View Full Version : excessive barking ??

Juniors Daddy
13th December 2008, 10:29 PM
my lil junior barks at everything and nothing ????
when were walking down the road he barks at people, dogs, sounds , he isnt out of control and calms down after a while ..help !
but i thought he might be unsociable but we also have a chihuahua and cat and they all love eachother any advice please post ? thanks:-p

14th December 2008, 12:07 AM
Some puppies just love the sound of their own voices. My Dan was just the same when he was a pup.

This advice comes from Paul Owens 'The Dog Whisperer' A Compassionate Non-Violent Approach to Dog Training. It has worked a treat with my new pup Murphy. I clicker train him, which is superb for capturing behaviour and Paul Owens uses clicker training so I hope this helps. Quoting:

"Believe it or not, an option in teaching your dog to be quiet is to teach him to bark when you request it.

1. While your dog is barking use a word like "sing" or "speak". Click, praise, and reward. Do this often enough and pretty soon your dog will have linked barking with the word or signal. (Please note: In this case, you are labeling the behaviour right away. This is because your dog is already doing the behaviour. The rule is: label something when you are 80 percent sure your dog will do the behaviour you are asking for. In this case, your dog is already doing the behaviour, so go ahead and attach the label "sing" or "speak" to it.

2. Now that your dog is barking on signal, interrupt the barking with another sound, like the word "quiet" or "enough". As soon as she stops barking, click, praise, and reward. Then get her singing again. Then say "quiet" again and click, praise and treat. Repeat over many days.

3. Keep rewarding the "quiet" behavior with $10,000 treats, but start phasing out the rewards for barking. In this way, you can stretch the length of "quiet" time by rewarding it with really great treats like pieces of turkey. Because you're only using praise to reward the barking, your dog will gravitate toward silence, where the $10,000 is. Now you can shape the behaviour by teaching your dog to bark three times and then stop on his own.

"Here's another trick you can use. In the preceding exercise you are immediately rewarding the quiet behaviour every time you say "quiet". This follows the one-second rule in that you're rewarding the behaviour within one second after the dog does it. What happens if your dog stops barking on his own without your signal? If you immediately click and treat, he may view the reward as a reward for barking because you rewarded him within one second of his barking. For that reason, it's important to separate the click and treat by a couple of seconds so he won't make the incorrect association. So count to yourself "one thousand one, one thousand two", then click, praise and treat. Because you've waited at least two seconds after the barking stopped, you're now rewarding what your dog is presently doing - being quiet."

"Here's the rule: If you say "quiet" and she responds, click and treat immediately.:rah: If she stops barking on her own, wait two seconds, then click and treat."

I've followed Paul's example of "conducting an orchestra" while telling Murphy to sing, but this is done behind closed doors.;) Murphy looks intently at me while doing this and always stops "singing" when I do this, even though I would like to capture a bit more barking to get the timing just right with the clicker.

I can imagine the neighbours thinking "There goes that crazy woman again" - Murphy and I walk around in circles quite a lot to stop him pulling on the lead, so if I started waving my target stick and shouting "sing" I think someone would be ringing for the "white coats".

It's all great fun anyway.

Good Luck and let us know how you get on.:thmbsup:

14th December 2008, 12:39 AM
That's really good advise, I'm going to try it tomorrow. Thanks for that. :thmbsup:

Juniors Daddy
14th December 2008, 06:33 PM
oh that sounds great shall go and pick myself a clicker asap..i appreciate the time taken out for that thank you so much bless you

14th December 2008, 08:17 PM
You're welcome, and I'm sure it will work. Every dog training book I read gives this advice about teaching the dog to bark on cue to stop unwanted barking.

One thing about how to use a clicker, if you haven't used one before. Quote from the same book:

How to use a Clicker

"Initially a clicker has no value to your dog. It's neutral. To give it value or empower it, do this: Put it in your hand and immediately after clicking, throw your dog a great food treat. Click and treat like this ten to fifteen times. Do two or three sessions during the day. You know your dog has "got it" when she starts looking around for the treat after hearing the click. Now that the clicker has meaning, you're ready to "mark" the exact behaviour you're looking for. For example, when teaching your dog to sit, move your hand an inch or so over her head. If she sits, click and reward the moment her behind hits the floor."

"Note: Some dogs are a bit sound sensitive, so be cautious and sensitive when introducing the clicker."

You can muffle the sound of the clicker by putting it in your pocket.