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Maggie Barking

silver_girl
September 17th, 2004, 08:23 AM
Hi,

I have a 4 month old Shepherd Cross puppy who has found her voice. She is continually barking at people when they enter the house, but even after she has been introduced to the person and "makes friends" she still barks. I keep telling her "no" and "quiet" and comforting her and trying to distract her with toys but nothing works. I am going to enroll her in life skills training in Oct. but I kinda need help now, as her barking is just not acceptable. I don't mind a few barks, but barking for 25-20 minutes is annoying when trying to talk.

Can anyone offer suggestions??

debanneball
September 17th, 2004, 08:31 AM
This sounds silly, but my vet told me to make it a 'game'. When she barks, say speak, good dog speak. Does she know the difference between yes and no....if she does, the vet suggests that you say 'no speak', and if she stops, rewards..... :confused:

silver_girl
September 17th, 2004, 08:43 AM
Oh, yes she knows the difference between yes and no.. :p ..hmm..might try the speaking game.....at this point I am running out of ideas... I tend to have a few customers coming in and out of my house and I want her to be aware when people come in but not be "scary"... I know she wouldn't hurt them, but some people are still wary......

it's like she is trying to carry on a conversation with them and it's upset that they don't respond or understand her!! :rolleyes:

Writing4Fun
September 17th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Well, this is just my opinion, but comforting her and giving her toys while she's barking might be inadvertently teaching her that barking is a good thing(?). When I want Phoebe to stop barking, I say "Hush!", almost in a raspy whisper (because if I'm saying it loudly, I'm just "barking" back at her and she can't figure out what the problem is? :o ). If she stops barking, then I tell her she's a good girl and love her up. If she barks again, I say "No! Hush!". If she's not paying attention to me and just barking non-stop (like at the gate when kids are playing out front), I get her attention by clapping my hands. Once she stops barking and looks at me, I tell her she's a good girl and love her up. But then again, she was never really a "spastic" barker. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

silver_girl
September 17th, 2004, 08:49 AM
I only resort to the comforting and toys after I have repeatedly told her "no" and "quiet" and it doesn't work..sort of like a last resort....

I'm doing the loving her up when she does stops, but maybe I'm not lovin' her enough.......

the clapping of the hands gets her attention, and I am really trying to control my voice, as I thought the same thing..that my yelling is the same as her barking.... :confused:

Cflat
September 17th, 2004, 08:56 AM
Maybe she's part Sheltie!

Writing4Fun
September 17th, 2004, 09:00 AM
You have clients coming to your house? Cool! What line of business are you in (if you don't mind me asking)?

Maybe you could get some of your clients to help you out a little (the ones who are comfortable with dogs). If she starts barking at them, get them to stand with their hands behind their backs, ignoring her completely. Then get her to sit. When she't sitting quietly, then the visitors can pet her, and maybe give her a treat. As soon as she gets up from her sit or starts barking, they should stop petting her and put their hands behind their backs again. That way, she learns that their visits mean nice pats and good treats but ONLY if she's behaving herself! This is something we just learned in our Puppy Kindergarten class.

If your clients aren't up to helping you out (don't know what kind of relationship you have with them), you could try keeping a frozen treat-stuffed Kong in the freezer. Is she crate trained? When clients come over, put her in her crate with the extra yummy Kong. When they leave, put the Kong back in the freezer, waiting for the next client to arrive. Again, this will teach her that clients means yummy Kong, and she'll start looking forward to their visits.

Whatever you do, try to be strong and DON'T give her those treats until she stops barking. Otherwise, she'll learn that all she has to do is "hold out" longer than you can and she'll get her treats & toys (sometimes, they're a little too smart for our own good! ;) )!

Good luck!! :D

silver_girl
September 17th, 2004, 09:21 AM
Thanks so much Writing!

I am happy to share what I do! :D I work full time but I am a part-time Creative Memories Consultant (scrapbooking) so I hold workshops and classes at my home quite frequently. Most of my regulars are excited to see her, as they want to see how much she has grown since the last time!! Plus they love my scrapbook of her!

anyway, I thought about the crate since last night was very bad with the barking, but then I don't want her to think that her "Crate" is a bad place - she is finally very comfortable with going in and out at her leisure..but she might learn quickly, as she loves the KONG!!

koda's Mom
September 17th, 2004, 02:31 PM
We are currently enrolled in training classes for Koda, it is going pretty well. I also had a huge problem with barking with Koda my 2 year old Bichion. The trainer had a great suggestion that is working really well. When someone we know is coming to the door, I put Koda on a leash. I get his attention by clapping or calling him, and after a few barks I say to him "koda quiet" and if he contimues to bark, you have to hand the leash over to the person that he is barking at and they have to take him a few steps or feet away from you. It works so well. Koda instatly stops barking and looks at us like "where am I going". The only problem with this is that you kind of have to know the people that are coming to the door as not everyone would be comfortable taking your dog on the leash. My Mom came over last night and we were outside in the front yard. Koda was barking like crazy at her, and I just handed over the leash she took a few steps back to realize that my Mom had the leash, and he was instatly quiet. We will try this for awhile and see if it stops his barking !

Spoiled
September 17th, 2004, 06:26 PM
When people come to the door, put her on a leash and tell her to sit. Have someone else open the door, and keep your hand(s) firmly around her muzzle. When the people come in, let her meet them and maybe give her a treat. If she still keeps barking tell her "NO!" If she does not listen to this, take out a squirt bottle and spray her, or you could take out a tin can full of small rocks or pennies and shake it.