March 13th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Straight forward question - how do you calm down a very high energy manchester terrier who gets up and starts barking at anything remotely "new" in his environment (environment being an apartment building in this case)?
As in, if he's lying down calm on a couch/floor, even half-asleep, tired after a walk, whatever, whenever - if he hears neighbours walking by, jingling their keys, opening the doors, the most remote sounds (& smells) at the end of the hallway, other side of the building, intercom phone ringing (when he now expects someone to walk through the door), etc - he'll jump up and start barking at the door...
I am assuming it's some sort of a mix of anxiety and protection of sorts, but have no idea how to deal with it anymore...
March 13th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Certain breeds, especially the terrier "hunter" types, are going to bark alot and I really don't like to always curb what they are happy doing, but I know the barking can really get on people's nerves too.
With my Airedale I made sure that he had lots of toys and play time, running outside, etc. but I still ended up with one neighbour who complained alot. She wanted me to put a shock collar on him and I refused, so moving to a hobby farm where he could be a happy go lucky boy was my final solution.
Good Luck with this.
March 13th, 2011, 09:37 PM
Bina, I didn't know Airedales were noisy dogs. Kudos to you for rearranging your life to keep your dog happy. :thumbs up Glad I didn't get one now, I went close to getting one when I was a lot younger and back then was living in a suburb where neighbors were close. The irony is that I now have shelties, which could outbark any of your terriers. They say even a leaf falling off a tree will make them bark. :D I have a few acres now though and hope my closest neighbors never complain, and Stu, I am sorry, but I have no solutions. I think a smart dog can cope with the citronella collars, I would never shock a dog, and if it is in the nature of manchester terriers to be like that then I guess it's the wrong breed for your environment. :(
I will of course be watching this thread in case there is a way to shut these dogs up, it's called living in hope and dying in despair. :frustrated:
March 20th, 2011, 03:18 PM
I would start by building a super solid "go to your bed/mat command". The dog learns to go to its bed and hold a stay there until released. Teach by luring on to the bed from only a few feet away and only asking the dog to stay for a few seconds. Gradually build up to holding a long stay and to going to the bed from across the room. It is important that being on the bed (or you could also use an open crate) is a good thing so reward well for that behaviour.
Then after you have that you can then say "thanks for the warning", take a quick look to see what they are barking at and then ask them to go to the bed. It will help break up the obsessive part of the barking and eventually could lead to the dog just doing a short alert bark and then going to the bed by itself.
March 20th, 2011, 04:02 PM
Terriers were originally designed as working dogs - as were most breeds, of course. Manchesters were designed for ratting and rabbiting, and the behaviour needed to succeed in those jobs is still the dogs today, even if they are now rarely asked to work. That keen sense of hearing helps a manchester locate the quiet sounds of a rat scurrying about the house, or a rabbit hopping through tall grass. It protects his family from rodent-carried illness and helps put food on the table. That alertness and high energy allows him to react suddenly and catch that rat or rabbit before it sneaks to a corner or pops into a hole. Because your dog has neither rats nor rabbits to look after, he directs his attention to whatever it is that DOES move or make noise in his environment.
Keeping him busy and active, with toys, games, teaching him tricks, tiring him out on long walks or hikes will all help, but nothing will change who he is. None of the bark collars, ultrasound, spray, or shock, is 100% effective, and your dog will also outlive any of those devices. They are, however, a good idea to try, particularly of you are getting neighbour complaints or at risk of eviction. Overnight you could also try ear plugs (cotton balls) so he can't hear when your neighbour tries to sneak in quietly at 3 AM. If you are gone to work during the day, you might also look into doggie daycare, which takes him out of the building when you aren't there to try to quiet him, and tires out his body and mind so he is calmER in the evening when you want to relax.
To a certain extent, you have to accept that a Manchester Terrier will have certain behavioural characteristics, breed is about so much more than just looks.