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  #11  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
So...you present a treat while he's barking? And this teaches him what exactly?
That's how I taught my dogs to quiet on cue. I promted the barking, (knock on the door) let them bark a few barks, then distracted them by holding a treat near their nose, saying, "enough." The treat is not given while the dog is barking. (no way)

What happens is, the treat prompts them to be quiet, as they're distracted and their mind is not on the stimuli that got them barking, but instead, the super yummy treat. (start with milder stimuli and work up) I held the treat in front of their nose for about 3-5 seconds and then furnished the treat after the quiet period. Gradually, I increased the duration the dog had to be quiet before getting the treat. Soon, the treat was not used to elicit the quiet, just the cue word was. The treat was still given, but retrieved from somewhere else, not held in my hand. Then eventually, it was put on a variable reinforcement schedule. "Enough" (or whatever cue one uses) comes to have "great" meaning. To stop whatever it is the dog is doing = a big pay off.

Teaching the dog to bark on cue as well, is also part of this method. Making it less rewardable, but still...mild praise is used. 1) Cue to bark, 2) prompt bark, (quickly/immediately after cue) 3) mild, "good dog." The cueing quiet, prompting quiet, rewarding with high value treat for being quiet. Getting the dog to volley back and forth between cued barking and cued stopping is the game. The contrast assists in the dog's learning.

It's important not to let the dog practice the behavior of incessant barking. And that any underlying causes be dealt with besides the training. For example: If a dog is upset or reacting to a neighbor's dog behind a fence. There is then some additional conditioning to be done by changing the dog's mind about the dog behind the fence....marking and rewarding the dog when he first orients to the stimuli but BEFORE he barks....starting at milder levels of stimulation and working up.
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:01 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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Thank you Doberluv. The OP yells at her dog to stop barking.

The dog isn't rewarded for barking. He is rewarded after his attention is diverted (sniff the treat). To expound, you would use the training at the first or second bark, certainly before your dog is past the threshold of pure focus on whatever he is barking at.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Maura View Post
The OP yells at her dog to stop barking.
Really? That's not what I read.
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  #14  
Old 05-03-2010, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by puppydog View Post
I generally find that sticking my head out the back door and bellowing "Shuddup" works well. LOL!
this ^

or my personal favorite

"It is 7 oclock in the **** MORNING, next dog who barks is going to the VET AND THE GROOMERS JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT! I SWEAR TO GOD!!"

..they usually get the point.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:08 AM
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I love positive reinforcement methods for many reasons. With this bark training example, you're getting the dog to stop, but you're not punishing. There's no threat, no hollering, no confusion. You're giving an alternative which is highly rewardable.

By teaching "enough" in this context, my dogs have been able to generalize that to other behaviors...where I want them to stop something and do something else instead...for example: incessant licking or sometimes when they're finished with their meal, they'll keep on licking the bowls for way too long. It looks like they're trying to lick off the design etched into the metal. LOL. That stainless steel crashing around gets annoying. So, I'll say, "enough" and they and walk away from their bowls. Then I'll praise and maybe ask them to come see me for a scritch behind the ears. So, it seems they're able to generalize better, once they start the hang of learning that way. Like "leave it," I've found "enough" to be versatile and handy. I have experienced that dogs trained using PR type methods seem to learn how to generalize better than dogs trained more compulsively. They just learn HOW to learn better.

The problem with punishment, even mild, is that barking is not a totally unwanted behavior. At least, for mosts dog owners. We generally like them to bark to alert us to intruders or something else that is wrong. Or we might like a little barking when they're playing with us...having fun. They're expressing themselves. So, since it's not a behavior that is a no no all the time, punishing it doesn't make sense and is confusing to a dog. This is why teaching a rewardable cue, associating that word with a big pay off works so beautifully. You can just say the word inoccuously, in a normal speaking voice. If you think of it like you're not so much stopping the barking, but instead, you're starting the quiet, it helps lower the frustration. You're giving a rewardable alternative.

Quote:
One other proven method to assist cease your dog from barking for consideration is to simply ignore your dog. Your canine will little question turn into frustrated and bark a whole lot initially, however as soon as he realizes that it's not getting him anyplace, he will stop. Warning - this coaching method can be hard on the ears for some time! Do not forget that a dog's conduct that's not rewarded and reinforced will turn into less prevalent.
This ignoring only works to discourage barking when it is demand barking...to get your attention. If the dog is getting a real charge out of hearing himself bark or he's upset/anxious/excited about something, ignoring isn't going to make him stop because he's getting a comfort, outlet... some kind of reinforcement from the barking itself.
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  #16  
Old 05-04-2010, 10:03 AM
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I've found that Meg's very strong "leave it" command carries over nicely to stopping her barking when she is focused on something. It gets her to turn away and look at me for a moment, so I have that quick break to keep her attention and reward it.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I've found that Meg's very strong "leave it" command carries over nicely to stopping her barking when she is focused on something. It gets her to turn away and look at me for a moment, so I have that quick break to keep her attention and reward it.
That's so true BB. That's good. I use "leave it" too if they're focused on something that's making them bark. Sometimes they're just yapping about something non-descript. LOL. Then I tend to tell them, "enough." Both work because both get their attention off the barking and onto something else which has proven to be more reinforcing to them, more valuable to them.
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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





"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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