A little background - we aren't new to puppies. Over the years, we've only had one dog that we didn't get as a puppy. We even hand-raised two puppies from the age of two days old when the bitch had a litter of 15. They were an absolute dream.
We lost our 'old faithful' last September. It hit us all hard, particularly my mother. My father was ready to go out and just get the next dog that came along, but my mother wasn't and it was 'her turn'. She was pretty certain she wanted another labrador (old faithful, Toby, was a labxkelpie). She's a BIG believer in things happening when they are meant to happen, and of their being signs when things are right. We were watching a horse event one day when, out of the blue, I decided to check Facebook (I have never checked Facebook at an event before!). There, at the top of my recent newsfeed, was a 'puppies free to good home' post, from a girl we knew (the ex-wife of my sisters ex-boyfriend, actually!). They were 8-10 week old labradoodle x kelpies - she'd been minding the ex's $3000 kelpie and he managed to bust in to her $1500 labradoodle, so it was VERY accidental. There were a couple of golds, so I shot of a message, just out of curiousity, if there were any gold females left.
Long story short, turned out we were the first ones to contact her. In the litter of 9, there were 5 golds, 3 of which were female. We decided to go see them, not feeling overly hopeful, and then it turned out the girl lived literally just up the road from where the event was. So off we went, and ended up falling for a cute little girl, looks a lot like a lab with the slightly longer ears and coat of a poodle. The owners young daughter was distraught at the idea of letting go of any of the puppies, so I told her what a good home she would have and asked what she thought we should name her. My mother almost died when the girl said the same name my mother had been thinking - 'Rosie'.
So Rosie came home with us that day, even though we hadn't even been thinking about getting another dog yet, let alone a puppy.
You can skip to here if that was TL;DR!
Anyway, Rosie was a little angel. Her default was to sit quietly and just watch us. The first couple of days were heartwrenching, with her missing her family terribly and I broke a rule straight off by letting her sleep in my bed. It was an accident, I swear!
She's avoided a lot of the typical puppy behaviours - toilet trained almost straight away (only a dozen wet spots and two stinkies indoors!), no chewing shoes, and to date has only destroyed one pair of headphones. She was always a fairly quiet puppy, but recently...
THE BARKING. We didn't think we'd have a problem because she's not a fan of loud noises (when our other dog, a tenterfield terrier, barks, she runs a mile. Not to mention the dogs she doesn't know when we're out walking!), but just our luck, it seems to be her vice. It's very much an attention thing, and we can't seem to find a method that works to stop her, which is where I need advice.
We've tried ignoring her; she just gets progressively louder. We clap our hands loudly to distract her; she stops for a moment before starting again. We've tried squirting her with water; she just runs up to drink out of the spray bottle. The most success we've had is telling her to come, then sit, then drop, and then praise. Not sure if it's the right thing to do, but my theory was that she's getting attention, but only after she does what we ask. That being said, she only listens when she wants to. She's great at sit, but come is more of a 'if I feel like it' thing, which we're working on.
The biggest issue is when she's at the door wanting to come in. We have elderly neighbours to one side who adore her, and have never in our 20+ years of living here with dogs complained about barking. The neighbour on the other side, however.... Let's just say that there's been a lot of terse words between us over the years regarding our dogs (who are generally well behaved). So when she sits at the door wanting to come back inside and bark bark barks, we're having issues. We don't want to give in to the barking, so we'd been asking her to 'wait' (a command she's usually good with) and, when she goes 10 seconds without barking, she can come in, but that method is no longer working.
We're also having issues with her barking constantly when she wants our other dog to play. He's getting on in years and isn't as energetic and playful as he used to be (he changed a LOT in the months since the passing of the old lab, and not in a very good way), so quite often he just doesn't feel like playing, but she doesn't take no for an answer and keeps at him until he snaps at her.
So please, advice! Rosie is adorable and generally an angel, but this barking has to stop.
And of course, an obligatory photo. I don't have any recent ones on my computer, but here she is when we first got her. It's only been a month and a bit, but she's grown so much! (she weighed 2.5kg (5.5lb) at the vet the day after we got her - she's now 7kg (15lb)!)