My chi pin barks at everyone. How do I curb her barking? She is 8 months old. Thanks.
Orab from Hollywood, FL
I agree with the bark collars. Although you may think it is cruel, the bottom line is if it keeps her in a loving family rather than the local pound. It is tough love and works. We live in Australia and there is very little tolerance for barking dogs. We finally had to resort to shock collars and it made all the difference in the world.
If you aren't comfortable with a bark collar, there is a little device sold by pet supply places for about $30 that just sits on a shelf or wherever (9 volt battery, no outlet needed) and emits an ultrasonic noise that hurts their ears but that people can't hear, when the dog barks for more than a couple seconds continuously. The dog doesn't need to wear any equipment; the thing has a sensor that works for something like a 20 foot range. I use one and it works great- I have a small ranch house, so when I leave, I close all the bedroom doors so they can't see out those windows, and let them roam around the living/dining/kitchen areas, which still keeps them in range of the correction if they bark. This also works if your neighborhood's homes are squeezed close to the property lines and your neighbor's dog barks all the time. Stick it near a window close to the line and it will work on their dog if it's in range, without hurting the dog. Not sure if I'm allowed to post where it's from, but if so, I got mine from Drs.Foster and Smith online.(I don't work for them or receive endorsement comp.)
The reason 99.9% of dogs bark is because they have not been properly socialized (trained) nor do they receive adequate exercise and interactive play with their owners.
Shock collars are NOT used in "loving" homes and seldom work...even after they have burned scars into the dog's neck. The same goes for other gadgets that are marketed as a sit-on-your-butt fix.
Your dog should be playing WITH YOU for at least an hour a day PLUS taking at least two half hour walks in the am and pm with you. Yes, you really do need to spend time with your dog...each and every day no matter what.
A tired dog is a happy dog and they don't have the energy to bark their heads off and get into mischief. How do children behave if they are cooped up in the house all day with no one to play with?
Exercising your dog is not the same as "letting the dog into the yard" where they are still bored with nothing to do. Pets do not exercise themselves; just like little toys are not a substitute for friends and interaction with people.
The fact that your dog is small doesn't change their needs. NO dog can get adequate exercise inside your home. Small dogs require just as much effort as large ones. They have all the same requirements in order to be happy.
Since your dog isn't even following a basic command from you at 8 months (stop barking); you need to get into a local older puppy training class ASAP!!! Your dog wants to know what their function in the family is; they need a job to do. They must be given play and socialization time with many different other pets as well. Fear stemming from lack of socialization and training creates tons of bad habits; barking generally being at the top of the list.
Your local shelter should have a slightly less expensive group class than area trainers. It's your responsibility to train and socialize your dog and it's NEVER too late. You had the money to buy a dog, even if it was from a cheaper backyard home breeder which is a tiny step above buying from a pet shop (ie buying from a puppy mill/concentration camp for dogs). Now you have to take responsibility for your dog and get him trained so you can both be happy, well behaved and content in your home.
Even before you can get into a class; you will see results if you are truly getting enough exercise with your dog. They will be much more calm and relaxed. So will you!
Good luck and PLEASE stay away from shock collars and other excuses for failing to train a dog properly. They will only make your dog's life miserable and you'll be relieved until they take their energy out in another bad behavior format. Do it right the first time and do right by your dog. Get exercised and get both of you into training.
Watch "The Dog Whisperer" or get his book at the library. He shows how to deal with barking, you must be calm assertive and "own" the window. His methods DO work. I used them on our rescue hound who was totally untrained and he does really well. When he barks I go stand in front of the window and "own" it. Yelling just makes them more worried and will increase the barking.
Try to avoid any punishment-based approaches. Explanation of why at the end of this post.
Ask yourself these questions and try to find a solution from these. Sometimes a multi-faceted approach is needed.
How is your dog being rewarded for her barking? If you can eliminate the reward from the equation, then you can do much to solve the problem. For example, does she get attention? Touch? Even yelling is attention. Yelling can also be interpreted as barking so she might think you are joining her in "sounding the alarm." Sometimes the reward can't be eliminated, as in the case where dogs bark as someone coming up to the house, and then the person leaves. The dog thinks her barking has worked and will do it again.
How much exercise/attention/mental stimulation does she get? Barking can be an outlet for excess energy and frustration.
How much socialization does she get? Exposure to new objects, place, and experiences will desensitize her to them. It will also build her confidence (if they are positive experiences) and this will do much to make her less stressed about strangers or strange things near the house.
How are you reacting? Does she see you as the leader or has she taken on this role? Do some reading into establishing yourself as the calm, in control leader and she may not feel she has to take on the role of protecting the house. I used to live with a family who had two dogs that barked at everything. The only time they were silent was when the father told them to be quiet. He didn't yell. He just used his normal voice and they immediately shut up. He was calm and assertive and the leader in the household; the dogs could see that.
Other tips include trying to distract your dog before she gets into a frenzy. They don't respond well when they are in that state.
You can try teaching your dog to bark on command, and then teaching the quiet command. Use treats. Then you can use the quiet command to get her to be quiet.
I'd avoid ANY punishment-based approaches. You could be creating other behavioural problems. For one thing, you could be creating a biter. Dogs learn by association and if she barks at a child, for example, and then feels pain/discomfort or is frightened, she could begin to associate those feelings with children. The latest research PROVES that punishment is NOT an effective training approach. People still stand by it because it sometimes (rarely) gets results and also because it might be the way they were taught or have always done it. Reward-based training is far more effective. It takes more intelligence and patience and determination, but it works. Punishment based training is for those that don't want to put in the effort or for those who have little self-control or little ability to think creatively.
Try reading books by Stanely Coren, or any of these books: The Loved Dog, Don't Shoot the Dog, It's Me or the Dog, or THe Dog Whisperer (NOT to be confused with Cesar Milan's book. Cesar Milan is the Dog Whisperer on television. Years earlier a different trainer published a book called The Dog Whisperer. The television show borrowed the title.)
Try using a spray bottle of water. When your dog starts barking just spray him in the face with the water. After a while when he starts barking and you reach for that bottle he will stop barking. I tried this and it works good. All I have to say is I will get that spray bottle and he knows what that means. I also praise him when he stops barking and tell him he is a good boy. This has really worked good for me. Hope it helps for your dog.
This is what worked for our terrier/lhasa apso mix. Like another suggestion, I used the c-clamp hold on the muzzle. I went a little further, though. Calling the dog over to me, I clamped his muzzle and said calmly, "Buddy, no barking." It only took a 3-5 times and now, if he starts to bark, I just call out "Buddy, no barking" and he stops. He seldom barks at all outside anymore.
Not related to the barking problem, potty-training was accomplished in this manner: when he was a puppy, I put his leash on him and said "Buddy, outside potty." I took him outside and when he peed or pooped, I said "good boy to go outside potty" and gave him a treat. It took almost no time to train him. Now, if we want him to go before we leave the house or before his bedtime, we just say "outside potty" and he streaks for the doggy door, does both jobs, and returns. It's great and works anywhere, anytime.
I have 5 chi's. They are 6 and 7 years old now. They are spoiled. Some breeds tend to be more high strung, and bark more, and chihuahuas are one of those breeds. No I don't let mine bark all the time, but, I don't scold them because they are barking at a stranger at my door. Or an unfamiliar face in the yard or drive way. Isn't that what they are suppose to do? Be watch dogs? When it is "expected" barking, like unfamiliar faces, I tell them it's all right if I know the person, in a calm voice, then escort them to their "put up" place, if they don't quiet down. I talk calmly to them, and tell them it's "ok" or it's alright. I don't holler and scold them, or spray them, or do any of those other things.
They are doing what they were born to do, protect their family. And that includes a strange dog coming up on my land. They will bark, and I don't discourage watch dog behavior. But, we do give our chi's love and affection, and praise them when they do something right. Now, when they bark crazy over a sound that happened, or any other thing I don't consider watch dog behavior, I do put them up until they calm down, with a bit of scolding, so they will know the difference.
Re: I finally got my neighbors dogs to stop barking
I used to have a problem with my neighbors dogs that would constantly bark day and night. At first I thought it would stop but it went on day after day. I finally confronted my neighbor about the problem and he said that he would try to do something about it.
I work very long hours and try to get as much sleep as possible but I am constantly awakened by the barking dog many times during the night. You cannot imagine how frustrating this is unless you have been in this situation.
I finally ended up going on the internet to research my problem and I am so glad that I did. I ended up buying a compact disc from a website. You play the disc and it actually stops the dogs from barking. I put the disc in, pointed the speakers towards the dogs, and nearly fell out of my chair when it actually worked! This was the best money that I have ever spent and I am so happy.
I have not had a problem in 3 weeks. I am so glad that the freaking dogs have stopped barking. If you want to check it out, it might be worth a try if nothing else works for you. The website is http://www.TheBarkingDogCD.com
Good luck, I hope this helps
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