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17/03/2010, 01:34 PM
We have a new little dog (Jack Russell) who is 6 months old. He is gorgeous, but we are having barking problems, mostly at night.
We got rid of the night barking by letting him come inside, which isnt what we wanted but we are tired and have no idea how to make him not so lonely at night being outside.
But, when anyone comes to the house other than myself, DH or the kids, he barks like crazy and wont stop until they leave.
How can we make him stop barking at non-hostile threats? lol.
17/03/2010, 06:40 PM
some dogs really, really like to bark. As barking is also so enjoyable, it can be near impossible to stop some of them. But, in order of 'magnitude', here are my suggestions:
1. Use a negative/positive reinforcement strategy. When the dog barks, yell (in your deepest cranky man voice) "BAH!" if the dog stops barking, then reward him with a treat or with a 'good doggy'. You may find yourself doing this five times per minute at first. try teaching him to "speak" on command, and also "not speak" once he's mastered that. Also get him desexed if he isn't already, and off to dog training if that hasn't happened yet - he needs to take you seriously.
2. if that doesn't work, add a squirt gun at the same time as the "BAH", enlist a friend who finds it funny, and get them coming to the door and testing the behaviour.
3. If the bah plus squirt doesn't work - put the dog outside. The old, if you can't play nice - you can't play routine. Do NOT speak to the dog or acknowledge he's out there when you put him out.
4. If that doesn't work (and it may not), its time to get an anti-bark collar, either sonic or citronella.
5. If that doesn't work, and the dog is in danger of becoming a nuisance - speak to your vet about debarking. This is a last resort, only to be used if the alternative is PTS.
Hope that helps.
18/03/2010, 10:14 AM
wow thanks Spikey!!
The "bah" noise doesnt work lol. We say crankily "NO", and he just ignores us and keeps barking.
Didnt realise he needed to be desexed, does that decrease barking??? ALso he hasnt had any training... but I guess we probably need it considering he doesnt listen to us at all and we have little idea of what we are doing
Will try the other things you have suggested though. Thanks so much
18/03/2010, 10:21 AM
Not a dog expert like spikey, but fairly sure desexing removes *some* of the territorial urge to "Be Da Man" which is why he's barking at people at the door.
18/03/2010, 11:39 AM
Lillijen is right, the point about desexing is to remove some of the 'territorial' imperatives associated with being an entire, testosterone driven, male dog. It will hopefully remove some of the issues that is at the bottom of his barking, but no guarantees. As I said, there are some dogs that live to bark - constantly.
Jack Russells do really well at obedience training. Don't bother with a puppy class, go straight to obedience. Aim for at least 6 months to reinforce the fact that you people are the boss. Look for a clicker training school if you can get one. I've trained lots of JRs - they are 'big' dogs in little dog bodies so perform very well at tasks you normally associate with labs and shepherds. He most certainly can do it, and it will improve his behaviour no end, because you'll be able to control/replace it to a large extent.
20/03/2010, 08:11 AM
Our 5 month old Aussie shepherd is a barker too - in fact, when I introduced him to the neighbours last week as 'our new dog Banjo' The response was 'Ahh, Banjo the Barker' (Luckily they don't live there, just come twice a day to feed their horses)
He does not bark at visitors after an introduction, but can make a nuisance of himself and barks a lot at dawn and dusk (I imagine that is when his cattle or sheep would be most at risk if he was a working dog). When he is a nuisance or barking too much I get him to stop for a moment by giving him a simple command - usually 'SHH' if he is barking and 'SIT' or 'OFF' if he is jumping or chasing the kids. When he obeys I show him a nice chicken frame, roo tail or lamb neck etc. to keep his attention, tell him 'COME', then 'IN YOUR CRATE' and throw the treat in. He happily chews then sleeps and our visitors are safe from dirty paws and slobbery mouth, and neighbours don't have to hear the continuous barking.
I did know Aussies were vocal before I got him, but I am surprised at just how vocal. He is a noisy player too, not just an 'alert' barker. Dawn and dusk he doesn't just bark at people or cows or birds, but will trot along the boundary fences stopping every 10 or so meters to let out 3 or 4 warning barks. He is 'on patrol' I suppose.
23/03/2010, 11:30 AM
Liah/Spikey I just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU for your advice. In the space of a few days we have managed to nearly completely eradicate the barking!!! the "Bah" sound is working REALLY well. I thought simply saying NO in a stern voice would work, but it doesnt work like the BAH sound does, i now realise that i was doing the BAH noise wrong... if we do it with a real gutteral growl (LOL) He stops immediately with the BAH!!!
Do you think he still needs obedience training if we are managing to work through these things? Its an expense that i'm dreading (even though I haven't even looked for pricing) if it isn't going to be 100% necessary.
To be honest I am a little but fundamentally against desexing....unless if to prevent strays etc. There are no other dogs where we live and he stays within the property. Unless his agression becomes a problem we would prefer not to desex yet... if there is something I'm missing about desexing being a better choice feel free to correct me, as I said previously, I am not all that experienced with dogs!!
When he obeys I show him a nice chicken frame, roo tail or lamb neck etc. to keep his attention, tell him 'COME', then 'IN YOUR CRATE' and throw the treat in. He happily chews then sleeps and our visitors are safe from dirty paws and slobbery mouth, and neighbours don't have to hear the continuous barking.
Thanks, I will try this too!
23/03/2010, 07:25 PM
Glad this is working for you rubymay.
Obedience training is good for teaching the basics and gaining a certain level of control over the dog. So for example, if he tried to run after a rabbit, you'd expect him to come to you if called, rather than carry on chasing. It also firmly entrenches the idea that he can rely on you to tell him stuff.
Now, you don't necessarily need to go to a school or club for this. You can DIY. If you want to investigate that, I'd recommend you check out Karen Prior's clicker training website. Its very comprehensive and has everything you need to get to a well behaved and obedience dog.
Desexing is worth considering. On one hand, he's a boy, so he's not going to get pregnant. On the other hand being 'entire' does make dogs more aggressive and territorial. A desexed dog is always 'calmer', because he's not being ruled by hormones that are telling him to mark and protect territory, etc. Undesexed dogs are more inclinded to roam as a result of the desire for territory and the urge to mate. Its a very simple op for the boys, and it cuts down on so much of the behaviours we regard as bad. Why don't you have a chat with the vet next time he's in for his shots etc, and see what they think. It might help you decide which way to go.
I will admit to having the opposite view though, I'd only keep a dog entire if they were suitable for breeding and I intended to do so (and became a registered breeder).
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