Bark! Bark! Bark!!

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by akisha, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. akisha New Member

    Trixie is a Jack Russel cross Australian terrier cross something else, she is a mixed breed terrier. She is almost two years old and has a serious barking problem, which is affecting her need for socialisation.

    She hasn't been around many dogs, and she needs to be socialised.

    i tried to introduce her to two dogs the other week, not at the same time of course. one, a dalmation, didnt like her, she barked at him and he barked at her, she was agrivating him with her barking. the second dog, a kelpie cross, didn't like her either, but she was continusly barking.

    even when i take her on walks with my dog, a german shepherd named Akisha, i can always introduce Akisha to other dogs, but not Trixie as she barks continusly.

    She barks at virtually anything, people when they enter the backyard, people on walks, dogs, dogs on walks, people at the front door, me when i feed her, when shes alone etc.

    i don't think she would be bored as she has a large backyard to run around in, another playmate (Akisha) all day and all night, she regularly goes on walks and also gets to spend time with the dogs that can put up with her!

    any suggestions as to how i can train her to be quite or any 'collars' or tricks that you find good to help with this problem, all replys welcome.

    If you view it, reply to it.

    p.s the dogs that can tolerate trixie are:
    -Toby the Lab
    -Timmy the cavvi x
    -Sadie the mixed breed
    -Coco the pugalier
    -Louie the lapdog
    -Harry the petite basset griffon vendeen
    -Ollie the rotty

    other than that i have tried to introduce her to a few otherswho can not stand her and her barking:
    -Syble the Golden Retriver
    -Ollie the scruffy pup
    -and plenty more we have met on the street.

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    I would view the barking as anxiety and deal with it as such. There are a ton of great posts on here about working with reactive, anxious, shy, and aggressive dogs. Basically my goal would be to work under threshold, a distance where she's not barking, and teach her that other dogs equal treats. Once she wasn't as nervous about the other dogs, the barking should disappear. I can post more about it if you wish, but if you do a search you will find great advice for dealing with it.

    If you really think it's more excitement and not anxiety, than you could work on calm sitting for treats. But again work under threshold. Or if you know she would be perfectly fine once she got close enough (and WANTS to go closer)- you could set up a dog 50ft away and work on walking there without barking. Each bark she makes you would go back to the start line and try again. It may take an hour, but she would learn that barking makes her farther from the dog, being quiet lets her approach.

    Either way I wouldn't use any type of collar. If she's nervous in any way, being shocked when she sees other dogs may make her be quiet, but chances are she will learn that seeing other dogs equals a shock. Not a good association to make!
  3. fickla Experienced Member

    Oh, and as for barking at you... I would 100% ignore it. She likely has learned that if she barks long enough you are going to give in and give her attention. Even yelling at her to be quiet is still attention and rewards her. Since this has gone on for awhile, Trixie might bark for an hour or more hoping you will give in so be prepared.

    An alternative would be to change the meaning of the bark. So she barks and you leave the room. Everytime, right away. Trixie learns barking now CAUSES you to leave. Or while you are feeding her, when she barks simply put away the food dish and walk away. When she's quiet, try again. It will tae forever the first time, but tons faster each time after that!

    When she barks at people walking by, redirect her. Keep her mind busy and learning that doing tricks for you can get her treats where as barking equals none. Try and call her to you as soon as you see someone but before she barks.

    Also you mention that she's 2yrs and hasn't been around a lot of other dogs. Developmentally her socialization window closed a long time, around 12-16wks of age. She can still learn that other dogs are good, but this is a much slower process than if she was a puppy. Her age and history is what makes me think her barking at other dogs, noises, people, is anxiety and not the excitement option I mentioned in the post below.
  4. akisha New Member

    thanks heaps, i don't know if i mentioned it or not but she isn't my dog, she is my grandfathers, i have just been looking after her while he was in hospital, which has been for seven months.

    i will try everything you suggested and tell you how its going after a week or two!

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