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Old 11-04-2009, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default Positive yet effective 'no barking' help

We've had Lolli for about a week now, and we have been trying to work with her on 'quiet' for when she barks (particularly AT people). We have a screened back porch where we have a little dog/cat door built in from the back door (it was here from the previous tenant, but we kept it so our cats could sit outside).

We live in a boating community so the back area gets a lot of people walking about throughout the day. Lolli tends to go out the doggy door and bark and growl at them. She does this when I walk her for potty, too, but if anyone actually stops to pet her (or just when she's close to them for that matter) she stops barking and growling immediately. She does the same thing if someone comes to/in the front door. When she reaches the person she stops growling and barking.

I can't really seem to figure out whether she's being aggressive or territorial to know how to go about fixing this problem. I don't even know what would be the best way or method to go about this, either. Some people say shake a bunch of coins in a jar or use some sort of whistle. I checked out a few books from the library that talk about the differences in aggressive and territorial barking, but so far haven't much input on correcting the problem.

Well, I have been using a whistle that makes a sort of honking noise (similar to those party favors, only it's a lot louder). She will quit barking and turn around for a few seconds but then go right back to it. It's very loud and I don't think using this outside when walking her would be appropriate. Saying 'no' sternly doesn't seem to have much effect, either. At least not yet?

I could really use some help, it's actually a little embarassing when I am walking such a gorgeous little girl and someone walking by is being growled and barked at and shes standing up on 2 feet from pulling on the leash. She is VERY good on the leash, except when she is barking at someone like that. I don't mind the growling so much as it's not as startling to other people when they are walking passed our back porch or walking passed us when I'm out walking her.

It's just really strange because she loves people and loves attention. But for some reason until she's up close and personal she growls and barks. She's never ones bitten or even snapped at anyone.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:07 AM   #2
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I am not sure what to say but have you tried socializing her around a bunch of people? Puppy class may help. There would be other dogs and people to socialize with. Or even a dog park? although the park may be a little intimidating and overwhelming at first. Maybe try carrying the can of coins around with you until she "gets it". Wish you luck. I am sure someone will be able to come up with a solution for you.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
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Amazon.com: Pet Parade's Dog and Bark Repeller...Amazon.com: Pet Parade's Dog and Bark Repeller...
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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More important is to be sure and praise her for desirable behavior. She may not be making the connection as when she is noisy, then you do something noisy. Catch her when she's quiet, and reward her with her currency. She may remember this quicker, as she'll learn what to do to receive reward/praise. When she is noisy on leash, don't allow her access to whomever she is barking at (stop any forward motion) until she is quiet (then allow her to approach).
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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Thanks MomToHotRod, she is very socialized with other animals as her previous home had 11 other dogs and 2 cats. She does very well with animals with no growling or barking, it is just other people.

I don't know if I can do any classes at this time as I am about to have to take her to the vet for general check up and spay surgery so something like that will just have to wait, her health check is more important financially at this time.

Kjc, how do you go about praising her desirable behavior, do you do that when she is done barking at people all crazy? Usually she is barking from the back porch so people aren't stopping to say hello or pet her. It is also rare occasion that this happens also when we are walking, it is just usually joggers or walkers passing by us and not stopping to socialize. She likes to stop to sniff around the grass so would me not continuing the walk really make a difference to her?

I can see about carrying a can of coins, but if she disregards the very loud honking whistle noise would this make the difference? It may be the sound difference that will help, right?

And Jeanm, are those products safe? I have heard that they could be detrimental to the ears or just not work at all. I wouldn't mind trying something like that, it wouldn't be as bulky as a can of coins and loud as I do walk the dog later at night before bed and since I live in a community shaking loud coins in a can might cause complaints.
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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a couple of ideas -
you could try teaching her a 'quiet' command - when she is barking get her attention and say quiet, showing you have a treat. As soon as she shuts up for a second -eventually she will out of curiosity or to draw breath- give her the treat - then once she understands what she's being rewarded for gradually increase the time she is quiet for. Then when she can do this well maybe work out some way to train her with people you know walking past - at a further distance at first? I'm not sure.
Also the socialisation, which doesnt have to be a class just giving her opportunities to meet people. Sky got most of her people socialization from meeting people when walking, and from travelling on the bus and train with me (everyone wants to pet her!).
Another option might be to teach her to carry a toy - she can't bark and hold the toy at the same time?
yelling/loud noises might not be so good, she might think you are joining in the fun with her.

Last edited by raindrop; 11-05-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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how old is she?? i know right now i think Bella's little bark and howl are adorable!! probably not so much in the middle of the night (which she hasnt done yet). She is 12 weeks old and doesnt pay any attention as to who is coming in the door or who isnt.. she doesnt bark at people... she barks at our other dog newman (1/2 bichon and 1/2 shihtzu) because she wants to play but thats about it... im sure the barking at people will come for her...
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. I've tried using noises and treats but she ignores the noises and she eats the treat then goes back to barking (after having been quiet for a few to get the treat). It might get better if I keep on with it but I'm not sure.

She's 7 years old.
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:30 PM   #9
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OK I'm the queen of positive training but we had to resort to a squirt gun. My husband works from home and Loki cannot just have barking fits whenever a dog/person walks by. It's OK if it's the doorbell or mailman or UPS, but he would bark at every single person that walked by. We got 2 mini super soakers and used them for about a week and it stopped. Now he just huffs and puffs at the door but doesn't bark if I ask him not to, unless someone actually comes UP to the door. They can now quietly watch people walking by. Sam barks some but only once or twice and Loki tends to set her off most of the time. She quiets down quickly while Loki struggled with that - he could bark like crazy for like 2 minutes.

You have to combine this with positive training of course - rewarding them for being quiet or quieting down, teaching them the commands... we just had to use this to interrupt him because he just couldn't quit barking once he started and I didn't want to pick him up.

Another way is to leave the leash on and remove them from the situation (in our case the patio door) and reward them for quieting down.

Now I just have to say their names and get their attention and say no barking and hold up my hand... they just had to learn the rules. Now that they know them it's easier to enforce them

Good luck!
ETA: As far as outside, have approaching people give her a treat or distract her with a treat. We had to work on that for a LONG time (like years) with Loki and he lets strangers pet him now. But we had to work on it a lot...

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Old 11-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin View Post
OK I'm the queen of positive training but we had to resort to a squirt gun. My husband works from home and Loki cannot just have barking fits whenever a dog/person walks by. It's OK if it's the doorbell or mailman or UPS, but he would bark at every single person that walked by. We got 2 mini super soakers and used them for about a week and it stopped. Now he just huffs and puffs at the door but doesn't bark if I ask him not to, unless someone actually comes UP to the door. They can now quietly watch people walking by. Sam barks some but only once or twice and Loki tends to set her off most of the time. She quiets down quickly while Loki struggled with that - he could bark like crazy for like 2 minutes.

You have to combine this with positive training of course - rewarding them for being quiet or quieting down, teaching them the commands... we just had to use this to interrupt him because he just couldn't quit barking once he started and I didn't want to pick him up.

Another way is to leave the leash on and remove them from the situation (in our case the patio door) and reward them for quieting down.

Now I just have to say their names and get their attention and say no barking and hold up my hand... they just had to learn the rules. Now that they know them it's easier to enforce them

Good luck!
ETA: As far as outside, have approaching people give her a treat or distract her with a treat. We had to work on that for a LONG time (like years) with Loki and he lets strangers pet him now. But we had to work on it a lot...
Thanks for the input. I do give her treats when she's quiet (for about 20 seconds) after I've asked her to 'be quiet'. She doesn't usually listen but there has been a couple times. Most of the time she's too loud and cannot hear me, and screaming over her is not good. She doesn't seem too worried about water squirts, she loves it almost.

But she loves anyone who pets her. She only barks at people who are at a distance and not walking up to her to pet her. She gets quiet and friendly if you're petting her, and it doesn't matter whos doing it either. lol
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolli_lah View Post
Thanks for the input. I do give her treats when she's quiet (for about 20 seconds) after I've asked her to 'be quiet'. She doesn't usually listen but there has been a couple times. Most of the time she's too loud and cannot hear me, and screaming over her is not good. She doesn't seem too worried about water squirts, she loves it almost.

But she loves anyone who pets her. She only barks at people who are at a distance and not walking up to her to pet her. She gets quiet and friendly if you're petting her, and it doesn't matter whos doing it either. lol
Mine do this too... they freak out when someone comes up to the door but then are friendly to the person once they come inside.

You need to figure out if she is barking because she wants them to pet her or she wants to show she's not scared (when she is) Sammy barks because she wants to be pet. We have a neighbor we share a driveway with who doesn't really like dogs but Sammy likes him and she will go out and demand he pet her and follow him up the driveway. Loki barks because he is freaked out. He calms down and he does let people pet him and he is super friendly once he gets to know someone, but his bark is definitely more "stay away" than "come pet me"

After all the training I have done with my dogs I am so in tune with them I can anticipate their emotions and their actions. Sam got a shot at the vet the other day and she flinched and so did the vet and the tech, but they both commented that i didn't. Why? cause that's what Sam does (groomer, nails, etc.) and I knew it 2 microseconds before she did it. I also know exactly when Loki is going to flip out after seeing a big dog. Once you get to that point you can distract them. If you get upset too, they will sense it and it will make it worse. I used to worry Loki was going to snap at a big dog (or get eaten) but I've been around him and other dogs long enough to know he barks at them, not bites, and they typically just ignore him because he's rude. We don't let him approach strange big dogs just because it stresses him out, but he has to deal with big goofy friendly neighbor dogs almost daily and we know exactly how the interaction is going to go, so we just work every single time to encourage him and improve his reaction. He actually has 2 doggie friends who hang out at our house and share his bed and water bowl and he does just fine.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:16 PM   #12
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Thank you!!!! for posting this product...I saw this post last week when I was about to give up on walking my dogs as they barked at everyone and other dogs...ordered it as it wasn't expensive at all...within a day they were angels...THANK YOU AGAIN!
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:05 PM   #13
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This isn't really a "barking" problem persay

This is more of a socialization .... fear problem

Don't forget that Yorkies are little guys and tend to be vocal and a bit hyper
you put all these things togther and you're bound to get a barking frightened dog
If you get your pup used to meeting people and acclimatize her more she will be less likely to bark and growl
which is a defensive posture for them
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