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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Barking at other dogs. How to train?

I got my 8 month old pup from the shelter few month ago. I were faced with issue of barking at other dogs. He is fine with people, but dogs presence make him bark, until he sniff them out. I used to have dogs before large and small and never had this issue. I'm really baffled with steps I need to take to get rid of this behavior. Any suggestions?
 

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Hi!! I use the 'open bar' method for barking at people or dogs. Basically when someone comes over and they start barking I start giving out little tiny tidbits of treats. This distracts them and stops the barking. After the treats are gone they usually just chill out somewhere. At first it would take a lot to keep them on me and not the other person/dog but after some practice I just give out a little treat or two to everyone and they go lay down.
 

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Just be careful that you aren't rewarding the behavior. Giving treats WHILE the dog is barking can encourage the dog to keep up doing it; since it's getting rewarded.

You want to make sure the behavior that you're rewarding is the calm behavior. If you have friends with dogs this can be a huge help; or even taking to a park. Start further away; and slowly ease your way closer to the other dog. As long as your dog remains calm, keep rewarding with treats. This will help her learn that when other dogs are near; it is not a cause for alarm but instead a POSITIVE experience! You can even throw in other commands, if he knows obedience like "Sit!" you can start those right when you notice that your dog becomes "aware" of the other dog; but before the barking starts. The key is to keep the dog in a calm stable state, BEFORE it escalates to the barking. You'll basically be trying to change your dogs response; instead of feeling the need to bark and be protective, or defensive; they learn that other dogs being nearby means lots of yummy goodies!
 

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Yes, ideally, it would be great if you can prevent them from barking at all but if that is not possible dont sweat it. This is not about rewarding or correcting behavior. You are simply trying to change the dogs emotional response to the stimuli. That is all.

I read a lot of of advice to reward the dog when they stop barking or before they bark. Problem was my dogs started barking before I knew I had company and Susu has barked over 6 hours at guests. For years I just had to put them in a back room and let them bark. Going with the open bar, first time out of the box I was able to have them in a room while I talked to our company as long as our company ignored him. If something spooked him a bit and the barking started up I would just get some treats and in a few minutes he would sit beside me again and chill out.

Do not worry about rewarding the behavior. You are stopping the behavior and changing their emotional response to the other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I tried treats today while driving away his attention from the dog towards me. It seems to be working, yet it is likely will take more practice. Will give it more practice. Hopefully it will work out at the end.
 

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What do you folks think about the can with penny shaking technique to interrupt barking?

I had guests coming yesterday, so I made up a little tin with pennies inside. When Barney started barking, I shook it down by my side. It did impact him and scared him. It took the focus off the other issue he was barking at. I tried treating him for stopping the barking, but he wasn't very interested. He just explored the new people without barking.

Later, I only had to make a tiny noise with the can and he noticed and stopped barking. I liked that the shake only had to be small to get his attention.

Any pro or con thoughts on this? Thanks
 

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Hey Dmitri! I'm glad it's helping and yes it does take some time and practice but it has really helped mine and they had been long time horrible barkers.

On the pennies in a can.. I guess it really varies on the dog. It does scare them as you found out. Some people I know go with this as it can be effective. I have some more nervous skiddish chis and really just do not use things that will scare them at all.

I want to build their confidence in the new situation and the pennies will not help that. So I do the treats and then if things are going well the new person can give them treats. I feel this lets them see the new people are not a threat whereas the pennies could very well just reinforce their ideas that strangers are a scary thing.

So I suppose you could get the same end result as in not barking but is done in a way that builds confidence or fear?
 

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Hi. Do a search on the term 'Reactive Dog'. Both of my dogs are reactive and weve done lots of work to change the behavior. Usually dogs are rective to other dogs because they didnt learn good socialization skills as a young puppy.
I took Gilda to special socialization classes, the local dog park, and i take her to doggy daycare 2 or 3 times a month. She is MUCH better now though we still have barking and lunging issues while walking on leash at the park but I'm guessing that they have come to believe the park is theirs!
Clicker Training is a huge help too. Try to find a class or seminar if you're not familiar.
I would caution against treating while barking as you are then reinforcing the behavior that you don't want. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Hi!! I use the 'open bar' method for barking at people or dogs. Basically when someone comes over and they start barking I start giving out little tiny tidbits of treats. This distracts them and stops the barking. After the treats are gone they usually just chill out somewhere. At first it would take a lot to keep them on me and not the other person/dog but after some practice I just give out a little treat or two to everyone and they go lay down.
I am going to try this with Amberleah.
 
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