July 17th, 2005, 04:09 PM
We are having a problem with Spencer and his barking (8 month old beagle). It has gotten pretty bad. If we are out for a walk, he will bark at other dogs all the time. One woman actually said that I should really have a muzzle on him (She's lucky that I didn't hear her say that or she would have gotten a piece of my mind) Also, when we are in the house, he will stand there and bark at you because he wants you to chase him. We try to ignore it but he will sit there and bark for 15 minutes if you would let him. We have tried to ignore him, crate him, distract him with something else and nothing has been working.
I decided that I was going to try a bark collar as a friend of mine uses one for her dog and it works wonders. I went to the store today asking for one that only beeps. The guy told me that those don't work and really tried to get me to but a shock collar (whick I refused to do). I told him that I would try this one to see how things go.
We have done 2 rounds of obedience with Spencer and have always told him NO when he barks but it has now just gotten out of hand.
What are your opinions on these collars? Do you have any ideas how I can get him to stop barking?
July 17th, 2005, 04:39 PM
My friend bought a bakr collar for her Shih Tzu because they live in an apartment and needed her to stop barking or be thrown out.
I think they went the shock collar way and it was faulty. The poor girl got shocked all the time, the collar just went off for no reason! They took it back and got another one and is did work. However, it is not something I have any faith in!
I haven't heard about collars that stop barking with a beep?? How does that stop Spencer from barking??
Did you try teaching Spencer the quiet command??
It sounds like Spencer is barking out of excitement and/or for attention...
I would probably try the pennies in a can or squirt gun thing, it's meant to startle (not punish) your dog for barking. So let's say he's barking, you rattle a can and if it stops him from barking you say "good quiet!" and give him a treat??
Maybe if he is barking at you, you could distract him by giving him a command and then rewarding for that??
Spencer might also need to expend more energy, maybe if you start trick training or take a just for fun agility or rally-o class????
With regards to barking at dogs - is it because Spencer doesn't get to greet them or just excitement?? Maybe try to desensitize him to other dogs, so its not SO exciting to see one??
July 17th, 2005, 04:52 PM
What does your trainer say?
July 17th, 2005, 05:37 PM
A freind of ours was having a training issue with one of her Border Collies, so she bought a "spray collar" instead of a shock one. When ever the dog barked, it sprayed a small mist of citronella (I think) up towards her nose. Stopped her barking within a couple of days.
Seems dogs don't care for the scent, and was much more humane than a shock collar
July 17th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Well, I have learned that the guy at the store was right, the beep collar does nothing. When we were eating dinner tonight, Spencer jumped at the table so my bf said Down. It seems now when we give spencer a command, he mouths back at you. Well needless to say, he barked, the collar beeped, he stopped for a second then started barking at the beep. As soon as I could contain myself from laughing, I took the collar off of him but by that point, he was already in a barking fit. I sent him outside for a couple of minutes to calm down and he has been fine ever since.
I know that he needs to be getting more energy out but I don't know what to do. I can play ball with him for like an hour and he still isn't tired. I have thought of asking my neighbour if his lab puppy can come over to play but I don't know him very well and have not had the opportunity to ask.
Even when Spencer is playing with other dogs, he is barking. He will chase them and bark, when they take a break (usually because the other dog is tired) he barks to try to get them running.
When he is barking, I can't say anything to him or it just gets worse. If I try walking away, he bites at my ankles while barking. It is funny to think about it but drives you crazy when it's happening.
So now I am stuck. My bf wants to get the shock collar but I am really against them. I can't do that to my poor baby. (BTW have I mentioned that Spencer is really spoiled by mummy? That's probably most of the problem as to how things got this bad.)
I think that I will try the can thing, it really worked for a lab that we had many years ago. Only took a couple of days and she had stopped all together. A water bottle would probably work too, Spencer hates water. Please give me any other suggestions that you may have.
July 17th, 2005, 07:46 PM
Have your tried giving Spencer a leash correction when he barks? This would be especially useful if he gets mouthy when you ignore him! At 8 months, Spencer might be challenging your authority by barking and nipping at you. He's attention seeking but he should not be allowed to nip at you. When Dodger was being a mouthy puppy I gave him a time out. For you, it would be putting Spencer in a crate, because Dodger wasn't crate trained, I stopped playing with him, put him in a sit/down stay and/or ignored him. If you put Spencer in the crate as a time out, does he continue barking?
I'm sure you know this already but don't yell at him to stop barking because that might get him more excited!
Also, because Spencer is a beagle, some barking/howling should be expected. I've been lucky with Dodger as he is not overly vocal - but just like Spencer, he will bark/bay at a dog when it stops running! Sometimes the excitement is just too much and once he gets started its impossible for him to stop!
I know that it must be difficult to come up with new ways to channel Spencer's energy (especially since he can't be off-leash) but try being creative!
Have you tried teaching Spencer to use his nose and find hidden treats around the house? I really like giving Dodger a treat ball with his dinner in it - do you have on for Spencer?
Do some training on your own. Do you use a clicker with Spencer? If you do, then maybe try "shaping" him to do different things - not only is it great interaction and builds up your relationship but it will really get him thinking on his own.
I know he is still a pup but he could start jumping over small jumps or through hoops - maybe getting him a tunnel would be fun for him? Even if you don't plan on doing agility, teaching Spencer to jump could be a cute trick.
Flyball might be useful!? It sounds crazy since many people find it makes their dog barky and hyper BUT since Spencer is already in that stage :D it might help! I'm partly serious, since it sounds like Spencer likes to play with a ball, it could really change him. He would be around lots of other dogs (that are probably barking in excitement too) and he would have an outlet for his energy. It just might get some of his energy/barking out of him!?!?
I wish I could suggest swimming to you but you said Spencer hates water! It might not be too late to try and ease him into liking water - if you use the proper motivation (FOOD ;) ) and are willing to be patient. Dodger used to hate water so much that he wouldn't even go outside in the rain BUT now he is a total water dog! He loves water and swimming so much now that he plays in puddles and I even bought him a kiddie pool!
Is there anywhere you can hike with Spencer (on-leash of course). Walking in rougher terrain with tons of new and interesting smells might use up some of his energy!
I think that asking the lab puppy over would be the best way to tire Spencer out but as you say, it will not stop the barking while they are playing. But perhaps more socialization/play time with other canines is just what he needs!? Some dogs find barking annoying and more then one has gotten Dodger to stop by snapping/growling at him out of annoyance!
I don't like shock collars or citronella one's but I know people have had success with them. A muzzle seems equally unfair IF Spencer is barking because he needs to burn off more energy BUT I am totally out of other suggestions!
I will also say that I bought Dodger a muzzle because he used to bark hysterically when in the crate. I know how dumb and irresponsible it was of me now! I put it on him once and went upstairs. It traumatized him more than anything else and didn't really stop the barking anyway. He could still get muffled barks out and whined the whole time. So I don't like muzzles either but some friends have found them useful.
Good luck with Spencer!
July 17th, 2005, 08:08 PM
I would say try keeping him on leash and when he barks give a quick tug on the leash and tell him no. If that really doesn't seem to be working I would suggest trying a citronella collar. it works just as xan2k said.
I have used a shock collar on one dog that I owned, but it was a very extreme case of howling. Shock collars should only be used as an ABSOLUTE last resort, when everything else possible has been tried and given approprite time to work. Also if you choose to try a shock collar make sure you speak with a trainer who can help you pick one out that will be approprite for you dog and show you how and when to use it safely.