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  #1  
Old 12-18-2012, 12:12 PM
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Default Mini miracle

For the first time in at least a year a person walking a dog went by the house and Tucker watched the whole thing but didn't bark even once and I didn't have to shovel food into his mouth or threaten him with a water bottle to keep him quiet, yay! I recently changed methods in handling the barking and it's paying off hugely, I'm so happy! Now I just have to get my parents to do it too.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:20 PM
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Oh amazing!!
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:26 PM
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That's great! What are you doing now, since it seems to be working?
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:15 PM
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It actually came to me while I was in bed. My dad wakes up and takes Tucker out at like 5:30 every morning and then they hang out in the living room until dad goes to work around 6. And every morning around 6 a dog gets walked by and Tucker barks waking me up. That time dad had not left yet and i heard him quietly (because everyone was still asleep and he didn't want to yell) tell Tucker to be quiet after he had started barking. Tucker listened, dad immediately praised and said "let's go get a treat" then walked out of the room to the kitchen and I heard Tucker actually get up and follow him. Dad gave him his treat in the kitchen then they both went back to the living room, I assume the dog had past by then.

I was shocked that Tucker had left the window when dad left, even if it was at the promise of a treat, I never thought he would be able to pull himself away. So I started doing the same thing. When I notice Tucker has noticed a dog, even if he's already barking, I quietly say his name and invite him to come with me and leave the room. Most of the time he gets up and follows me and I give him a couple of treats. Occasionally he'll stay and bark a little before following, but I still feed when he comes. Today he did not follow me, he stayed, but also didn't bark, so when i came back in with a treat and he was sitting there watching as the dog walked out of sight I gave him his treat.


Other things that are helping are that I'm using jerky treats to reward him now-these take him a longer time to eat so his mouth stays occupied and I think he gets more enjoyment out of them, and he has to focus on eating because he has to chew a lot and pick up crumbs. I am no longer trying to see the coming dog before he reacts, if he barks it's no big deal. Before I'd get up and look out the window if he looked like he saw something because his ears perked or he looked like he was staring at something, so I was getting up and looking a lot for no reason which may have made him more worried, now I never go up to the window, i always walk away from it. I also don't try to stop his barking. I'm not using the squirt bottle, not taking him to time outs, not telling him to be quiet or stop. I just quietly say his name now and again to remind him he can come get treats if he chooses to. If he barks that's fine, oh well. If I try to hard to make him follow me or make him stop he gets more stressed.


I think the counter conditioning I was doing before by feeding him treats in front of the window, playing LAT, failed because he was just too over threshold, despite treats he wasn't actually feeling good. The treats were just enough to stave off the barking at the time, they weren't changing how he felt. Now he sees the dog and leaves the room for his treat. he doesn't get to build up with stress and he actually feels good while eating. He is not eating while looking at the dog, but the dog still triggers the events that lead to a treat.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:18 PM
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Doesn't seem very mini to me Congrats!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:25 PM
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I agree with Jess. This seems like a huge break-through. I hope everything continues to improve. It seems like his stress level has decreased a lot.

If only dogs could talk, to tell us what's really bothering them.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:26 PM
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Congrats that is so awesome
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:58 PM
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That really is awesome! Congrats!
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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good work! Sounds like less frustration for all of you!
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