Barking Too Much- What Can be Done and Are Bark Collars Humane?

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Barking Too Much- What Can be Done and Are Bark Collars Humane?

This is a discussion on Barking Too Much- What Can be Done and Are Bark Collars Humane? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We live in the country and have a Great Pyrenees/Labrador Retreiver, Dixie. Great Pyrenees, as many of you may know, are livestock protection dogs. Dixie ...

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Old 09-25-2012, 07:01 PM
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Barking Too Much- What Can be Done and Are Bark Collars Humane?

We live in the country and have a Great Pyrenees/Labrador Retreiver, Dixie. Great Pyrenees, as many of you may know, are livestock protection dogs. Dixie barks quite a bit. It doesn't bother me at all. At night, when I'm asleep and she's running around our property, her barking never disturbs me. However, the neighbors, apparently, are being disturbed. They have never liked us and have always been incredibly rude and nosy so I don't know how serious to take them. They say that even with a fan on they can hear her barking CONSTANTLY. Now, I know she does not bark constantly because I tend to stay up at night. Yes, she does see, hear or sense something and goes into a fit of barks but eventually she stops. So it is not literally constantly. We have three cats and she barks at a neighbor cat (not belonging to the neighbors who have a problem with our dog) quite a bit when it comes over onto our property. Sometimes I'm not sure what she's barking about but I know it's something. She's not the kind of dog that barks over absolutely nothing, even though it seems like that sometimes. Because of her breed, it is in her to bark. I don't want to teach her not to ever bark by putting a bark collar on her. I just don't believe that would be right. Opinions? Plus, seeing that she can run through electric fences, I'm not sure the bark collar would work. Any suggestions? Natural remedys that would relax her some and make her less likely to bark? I don't want to train her that barking is bad because that's like training a person not to talk (although I wish I could do that to some people, like my neighbors for instance). My neighbors called animal control on us who said they could do nothing about it and that we were taking excellent care of our animals and had everything under control. My neighbor has yelled out his window at my dog to shut up (and I'm talking in the broad daylight when he's not sleeping anyway). Apparently, I haven't trained my dog right. He said they can hear my dog all night even with their fan on. I can't and lately I have been sleeping right by the back door on the couch with no fan or anything. Rarely is anyone else in my family disturbed by her barking and none of the other neighbors have complained (although we live in the country and are zoned agriculture, we have a string of neighbors). I'm not saying he doesn't have the right to be upset if he truly is losing sleep but his behavior is not correct. I take excellent care of my dog which is more than he can say since he keeps his labrador in a little kennel at the back of his property all the time. I am just needing suggestions on what I can do to try to make everyone happy. I don't want anymore confrontations. Sorry this is so long and any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:03 PM
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is she outside all night? if so, if you can change that, she won't have anything to bark at. otherwise, it's a bit of a process to reduce the barking through training/behavior modification... nothing will work instantly. in all honesty, i think the deck is stacked against you in that route anyway... it would be hard to keep any dog from barking at night like that.

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...-fallout-4776/

IMO, it would be a really bad idea to put a bark collar on her for a lot of reasons, starting with the fact that they vary greatly in effectiveness. ultimately, all they do is suppress the bark anyway, so they don't really teach the dog much as far as when it is appropriate to bark etc. in fact, because she will be associating something painful with whatever she wants to bark at, it is likely to increase her emotional need to bark, yet she will be in a position where doing so causes her pain, you can imagine how frustrating that could be! it will likely lead to other behavior problems manifesting. as far as being humane, i've always felt that if aversives kept the dog safe and actually worked as we intended, do it... reality is that it doesn't work as we intend, so it just becomes abuse, IMO... hope that all makes sense to you.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:10 PM
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Do you have livestock she's guarding?
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:11 PM
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I'm one of those people who is sensitive to a dog's barking. Our neighbor's behind us used to have two outside dogs that to me barked all the time. It didn't even need to be constant but just as I would start to relax again to go to sleep, the dogs would bark and I would tense up. How about a citronella collar for your dog for night time?
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:50 PM
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We try to be very considerate of our neighbors, especially at night when their children are all in bed and asleep. Our two catahoulas do bark alerts even in our fenced in backyard...we go out with them for their last potty break (10pm) and also at 7pm after they have eaten dinner. They know not to bark when we are with them monitoring them. I will wake up from a dead sleep when dogs start barking myself! I don't know your situation, does your dog need to be out all night??? How about getting some other type of animal to guard your stock that doesn't make constant noise....like llamas, , donkeys, geese, or peacocks.... lol!
PEACOCKS

"A cool pet, they look neat, you might have to special order them through your pet shop, and they are great "watch dogs" they will sound off whenever there's a stranger or a stray cat in the yard.
And when they do sound off, it's a pleasant sound...not an irritating yap or continual bark."

Llamas are also fairly territorial, and will defend their domain with aggressive behavior. Llamas, like donkeys, are often used by sheep herders in order to protect livestock from dangerous predators. As a guard animal for your home, it’s possible to train a llama to defend your property from any potential intruders.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:36 PM
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lol, i don't know about llamas, but donkeys, peafowl and geese are not quiet by a stretch!
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:42 PM
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The donkey, peafowl, etc. will make noise but it is not a constant barking and barking, they just use their "voices" to alert and scare off, then they quiet down. Maybe the neighbor won't wake up to these kinds of noises...lo.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:50 PM
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not to get this too far off topic, but if the OP considers this option seriously, and wants to be cautious of the noise level, it is good to keep in mind. i've never owned those animals myself, but i've lived next door to them, and they all made more noise than any of the dogs in the neighborhood especially the peafowl, every morning at dawn, and every night at dusk they would go crazy making all sorts of racket. my other neighbor's donkey used to go through fits of braying regularly too. *maybe* geese would work out, though again, they can be quite loud.

i also wouldn't do the citronella collar... same reason i wouldn't do the bark/shock collar. also it is quite common for the dog to get used to the citronella after a while.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:26 PM
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Well, I guess peafowl aren't a good idea, nor the donkey! I wonder if swans would work out if you have a pond...and that only leaves the llamas...

Last edited by pkelley; 09-25-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:10 AM
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Unfortunately, geese, peafowl, or birds are not going to protect anything at night. They sleep. Plus they are noisy.
If the dog is guarding, he needs to bark. If he is just outdoors, and not working, maybe bring him inside, or a garage if possible. Dogs barking a lot are aggravating, and neighbors shouldn't have to deal with it. You can train this dog to be quiet, but it won't be easy, and will take a long time, if he is left unattended.

I don't like bark collars. IMO, dogs should be able to bark. However, the dog shouldn't be at risk for mistreatment by the neighbors, so be careful.
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