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  #9  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:09 PM
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It looks like he is doing great!! But shock collars just freak me out in general. Have you heard of the citron dog bark collar? I have a really bad barker too (rescue) and last year we had to stop going to the park for walks bc mojo was so obnoxious. So I bought a small spray bottle and every time he barked, I would squirt water in his face and it worked like a charm! No more barking at people or other dogs!


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  #10  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorana1125 View Post
It looks like he is doing great!! But shock collars just freak me out in general. Have you heard of the citron dog bark collar? I have a really bad barker too (rescue) and last year we had to stop going to the park for walks bc mojo was so obnoxious. So I bought a small spray bottle and every time he barked, I would squirt water in his face and it worked like a charm! No more barking at people or other dogs!
I used to use a spray bottle filled with water, and it didn't deter him much at all. Plus he learned that if I wasn't holding the bottle or the bottle was nowhere near me, he could still bark! :laugh: He's too smart for his own good. I haven't used the citrus collar but I worry about it causing irritation to his eyes/nose. The shock collar's correction is really very low and seems to be working like a charm. And the fact that it triggers automatically when he barks to make barking unpleasant means that I can't mess up the timing at all and accidentally punish something unrelated (like looking at a stranger or another dog). So I can focus my effort on rewarding him for being around people, and the collar automatically discourages barking. But to be honest, even in public in situations that used to cause high reactivity with him, he hasn't been corrected once by the collar because he's chosen not to bark.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:04 AM
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Just wanted to pop in to say that my friend resorted to the citrus collar for her chi and it worked wonders!!
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2012, 01:31 AM
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Just wanted to pop in to say that my friend resorted to the citrus collar for her chi and it worked wonders!!
I've never liked "positive punishment" methods (i.e. shock collars, spanking, spraying with water, citrus collars, etc.). But I have to say.. I think a big problem with Chihuahuas is that, for some, barking becomes immensely rewarding. A yappy dog will annoy people and drive them away, and if the dog was barking out of fear, the barking is reinforced by the "scary" person moving away (negative reinforcement). If you try to remove the dog from the situation, the same thing happens.. and this is what a lot of people do when they're embarrassed by their yappy dog (including me). It's seem like the solution has to be making barking less reinforcing, OR making some other incompatible behavior even more reinforcing than barking (good luck! lol).

From the time Teddy was a puppy, I put barking and quiet on stimulus control. Meaning I taught him a command for bark, and a command for "shh." These worked INSIDE the house, but in the outside world he would get too caught up with driving the scary thing away that he wouldn't listen to the cues. So we'd try to increase the distance (to get under his threshold), and that was practically impossible because if I could see the dog at all, he was over threshold already.

So then we tried counter-conditioning with treats and attention every time he saw another person or dog. But he was so overstimulated that he refused treats and would get tunnel vision where he stopped caring about my attention.

I tried handing him off to another person when he barked and leaving the area abruptly. Since he was really bonded to me, I thought this would be a big deal to him. It didn't seem to affect his barking at all, but he did notice.

The spray bottle didn't work because I couldn't consistently carry a spray bottle everywhere in the house and outside with me, and the timing was off when I sprayed him for barking. (It took a second to pick it up and aim it at him, and by then he was being punished too late and he wasn't making the connection.)

The shock collar is the FIRST thing that's made any progress at all. The results were instantaneous, he doesn't seem to be scarred at all by the experience, and he's actually making the choice not to bark now instead of having me hover over him, ready to interrupt or punish him. I think he only got maybe five corrections total, and that was only in the first week of having the collar on. (All of them were indoors except one where he tried to bark at another dog outside.) Since then, he might grumble or whine, but he doesn't bark.

And the BEST PART (in my opinion) is that he's receptive to treats and listens to commands since he's not getting into that "tunnel vision" mode! This means that I can go back and use counter-conditioning like I had tried to before, but we're seeing actual results since he's taking treats from me and strangers.
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Last edited by Kaila; 12-05-2012 at 01:43 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2012, 07:31 PM
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Reading this gives me hope!
We were at out wits end with the barking with Leila. I'm thanking god that it's winter because we can leave her in the car. We'd rather her be crying and barking and screaming (litterally screaming) in the car than in the apartment where we have neighbors. So I bought one of those bark collars and I didn't think it was working at all, she just kept barking like she didn't even notice it. I stuck my finger in there and my husband put his work boots on (she HATES mens boots, we think from her pre-shelter life) and she started barking. Sure enough it shocked the you know what out of my hand! But she doesn't seem to notice it.
Maybe she was barking less and I just didn't notice.
(We live in Reno, soon to be Vegas, and the heat gets SUPER bad, there's absolutely no way I could leave her in the car!)

I might try one again once it starts warming up and I'm forced to leave her. My heart wont let me when I can so easily take her with me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorana1125 View Post
It looks like he is doing great!! But shock collars just freak me out in general. Have you heard of the citron dog bark collar? I have a really bad barker too (rescue) and last year we had to stop going to the park for walks bc mojo was so obnoxious. So I bought a small spray bottle and every time he barked, I would squirt water in his face and it worked like a charm! No more barking at people or other dogs!


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How cool!
I tried the spray bottle and spray collar with Leila but she would lick it up and bark for more. Made me so frustrated, lol
I thought she wasn't getting enough water, but she seemed to just like it from the spray more than the bowl.
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2012, 07:57 PM
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I have not used this on my Chis but Gibbs was a whole different ball game.

When we moved into the new house and the hounds got their own house Gibbs started Basset Howling at the top of his lungs to the dog behind us. The dog behind us is 15 years old and deaf so he does not knopw Gibbs is there and Gibbs does not understand why they are not best friends.

I got both of my hounds a Citronella Collar (sprays Citronella no harm) Sadie stopped barking in a week. Gibbs went who cares I am going to do what I want. So I put two on him same result. I ended up getting a small dog static shock collar and it had no affect on Gibbs. We moved our way up through all of the static collars to no avail. I ended up having to get a Sport Dog Shock Collar (Made for hounds) and it works most of the time. I have 3 Sonic Eggs in my yard and Gibbs collar and everyone gets some rest now. Gibbs favorite time to Howl was early morning. I was scared someone would call animal control on me being in a neighborhood so I had to do something.

I still hate it! I wish there was a better option but rules in my area our strict with obnoxious dog barking. So I figure the collar is better than the alternative. Gibbs is just such a happy friendly dog he does not understand why they are not best friends and this dog ignores him. I honestly believe it is harder on me than him because he still does what he wants to do 20-40% of the time but it has helped a good bit.

I also give him Bach Rescue Remedy to calm him down some when he is really bad. The more play time he gets with the chis the better he is too as Sadie is not as playful as she use to be.
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Last edited by Huly; 12-11-2012 at 07:59 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2012, 08:41 AM
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I just want to point out that the shock collar is in NO WAY a cure-all. It's being used with Teddy in a very consistent way, with very clear boundaries and expectations of his behavior, and lots of positive reinforcement on the side. I'm very familiar with training dogs with positive reinforcement. The problem was over-riding the self-reinforcing nature of his barking so that training with positive reinforcement became possible.

Here's a video of us at the farmer's market this past sunday. You can see how far he's come with people--there are LOTS of people around, even people talking to me and getting close to us, which he used to not tolerate.

Teddy (12/16/12) - YouTube

His behavior around other dogs still needs work. Notice how when he starts reacting I don't stand there and let him get shocked! (He actually stopped himself before getting a correction, but was still clearly upset.) I got him out of the situation, and as soon as I did he returned to normal. After I spend time working him around more dogs, I expect to have the same reaction to them that he does with people.

I just need to remind everyone that the shock collar is a tool, not a replacement for hard work and lots of time spent training! I work with him EVERY DAY.
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Last edited by Kaila; 12-19-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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