconds of perfect quiet

Repeat with less and less visibility of the treat prompt (you still furnish after perfect quiet)

Practice with pretend visitors a few times.

Do it over and over until the dog knows the game. It may take a few sessions so hang in there. How do you judge whether he knows the game? He knows the game when he barks on the cue and doesn't need the door bell anymore and he quiets on the first quiet cue without having to be shown the treat. You still give him one from your pocket or from the cupboard if he quiets on cue, you just don't show it up front anymore. If he ever interrupts the quiet with a muffled bark, give him a no reward marker such as "Oh! Too bad" and start counting the quiet time from the beginning again. He has to know that barking during the quiet time was a mistake that cost him his treat.

Practice later in various locations and situations. Get good at turning on and off his bark and gradually increase the quiet duration. You have to acquire the ability to turn this on and off, back and forth in different contexts. Lots of practice with different friends and dogs in sight, but never moving ahead faster than he is able at a lower distraction situation. When you can turn his barking on and off anytime, any place, you have conditioned a "muscle." The more practice, the stronger the “muscle.” Then you can go to applying this to real life situations. You may have to go back to prompting with a treat again at first. Keep treats handy.

The hardest thing about bark training is that the first few tries it may seem to be futile, but once you get over the hump, it's amazing how fast it will go. Stay with it. (most people never get over the hump)

In addition, teach a good down/stay to go along with the quiet. Some dogs can't seem to bark while in that position.

With extreme, persistent barkers, if he likes a tennis ball, teach him to go fetch and carry his ball every time there is a trigger that causes him to bark. He can't bark very well with a tennis ball in his mouth.

Finally, you can teach the dog that barking after being told to quiet earns him an instant time out away from the action. Dogs bark and crowd up against the door because they want to be where the action is. Most dogs find the door goings on as sufficiently fascinating and it really bothers them to be banished to a back room. Timing, as usual is very important. Once you've issued the "quiet" cue, the very next bark needs to meet you instant "ooh! Too bad for you" and quick escorting to the penalty box. A minute or two is plenty in the penalty box. Don't release him until he has been quiet for at least several seconds. Timeouts for watchdog barking can elicit a watchdog request barking..."let me out of here!" Don't panic. Wait for your five to ten seconds of quiet.

If your dog has a very low threshold and goes off at the slightest noises and other changes in the environment, it helps to get him better habituated. Take him out more and invite the world in to visit more often. Expose him to a wider range of sights and sounds.
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"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776





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  #6  
Old 10-26-2009, 02:10 PM
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hmmm very interesting I will have to try that

Yeah I tried looking outside and stuff and telling him everything was fine but I guess he doesn't believe me lol. once I let him out to see for himself he calmed right down and slept for the rest of the night.

He doesn't really react to stuff during the day I guess he thinks it's normal during the day for people to be out and coming to our door and stuff... but at night he's on high alert especially now. e ver since that night he reacts to any voice or sound he hears outside... and our neighbors are night owls so they are always talking outside or someone is coming or going etc. and he doesn't usually bother with that too much until this happened the other night. Plus it probably doesn't help ease him that I am still tense about it too.
But I am definitely going to try what you described above.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:27 PM
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what about that rescue remedy stuff? Can you give him that before "bedtime?"
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by xpaeanx View Post
what about that rescue remedy stuff? Can you give him that before "bedtime?"
Oh... good idea. I think I still have some of his anxiety drops left. I'm going to try that too. why didn't I think of that before lol. thanks
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2009, 04:02 PM
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with two shelties, i have learned to sleep though barking, growling and fit throwing.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:04 PM
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I would take him on a leash, a mini walk around your yard a couple of times a night (when it's dark) before bedtime....when you would otherwise be lounging around the house doing nothing. (I know you're not busy or anything. LOL) But it might help to let him hear and see weird things at night (things do bother dogs sometimes more at night.) and before he might react, give him little pieces of real meat...good stuff. It never hurts to increase that kind of 'socialization'....or getting accustomed to novel things and letting him find out that most things aren't really anything....and in fact, they are paired with chicken. LOL.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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