May 19, 2008,
K.S. asks from Riverside, MO on May 09, 2008
My Dog Won't Stop Barking
I have a beagle doschaund mix. She is about 3 years old and won't stop barking or jumping when people come to our home. We put her behind the baby gate and she will whine constantly until we let her out. I have several people in my home weekly for my son's therapy and even though she knows them, she is constantly in their face. All she wants to do is play I know, but we can't get any therapy done because of her. When I put her in the back yard, she will bark and whine until she is let in, or she finds a way out of the yard and will run around to the front door and start barking and whining then. With just the family, she is very calm and a great pet until the garbage man comes, or the UPS delivery man, or the mail man, or even a neighbor walking by our front window. Any advice on how to stop the barking and jumping? Please help...she is driving me crazy!
E.L. answers from St. Louis on May 12, 2008
Take a tin can and put coins in it, when the dog barks, shake the can, and it will scare the dog and he will stop
H.B. answers from Kansas City on May 10, 2008
I would stay FAR from the shock collars as I think they are cruel. I don't agree with any type of pinch collars or choke chains unless ALL other methods have been exhausted. But even then, they are best for leash training, not for behavior training. I agree with watching the dog whisperer and water techniques. I have a Heinz 57 dog that has Beagle and Dachshund in it and he is the same way. I have noticed when I REALLY spend time with him and wear him out, as well as really spend decent money on his food (high energy, high protein) then his behavior is much different. We have treat techniques. He will bark when someone comes by and we will tell him thank you and then tell him it is time to stop. That way he knows that it is okay to be a "guard" dog but at the same time he needs to let mommy decide who is and isn't okay. It is taking a lot of time and patience but we are getting better. Also, use one command. I use no bark for him to know it is time to stop. If I just say no, he doesn't always understand what I am saying no to. The last thing to think about is that if you let him out when she is whining or barking, then you are reinforcing the behavior. It is like jumping. I do not let my dog out of the kennel while he is barking (he is 6 months and still working on the full potty training), but after he stops and sits, then I will let him out and praise him. Then let him outside to potty. It is the same way with whereever the dog is.
A.H. answers from St. Louis on May 10, 2008
Hello there K.,
I can't help but notice the frustation in your letter. I am a Veterinary Nurse and I may have some helpful advice for you. Your situation with a pet that seems uncontrolable is common. With your son having special needs and constant therapy I am not sure you will have the time it may take to train your pet. Right now it sounds like your dog is needing attention and alot of it. This is normal for any dog. You have the option of taking her to obediance classes which will help her uncontrolable urges to jump on people and the excited barking. It is very important that your pet becomes socialized to everyone welcomed in your home and other dogs. A way to calm your pet is exersise. Dogs are most content after a good walk or playing ball. Anything that shows her you have an interest in her as well. Remember she is part of the family and form her point of view, she is being excluded from alot of the family's home time. I don't know how old your son is, but it's important she get's to know him. You can make a special time for her and your son to be together. Another issue she could be going through is seperation anxiety and the more you keep her from the family the worse it can be. You will need a professional to evaluate the level of anxiety your pet may have and then they can explain to you what you would need to do. By having a beagle mix, you have a hunting dog. They have alot of energy to burn. This comes back to the exersize issue. She needs plenty of it. If you have others living with you, they can take the time to walk her or play with her if you need to be with your son. The reason it's important to train your pet is boundries. Dogs have a habit of pushing to see what they can get a way with. In the canine world, females are dominate. In a pack you will have a dominate female and male. However, the female is still in charge. Any dog will test this with a family. She sees you as a pack. If you don't take charge, she will. It's important that everyone in your family understands this so she realizes she is not the pack leader, you are. Examples of how you can establish this are, you and your family eats fisrt. Then you feed her. When you are going outside to play, she goes outside last. When you come home, don't greet her until she calms down and greet the rest of your family first. Dogs live better through routine and boundries. I hope I have been of some help. Please get intouch with your veterinarian for further advice and locations of obediance instructers. I don't know you and your family or your sweet dog, so it's important to seek advice from your veterinarian.
Lots of luck,
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K.P. answers from St. Louis on May 11, 2008
First of all, the beagle part of your dog makes her very vocal. So what she's doing is what she thinks she should do -- alert the family. Also, the behavior is self-reinforcing, meaning that when she barks at the UPS man, for instance, the UPS man leaves. Same with mailman, garbage man, etc. She doesn't know they would have left anyway -- she thinks she made it happen by barking and therefore protected her family. So she does it more.
I have a german shepherd who is vocal. To curb his barking, I first taught him the word "quiet." If your dog barks, and you say "no," she won't know what not to do. She won't know if no is because of barking or running or whatever. So it's better to tell her something to do instead of something not to do. To teach quiet, I used Bonaca breath spray. When my dog barked, I said "quiet." If he actually stopped, then immediately praised with "good quiet, good quiet!" repeating the desired word. If he didn't, I sprayed Bonaca is his mouth while I said quiet again. It won't hurt them, and if you can't get it exactly in the mouth, that's okay. Just in the general vicinity is fine. Dog should stop barking because of the smell/taste. As soon as she does, ton of praise -- good quiet! good quiet! I used to carry the bonaca in my pocket so I always had it ready.
As far as the therapy session, does your dog know a down-stay? If not, start teaching her down stay behind the baby gate. Build up to a long time gradually. Down-stay for 30 seconds, then once she's good at that, 45. Then a minute, etc, until you get to a half hour or more. My dog down-stayed for an hour while I was on a conference call once. If she whines on the down-stay, correct her with a sharp, "Ah-ah, quiet" and the bonaca. She should learn to down-stay quietly. Of course, as soon as you release her (you need a word like "Free!") it's happy, happy play time and lots and lots of praise.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
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B.S. answers from Joplin on May 10, 2008
My much bigger dog (part cocker, part collie)used to do the same thing. We did two things;
1. We taught her to "hug".
She knows a lot of tricks, and each trick starts with a command to "sit", then when she is sitting pretty we give her the command for whatever trick we want her to do. Whenever she would jump on us, we told her to "sit", then told her to "hug". That is when she is allowed to rise up on her hind legs and lean against us for some petting and attention. It didn't take long before she changed her way of greeting us at the door. Now she runs to us, but instead of jumping, she sits right in front of us waiting for her "hug". If we turn to the side, she will get up and move so she is right in front of us again. LOL ! That part is cute. She will NOT be ignored !
2. For the barking, we just had to start socializing her more. Take her for walks in places where you are sure to meet a lot of people(on a leash so you can control her around strangers).
Bring people into your home more often so she can meet them and get used to people around. This is especially helpful if the people you bring in are informed ahead of time of what you are trying to accomplish and are willing help you toward your training goal.
Our dog sounds vicious when she barks, and tends to frighten people, so it was especially important to talk with people first, and ask them to not show fear (in over 10 years she has never bitten anyone ..... just sounds like she is going to), then to please call her by name and talk sweetly to her.
She never completely gave up barking at visitors (she has too much of a protective instinct in her) but there are a large number of people she is familiar with now, so that when one of them comes to the house she only barks until she knows who it is, then she gets her "hug" and goes away no longer interested.
For newcomers, I explain her temperament before they arrive, and if they don't care to deal with her, we have a large doggie "crate" in another room where she will spend her time during the visit. Surprisingly, most people are happy to help with the initial socialization, and then they enjoy her after that.
I don't know if any of this will help you, but I hope it will.
1 mom found this helpful
Y.B. answers from Kansas City on May 19, 2008
Try getting her that collar that shocks her when she starts to bark. I too sell Mary Kay & it is a grrrreat job. In life we're thrown many curves & it may come in any way...your lifes curves hasn't slowed?stopped you & I commend you for that. Keep the faith...your MK sister!
1 mom found this helpful
J.T. answers from Kansas City on May 10, 2008
Have you considered getting dog training? Suezanne Law owns Sympawtico Dog Training, she is execellent. Check out her website www.sympawtico.com
Her # is ###-###-####
A.S. answers from Joplin on May 10, 2008
You might try a spike or pinch collar to let her know it is unacceptable to bark constantly. Try visiting a Website called dogproblems.com. He has videos about using pinch collars. If this fails, a last resort might be to have your vet operate on her vocal cords. She will still be able to make noise, but not loudly.
K.B. answers from Wichita on May 10, 2008
K., Good Morning! Get a collar for your dog that will shock him a little bit when he barks. He won't be hurt and the barking does stop. Or you could look into obedience training. You want him to bark sometimes but not constantly.
Good Luck K.,
God Bless You and Yours daily
J.M. answers from St. Louis on May 10, 2008
you may be used to your puppy, but it's not fair to anyone who visits you - or your neighbors - to have to deal with that. obedience school is a lot of fun. i really enjoyed the judy strickland school in kirkwood. community colleges and ymcas sometimes offer obedience classes. or, you can order dog training books & videos for free through the library.
another idea might be to have a special treat saved only for when you have visitors. there is a rubber tube-shaped dog toy called a "kong." you can stick peanut butter or a milkbone in there, and maybe he'll be so engrossed in trying to get it out that he'll be quiet for you. pigs' ears are good too :-)