View Full Version : advice for a barking puppy?

6th December 2009, 10:42 PM
I live in an apartment, so I find it very difficult to "ignore" Sophie or let her bark herself out a bit when she's making a fuss to get attention. She's had a bit of a "hey, pay attention to me!" bark since I took her home from the breeder, but for the past few mornings she's woken me up with it. It's also difficult to put her in her pen when I'm around because with my open floor plan, she can see me everywhere I go in the apartment and barks like mad to be let out. She's generally a good girl and I've tried giving her an abundance of chew treats filled with goodies (Dr. Ian Dunbar), but she's right back to barking once they're emptied.

I don't want to reward her for this attention barking, but I also can't let her make so much noise that it could get us in trouble with my building. The low tendency for Cavs to be barkers was one of the (many) reasons that I was attracted to the breed for apartment life. Any advice for us?

Thank you!

Karen and Ruby
6th December 2009, 11:58 PM
Sounds like its fast becoming a bad habit!!

The only advice I can offer is 'time out' but as you said you have an open plan environment as the worst thing for a pup is isolation.
Or you could teach her to bark on command and then be quiet again- hard but worth a try.

I only allow my dogs to bark 3 times then I tell them to settle and I give them a little treat- the reason I do 3 is so they dont get in to the mind set of "1 bark = food" Not a great position to be in!!! LOL That means that when someone comes to the door they can let me know and then they can be quiet again! Charlie is still learning the ways but Ruby is a seasoned Pro!!

Good Luck

7th December 2009, 09:08 AM
I can imagine that's really touch especially worrying about upsetting the neighbours...luckily neither of my dogs are barkers at all...Ben only barks at the post man and since having stitch I have only really heard him bark once or twice. I am sure you will get some great ideas from everybody but heres my 2 cents anyway -

maybe she keeps barking to get more of those treats stuffed in the toys? If she has got into the habbit of getting them when she barks she WILL use it again and again because now she thinks - if I bark I get lots of treats! - maybe try not giving her the treats until she stops barking and give her a stern no and take the treats away if she keeps barking again???? she will soon realise that its being quiet that gets her the treats....

7th December 2009, 01:03 PM
Giving the dog treats when she is barking will reinforce the behavior. She sees it as a reward for the barking.

Our Cavalier's breeder (who shows and travels with her dogs, so they must be quiet in hotels) suggested I squirt her with water when she does that type barking while I'm telling her "no." It cured her rather quickly. I used one of the spray-spritz bottles, with the nozzle set to stream, so the crate wouldn't get flooded. It worked quite well.

7th December 2009, 01:08 PM
♬Thanks for all of the ideas!
I try to only give her the chew toys when putting her in her pen, so they come before the barking but definitely don't prevent it!

Waldor: a friend from home sent me similar advice and I was half wondering if anyone from this group would suggest it as well... I may give that a try☆

8th December 2009, 02:13 AM
I also live in an apartment, and when I first got Leo, he started whining and barking every time I put him in his crate (and this was after he knew it was a nice, yummy place to be!). This is a situation where (unfortunately) the storm has to build up and then break. If you give her attention while she's barking, you're reinforcing the barking.

Believe me, I know how hard it is when you're cringing and wondering what the neighbors are hearing, so this is what I did.

I went to my downstairs neighbor and told him what was going on. That might be weird, but it works really well to get them on your side. Just introduce yourself, apologize for any barking they have heard, and tell them that though it may take a couple of days, you must let your puppy bark until she learns that she can't bark and get your attention. Tell them that it's necessary for her to learn that and that if it hasn't stopped within, say, three days (it shouldn't take longer than that), you will think of another way to stop the barking because you don't want to bother anyone.

I'm not sure how well this would work for anyone else, but it only took a couple of days for me. Once he learned that the ONLY way I would come back to him was for him to be silent, he learned pretty quickly. Now, Leo will quietly work on his kongs in his crate or nap.

8th December 2009, 07:43 AM
I agree with mckcomplex. I also live in the apartament and although Minni is not a barker (I hope), she still whined like hell and sometimes even barked a bit when she wanted attention. You just HAVE TO ingnore. It is really difficult but it is worth it. It should stop in 2-3 days because pups won't be barking in vain :D

Also, if your cav is not a water-lover, buy that thing you spray water onto the flowers. And when she barks or does something nasty, squirt her. But it is best to do so that she can't notice where the water is coming from, otherwise she will be behaving good only when you have that squirting thingie in your hands :D

Good luck! :)