Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Lucy is five months old already and is about to complete her puppy class. We have worked on basic training and have mastered most of it. Barking tends to be an issue when Lucy sees other dogs when she is outside in the back yard mainly and once and awhile in the house looking out. Never when I am standing beside her. The trainer advised me to look into a citronella collar however after doing some online reading I am wondering if a sonic collar might be a better option. Any suggestions?
Thank you in advance,
I used to work in a pet food and supply store, and we sold LOTS of the citronella collars. They are cheaper, and work really really well. I would advise against using a shock collar (sonic is often confused with an electric shock collar, though some have the option for a tone/beep too but thats is much less effective) until you have tried other methods. I have used a shock collar on myself and it was nasty. Of course, for some dogs thats all that works, but Id try other methods first. I know of many dogs who only went through 1 can of spray, then just having the collar on was enough to stop them from barking!
the true sonic noise only devices are not all that effective, from my experience. We had a lot returned
I heard opposite advice from someone who thought the citronella spray did nothing for his dog--so I bought the sonic collar and it works--I just put it on (Has to be very tight) when they are outside a lot and there are a lot of people going by--like on a weekend. They don't wear it otherwise--and only one of my dogs barks for a long time--the others (2) aren't too bad. I have tested the collar on myself--it is like a joy buzzer--it gives them a quick vibration right at the vocal cords when they bark several times in a row --I am sure it feels strange but not too painful and it stops them. They bark a few times, then they yip because barking gets them the buzzing sensation, then they stop completely.
I think the reason people feel they don't work is that they do not strap them tightly enough--there is not that much power in them, so they have to be tight against the throat. My friend got one and swore it was junk until I showed her how to hitch it up two more notches--then it worked fine.
We just finished working with a new trainer who we signed up with for some private lessons. We had a list of things that we wanted to work on. One of them was barking, both inside and outside. One of our issues is how do you teach them not to back at everything, but to still bark if something is happening. We didn't want them to just completely stop barking, just didn't want them barking at every single noise they hear. Here is what she told us and it has seemed to work really well for us. Now, that being said, like all training it took some effort on our part, it was not an immediate fix. Her thinking is that the word NO is only used in situations where you absolutely do not want them doing what they are doing and you do not ever expect it to happen again. Under that thinking, NO BARK is not a good command because we do want them to alert us to things. So, she told us to use ENOUGH. If they start barking at something out the window, you say ENOUGH, I've got it, I'll check into it. In other words, thank you for alerting me and I will take it from here. We have put this process in place in our house and it is working very well for us.
I am all about working with Lucy and have found the puppy classes to be very helpful. A lot of what I have learned is to break the habit by distracting Lucy and putting her into a sit. She will sit for me but usually goes right back to barking. So the break isn't as much of as a distraction as I would wish for. I like the word ENOUGH. My question is are you at the point of just staying enough and she listens or are you having to break her focus on the barking first.
Any suggestions on jumping to greet a newcomer? I am working having Lucy sit befoe I open the door or when I see someone, however if I don't beat her to the punch she will greet with a stance to say hello.
We are at the point where saying ENOUGH is pretty much all we have to do. Occasionally we still need to head towards what ever they seem to be barking at and maybe say enough a couple times. But pretty much once they see that we are coming to check it out, that is all it takes. It has significantly cut the barking in our house. As for the back yard barking the trainer gave us a "tool" and a free one at that. It is a string of tin cans just tied in a circle. We were to use this if they were barking in the back yard (or really doing anything we didn't want them doing). The way it was to work is we were to toss the string of cans to land sort of right behind them. They weren't to see us do it so they would think "oh man, I probably shouldn't be doing that". We were to then swoop in and reassure them that all was ok. As it turns out for us, this string of cans has been a wonderful tool. It was obvious immediately that they don't like the "Scary cans". We had already started working with them on greeting at the front door, so now we have a string of cans on the front door and one on the back door. When the door bell rings they are to go to their pillows which are on the opposite side of the room and sit. If they bark (which Lucy tends to do) we just sort of rattle the cans in her direction and she stops. We make them stay there until our guests come in and sit and then once they have remained calm I give them a release come front so they can greet the guests. This is still a work in progress, but we are probably 75% there. The tin cans work great in the back yard as well. We were also working on the COME command in our class and if I give a COME and they don't instantly start heading towards the house a little shake of the cans gets their attention and in they come. I basically find the cans just gets their attention when maybe they are ignoring my voice.
One thing you could try with the way you have already started the front door greeting is have her leash on her when you answer the door (maybe just keep one handy at the front door to slip on quickly). Put her in a sit and then step on the leash with your foot so that she cannot jump. Have your guests just come on in and walk right past her. She can be rewarded for being calm and then when you are ready she can greet the guests in a sit. We spent a lot of time out in public at various locations practicing sit to be greeted.
I agree with Lucy and Sophie's mom. I'm not a fan of things like citronella, sonic, or shock collars. Training is always your best bet. If a dog is not left alone in a yard for long periods of time, there shouldn't be a problem. Someone walks by, they bark for 30 seconds, and done. You need to be outside with them to correct the barking if it gets out of hand, but leaving a 5 month old puppy in the yard unsupervised is not a great idea anyway. If you're out there, you can prevent things like eating inappropriate objects, drinking standing water, digging, and of course you can monitor their toilet habits. You are also on-hand to correct excessive barking. And this is a good time of year to be outside.
One technique I was taught was to "reclaim" the fence line, which is where most of the barking takes place. As was mentioned, the dog will usually not bark when you are standing there. If you simply walk over to where the dog is barking at the fence and place your hands on the fence, the dog will stop barking. It's amazing, you don't even have to say a word, although using the "enough" command will reinforce it so that down the line, you may be able to just call out "Enough!" and get the same results. Jack will try running to another area of the fence, but I just follow him.
Indoors, same thing. Shades can be closed when nobody is home to prevent annoyance barking when you're not there to issue a correction.
I'm going to take a different stand here. Of course, I am not there, and don't know what you are going through so bare with me.
You say, "Barking tends to be an issue when Lucy sees other dogs when she is outside in the back yard mainly and once and awhile in the house looking out. Never when I am standing beside her".
I think this is called being a DOG! Even my trainer thought some barking was a good thing. It shows confidence. You really don't want the shy and quiet dog. A dog who internalizes.
Ask why she is barking?
-Hey, look at me. I'm over here. I'm a dog too.
-Hey. Hello. What's up? You get to go for a walk? Hey, I live here.
-I love my backyard.
I mean really, dogs do bark. We talk, they just bark.
My husband used to let the dogs bark for a good 5 minutes to get it out of their system. To run the yard, to yell at squirrels, to make an announcement--Then ENOUGH.
All done. SHHH. No speak. I have a dog who barks. We just teach when and when not too. But honestly, I think it is normal. So, really, I am all for training. It takes longer but works so much better. Wish I had that puppy. Lucky you
On another note--SO GOOD TO SEE YOU OUT THERE, Molly! The new pictures are great.
Sounds good to me. Calla in particular guards the property. She gets a while and then she has to come in if she won't give it up.
Yep. He must go out and clear each bird, squirrel, chippy, and then he goes to a toy or lays down the patio. It's his job :)
Bo hasn't barked hardly at all since I got him. He barked at me a couple of times when I lost my temper and yelled at him when he was all riled up. Other than that nothing. I think it is a little weird, but since I got him at about 18mo. old who knows what went on before.
Personally I HATE barking totally and wish my dogs never barked. I have had dogs that never barked who were happy, social dogs, just didn't need to tell the world about it or protect anything. Barking when you are there is pretty easy to correct using a ton of techniques. They might still bark but will stop when asked. Controlling barking when you are not there is the real challenge and one I haven't figured out quite yet.