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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can somebody please give me some advice before I go insane. My chi barks at EVERYTHING.Seriously. Worst of all she barks at every person she sees or hears. I cannot speak to somebody in the car or street because she barks the entire time they talk. As soon as they go she stops instantly. Nothing but nothing works to stop her and it's starting to really get me down. I can't have a conversation with my friends or relatives or chat to someone on a walk because she makes so much noise it's impossible 馃槶.
 

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Have you tried BAT training yet? Right now, from your dog's perspective, barking makes the scary people go away. It works on everything! Bark at the post man, and the post man goes away! (after dropping off the parsels.) Bark at the person you are trying to talk to, and they eventually go away!

BAT training teaches your dog that the fastest way to get someone to GO AWAY is to ignore them. There's a lot of great videos on youtube, I like this trainer a lot:
but everyone has their opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you, I've never heard of BAT training before but I'm sure going to look that up. I'll add that the barking has gotten worse since she's been back and forth at the vets after her surgery. Seriously I can't talk to anyone with her, I've only got to say "oh hello Mrs X" and she starts up. Same if the phone rings, the car window is opened or someone walks in/out the room. Sometimes she barks at people and sometimes she's quiet, has a fuss then starts barking after them as they walk away! And nothing but nothing I say in any voice tone will stop her as she's so wound up. It's starting to really grate as she's perfect otherwise but this is spoiling everything and taking the fun out of having her. I can't take her to work (despite working in kennels), town, stores, friend's houses, to meet people, even in the yard if my neighbours are out because she just takes off at the sight of someone 馃槵.
 

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Oh dear. It sounds like reactivity. If you're on facebook, there's actually a really great group called the "Reactive and Aggressive Dog Support". There are tons and tons of people who have dogs with barking issues on it, as well as trainers and behaviorists. It's wellworth signing up because the files alone have tons of advice on dealing with reactivity (including more details on BAT training.)

I used BAT training successfully on one of my chihuahuas who wigged out specifically at children. I put him on leash and took him to a school where the play area is fenced off for recess, so I could control the kids and the dog. (Kids can't run up and pet the dog because they are behind the fence, and the fence helps set the distance.)

We started out back far enough that my dog was interested and alert at the 'threat'. To give you an idea, the first time was so far back we practically needed binoculars to see the kids. Every time he looked at the child, he got a snack. (I cut a hotdog slice into 9 pieces for this, because he's a bit of a tub and I didn't want him fatter.)

He quickly got the idea that looking at those tiny pin pricks in the distance meant snacko!!! The next time, we started off at the same distance, let him warm up, and then got a little bit closer. If he ever reacted, we added distance to cool off and change the behavior.

Eventually we were able to be right near the fence line. His view of kids changed from "Horrible threatening monsters" to "hotdog vending machines."

Now he's happy to ignore kids, and when they occasionally pet without asking, he backs away but doesn't completely lose his mind. I'm happy to manage from here. I don't mind kenneling him when kids are over to play with my kids, and protecting him from strange pets, but he can't be going crazy just at the sight of a person.

I hope that helps give you an idea of what worked with my dog. It's not quite the same since it was exclusively kids my dog reacted to, but it may give you a starting point. If you have a friend who doesn't mind standing around for training sessions, you could probably copy this by having them stand somewhere while you find a distance point your dog finds okay, and working from there.
 

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CabbageCove, that is sad that the little one barks so much, we hope you can find a way to correct the behavior.

Xiuhcoati, thank you for letting us know about your experience with your little one. That was good thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Xiuhcoati, thank you for your excellent reply. I believe there are two things causing this behavior, a combination of reactivity from fear and protectiveness of me. Why I just don't know. I've signed up to online chi specific training sessions, however my vet has referred me to a dog behaviourist and I'm torn now as to which is the best to go for.
 
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