Excited/frustrated Barking

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Mr-Remington, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Lately Remi has started barking excessively when we play with his soccer ball or jolly ball. He will bark constantly until we kick the ball, and then whine while he chases it. It is a high pitched bark, and it sets off our other dog and the neighbors dogs. It's like he's frustrated because we aren't going fast enough. He looks like he wants to bite us (jumps towards us, body slams us) but he doesn't actually try.

    I've tried turning away until he stops, but as soon as I turn back around he barks again, or he just wont stop so I can't turn back around at all. I've put the ball away and he just barks and than grabs another toy. But as soon as I pull the ball back out he goes nuts.

    What should I do?

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    Toller scream, anybody!?

    So I have a toller :) and I've found that when Vito is screaming he is not in control of himself. He is so far overthreshold that learning is impossible in that stage. That being said, I have worked incredibly hard and in most settings he can now be quiet, and keep his feet still, in the presence of a tennis ball and frisbee. Things that still set him off screaming are other people besides me playing fetch with him, being able to go swimming, a jolly ball, and I'm sure some other things I can't think of right now.

    What I did with Vito was to try and do as much training below threshold as possible. Since this was almost impossible in the beginning as the mere sight of a tennis ball produced much screaming I used Premack. I ignored the screaming and focused on behaviors he knew very very well since as sit. Almost impossible at first, so I had to put the tennis ball not on my hand, not on the floor, but on another surface. Then i added in more behaviors such as down and spins. Once that was mastered, even with ball in my hand, I worked on eye contact=throw. A tiny, tiny, glimmer of eye contact. At that point Vito was starting to get that his actions could control whether or not the ball was thrown I could start to focus on the lack of screaming. Baby steps, lots of them. For Vito, the eye contact game was the key. It is still incredibly hard for him to do with a ball or frisbee but the concentration required for him means that he has to put all his energy into it and thus not screaming.

    But since you don't have a neurotic Toller I'm sure this will go much faster for you :)
  3. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Remi will hold eye contact the entire I have the ball near me. Like he can study my face to see where the ball is going to go. It may not always be eye contact but he won't look away from my face, unless I move to kick the ball and then he runs. I need to focus on more eye contact and see if it helps the barking.

    I can also get him to down or sit while I have the ball near me. So I'll try adding more tricks and see if he can hold focus since those was taught before the manic barking.

    I've kinda done what you did I'd wait for him to do something (a trick/command) in the presence of the ball and as soon as he does I'll say good and kick the ball.

    Thanks for the advice. :)

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