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Info: Jade 1 yr old catahoula. Reactive barker to dogs and strangers. Too close is in sight. Bark, depending on the posture/attitude is usually excited mixed with puppy whine/ occasionally dominant bark. Good with a lot of people/dogs (ex at farmers market, dog park) . Bad with individuals. I can get her to sit at my side but still barks. Barking is her favorite activity.

1.Tried shock collar- yelps and barks through it
2. Tried treats- even chicken breast/hot dogs not high value enough to stop barking. Will look at me get treat then bark.
3. Tried redirecting- did 180 degree and walked away from stimulus until she stopped barking then turned around...will eventually stop after about 6-7 turn around sessions
4. Tried blocking- she will bark anyways because she knows something is there.

I am out of methods to try, spent at least a month on each. Never had a dog love barking so much.

Ideas?
 

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Info: Jade 1 yr old catahoula. Reactive barker to dogs and strangers. Too close is in sight. Bark, depending on the posture/attitude is usually excited mixed with puppy whine/ occasionally dominant bark. Good with a lot of people/dogs (ex at farmers market, dog park) . Bad with individuals. I can get her to sit at my side but still barks. Barking is her favorite activity.

1.Tried shock collar- yelps and barks through it
2. Tried treats- even chicken breast/hot dogs not high value enough to stop barking. Will look at me get treat then bark.
3. Tried redirecting- did 180 degree and walked away from stimulus until she stopped barking then turned around...will eventually stop after about 6-7 turn around sessions
4. Tried blocking- she will bark anyways because she knows something is there.

I am out of methods to try, spent at least a month on each. Never had a dog love barking so much.

Ideas?

1. Shock collars make reactivity worse. You basically teach the dog that whatever it's reacting to causes it to get hurt. Once it learns that you'll have a dog that either fears, or hates what it was reacting to and it may start to actively try to drive the thing away.

2. I use treats with my dog, but what I learned the hard way is that I cannot give treats when he barks (some dogs can be given them when barking) he thought that the barking got him the treats. Treats do work, but they have to be used consistently, and appropriately.

3. I also use that method when treats fail and my boy is reacting to badly for me to redirect him.

4. Blocking does not work with my boy, if he's really interested he will strain to see around me.

What I do when using treats is let my boy glance at the person and then start shoveling treats at him. How fast I give him those treats depends on if he's spotted someone I know he'll react badly to, no matter how fast I'm giving him treats he'll get them till the person is out of sight for a second or two then the treats end. The important thing is that he gets the treats before he starts reacting and at times I'll only have a couple seconds to start giving them to him since like I said he reacts worse towards certain people. If he starts reacting I do not give him the treats, the reason is that when I first started working with him I'd give him treats even if he was barking, but then I noticed that he'd started looking at the person, barking a time or two, then looking back at me for his treat but he'd do so very happily. So for him at least, no treats when barking.

At times he'll start reacting before I can get his attention, or because he's more reactive that day. When that happens I use the "Let's Go!" cue, that I've been teaching him when no ones around so it's a happy cue, and walk him away for a few yards before giving him a treat for obeying "Let's Go", then we'll turn back around and see if he can look at the person who had him barking and get some treats. If he still reacts I'll tell him "Let's Go" again and we walk completely away.

Some days he just seems to react to everyone and on those days I call it quits and end the walk, there's no sense in letting him practice bad behavior while I get more and more frustrated with him.

Some tips:
Break up any treats you use into little bitty pieces, and feed him the treats piece by piece. The treats will last a lot longer and give you more time to work with him before they run out.

Some people use canned food put in a squeeze tube, or canned cheese (like Kong stuffing) rather then regular treats. They let the dog lick at the treat while the trigger is in view

If you find a treat your dog adores over all others save it for when you work with him on the reactivity. He'll start to think that it's the trigger that gets him the treats and nothing else and learn to love the sight of it.

It takes a very long time to work through reactivity, there are NO quick fixes.

In case your dog is a frustrated greeter, rather then fearful of other people and dogs, if you can line up people to help you then you can teach him that being quiet and polite is the way he gets to greet them. When he's quiet start going towards the person, as soon as he barks, or pulls, turn and go the other way, do that over and over until you can reach the person with him being quiet. The object of the game is to teach him that barking gets him led away, being quiet and not pulling, gets him to go towards the person.
 
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