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Date Posted: 23:45:19 12/18/04 Sat
Author: Kristin
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: Barking Puppy...nothing seems to work
In reply to: Erin 's message, "Barking Puppy...nothing seems to work" on 21:15:54 12/18/04 Sat

Hi Erin,

Barking is a huge issue. It's especially difficult with deaf dogs.

I think you may be dealing with a couple issues here, and exactly what's going on will determine the route you should take.

First, if she's barking when you're present, and just barks for fun or barks at some distraction, then try these ideas. For my deaf Sheltie, I would sign a "No." Then, if he didn't stop barking (and he rarely did at first), I would get up, go over to him, GENTLY take his muzzle in my hand and GENTLY hold it until he quit barking. Then, when he was quite, I would give my "Good Dog" sign and if I had a treat, I'd give him a treat. BTW, it takes HUNDREDS of these repitions for this to work. And, EVERY TIME you signal "no," you have to get up and give the correction. Skipping even ONE TIME will put you back at square one. Consistancy is the key to training.

Important note here - GENTLY is vital. If you're rough holding his muzzle, he will start ducking your hand everytime you go to pet him.

To be honest, in the beginning that wasn't enough for my pup. So, I went to the vinegar with water route. Again, it's important to do this correctly. When he would bark, I would sign a "No." If he didn't stop, I would get up, slowly grab his collar and squirt the vinegar water DIRECTLY INTO HIS MOUTH. Several things here are important. First, do NOT squirt his face/eyes. Vinegar can cause blindness, and we're dealing with dogs who only have their eyes left. I even hesitate giving out this idea of the internet, but you seem very desparate for help. So BE CAREFUL. MOUTH ONLY. If you accidentally get some in his eyes, rinse them with water. Don't hesistate to take him to the vet if the eyes look slightly painful.

Also, you'll be grabbing his collar to inflict a punishment. So, what will happen over a short time is he'll start ducking and running whenever you reach for his collar. To conter-act this, make sure to play the "Gotcha" game - alot. For this game, you grab his collar, tug on it lightly and give him a treat for that. Sign a "Good Dog" and smile. Make it a game.

Now, secondly, if the barking is only when you leave the house, then you've got a bigger issue. Then, you're dealing with separation anxiety. If you use adversive corrections (vinegar water, bark collars, etc.) you will only make the behavior worse. My advice - seek professional help ASAP. An animal behaviorist is preferable, but if you don't have one in your area, an all-positive trainer is your next best bet.

One thing to try when you leave - go to the pet store and buy a Kong. These are red rubber toys. They're pretty boring on their own, but the cool thing about Kongs is the hole they have in them. Get some peanut butter to begin with and put a little in the hole. Give it to your pup. He'll lick and lick the butter out of the hole.

Once he gets the idea that you lick goodies of the hole in the center of the Kong, then start filling it up with stuff that's harder to get out. The sky's the limit on Kong stuffing. I've made "Peanut Butter Sandwich" Kongs out of peanut butter and really soft, mushy bread. Very hard to get out. Another big hit at my house is the frozen Bil Jack Dog Food. When thawed, it clumps like clay and really stuffs into a Kong. I've frozen stuff in a Kong. I've put hard dog treats into the Kong. Just experiment, and see what your dog likes the most and yet takes the longest to get out of the Kong.

Then, put the Kong in the cage with your dog just before you walk out of the house. Hopefully, he'll be so interested in the Kong, he'll quit barking.

A word on bark collars: I'm not a fan of the electric ones. And, even the citronella ones can cause emotional damage if the dog is barking out of fear/anxiety. Also, the dog can learn to bark the citronella collars empty, so when first using one, always be present to count the sprays. They only hold about 17 or so sprays. Then you must refill. If the dog learns to bark the collar empty, you're out of luck.

Again, both the electric and citronella collars can cause emotional damage, if used for the wrong type of barking. I've had to work with many people who bring me their dogs emotionally damaged by electric bark collars, and it's very, very hard to fix. Imagine if I shocked you each time you made a noise. You'd develop emotional problems, too!

I hope this info helps some. Really, your best bet is to go to a professional behaviorist or trainer in your area ASAP. The longer the behavior goes unchecked, the more difficult it will be to extinguish it.

Good luck,


>I need help. I have recently adopted a Boxer mix puppy
>who is deaf. She is the sweetest thing but she is
>whinning and barking more and more each day. I can't
>get it to stop and will have to find her a new home if
>she doesnt stop, my landlord said I am tied to the
>lease but she would have to go with complaints. I have
>tried the water bottle, ignoring her and rewarding her
>when she is quiet, putting her in a kennel with a
>sheet when I am gone, even giving her an angry look
>and signing SHH and no and she just barks shrilly for
>hours. I think most of the barking is related to
>frustration when she sees or smells other people or
>animals but it is mostly when I am leaving for a few
>hours. I just dont know what could help I would be
>devastated to loose her. I just don't have the luxury
>of much time, the barking needs to stop soon or
>someone may say something to my landlord. Please
>please help!

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  • Re: Barking Puppy...nothing seems to work -- Kristin, 13:46:44 12/19/04 Sun

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