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Thread: Pleeeaaassssseeee help!!!!! Puppy barking!!!!

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    Exclamation Pleeeaaassssseeee help!!!!! Puppy barking!!!!

    I have a delightful male 7 month old Cavalier puppy, he is a darling and we love him to bits but we have a problem that needs addressing!! When visitors call his barking is quite frankly completely OTT, he gets sooo excited and barks, barks, barks! and it goes on and on... quite frankly it's becoming very embarrassing! His temperament is beautiful, he is very friendly but when visitors call he cannot contain his excitement ... nothing calms him down or stops it, he completely ignores me. He has lots of physical and mental stimulation, and even when very tired if someone calls that's it... bark, bark, bark - help!!! Has anyone mastered Ian Dunbar's 'shush' command? this issue really needs addressing and we are feeling very overwhelmed by it, :-(

    Edited to say I am frightened the neighbours will soon be having words with us as we live in a semi-detatched.
    Last edited by Clairelou; 24th June 2011 at 08:12 PM.
    Mum to Tallulah (blenheim)
    Three Precious Cavalier Angels in Heaven, until we meet again girls...xxx

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    Hiya. I am no expert, but I personally would get a "stranger" friend who knows about the situation, and start a regime of discipline. Repeat behaviour generally leads to association in my limited experience. What to aim for is an association that strangers in the house = discipline.

    My 0.02p worth.

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    Exclamation Save yourself some headache

    Quote Originally Posted by Clairelou View Post
    I have a delightful male 7 month old Cavalier puppy, he is a darling and we love him to bits but we have a problem that needs addressing!! When visitors call his barking is quite frankly completely OTT, he gets sooo excited and barks, barks, barks! and it goes on and on... quite frankly it's becoming very embarrassing! His temperament is beautiful, he is very friendly but when visitors call he cannot contain his excitement ... nothing calms him down or stops it, he completely ignores me. He has lots of physical and mental stimulation, and even when very tired if someone calls that's it... bark, bark, bark - help!!! Has anyone mastered Ian Dunbar's 'shush' command? this issue really needs addressing and we are feeling very overwhelmed by it, :-(

    Edited to say I am frightened the neighbours will soon be having words with us as we live in a semi-detatched.
    http://www.amazon.com/Premier-SprayS...8947231&sr=8-2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clairelou View Post
    I have a delightful male 7 month old Cavalier puppy, he is a darling and we love him to bits but we have a problem that needs addressing!! When visitors call his barking is quite frankly completely OTT, he gets sooo excited and barks, barks, barks! and it goes on and on... quite frankly it's becoming very embarrassing! His temperament is beautiful, he is very friendly but when visitors call he cannot contain his excitement ... nothing calms him down or stops it, he completely ignores me. He has lots of physical and mental stimulation, and even when very tired if someone calls that's it... bark, bark, bark - help!!! Has anyone mastered Ian Dunbar's 'shush' command? this issue really needs addressing and we are feeling very overwhelmed by it, :-(

    Edited to say I am frightened the neighbours will soon be having words with us as we live in a semi-detatched.
    Some cavaliers are very excitable indeed. What have you tried so far?

    I think what Robbie has suggested in enlisting a friend to help pretend to be a visitor is a good idea, so you can go through the same routine time and time again over the course of an hour or so (choose a morning or day when the neighbours have gone out (VBG)

    Decide what routine you want to adopt; (just off the top of my head and help you get started- I would try the following) - you will need two people in the house + your visitor.

    Prime your friend on the routine and When the bell rings, place him in his cage if you've got one, and one of you go to the door, the other stay by the cage and feed puppy small titbits while he is quiet; I know, he will probably go mad once your visitor friend enters the room.

    At that point everyone ignore him, visitor turns straight round and leaves without even looking at him.

    Wait till he's calmed down completey, then praise him - let him out of cage as if nothings happened.

    Then repeat the whole scenario again, and again, and again. and again ..etc.. He hopefully may begin to realize that the only time the visitor stays is when he is quiet!

    I don't know if it'll work or not, but at least it might get him used to the bell ringing and someone walking into the house, then leaving, without him being fussed or having the chance to charge around and get even more worked up and excited??? In other words he begins to find it all a bit mudane and boring.

    If you do find there is an improvement in his behaviour, you will have to continue this routine whenever anyone comes to the house, and only when he is calm in his cage, will he be let out to greet people (without getting over-excited)

    I'm sure there will be someone on here who'll have the answer.

    Good luck

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    Hello Clairlou

    Davecavs suggestion is a very good one .I always think reward based training is best .Lily when she came was an excitable barker and with the use of
    Barker and Barker little liver treats she is now not perfect but a lot better.Have a look at http://priory.com/vet/vetbark1.htm which the following came from


    Believe it or not, one of the simplest ways to teach a dog not to bark is to teach it to bark on command. First, find a way of enticing your dog to bark. You may find it will bark out of excitement if you hold its food bowl up in the air, or you may only need to use a titbit, or a toy. Tying your dog up safely may also increase frustration, and stimulate it to be vocal. When, with a bit of friendly teasing, your dog does bark, praise it and repeat the word 'speak!'. If you do the exercise often enough, your dog will associate the word 'speak' with the act of barking and you will be able to get it to bark on command. The point of the exercise is then to introduce the word, 'quiet!' or 'stop!' while your dog is barking, and give it a toy or food treat. If the exercise is repeated often enough, your dog will associate the signal to be quiet with the cessation of barking and a reward.Reward is, of course, the best motivation of behaviour, so it's important to praise the dog at the time it's doing the right thing, not afterwards. This means rewarding it when it stops barking, and also when it doesn't bark in a situation which would normally set it off. When your dog is lying quietly and allowing you to chat to visitors unmolested, or when your neighbours come home and your dog doesn't bark, you can praise and reward it, which will encourage the dog to remain quiet the next time too


    Ps How is the raw going .
    Brian M

    Poppy the Tri, Daisy the Blen, Rosie the Ruby and Lily the B & T

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    Absolutely: reward based training is the way to go. When we haven't done any training with our dog to teach alternative positive behaviours, then how is a dog to know what to do? Barking for a dog is an absolutely normal behaviour, as is barking when something as exciting happens as visitors. Wow, visitors!! A dog that knows how to sit quietly and wait to be greeted by people, knows a command to shush, knows to go to its bed and lie down quietly, isn't going to be a barking, jumping dog. If a dog hasn't been trained to do any of these alternatives, and to know from experience that these are all positive options that get rewards, then barking is an obvious behaviour especially for puppies, who are excited by everything!

    So here's what you do: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/excessive-barking

    It sounds like you are already working with this approach -- but a few questions -- how long have you tried working on 'shush'? And how have you approached it? It does take time, regular practice, consistency... plus you need to start when the behaviour can be isolated eg when it is just you and the dog, then you and another person and the dog, and slowly work up towards training him to contain his urge to bark or to stop when the environment is really distracting and exciting (eg set him up for success, incrementally ) rather than when he is overwhelmed with the visitors, etc -- and it is tricky and takes time. If you haven't done a good rewards based class with either an APDT or ideally CPDT trainer, then that would be a good starting point too. It helps a LOT to get professional advice and to work in a class environment where your dog automatically learns to focus despite all the distraction of other people and dogs. Just training at home often means people get timing wrong in what to reward, and thus have little success and feel discouraged, or the dog only learns in a very quiet environment rather than with real world distractions.

    Also: teaching your dog to sit and wait for attention also often helps stop barking. The barking tends to be associated with running around in excitement at the arrival of visitors, for most of us.

    It still amazes me after years of owning dogs, how many people will opt to work unconstructively against their dog rather than working with them towards desired behaviour as you are doing with Ian Dunbar's approach -- which overall, is so much easier and so much more fun for both people and dog. Your pup is just the age at which he needs good constructive, positive training and management on all sorts of fronts, to make sure you get the adult dog you want (as it is much harder to train away from unwanted behaviours that have become ingrained). You are at just the right point to be asking for some help on this particular issue -- so hope the suggestions help and let us know how the training gets along! But remember there are no immediate solutions (just as with teaching kids!).

    PS a big mistake lots of owners make is to accidentally reinforce the negative, unwanted behaviour. For example, dog barks barks barks when visitors arrive and we owners immediately start to fuss over the dog to try and get them to be quiet (bet we have all done that! ). But all we are doing then is reinforcing that from the dog's point of view, "Wey hey, people arrive and if I do my happy bark my owners pay LOTS and LOTS of attention to ME, everyone looks at me; they try to pet me and distract me and even if they shout, hey, it ends up being all about ME ME ME! What a total win for ME!!" (kids do just the same! The reward of parents' attention is often worth upsetting them through unwanted behaviour). A first step is to totally ignore barking as if the dog doesn't exist; don't even look at the dog and ask visitors to do likewise. As soon as the dog is quiet for 5 minutes, THEN he gets praise and some attention. Eventually, he WILL make the connection (but at the same time, you want to be training towards desireable behaviour too as per the advice of Ian Dunbar).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clairelou View Post
    I have a delightful male 7 month old Cavalier puppy, he is a darling and we love him to bits but we have a problem that needs addressing!! When visitors call his barking is quite frankly completely OTT, he gets sooo excited and barks, barks, barks! and it goes on and on... quite frankly it's becoming very embarrassing! His temperament is beautiful, he is very friendly but when visitors call he cannot contain his excitement ... nothing calms him down or stops it, he completely ignores me. He has lots of physical and mental stimulation, and even when very tired if someone calls that's it... bark, bark, bark - help!!! Has anyone mastered Ian Dunbar's 'shush' command? this issue really needs addressing and we are feeling very overwhelmed by it, :-(

    Edited to say I am frightened the neighbours will soon be having words with us as we live in a semi-detatched.
    I found that the method from Ian Dunbar's book sounded perfect (quite rigorous), about conditioning to the doorbell and then visitor showing up, etc. Rather than the shush command you may want to try that one (so that rather than shushing, he will learn that visitors shouldn't be barked at), then just use the shush for the few times he forgets). I believe it's towards the end of Ian Dunbar's book, it was quite detailed.

    My border collie had this issue, and what I did back then was give him a treat that would last a few minutes just as people were walking in, it distracted him from the greeting, and by the time he finished his treat visitors were already situated, and he never bothered barking at that point. Kind of create the good behavior by rewarding before the fact. If he dropped the treat and started barking, I'd remove the treat so he has to choose between cookies and being ignored while barking.

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