Middle of the night barking

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Middle of the night barking

This is a discussion on Middle of the night barking within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My neighbors have a rottweiler. Every time I take Brisco outside to potty, the rott growls and barks at him. The hair on his back ...

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Old 09-26-2018, 06:13 AM
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Middle of the night barking

My neighbors have a rottweiler. Every time I take Brisco outside to potty, the rott growls and barks at him. The hair on his back stands up, but he doesn't bark or growl back.
For the past several days, the rott has been barking in the middle of the night and this time Brisco DOES bark back. He's difficult to calm down, and often is back at it 30 seconds later. He knows a quiet command and he knows a "go lay down" command, but he'll just pace for several seconds until he can't hold it in and continues barking. This is every night. I'm desperate to stop this. He doesn't sleep in my bed, but I'm willing to let him at this point. Ideas?
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:27 PM
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Geez this sounds annoying for you and Brisco! Esp in the middle of the night. Grrrr.

If it were me, I would totally use counterconditioning to stop Brisco from barking back at the barking Rottie. If you make the noise predict happy stuff (yummy food and happy chat) your dog will probably not need to worry about the other dog. Hence the barking will cease.

We have a dog that lives behind us that barks at my dogs sometimes when we are in our yard. Originally my Gracie who was super reactive to ALL dogs (hell, all creatures!) would bark at any dog, esp if they were barking at her, scaring her. When this dog originally moved in and started barking at her, Gracie would run up to that fence area and get all riled up and bark wildly. So I started counterconditioning her to the other dog's barks.

Every time we heard neighbor dog bark, I got all happy, and said loudly "Hi doggie, how are you? Nice to hear you. You sound like a very nice doggie. Maybe we can meet sometime....etc etc"

My ultra happy tone sent the signal to my dogs that this other dog was NOT a threat, no need to worry or bark. Plus the neighbor dog heard me and would stop barking, since I sounded so happy and non threatening!!

And in the beginning, I would back this up with small yummy food bites as I counterconditioned the barking of neighbor dog! So neighbor dog barking= yummy food!

***I also use this method when training for reactivity on our walks and it is working wonders! Heck, today someone watched us as I asked Gracie happily "where's the doggie?" and she looked at the other dog (who was being reactive to her) and then right back at me for her praise & treat .....and then they asked me if I was a professional trainer

May take you a bit of time to teach your dog not to worry about the rottie, but it will be totally worth it. Heck you will be up anyway trying to quiet your dog, so why not use conterconditioning to create a happy association with the annoying noise?

This method totally worked for me and Gracie. I use counterconditioning for ALL triggers with her and my other dogs!
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:38 PM
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Also, maybe you could try to sleep with some music on so that the Rottie's barking isn't so loud to your dog? Although dogs have really good hearing. When they want to

Also, when my dogs bark, we ask them happily "Whaaaaat? What do you hear (or see?)" and then we follow this with "Oh, that's nothing to worry about!! We're fine!"

Many times I find this works well since I am actually acknowledging their concern, (legitimizing it) but then reassuring them that all is ok, no need to worry or bark. You may try this and see if it works with Brisco.

Our first response is to tell our dogs to STOP!! barking, but generally the way we end up telling them just adds to their worry since we are annoyed or not happy with their decision to bark.

Just today, my Puma pup saw something out the window at our shop and barked in concern. I simply did the above, and asked her what she was looking at. And then told her we were fine. She stopped the barking and relaxed

Dogs are SO smart and really listen to our voice tones and watch our faces/body for relaxation messages!
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:56 PM
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Normally we allow the dogs to bark within reason and calm them down by asking them to be quiet and distracting them.
At 3 in the morning when I'm suddenly woken up my loud dog barking, my impulsive response is usually OMG STOP BARKING.
But yeah, if I'm gonna be up anyway, I might as well try to counter condition him.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:11 PM
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Yup, may as well counter condition:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BriscoDog24;3603691 up
But yeah, if I'm gonna be up anyway, I might as well try to counter condition him.
When it would thunder in the middle of the night, my shy fearful cautious Gracie dog would absolutely PANIC. Pace, shake, dig at carpet, paw us, you name it. So hard to watch and so hard for me to know how afraid/stressed she was by the storm. Truly heartbreaking.

And I really needed my sleep! But, I figured I wasn't going to get any sleep anyway if she was us panicking during the storm, so I may as well counter condition her since I was going to be up anyway.

And thank heavens I did!!!! All my thunder counterconditioning has all paid off!! She is hugely better than she was about thunder now.

It thundered the other night, but she just curled up BY HERSELF and went back to sleep. She didn't even come "tell us." She did shake a bit, but she can now self calm. Her response has changed due to the counter conditioning so that whereas she may never "love" thunder, it is just not that awful and terrifying. Whew!

You can think about Gracie next time you and Brisco are practicing your counterconditioning in the wee hours of the middle of the night

Let us know if it works for you guys!
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:39 AM
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How about talking to your neighbor to settle that issue? It's really hard in your part and i feel you. Maybe you could put Brisco to a place where the rott can't see him.
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:08 AM
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Talking to my neighbor isn't an option. It isn't that they see each other and bark, Brisco just hears the rott bark in the middle of the night and barks back.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:17 PM
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Hi!! I thought about you guys today when I took my dogs outside to potty in our yard. Several of the neighbors' dogs were barking at that time. I'm not quite sure where all those barking dogs live, but we sure could hear them!!

I was worried that with that many dogs barking, that my dogs would join in the barkfest! But nooooo---my dogs just milled about,sniffing every blade of grass in our yard. I don't even think I had to say anything to them. I just continued with my normal happy silly morning chant of "lets scoop poop, time to scoop poop!"

None of my dogs barked at all!! Yay!!!

I truly love those moments when all my hard work pays off with my doggies!!!
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:55 PM
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When Brisco is preoccupied with other things, he will not take any kind of food or treats. He doesn't want treats at the vet, on the beach, on the hiking trail, or in the middle of the night when a rottweiler is barking.
He looks at me like he can't even believe I would offer him treats at a time like this and then goes back to whining and barking. If I tell him to be quiet, he will until the other dog barks again.
Ugh. Help us. We need our sleep.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:33 PM
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Are you using super HIGH VALUE food for counterconditioning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BriscoDog24 View Post
When Brisco is preoccupied with other things, he will not take any kind of food or treats. He doesn't want treats at the vet, on the beach, on the hiking trail, or in the middle of the night when a rottweiler is barking.
Hmmm. This may be a silly question, but have you tried all different kinds of foods when you are trying to coundercondition Brisco?

I totally get that Brisco is too heightened when the other dog is barking to accept most foods/treats. Most dogs won't eat under high stress.

When Gracie was at her most heightened during thunder storms or when seeing another dog during our reactivity training, only the most delicious smelly foods would work. I had to constantly try new things/experiment.

I found that stinky wet canned dog food worked well during the storms, since Gracie did not want to chew anything when most panicked. So I would line the bottom of a tupperware container with a layer of the the canned wet food and let her lick it. That seemed to work most times. Then after a few rounds of this, I could work our way up to solid foods like meat pieces or cheese bites, etc. Had to be very scented!!

Can you try to wave something ultra stinky right under Brisco's nose and see if that works?

Another example related from today:

Today I sat with my new Puma pup in the thunder/rain under my covered awning at my shopping center to acclimate Puma to thunder/rain. I did a bunch of counter conditioning with her. She did great.

But... I noticed that I offered her a small chewy stick and she refused it. So I next offered her small homemade chicken bites--- and that was a YES! So even though she wasn't freaked out by the storm, she still needed a higher value food when we were doing our countercondtioining today. When we went inside, I offered the same chewy stick and then she gladly took it

I have found that sometimes we need to use the highest value food that our dogs will work for in order to change their mindset and behavior.
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