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Old August 17th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Lolabee Lolabee is offline
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Dog Barking Out of Control

Hello!

I have an English Bulldog Puppy (she's 6 months), Matilda, and I am aware they are "guard" dogs. However, Matilda's barking has been escalating like crazy. Originally, she would only bark when someone would knock on the door, which I would ignore and tell guests that were coming in to ignore and only greet her when she stops barking (which she does as soon as they cross the threshold). Then she would bark whenever she heard anything in the hallway past our door (we live in a high rise). After that, it was barking whenever she hear anything above as well. Now it's barking whenever she hears ANYTHING out of the ordinary. My boyfriend jangling keys from the bedroom, sirens from outside, ect. It's not much barking, usually two woofs, but can sometimes goes to four or five.

I've tried ignoring and screaming THANKS then running to the fridge for a treat (doesn't work, she continues barking). It's not working. On the other hand, I haven't tried just yelling at her (though I doubt that would work) or anything else.

It's not that it's that bad, but I'm afraid it'll escalate and she'll turn into those annoying jappy dogs.

Any help is appreciaited and I am sorry for writing a novel.

Thank you,

Laurence
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Old August 18th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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allymack allymack is offline
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Try a penny shake can. Take a pop can, or beer can, or any can along those lines, and put 15 or so pennies in it. Put tape across the top of it. Each time she barks shake the can, which should startle her enough to stop her bark and then put a command on it right away liek "Quiet!", if she is quiet for a couple seconds, calmly but happily praise her ( you praiseing her calming so oyu dont get her riled up and get her barking again). It can eveuntally be so effective that all you have to say is "quiet" or something liek " do you want me to get the can?"
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Old August 18th, 2008, 09:19 AM
Lolabee Lolabee is offline
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Hmmm I have actually thought of something like that. However, I am afraid of starting a behavior chain, just so she gets treats...
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Old August 18th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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allymack allymack is offline
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If your afraid she will start to only do it for the treats , start to use Variable Reinforcement (VR). When she is first learning treat and praise every time, give her a good pat or a scratch behind the ears. Then after she has stopped and you know she will stop everytime ( even if she is only stopping because she knows she is getting a treaT) thats when you can start VR. VR is when you start not treating every time, but you do continue to praise and pat. To start using VR start out by only treating her every other time you have to correct her. the once every three times and so on. This will eliminate her thinking that she will get a treat everytime, but she will continue to do it because she never knows when she is getting a treat, plus she gets your approval every time she stop, which is something that she is looking for. I hope tihs makes sense...
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Old August 18th, 2008, 06:11 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
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If you give a dog a treat while it's barking, this only re-enforces the behaviour. It won't work.

Making a dog stop barking is easy. Imagine your hand holding a baseball. This is the bite position. When your dog starts to bark, touch it firmly with the bite, on the side of the neck. Your touch has to be firm as though you mean business. While you bite him, say "Shhhhh". Do not talk to him, try to reason with him nor be angry nor frustrated. After you successfully quiet him a few times, eventually all you'll need do is say "Shhh" and he'll be quiet. After you shushing him repeatedly, eventually he will stop barking.

It's simple mind over matter. Keep doing it until he stops. Giving it treats will backfire.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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mollywog mollywog is offline
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I would have to disagree, TwoLostSouls. Rewarding GOOD behaviour (not barking) is a proven training method. It's all about finding out what works for your particular dog.
Lolabee, my inlaws have a Bulldog, and she barks once or twice at a lot of things too.... maybe it is a breed characteristic?
My Molly tends to bark at unwanted times. I am going to try the pop can/ penny trick. Thanks allymack!
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Old August 18th, 2008, 07:21 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
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I clearly said "when the dog is barking", not as you seem to have understood it.

Dogs aren't humans. They don't think like us. If your dog realizes that if it hears someone knocking at the door and barks, it gets a treat; it will bark every time it hears a knock in order to get the treat. Soon it will learn that the more often and the louder it barks, the faster the treat arrives. It is re-enforcement of bad behaviour, not a fix. Sure, it's quiet with the treat, but clearly, your dog will be controlling you, not you controlling it.

The original poster asked for a way to stop it from barking, not cut it down to a couple of barks. My way works every time.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Who's giving a dog a treat for barking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allymack View Post
Each time she barks shake the can, which should startle her enough to stop her bark and then put a command on it right away liek "Quiet!", if she is quiet for a couple seconds, calmly but happily praise her ( you praiseing her calming so oyu dont get her riled up and get her barking again). It can eveuntally be so effective that all you have to say is "quiet" or something liek " do you want me to get the can?"
Once again, great advice. Why use negative reinforcement when you can teach a dog to do as you want in a positive manner? Nothing wrong with initially using treats to teach a new behavior imo.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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kigndano kigndano is offline
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lucky, how is shaking a can full of pennies not the same as touching the dogs neck?

either way you are adding punishment to stop the behaviour.

loud noise, or touch, both startle the dog.


??

put down those +R colored shades for a second and think about it.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Although I don't use that method, I consider it a distraction rather than a punishment in order to get the dog's attention without have to physically touch it ie. "dog bite." One has to follow through with teaching the dog an alternate 'desired' behavior.

I've had years to think about it, those "those +R colored shades" have enabled me to save many a dog's life, kigndano.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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kigndano kigndano is offline
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i just disagree that one is a distraction and one is punishment.

a loud scary noise will startle the hell out of a dog, and once they know you are making the noise, you = loud scary noises.

if you touch the dog with the right firmness, you will startle the dog, same effect IMO.

6 of one, half dozen of another as the old saying goes.

just my


using EITHER the noise or the touch in conjunction with a command when the dog responds is the same training style, again, IMO.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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jessi76 jessi76 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLostSouls View Post
If you give a dog a treat while it's barking, this only re-enforces the behaviour. It won't work.
right, I agree with this. this would encourage the barking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLostSouls View Post
It's simple mind over matter. Keep doing it until he stops. Giving it treats will backfire.
I don't agree with this. Treats CAN work if you use them properly. for instance, if you choose to teach your dog a command such as QUIET, a positive approach that includes treats as a reward can work. you have to actively teach the command though. if your dog is barking, you say QUIET - dog stops barking - immediately mark the behavior with something (say "good", or use a clicker) then reward immediately following the marker.

if you use the treats to bribe your dog not to bark, THEN I DO AGREE it can backfire.

Frankly, it doesn't sound that bad to me. a couple barks is FAR from a yappy dog. Dogs are supposed to alert you to changes in your environment. I'd much rather a dog who barks a few times at noises than a dog who doesn't bark at all. If your dog was barking non-stop I'd certainly try a distraction method that was mentioned (the firm touch, or penny-can shake), but it really doesn't sound like your dog needs anything so drastic to snap it out of a bark-fest. I do think training a command such as "quiet" is useful though. If anything, it will establish some clear communication between you and the dog (besides randomly treating, screaming and running around).
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  #13  
Old August 19th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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allymack allymack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
Who's giving a dog a treat for barking?

Thats what i was wondering

Once again, great advice. Why use negative reinforcement when you can teach a dog to do as you want in a positive manner? Nothing wrong with initially using treats to teach a new behavior imo.
Thanks I too like to use positive reinforcement also..i would much +R instead of doing it physically..
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  #14  
Old August 26th, 2008, 06:06 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
Why use negative reinforcement when you can teach a dog to do as you want in a positive manner? Nothing wrong with initially using treats to teach a new behavior imo.
The problem is when treats are given at the wrong time. It will encourage bad behaviour. Also, it will teach your dog it doesn't have to do what its told unless it gets a treat. Your dog should obey you, treat or not. Discipline isn't negative reinforcement, discipline is setting the rules, boundaries and limitations for your dog. Canine pack leaders do it, why shouldn't you?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 06:16 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
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Originally Posted by jessi76 View Post
Frankly, it doesn't sound that bad to me. a couple barks is FAR from a yappy dog. Dogs are supposed to alert you to changes in your environment. I'd much rather a dog who barks a few times at noises than a dog who doesn't bark at all. If your dog was barking non-stop I'd certainly try a distraction method that was mentioned (the firm touch, or penny-can shake), but it really doesn't sound like your dog needs anything so drastic to snap it out of a bark-fest. I do think training a command such as "quiet" is useful though. If anything, it will establish some clear communication between you and the dog (besides randomly treating, screaming and running around).
I live in a condo. If your dog becomes excessively noisy, it can be deemed a nuisance and the management can order it removed. This is a serious matter. I've trained dogs to keep quiet. I train dogs to live in condos.

They still make sounds when someone is at the door - often a growl kind of noise - but if barking is discouraged, they will stop eventually. The trick is to discourage it from the onset.

Discipline isn't punishment, it's the setting of rules, boundaries and limitations. A firm touch reminds the dog who is in charge.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 07:55 AM
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jessi76 jessi76 is offline
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No one said discipline is punishment. good for you that you train dogs to be quiet. Many of us on here have done so too... and in a variety of ways. one not being better than the other. Different dogs respond to different methods. I hope the original poster found a solution that works for them.
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  #17  
Old August 27th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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King King is offline
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I believe when training you should use treats as well as praise, then stop with the treats once they got the command down. King however when he see the treats gets really excited so I don't train with them he will get one treat when we are finished about five minutes at a time alot of times during the day. I watch Dog Whisperer and Ceaser does the other move on the neck and that seems to work to it would be whatever you would prefer. I don't agree with the pop can because I believe they would think it would be a toy and jump at it....That is my opinion......
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  #18  
Old September 8th, 2008, 03:20 PM
Soter Soter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLostSouls View Post
I clearly said "when the dog is barking", not as you seem to have understood it.

Dogs aren't humans. They don't think like us. If your dog realizes that if it hears someone knocking at the door and barks, it gets a treat; it will bark every time it hears a knock in order to get the treat. Soon it will learn that the more often and the louder it barks, the faster the treat arrives. It is re-enforcement of bad behaviour, not a fix. Sure, it's quiet with the treat, but clearly, your dog will be controlling you, not you controlling it.

The original poster asked for a way to stop it from barking, not cut it down to a couple of barks. My way works every time.
i agree with you


I personally think that you should ignore her. If there is something outside, ignore her, but if someone is outside and coming to the door to come inside, start with treats as a way or thanking her for alerting you, but wean off them to just petting will do. every time you treat or pet as means of thanking for alerting, say 'thankyou' very clearly. soon the words alone should be enough.

hope it works out
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