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Barking when we come home...

August 23rd, 2005, 12:37 AM
I know the answer. Ignore the dog. Well... :) Jemma doesn't bark for me. She only barks uncontrollably for the man. Whenever he comes home, even after being gone 5 minutes, every breath that comes out of her mouth is a bark. It would be funny if it wasn't so loud. (of course the episodes are shorter when he hasn't been gone too long).

He has ignored her forever (a couple of years), and then gave up. :D Now (since we have no neighbors) he tackles her to the ground (for fun, not in a disciplining way) and gives her a huge hug, the whole while she groans and makes chewbaca noises. Then he lets go, she stands up and again, every breath is a bark for about one more minute and then it's done.

If by chance, I try to say something while this "moment" is in progress, she barks over me, like "I'm not done, don't interrupt." She'll still do all her commands, like sit and lie down, but every breath is still a bark.

This is the ONLY time she ever barks. It's like the air just comes out so forcefully that it's a bark.

We did the ignoring thing, consistently, really, and it didn't work. He just makes her so happy. I said already that she doesn't do this for me, right? I come home and she wags a bit and goes back to sleep. :D It's hard to fix because just him coming home is a reward for her. He travels for work, so she misses him a lot. Honestly, there's a little spark that's just not there when he's gone. She hides out. She is never in the same room as we are when he's not home. She's just mopey. She's a man's dog all the way. But when he comes home- it's HUGE for her.

If he leaves the room while this is going on, she still breathes out barks. She's not that physically excited- like she doesn't jump on him or run around or anything, just the barking.

Anything left to do? Or do we just accept that she's obsessed with him to the point where the only relief is a couple of minutes of barking? :)

August 23rd, 2005, 01:43 AM
My GSD does this...we ignore him until he settles down, but he just keeps on doing it. He doesn't let us talk either.

You could always turn it into a training exercise. Determine the longest period of time "the man" can be away (even if it's 3 minutes) without Jemma barking and practice that length time, reinforcing her for not barking and keep repeating it. Then try to expand upon that time frame by small increments. Not a quick fix, I'm sure.

Or you could just give her a big spoon full of peanut butter so she can't 'talk' :evil:

August 23rd, 2005, 01:59 AM
LOL That peanut butter idea is funny, but I think she might die... :D

The time doesn't matter, it's the car. If he pulls in with the car, then she goes nuts. Even if he just moved the car from the street into the driveway... :rolleyes:

August 23rd, 2005, 09:51 PM
Sounds like daddy's little girl has a good game going and dad is helping teach it to her. She is rewarded for every bark with every bit of energy he puts her way. Even a glimmer of energy from him feeds her soul.
Two ways to go from here - though ignoring hasn't seemed to do the trick. He could play the "I have a major job outside but all of my tools are inside" game. He would leave (no eye contact or goodbyes) and come back in (no eye contact or hellos) as many times as it takes for her to not even lift her head when he walks in. Break up the time he is gone by seconds to minutes to 15 minute breaks. This could take a long time at first so he needs to be ready to set the day aside to deal with this problem.
Think - your favorite movie star is moving in and has a thousand pieces of luggage to bring in. The first dozen times he walks in the door you would leap to your feet and get all jazzed and be in his face. But as time went on you would get bored and soon you would barely look up as he came in for the hundreth time. He has become a non-event.
The other solution is to correct it. Have Ms. Jemma on a leash as he comes in, and hand the leash to him when he enters. He needs to correct her bad choice of barking and ask her to do something like sit /stay (in addition to telling her to be quiet). She needs to understand that he is not happy for her barking, and then he must reward her silence with a soft loving touch and praise. He should not get too energized when he praises because this is likely to get her going. He needs to remain calm - calm corrections and calm rewards - but clear to her which is which. The other choice is YOU could correct/reward her just as you would if she did this with a friend entering the house. But I think it would be best for him to do it. It's more about their relationship.

August 23rd, 2005, 09:57 PM
But if it's only with the car, he basically has to keep driving around the block? If he comes in and out without moving the car, she's quiet.

August 23rd, 2005, 10:02 PM
Oh...forgot that part! I can be so daft at times. :o
Unfortunately you have to create the very situation and desensitize her to it and/or teach her when she's in it. I suppose he could just turn the car on and off then do the work - might that be enough to set her off?

August 23rd, 2005, 10:05 PM
I think he'd have to just pull in and out of the driveway...
Like "oops I forgot my wallet."
"oops I forgot my water"
"oops I forgot a cd"
"oops I forgot my beer"

LOL kidding about the last one... NEVER drink and drive, kids!! :thumbs up

August 23rd, 2005, 10:17 PM
Sounds like a plan! :thumbs up

August 23rd, 2005, 10:18 PM
I'll let you know what happens.. ;)

August 23rd, 2005, 10:21 PM
You got it. It seems as if he may have been rewarding her for this even when you were ignoring it. A look in her direction, a giggle. These are still rewards to her.
The other advice was great. Now you just need to get hubby to do it. Just a thought but I think he actually likes the attention he gets from her and she knows it.

August 23rd, 2005, 10:23 PM
No, no, he was really ignoring her- no doubt about it. But like I said, just his body in the house is a reward for her. :rolleyes:

August 24th, 2005, 09:29 AM
I'm starting to think I want pictures - your fellow must be really hot!

August 24th, 2005, 11:25 AM
He's alright... Here's one of my favorites... 3 DOGS!!! :)

August 24th, 2005, 03:33 PM
Yeah, he's okay.....any chance you need some personal one on one training? I would be more than happy to come out and help. The hubby would be there right? Cause really I would have to work with him the fact we might not even need Jemma to be there at all.....yeah, he's okay!!! :p

August 24th, 2005, 06:59 PM
LOL Umm. I think we're ok for now. :D You could give him private lessons.. I'll just stand aside watching threateningly and cracking my knuckles the whole time... :evil: :D

August 24th, 2005, 09:17 PM
that's okay, you probably don't even need to be there either. Really, I am sure you have a very busy schedule and don't need to be wasting your time listening to me yammer on. We'll be just fine! :thumbs up :p

August 24th, 2005, 09:18 PM
I can't win!! I'm not jealous enough!! :D