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Saffy November 23rd, 2009 10:12 AM

Dog CONSTANTLY barking?
My dog (female american bulldog, 80 pounds) constantly barks at any little noise that she hears. Even noises that come from outside while she's in the house. We've tried everything. A citronella spray collar, a muzzle, negative/positive reinforcement, etc. Nothing works, and I don't want to resort to a shock collar, but nothing else is working. What should I do? Any help would be appreciated.

Bailey_ November 23rd, 2009 10:43 AM

American bulldogs tend to be a very protective, and territorial breed. They naturally want to keep their home safe from intruders.

When dogs bark at something outside, it's a GOOD thing. It just means that she is warning her people that there is something outside; even if it can be very disturbing and annoying for us humans.

How old is she?

It's great that you've been trying to work with her and figure out how to train her through this, but unfortunatley sometimes when we try EVERY!METHOD! we end up showing a lot of inconsistancy to our dogs, which in turn shows weakness.

Consistancy is your best option. Training a dog out of a certain behavior often times doesn't just happen overnight, over a few days, weeks, or months.

You mentioned that it happens outside...could you elaborate?

In the house, try to pick a spot - her bed, kennel, whatever. Has she mastered the sit/stay? If so, when you are in the house with her and she barks, tell her 'thankyou' and ask her to sit or lie down in the spot you've designated for her. Innterupting the barking by physically redirecting her brain from the noises, acknowledging the fact that you are aware there is a sound but asking her to do something for you - will be a good way to start showing her that when you are home, you are in charge. She can relax, and one or two barks to let you know she heard something is absolutley fine.

I personally don't like the thought of training a dog NOT to bark. We have to keep in mind that barking is our dogs way of communicating vocally to us. If there was ever an instant (like an intruder) where we wanted them to alert us of something, chances are if she was wearing a shock collar - she wouldn't.

luckypenny November 23rd, 2009 07:35 PM

Have you considered teaching your dog a bark and a quiet/hush cue? It's fairly easy to do. Set aside 4 x 5-minute sessions per day. Have your dog near you and knock on a table, counter, wall. As soon as your dog begins to bark, say "bark" and immediately offer a yummy treat. As soon as your dog takes the treat and is no longer barking, say "hush" and reward with another treat. Repeat. You should not say anything else, do not talk to her and please don't reprimand her if she makes a mistake. By the end of few weeks, your dog should have learned what each cue means and will do it on demand. I would suggest you try it in different rooms at different times of the day after the first week. It's imperative that you keep in mind that in the meantime, please, please do not use corrections if your dog barks at anything she hears in order to avoid confusing her. This way she learns it's ok to give warning barks but will also learn to stop when you ask her to :thumbs up.

Frenchy November 23rd, 2009 08:50 PM

Good advice LP :thumbs up

the gang November 23rd, 2009 08:59 PM

well just my 2 cents, i have min pins as you all know, and just a short time ago i watched cesar__ boy can he teach you a thing or two, i now use a whistle, and belive me it works, hope this works for your little one, good luck brenda and the pins.

luckypenny November 23rd, 2009 09:04 PM

How does the whistle work Brenda?

mona_b November 24th, 2009 10:01 AM

I have always used the 3 bark rule....You can bark 3 times, then I used the "enough" command. Then praise....:)

Worked like a charm.

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