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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Pet Stop  >  Dogs

 > How to discourage territorial barking at home

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jspringator

Versailles, KY 40383

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Posted: 04/02/22 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 4yo intact 55 pound male Labradoodle. He has a great disposition. However he goes nuts when someone walks on the sidewalk in front of our house. The double window in our main room is only a couple of feet or so above the floor, so it is easy for him to look outside. I tried closing the blinds, but he has nearly destroyed the them and he has figured out how to "nose" the blind away from the window. I have tried calling him to me and comforting him. Sometimes that works, but his instincts usually get the better of him. What always works is when he goes to the other end of the house to track the "intruder" I put a gate up so he can't get back to the main room. He whimpers a little bit then calms right down. I have also tried spraying him with water, but I hate to do that. I don't know how to block the lower half of the window from his view.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


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dturm

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Posted: 04/02/22 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a site I like for information: Veterinary Partner

From Barking Dogs wrote:

How do we stop barking? Start by identifying why your dog is barking. It is useful to journal times of day and what is in the environment during barking episodes. Teaching alternative behaviors incompatible with barking like checking in with their person or relaxing on a mat can be helpful to change this behavior. It is important to use positive reinforcement when teaching these behaviors, meaning a reward is given for each desired behavior. A reward does not have to be a treat. Learn what your dog likes. Some rewards include a favorite toy, attention, or verbal praise. Force or pain including yelling, painful collars, and physical punishment are often not helpful. These techniques and devices can increase anxiety, causing the barking to get worse rather than better.


It is REALLY difficult to get a dog to stop doing a behavior that is instinctive, especially when it is taken to an extreme. The major take away in training is to SUBSTITUTE an acceptable behavior and use positive reinforcement to establish that behavior.

I had a similar issue (not a severe as yours) and I taught Ginger to go get her tennis ball (something she really enjoyed) whenever someone came to the door. It worked great for everyone except my brother-in-law, but that's another story.

Doug, DVM


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Posted: 04/02/22 01:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lucky I do not have that problem

toedtoes

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Posted: 04/02/22 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might consider a window film for at least the lower half of the windows. I did that at it really helps - I still get all the light coming in, but the dogs and cats don't see everything that goes on outside. Currently, my couch is in front of the window so both Tornado-dog and the cat Looney2 will stand on the couch and look out the top half of the window - but they aren't obsessed with it. It also prevent people from seeing into the house easily.

Tornado-dog has the instinct to be a barker (parsons russell terrier mix), so I know I can't stop it completely. But he also only barks if someone or something is outside. He doesn't bark at nothing.

So, when he barks, I look outside, then tell him he's a good boy, and then redirect him (I use the cue "away"). This has helped a lot. His barking is a signal something is going on - which is good. So by my checking it out, I let him know his warning was heard. And by praising and redirecting, I let him know I see the "threat" and have dismissed it. That settles him down.

Now, if he barks, I can tell him "good boy, away" and he will go play. The only time he won't move away is if the person or thing is actually on our property. And in that case, I go deal with it (ie, send them on their way) or let Tornado-dog greet them (if it's my yard guy, etc) and then redirect him.

He still barks, but it's not that non-stop obsessive behavior.


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bcbouy

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Posted: 04/02/22 03:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i'm in the early stages of training my 10 week old sheltie and i'm having great results using liver or chicken treats to redirect her when she starts going sideways.be it barking or leash pulling and running off.i use a chew toy when she starts to nip and jump up,which also works well.she hates other dogs but loves humans so i forsee big problems if i don't remedy it soon.i had a lab that i took too long to train and it really bit me in the butt.i think the trick for you is to redirect him.it will be un uphill battle but it will eventually work if you persist.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 04/02/22 03:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to be careful using treats as a redirection. It can easily be seen as a reward for barking by the dog - thereby increasing the barking.

Redirection should be a different action. Treats should be used as a reward once the dog has redirected.

* This post was edited 04/02/22 04:01pm by toedtoes *

bcbouy

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Posted: 04/02/22 04:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

that's how redirection works when training.distract it with a treat and eventually they will stop.i've trained my last 3 dogs using this meathod and none have become treat dependent.my sheltie seems to be incredibly smart.when she fake pees outside she gets no treat.she is slowly stopping the charade.once you stop rewarding them the chances of them reverting back to unwanted behavior is slim.a good scratch and loads of praise to go along with the treat is also needed.we all know our dogs are eager to please their humans.

toedtoes

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Posted: 04/02/22 05:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No, redirection is not about giving them a reward (treat) for a behavior (barking).

Redirection is taking a dog's instinctual behavior (eg, biting) and redirecting it to an acceptable outlet (eg, a toy rather than your hand).

Treats are the reward for going from the undesireable to the desired outlet.

Treating and praising for going potty outside is completely different than treating a dog to distract it from barking.

bcbouy

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Posted: 04/02/22 05:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

instead of giving pedantic responses to my posts maybe try to help the op with a solution to his problem as you seem to think you know what works or doesn't,i'm having no problems training my dog with my meathods.you do you.i'll do me..

bcbouy

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Posted: 04/02/22 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

op,have you considered trying a house leash?just snip the loop off a regular nylon leash so it won't snag on anything and when he heads for the window just step on the leash and stop him in his tracks before he gets to the window.it's hit and miss as it sounds like it could be a territory issue but it's worth trying.if he is already leash trained it won't be that difficult or confusing for him.then you can distract him with a favourite toy.it may take him a couple days to realise he isn't going for a walk but it will pass.my rottweiler had a bad habit of chewing the mail as it came throught the slot and this meathod worked for us.

* This post was edited 04/02/22 06:39pm by bcbouy *

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