Dog Training Question...

This is a discussion on Dog Training Question... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My new dog does pretty good barking at noises at night, but doesn't usually keep us up. Last night just after I went to bed ...

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Thread: Dog Training Question...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Dog Training Question...

    My new dog does pretty good barking at noises at night, but doesn't usually keep us up. Last night just after I went to bed he starts up. I go check and all is OK. Maybe someone walking by outside, dunno. Go back to bed, he starts right back up. I wasn't sure if he was hearing something or looking for attention. I want to praise him for valid warnings, but don't want him to learn to bark for attention. I also want to teach him (for squirrel hunting) that if he barks, I will come. I definately don't want to use a bark collar or teach him that barking will get him rebuked.

    So, can he be taught that I'll come if he barks, but if I give him an "Ignore" command, that he should ignore that one stimulus? How might one do this?
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  3. #2
    Member Array jhfox462's Avatar
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    The pup can def be taught when to and when not to bark. Just make sure he gets lots and lots of praise and treats when he barks when you want him to. When he barks and you don't want him to, either ignore (if you can) or just tell him no. Dogs can be pretty quick to learn if the right incentives are there.
    Positive reinforcement combined with negative punishment (taking away something pleasant) work well together. He'll learn in which context barking is acceptable.
    Good luck!
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    Member Array gibson3798's Avatar
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    You refer to your "new dog" and don't say whether what age the dog it is. I agree with the previous poster and would add that the breed of dog plays into the amount of training required to produce an effective guard dog/early warning system.
    As an example of what I mean, I have two dogs. A Chihuahua and a Rottweiler. Seriously, I do. The small, more nervous of the two, as a puppy, barked at times when the Rott saw no need to. The Rott, as is it's inbred tendency, only barks when their is a reason to and someone has approached our home. I've seen the smaller dog change it's alarm pattern to more closely match it's larger sister.
    Spending time training in a consistent manner can yield unbelievable results with a dog. Personally, I would never be without a well trained and highly socialized Rottweiler, but a yappy Chihuahua isn't bad in a pinch.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Thanks. The dog is a roughly 1yr old Rat terrier. He has 3 things in his job description:
    1. well behaved family friend
    2. Night watchman. Not to attack, just alarm.
    3. flushing bunnies and treeing squirrels

    #1 is most important, and he's great at it as long as he gets his walks. Not sure if #2 or 3 is more important to me...
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Mine was relatively simple (pitbull). The only time she barks inside is if A) someone is outside or something has her spooked, and B) if we're playing/rough-housing and she's knows that's ok.

    One thing I did is the first few times she barked in the house I checked every time to see what it was. If there was someone outside, I leashed her and took her out to let her investigate and rewarded her with a doggy bone. If no one was out there that I could spot from the windows, I ignored her. She picked it up on it by the 3rd or 4th run. Now she only barks for what appears to be a legitimate potential threat (ie something that doesn't belong within her boundaries is there).
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    i agree with what was said above. giving lots of praise when you see that he is barking at something legit. if you can tell the dog is only barking for attention, then make sure to let her know that it is unacceptable- in whatever manor you normally do that. finally, if you are not sure- such as you explained was last night, then it is hard to say. you dont want to punish him in case there was something, but if he keeps it up and you still dont see what he could possibly be barking at, them maybe simply tell him to stop, or tell him to go lay down, etc. something that isnt necessarily saying bad dog, but is telling him that thats enough of that for right now, go do something else.

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    Terriers, as a breed, bark more frequently and insistently than many other breeds. Having said that, yes, you can train a dog when it is not OK to bark. A firm, but gentle, grip to his neck with your forefinger and thumb is a warning "bite" from his master (you) to calm down. If he stops, release your grip. If not, tighten slightly. Also try breaking his field of vision if he is barking unnecessarily by stepping in front of him. Control the space with your body, and force him to back up.

    Good luck. Patience, rewards, and training. Try reading or watching some of the Cesar Milan books or shows too. He is a natural dog trainer.

    Here is his web site. Yes, he has become a "celerity" <gag>, but his techniques are fantastic.

    http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    thanks guys and girl. It makes sense that he'd want to keep barking until I let him do his little patrol and make sure everything is OK. That's gonna stink a bit in the MI winter when in my sleeping garb, but I guess it's gotta be done. I'll try the the redirection of attention and tune in to more dog whisperer guy. I've seen it a couple times, very impressive.
    Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this mini documentary!
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    Cupcake - 100 pound loser, adventurer, Ironman Triathlete.

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