Barking During Training

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by kassidybc, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Chloe always barks while we are working on tricks. Her tail is wagging, so I think she's having fun, and I don't think it's because she's frustrated because even when she is doing super easy tricks that she has known forever, she still barks. It gives my mom a headache when Chloe barks, so I really want to get her to stop barking when we are training. Does anyone have any advice?
    MaryK likes this.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Stop what you are doing and turn your back on her. Only turn around again when she is quiet. Every time she barks, stop immediately and turn away from her. Barking is a self-reinforcing behavior. The more you allow it, the more she'll do it.
    Ripleygirl and MaryK like this.
  3. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Thank you, I will try that. The hard thing is that she barks while she is doing the trick, and immediately stops when she is done with the trick. So should I turn away when she is in the middle of a trick if she is barking?
    MaryK likes this.
  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    She might not notice if she is in the middle of a trick. I think in that case, I would interrupt the trick, if possible and ask for a down. If you use a no-reward marker (eh-eh, or something like that), that might also help in letting her know that barking is not going to get her a reward. Definitely don't reward the trick if she barks while doing it. It's funny how they start to sneak in these unwanted behaviors, and before you know it, it has become a habit. Brody has started jumping up on me in between certain tricks, and I have to be very careful about not reinforcing it.
    MissyBC likes this.
  5. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Alright, I'll try that. It's difficult because she barks basically every time she does a trick, so if I don't reward her for the trick when she barks while doing it, she usually doesn't get rewarded at all. But I'll keep holding out until hopefully she does a trick and doesn't bark, and then I'll jackpot! :) I'm thinking her barking may be partially out of excitement, because I've noticed that if I tell her to do the trick in a really calm and quiet voice, and praise in a really calm and quiet voice, she tends to bark quieter and less frequently when she does the trick.
  6. Gordykins Experienced Member

    Breelan used to not make a peep... like ever! She was a rescue, and we thought that something had actually happened to her vocal chords, because sometimes it even looked like she was trying to bark, but couldn't.

    Then one day we were teaching Gordy to shake (like whole body shake, not just a paw) and saying "ShakeShakeShake!!!" really quickly seemed to be motivating him. Well... Breelan barked. So, we started making that noise to get her to bark. Changed it to "SpeakSpeakSpeak!!" which worked too, and we just branched off from there. What ended up happening, is that speak was her default trick when she wasn't sure what to do. So... we taught her "Shh!" We'd get her to speak, then we would say "Shh!" and give a treat when she stopped barking. Now if she gets excited during training and starts to bark we just say "Shh!" and she stops barking, we give a treat, and we continue. She just thinks it's another trick.
    Ripleygirl, MaryK, kassidybc and 3 others like this.
  7. ackerleynelson Well-Known Member

    If your dog barks during training sessions try breaking down the actions you want him to learn into a series of steps. Check your verbal and physical cues are clear and, if necessary, go back to the previous step he understood. Make sure he is physically able to perform the task you are asking him to do.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. JazzyandVeronica Honored Member

    We have the same problem. V. is reactive so she gets amped up easily and barks and training is sometimes exciting for her so she amps up.

    I think all the suggestions made are excellent and I've tried them all with varying levels of success. For us I think the key is trying to keep her under threshold, which is easier said than done. And sometimes it's a happy, excited "Loot at what I can do" bark and I don't want to thwart that.

    But allot of times it is definitely an "I don't get it and I want a treat NOW anyway"!!! frustrated bark, so that's when I know I'm not being clear and need to break things down into smaller steps. it's ever a work in progress!
    Gordykins, kassidybc and MaryK like this.
  9. MaryK Honored Member

    Excellent advice Jazzy and Veronica. I'm currently helping someone train a two year old rescue dog who's a bit of a yapper! One of his problems, not relevant here, is he's in 'competition' with the two other established dogs, but the other is the excited 'hey look at me' when he does a trick and also the 'I'm frustrated" bark.

    I wouldn't stop her in the middle of a trick, after all she's pleased and happy to show you just how clever she is and like J & V, that's not something you won't to stop.

    However, with other unwanted barking, I would teach her 'speak' - and shhhh/quiet - rewarding when she sits quietly and rewarding when she 'speaks' WHEN ASKED TO SPEAK not otherwise.

    Some dogs are just naturally more vocal than others, like people, so it's a matter of teaching them (like kids and people) when it's appropriate to bark and when it's better to be quiet.

    Or LOL you could buy your Mom some ear plugs - just joking!!!!!!:LOL:
  10. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend just noticed this thread. She has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lotta, who is a little bit over two years old. So, Lotta is a young dog that hasn't been trained much because of this:
    She is sometimes hard to be trained because she's acting silly. That's why my friend must have pauses in training. There are at least three reasons why Lotta is acting silly in training. One reason is that she thinks my friend is only her playmate. Another reason is that she thinks she'll get treats by acting silly. The third reason for Lotta acting silly is that when she notices my friend starts training her, she gets excited about it. Then she starts barking. When my friend has trained Lotta for a little while, she does stop barking. Ignoring her doesn't help. So, Lotta stops it on her own. My friend once saw when Donna Hill was training one of her dogs in a video. At some stage that dog started barking. Donna Hill got going and waited if the dog would stop barking on her/his own. He/she did stop...
    MaryK likes this.
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    I didn't see this post but have answered on the other post you started.

    Yes, if Lotta barks a lot, just stop training and be patient WAIT without staying a word and ignore Lotta, she'll soon stop barking. Be careful though, make sure she doesn't need to go outside to potty if you're training inside.

    Some dogs are more noisy than others and also teaching her to speak on command is another way of controlling her barking.

    With all training it takes loads of patience, and then some more patience. All dogs have their little foibles, you just have to work out what works best. Always keep your training POSITIVE - ignore the behavior you do not want and REWARD the behavior you want!
    kassidybc likes this.
  12. myraellen Well-Known Member

    You are saying that:
    We told that:
    Here is that tutorial my friend had seen:

    That dog starts barking about in two minutes. So, what you think about that? Is it a good idea just keep on training if ignoring doesn't help?
  13. MaryK Honored Member

    The dog in the video is barking from frustration, which is different from the problem, going on what you say, your friend has with Lotta.

    Please let us know if Lotta is barking from frustration or play barking.

    Frustration barking can be caused by different reasons. The dog in the video is frustrated because the target was moved and he wasn't sure what was wanted - but he stopped when he realized what was needed.

    It can also be because the trainer isn't giving clear cues. You always have to be very clear in your mind what you want before you cue your dog.

    As I said in the other post, if possible video your friend training, doesn't have to be a brilliant video but will help us to see exactly what is happening.

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