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Discussion Starter #1
Bella's barking and lunging at other dogs has become terrible over the last year and i cant believe ive found something that works, it's so simple it's a little tub of stones, that's it !!! I saw someone using one the other day and I thought I'd give it a try. The first time I tried it I waited for her cues and as soon as I saw them I shook it next to her and firmly told her No, I felt a bit mean as she did s*#t herself the first time but she shut up instantly, obviously with shock at the noise. She used to get in a zone and nothing I did seemed to get through to her. It's now been four days since I started using it and her whole attitude has changed she is literally a different dog, it's as if we've changed her way of thinking, I hardly have to rattle it at all now and if I do it's only gently, also twice today we have stopped and actually talked to other dog owners whilst Bella sniffed the other dogs without barking and then sat quietly waiting, I was totally in shock at that, I feel so happy for her and for us, very pleased today.
 

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Wow that's a lot of progress in just 4 days, that's great. :) There's a chihuahua at the park who does that. I'll tell the owner about this trick.
I know I can't believe myself how quickly it worked, I have tried everything to try to stop this behaviour. We are on holiday at the moment in Devon so we are out walking most of the days so she's getting a lot of training in a short space of time and we are able to be consistent so that's why it's successful I think.
 

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I'm so trying this. Mickie's only bad habit is his barking at some big dogs when we walk.
 

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I'm so pleased to hear this. I'm so glad it's worked for you. I might try that at some point. Mylo has fear aggression and Willow is fine but yappy which is annoying. I wonder if it might work with their barking in the house because that is what really annoys me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Melissa, the very first I used it we were inside, Bella was on the back of the chair looking out of the window, I saw a dog coming which i knew would guarantee a barking session so I got ready to surprise her with the rattle (sounds a bit mean I know) but it totally worked, she was so shocked she shut up instantly. I took it on our walks and it works there too.
 

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Just be very careful when using aversion techniques. If a dog is barking/reacting due to fear, and every time it reacts the scary/noisy thing happens, you can unintentionally reinforce the fear. So if a dog is barking because it is scared of dogs, and every time a dog appears so does a scary noise, the original fear has been reinforced in the dogs mind, dogs are then definitely viewed as something to be scared of.
 

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Just be very careful when using aversion techniques. If a dog is barking/reacting due to fear, and every time it reacts the scary/noisy thing happens, you can unintentionally reinforce the fear. So if a dog is barking because it is scared of dogs, and every time a dog appears so does a scary noise, the original fear has been reinforced in the dogs mind, dogs are then definitely viewed as something to be scared of.
Thanks Stella I'll bear that in mind, to be honest though I don't think Bella really knew what she was barking at, I truly think it was just a bad habit that needed breaking. She has greeted two dogs today in a "normal" doggie greeting and seemed to really enjoy it, its as if she's realised that she doesn't need to bark if you know what I mean, I've reinforced all this good behaviour with treats and praise.
 

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Melissa, the very first I used it we were inside, Bella was on the back of the chair looking out of the window, I saw a dog coming which i knew would guarantee a barking session so I got ready to surprise her with the rattle (sounds a bit mean I know) but it totally worked, she was so shocked she shut up instantly. I took it on our walks and it works there too.
It's less mean than hitting like some owners use! Plus you've tried everything else first!

Just be very careful when using aversion techniques. If a dog is barking/reacting due to fear, and every time it reacts the scary/noisy thing happens, you can unintentionally reinforce the fear. So if a dog is barking because it is scared of dogs, and every time a dog appears so does a scary noise, the original fear has been reinforced in the dogs mind, dogs are then definitely viewed as something to be scared of.
That's a good point Stella. I'm assuming this was more aimed toward me than Lisa. To be honest I was more thinking of it for the barking in the house which is both dogs and not due to fear and I have tried a lot of other tactics for. I've tried the positive reinforcement with Mylo with other dogs and that does seem to work when I'm consistent with it so I think I'll stick with that. It doesn't work so well with Willow, perhaps because she is less food motivated and it is not out of fear.

Can anyone suggest a way that I can let the dogs know that one bark is ok but incessant barking isn't? Mylo doesn't bark if there's no one around (e.g. I'm in bed so I can hear him but he can't see me) so I think he is doing it out of his strong protective instinct and I wouldn't want to stop that completely because it's part of him and I think it could lead to problems but I'd like to let him know that once he has warned us that someone is passing the house or he's heard a noise etc that he can stop?
 
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