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Old 05-16-2012, 01:36 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Upper Left hand corner, USA
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I'm not usually a fan of ultra sonic devices. My major problem with them is that they provide feedback to dogs in the area but not doing the barking. For my sister's dog her neighbor was using an ultra sonic device outdoors - it stressed her dog to the point she was throwing up and pacing the house. The poor dog had no escape - she could hear it inside the house.

I love the tritronics bark limiter.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:01 AM
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ihartgonzo ihartgonzo is offline
and Fozzie B!
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern California
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I do NOT recommend a bark collar, unless you are going to be evicted or something. Weigh the risks to the benefits and it's not worth it! That is imho. Citronella collars seldom work, and really assault the dog's nose and eyes.

I would practice tons of Look At That with Tucker, to make him see passing people/dogs as a positive, and not a threat. You could do it on walks, in your front yard, and sitting with him by the front of the house. Use SUPER high value treats, like string cheese or hotdogs. He is aggressive... that is likely the source of his barking issues, he's afraid, and he's telling the people/dogs to go away. If you work on his aggression it will almost definitely help with the barking. Adding a painful shock to an already fearful dog is likely to worsen his aggression.

Along with that, what to do when he DOES bark & you didn't catch it before he started? I would honestly opt for a squirt bottle (or compressed air if that doesn't work). Something to startle him out of his barking frenzy. Call him to you, keep a clicker treats on you, and click/treat and reward him for coming to you.

I did this with Fozzie when he would bark at the front windows as a puppy, and he's now an exceptionally quiet dog unless an alarm bark is REALLY warranted. I would squirt him once, just as an interrupter, then run off in an excited way and click/treat him for coming. Then I'd work on some other commands to keep his focus on me. My trainer told me to not give him access to the front windows... but that was simply impossible due to my house layout, and I want to be able to give my dog free run of the house so we can spend all of our time together. I'm much more proactive and I'd rather communicate with my dog, show them what I want and don't want, rather than shocking them or just managing them.

<3 Erica, Gonzo & Fozzie
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:14 AM
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Sekah Sekah is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
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I don't think you're going to get anywhere with counterconditioning if you're not living in the house and are able to monitor most if not all barking episodes. The biggest drawback to classical conditioning is that the association between a stimulus and a response fades quickly if the training is not kept up. Operative conditioning tends to create behaviour that remains for a considerably longer time.

Your Tucker sounds like my fiance's Chihuahua. She doesn't like people or other dogs, and would bark her head off at noises outside the house, dogs walking past, etc. We recently moved into an apartment building where incessant barking cannot be tolerated, so I finally opted to try a Citronella collar. I'm not particularly proud to admit it (I don't like applying many, if any, aversives while training) but this was a 7 year old dog well entrenched in her ways and the vast majority of her barking took place when there was no one in the apartment to quiet her.

The collar has worked very well - it's had exactly the effect I'd wanted. It's stopped the knee-jerk reaction of "hear strange noise -> barkbarkbark". It took maybe 15 sprays over the first week to sink in, and now she's significantly quieter even when she's not wearing the collar. Now we only put it on her when we leave her alone in the apartment, or when we know we're expecting company. She doesn't wear it outside. We've had it for less than a month at this point.

The big reason why I felt relatively comfortable using it was that her barking was mostly alert barking - not separation anxiety type stuff. Interrupting the barking cycle seems to have resulted in her being more laid back in general inside the apartment.

Also, while I'm sure you've heard it before, it begs repeating. Increase Tucker's exercise. In my experience a dog who has the energy to bark at every little noise outside probably needs more energy burned constructively.

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Old 05-16-2012, 02:06 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Thanks for the advice and opinions.

At the moment I am living at home because I'm on summer vacation, so I'll be here until the end of August. At the moment I am also here all day long because I don't have a license and haven't gotten a summer job yet, though at some point I will if things go as planned. I am going to try and get my parents to help out. Yesterday morning while I was still in bed I woke up to dad telling Tucker he was a good boy over and over because Tucker saw something and hadn't started barking yet. But dad didn't know enough to grab the treats and start using them so even though Tucker held off for MUCH longer than he normally would he did eventually start barking. I told dad what to do next time and he said he would, but who knows. They don't like to inconvenience themselves. So if he is able to bark when everyone is gone you don't think there is any chance he could learn to keep quiet when we are home? Because we don't care if he barks while we're gone.

Even in the short time we've been working on it (I came home last Wednesday) I do see improvements. He waits longer before barking and will quiet when he is told to. He seems better able to relax after the dog/person passes as well. The mailman just came and I got to him with the treats before any barking (he had been dead asleep beforehand though so he might just have been a little slow...he didn't even notice he was here until he heard the box close). I offered two treats and he took them and then left the window to eat the bigger one before the mailman had even left, he didn't seem all that concerned about him. On Saturday he had left me and my treats to go nuts at the door when the mailman came. But being asleep beforehand might have had something to do with it. Yesterday while a Lab was going by he also laid down while I was giving him treats and the lab was still in his line of sight. He seems more relaxed about it.

About his aggression-he is not aggressive with dogs, he loves dogs. In fact he originally didn't bark at dogs, he used to only bark at people walking by and would only be quiet if people walked by with dogs. This has now reversed and he doesn't bark at all at people, but does at dogs. Once I started taking him to the dog park and he started thinking dogs were the greatest things ever he developed this problem of barking at dogs. He is a bit reactive to them on leash as well. He gets excited to see them coming but if I can't let him meet them for whatever reason he flips out barking. Originally he would just stall, lie down and refuse to move. But then his frustration turned into barking. I should have done something about it back when he started stalling but had been doing so much LAT with just people because of his aggression that I was simply happy he wasn't aggressive towards dogs and was glad that he was happy to see them. I didn't think it would turn into barking, my mistake. I don't know if working on being non-reactive with dogs outside on walks will help him inside at all, but we're working on it. I did actually start using the squirt bottle, but haven't actually sprayed him yet. I say quiet, then pick it and the treats up and start treating for silence. He knows the squirt bottle because we used it for stealing. If he were to bark again after I said quiet I'd squirt him, but luckily that hasn't been needed since I've decided to use it.

As far as exercise goes I can speak to my parents but I doubt they will do anything extra, I don't think he even gets a single walk a day when I'm at school. I think he might get them like twice a week. It's pathetic. And then they complain about him being too energetic. While I am home I walk him daily and take him to the dog park a couple of times a week and I play tug with him two or three times a day. I honestly feel bad about increasing his exercise too much though because it will drop back to nothing when summer is over. The other night I was on my way to bed when Tucker ran up to me with his tug, I asked dad to play with him because I wanted to sleep and dad started. He tugged with him for less than thirty seconds. Mom always complains about how tired and sore she is after work (she has arthritis and fibromyalgia) so she can't walk him. I think if she took an hour to relax when she got home she'd be perfectly able to walk the dog afterwards, she just doesn't feel like it. My brother's girlfriend always says how much better he is when I am home, how he much more calm and less frantic, and that's really just from a 20 minute walk a day and some tugging. Last night mom thought he might be sick because he was just lying around, normally he's a hellion at night, chasing the cats mostly.

We'll keep working on it, I've been encouraged by what I've seen so far. I think maybe if he hasn't stopped by the end of the summer my dad will want some sort of collar, I don't know how serious he is about it. Do they sell spray ones that just use water? Tucker has the most sensitive nose of any dog I've ever met. If I open a bottle of vinegar and he's in the room he starts sneezing and rubbing his face on the rug. I think citronella in his face would be rather brutal and prolonged.

Thank you ~Dixie's Mom~ for my awesome siggy!
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:37 PM
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el_pic el_pic is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin Texas
Posts: 48

Remove the stimulus that results in barking or those who complain about such barking.
Easier said than done.
I have one of those Spray Collars but still have not used.
Also have a Claming Collars and have not used.
You might want to know that Catnip and Marijuna are also effective.
There are many other devices which often dont work but they still bark for your $$.
EL - Austin Texas
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:26 PM
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ihartgonzo ihartgonzo is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern California
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LOL @ catnip and marijuana being effective! ^_^

I would definitely work on lowering his arousal levels when he sees other dogs AND people around the house & on walks. LAT is amazing for dogs who are excited to see other dogs yet frustrated behind a barrier or on a leash. Instead of barking, he will learn to come find you and defer to you. BAT seems like it'd be helpful in your case, with seeing people. Teach him that he does not need to escalate to barking when he sees people, simply using pacifying/avoidance behaviors will make people "go away" (it's actually you who walks away with him).

Being that Tucker does sound like he has a lot of pent up energy, combined with fearfulness and anxiety, it would be a great idea to exercise him as much as you can. Even if you're going back to school - what you do over the next few months could change his life! Don't you want that for your dog? I'm sure your parents would be much happier to walk a friendly, well-behaved dog over a fearful, barking dog. And you need to let them know that to keep him from barking and reverting back to his old ways, he MUST be exercised, and they MUST continue conditioning him to see dogs and people as a positive, consistently.

<3 Erica, Gonzo & Fozzie
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