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Old 12-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Barking at people from the house

So, I know this is totally my fault because I should have expected this from a protection breed... but my boy just won't stop barking on command.

I live on a property that backs onto a fairly large municipal park, which is great for walks and playing in.. however, the part I loved the most when moving in is that there is a very large hill blocking my view of the park. This is great because I don't feel like kids are having a soccer game in my backyard and it's a great sound barrier.

Unfortunately, this hill is considered to be the local toboggan hill. So every weekend, during daylight hours.. there are people and screaming kids and people with their dogs, essentially standing right at the edge of my backyard... ALL freaking day.

This obviously causes my dog to bark. Especially when there are other dogs, or when kids sled down the "wrong" side of the hill and slam into my fence for fun. This means he ends up having to be crated almost all weekend which I find is terrible and sad.

Either that or we would have to spend all our time in the basement or upstairs where he wouldn't have access to back-facing windows. Ideally, I could teach him to STOP BARKING. Clearly.. this hasn't worked out great so far.

I've tried water guns, penny cans, commands, getting up to go and see and then walking away from the window and taking him with me, leave it (which he normally knows), come (which he will do but then run right back to the window), closing all the blinds (but he just shoves his face through them).. it just seems like nothing will get him away from that window when people are being particularly loud...

Any ideas on anything that could help? I'm not angry at his behaviour since these people are pretty much standing in my yard, but I am frustrated and worried that the neighbors might start getting angry soon..
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When we walk in certain areas with houses that back up to the river, etc. I almost always tell hubby how much I'd hate to live there and what a pain it would be to train dogs. That being said, the rule at myh house is IF you want to stay outside, you behave period. I start with puppies, teaching quiet or enough and running inside to get a cookie. They have to be young enough you are still more enticing than what they are barking at I am also a fan of showing them what to do vs just punishing. When we put in new carpet we moved furniture around and our big blinds were able to be opened. Ah, Havoc thought he owned the sidewalk and Flirt thought she owned the whole street My plan of attack was to #1 only open blinds when I could train/manage #2 put the treat bag back on and have my clicker. If one barked, I said enough (which they know), click treat. In the beginning, I allowed 2 'enough' commands. After that we went into a crate unemotionally.

Also it seems to me you are teaching him how to leave the window but not teaching him how to watch quietly. I'd want to teach him he CAN in fact watch quietly.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is there something particularly long-lasting and tasty that he could chew on?
I know Roxy wouldn't drop something yummy to bark (or at least, not for long!)
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Adara View Post
Also it seems to me you are teaching him how to leave the window but not teaching him how to watch quietly. I'd want to teach him he CAN in fact watch quietly.
This! Perhaps instead of trying to get him to ignore the very loud distraction outdoors, maybe training to just watch it quietly would be more effective?

Have you tried a Look At That -style approach?

Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We put fancy window film half way up the windows. We can still see out the top, but it really cut down on the barking at people walking by our place or standing out in front of it. Made it much more manageable and correctible.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One loud word "ENOUGH" or repeated plus give a marrow bone to chew on and distract (long enough).
- water guns & penny cans (aka spell weaker owner) as not from your inner strength
(as commands properly executed in pitch/meaning...are more the real)
- I can't fix a problem if I can't see it / so make corrections in front of the problem window with 100% supervision.
Back room not to be avoided, or the dog wins (then what is next)...Good luck, fix the new challenges as they turn up - they will quickly get less & less.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys! We've been working on getting him to watch quietly.. he's now leveled down to a low growl some of the time, and sometimes quiet (after barking a few times of course) so there's some progress.

As for the window film, I actually have that on the bottom part of the window next to his crate.. otherwise he'd probably bark all day. *L*
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