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Barking barking barking for attention!

1782 Views 23 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  rott-pei
Hello everyone,

I have a 55 pound Shepherd Blue Healer mix. When we go out and play he starts barking if I don’t throw the frisbee or ball fast enough. If I turn to talk to someone he starts barking barking barking. If I go over to the neighbors and he hears or sees me he starts barking barking barking. Sometimes if I’m busy and I don’t play with him he starts barking to get my attention. He also barks at every dog that goes by and I mean barks like he’s gonna rip your throat out. It’s so loud and shrill I scream at him. I know screaming is not a good thing but I jumped out of my skin at the sound of his bark. He does stop but I’m sure the whole neighborhood hears me. Yes I am reactive. I don’t know how to stop the barking. Anybody, suggestions, help, please. I feel horrible but I’m so reactive and I don’t know how to stop his barking or me being jolted by the shrill of his bark. I’m surprised my ears don’t start bleeding bc of the sound. Thanks for any suggestions.

Robin and Buddy the Bambino K9
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I thought this was an interesting technique (I can't remember how I came across it, maybe it was even one of the members here that posted it first). I've seen these types of videos pop up quite a lot recently (where you first mark and reward the undesired behaviour and then slowly transition to the desired - counterintuitive, but actually quite effective!).

Our dog barks at us constantly while we eat dinner or watch tv.
I would probably just manage this during dinner and TV time, at least in the beginning, to break the already established habit of barking. I would put her on her bed or in her crate, whichever she is used to, and give her a long lasting chew, a kong, lickimat or something else to keep her occupied with her own chewing or licking project.

In parallel, I might do short training sessions to slowly teach her to go to her "family dinner spot" (I would pick it strategically, so that she would be close enough so that I could reinforce good behaviour without getting up too much, but out of the way enough not to be a pestilence). I would work on longer durations of stay, and finally teach her that when I (or the family members) sit at the table, her job is to go to her designated spot and relax there. I find that when they have a clear expectation of what they are supposed to be doing, it helps many dogs chill out. But sometimes management is also all you really need.
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When he would not respond to clicker training. His ears would go back, he could turn his head and ignore.
It really doesn't have to be a clicker at all for that technique to work, just a "sign" (marker) that a reward is coming. Instead of a click, you can use a "yes!" "nice!" or something else (often enthusiastically for energetic dogs and softly for fearful dogs). You can also make the clicker quieter by placing a piece of cardboard or tape under the mechanism, some dogs dislike the loud sound. You want to make your sign a predictor of good things, so the dog should not find It scary or unpleasant in the first place. Another common problem is if a dog does not understand that a reinforcer will follow the sound. This is easy to fix. Like JoanneF said, feel free to poke the forum for more info if you want/need it!
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