View Full Version : Barking at other dogs

5th May 2007, 07:32 PM
from the time i have had Sam he has this habit of barking mentally at other dogs and cats that we meet out walking. To make matters now worst he has Sally and Toby now doing the same. Even when i bring them sepertaly they are still going mental at other dogs we meet. It has got so bad now that i actually cant bringing them where i know we are going to run in to other dogs, so now its either where i know the chances are slim of meeting other animals, or early or late as possible.
Can someone please help as this is there only fault. i dont want things to get any worst.

5th May 2007, 09:41 PM
there is a cav around the corner he does the same,just shout and shouts,alfie doesnt enjoy meeting him.i wouldnt know how to stop them,

5th May 2007, 10:53 PM
Lily has my boys doing this too but only when they are on leads and in the vicinity of the house. To be honest the more dogs you have the more likely this problem is to occur -- two for me was easy to manage and the boys never barked at dogs; once I added in three if one starts, all the others join in. That means a lot more barking than when I only had two. Lily is just really excitable and starts barking at other dogs and cats too. It's one of the reasons behaviourists say, don't get a second dog with the intention of having a second help stop the first one's bad habits... each new dog can recalibrate the behaviour of all the dogs; and dogs tend to learn bad habits from each other as easily as good habits. :rolleyes:

I've asked a few trainers about this issue and the hard answer to the general issue of stopping it is: each dog really has to be worked with separately. If each one on its own is reliably focusing on you, eg to the 'look' command, and gradually desensitised to other dogs, then you can work up to two and then three walked together. But this is hard and doesn't always work as the dynamic with three is just so different and (speaking from personal experience) harder to manage when you are walking them on your own in particular.

A variation on this that I have to deal with is that if I walk all three together they pull like sled dogs. I can work each separately to walk politely, and two together are manageable, but the three together are really difficult to manage as far as pulling goes. Tara and Lisa have told me this is indeed very hard to manageonce you put three together, if they are pullers. To get around his problem, I walk the boys on no-pull harnesses as Lily is so small and doesn't pull as much (though I am getting her a no-pull harness too anyway). Obviously it is an easier issue to manage than the barking as there's a tool you can use.

Usually you can work on the barking bad habit by focusing on the instigator as if that dog doesn't start, the others are less likely to chime in -- in this case, Sam. I'm not sure if his hearing is that great for trying to get him to look though.

This is a real hassle, I know, but it is just how dogs tend to start interacting and influencing each other once you get more than two and start forming a real pack.

5th May 2007, 11:48 PM
The thing is they only bark at other dogs when we are out. If a dog comes into the house they are fine(well apart from sam, but then he settles down with them as well after a mad 2 hrs of barking). I never bring the 3 of them together as i cant manage them all. What i tend to do is bring Sam on his own and then the other 2.

5th May 2007, 11:55 PM
Ellie also barks at other dogs when we are out but only by our home. I think she thinks she is protecting our home area from intruders. She doesnt bark anywhere else but when she does bark and the other dog starts to come over towards us she high tails it out of there :rolleyes: Apparently she is all bark but nothing to back that up. Usually though after a few minutes she get curious and sniffs the other dog and then she is ok. A few dogs she has gotten use to this way and now doesnt bark when she sees them, Its a learning process for me as to what to do to try to stop this behavior. But if we are out she doesnt bark at other dogs, only around our home.

5th May 2007, 11:59 PM
The thing is they only bark at other dogs when we are out. If a dog comes into the house they are fine(well apart from sam, but then he settles down with them as well after a mad 2 hrs of barking). I never bring the 3 of them together as i cant manage them all. What i tend to do is bring Sam on his own and then the other 2.It's the same issue; you still have a pack behaviour that has developed because other dogs in the group are learning/have learned an unwanted behaviour from one -- this is very common with larger groups of dogs. Each dog has to be trained away from this on its own. Mine do just the same -- they don't bark at dogs in the park, nor when offlead (except Lily), nor in the house. Only when on walks, on leads, near the house. The way to train is to get the dog to be able to focus on you, not the other dog. This has to be done thru teaching the look command consistently and also possibly using some technique to desensitise such as treating as soon as another dog comes into sight. If they are all now barking in this situation, this all has to be done one dog at a time, each on its own. It is best to get advice from a trainer on how to do this effectively though. I am working on this with Lily; a slow process but she gets a bit better all the time.

6th May 2007, 11:32 AM
At baby puppy school we are currently working on this. We have a little treat in our hands when another dog is about to walk past & we keep the dogs attention on us as they pass. Yeah it is really easy with 1 dog, but I guess it is a different kettle of fish when you are walking 3.

I wonder if using the same technique would work when you have the 3 of them out? icon_nwunsure

6th May 2007, 12:31 PM
It will work -- that's what I meant above by getting the dog to focus on the owner and also desensitising by getting the dog to associate other dogs with good things like treats, not something they have to bark at -- but you need to do the focus work with each individual dog til they are reliably not looking at other dogs and focusing on the owner instead. Then you can work back to walking two or three and distract in just this way.

With my three, I really only need to distract Lily as she is the barker 90% of the time. Sometimes Jaspar starts in too and then all three. I get Lily's attention with a 'look' command and carry treats -- BEFORE she notices or just as she notices the other dog but hopefully before she starts barking. This realy does work but I have worked with each dog separately on 'look' over time. Lily is so food motivated that it is relatively easy to distract her towards a treat but harder to maintain her attention.