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Old 09-18-2006, 11:24 PM
Kathy29 Kathy29 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Default Disturbing The Neighbors - Really Need Some Help!

I am in a very sticky situation right now. Loppi has ALWAYS been a barker and because I used to live in my own house, there was never a problem because nobody else but the family and I could hear her bark and we'd ignore it until she stopped. However, I have moved and live in a duplex with 3 other families surrounding me and this barking issue is going to get us in a lot of trouble one day.

Loppi is generally a VERY excited dog. She barks whenever she hears a noise outside, thinking that someone's coming home, she barks when she hears people talking outside, she barks when she sees someone walk by, and she ESPECIALLY barks when a stranger enters the house. She barks if I'm just playing around with my boyfriend and I'm asking for a piggy back ride or something - she just can't stand the fact that she's not the one getting all the attention. She'll bark non-stop if someone enters the house and isn't holding her and petting her the whole time.

Living in a duplex, there are a lot of other people in the house that are capable of making strange sounds that she's not used to and she'll end up barking and it's very hard to stop her. I've tried so many things before to no avail and now I really need help. I just learnt that the people upstairs have told my landlord they've been woken up a few times early in the morn when Loppi heard something and got all riled up.

I've tried positive reinforcement - you know, telling her NO BARK and then when she's quiet, giving her a treat but she'll only stay quiet enough to grab the treat before running off and doing her noisy thing again. I've tried ignoring her, I've tried just about everything. I've used a jar full of pennies, I've even used the water bottle method when desperate measures were needed, but none of that fazes her AT ALL.

Can anyone please help me? It took me 2 months to find a pet friendly place in this un-petfriendly city and if I get evicted because of her barking, I'll have nowhere else to go.

Worse yet, she's teaching my newer dog to bark at every little thing as well.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:32 AM
Tee Tee is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: arizona
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My suggestion is to keep your dog on a leash, and have someone create noise and when your dog barks, then either use a spray bottle or a firm NO. You have to correct the dog at the time, so you have to be present and so does the dog. By giving the dog a treat, you are promoting the dog to go bark again. You said the dog runs away after getting the treat. The dog should not be able to run away from you. You need to control the dog and behavior. If the dog would be barking when the toaster pops up, you take the dog to the toaster and make the toaster pop up and THEN you discipline your dog. The dog being allowed to bark in the past has created a present problem for you. You need to move the dog into the future by eliminating past behavior by using present behavior. Just my .02 but this is what works for me......anytime the dog does NOT do what I want it to, I take the dog to the problem site and work on it there......and I do it daily until the behavior changes. When you dog does NOT bark, then reward them.........but not with a treat at first. I would use praise and rubbing and maybe a treat when the exercise concludes.
the key is getting the dogs attention off the noise and focused on YOU when correcting.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-19-2006, 03:58 AM
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sourjayne sourjayne is offline
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Location: Seattle
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With the positive method, you should distract her from barking, (maybe with a smelly treat, maybe something else, whatever it takes) then ask her to sit and be quiet, THEN give the treat, so the sitting quietly is what she is rewarded for. At first you reward for 1 second of quiet, then 2, then 3, gradually working up until you can cue her with "quiet" just like you would "sit." It takes a lot of repetition to teach the cue and its meaning.

This is all based on what I've read, I know it's a lot harder than it sounds when there's a crazy excited dog involved! Maybe try catching her right before she starts to get crazy, like in the example above with the toaster or something you know will trigger her, then get her to stop as soon as you see her take her first breath to get ready to bark, by the presence of a yummy treat or a favorite toy or acting goofy or clapping or whatever works to get her focused on you and away from whatever she's excited about.

Maybe have a friend help you make noises around the house so you can repeat over and over and over and over until she starts to understand the exercise.
My dog is Louie, a long-coat chihuahua. [myspace] [dogster] [flickr]
Louie was born May 7, 2006. Last weigh-in: 8lbs!
We live in Seattle.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:27 AM
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Ashlea Ashlea is offline
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Location: South Africa
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If you have tried everything else, you need to be cross and firm now. Try the tin can method. Fill a can with some small stones, when she barks, throw the can near her and praise her when she stops barking. Or when she barks clap you hands and a loud NO! Then praise.

With mine, she was barking from seperation anxiety, I now close her in a room and give her a kong. When she barks when I am there she gets a firm verbal reprimand. Now my neighbours are commenting on how quiet she is.
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:55 PM
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pitbulliest pitbulliest is offline
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I've heard that citrus spray collars do wonders for big time barkers...*shrugs*
maybe you can look into that?
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:04 PM
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tinksmama tinksmama is offline
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Posts: 268

Exactly my question!!! Tink has a bad new habit of barking wildly at any new person that comes over, and she won't stop! positive reinforecement says to stop her and reward the second or 2 of silence, but all it's gotten me is more barking!
I could see it happening, she actually thought she was being rewarded for barking at the person! A second or 2 of silence isn't going to do it, I think this is one of those moments where i need some firm discipline...
i am going to have a spray bottle on hand next time people come over, i want her to understand it's a no-no- when she did it last time, i had her leash on her- when she got nuts, I gave it a quick, firm/gentle, downward yank with a NO!,she stopped,looked at me,and calmed down, I treated her silence after that. the times before this, i just tried the 'treat when she's quiet method,it just got worse each time. Now she gets praise after I've stopped her stinky behavior.
BTW, the reward method worked well in a place where she was out of the house, her territory, she's at the point now where she'll accept almost anyone to touch with her nose.But in her house, it takes a bit more.
kind of like with kids, praise and positive stuff is great, but sometimes I feel, you just have to make it REALLY clear what's expected. Then,when they comply, it's all good!
Proud puppy mama, learning something new every day! Tinks page...
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:07 PM
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SummerRiot SummerRiot is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Isn't it great when the older dog teaches the younger dog new unwanted tricks

We have two Shelties and a Belgian - I KNOW exactly what your going through with the barking. Our shelties feel it is their solomn right to "guard" every single inch of the house and let EVERYONE know that they are there.

Jada barks at things moved to a different part of a room - shelties need consistancy in their house lol
Jada barks at bugs that crawl on the ground - then she terminates them
Jada barks at the wind blowing the curtains inward
Jada barks at any movement from us that LOOKS like ies going to lead to a play session
Crosbie barks at neighbours that are outside "his" fence
Crosbie barks at birds
Crosbie barks at OTHER dogs around the niehgbourhood
Crosbie barks at a blowing leaf in the wind

Riot only barks when someone is at the door
Riot only barks when he feels threatened or feels that WE (his family) are threatened.. then its a very scary bark with growls..

I ended up getting a spray collar for the Shelties. THey NEVER know when to shut up and seriously.. its the best thing since sliced bread for them lol

They HATE being sprayed with water, so this was naturally the next step I took with them.

It works fabulously for Crosbies barking habits. He doesn't even bark outside now and hes only worn the collar a few times!
Jada has the collar on inside the house and out at times and its shut her up over 75% of the time now!

Deinately invest in the spraying bark control collar!
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:28 PM
Feebee Feebee is offline
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I moved in to my flat not so long ago and Archie barked at all the new noises which I can agree with you is such a worry. I must say he is much better now just through time to get used to noises but I def agree that you should distract by giving a treat. it will all settle down so try not to worry too much

Fiona and Archie
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:37 PM
Kathy29 Kathy29 is offline
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Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by SummerRiot View Post
I ended up getting a spray collar for the Shelties. THey NEVER know when to shut up and seriously.. its the best thing since sliced bread for them lol
You know, I am going to take that piece of advice now! I've been thinking about it but thought it might not do anything since she actually likes being sprayed/misted with water. And she KNOWS she's doing something wrong too because she'll bark and then look at me, do a doggy version of a 'wince,' then turn her head a bit to get ready to be sprayed.

If the citronella collar doesn't work, I don't know what will!
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:39 PM
Kathy29 Kathy29 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
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Thank you everyone for your input and suggestions! I'm going to try them all one by one slowly and see what works for her. It's a really bad habit to cut so I'm gonna make sure the new dog doesn't pick up on it as well.
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