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My dogs won't stop barking at literally everything!

Myname posted 4/12/2021 20:23 PM

It's maddening. So little back story. My Dad passed away a few months ago. My Mom couldn't handle the dogs so SO and I took the dogs temporarily. At this point temporary looks like it might be permanent. We are both okay with that but they bark at everything and it is driving us nuts.

They are 10 years old and 12 years old. The older one is deaf and going blind. She also has bad arthritis. Both these guys have been through a lot with being taken from their home and not only losing my Dad but my Mom too as she won't see them. It's too hard for her. They remind her of my Dad.

Things they bark at: opening or closing a window or door, looking out the window, walking fast or running, asking "do you want" anything, when they go outside, when they come inside, playing, and hugging. Yes. You read that correct. I can't even hug SO without the dogs barking.

I've tried yelling at them but I really don't want to be constantly yelling at them either. They've been through enough. We usually try and say quiet 5-10 before doing any of the above actions. That works about half the time.

Any advise.

ETA: It's probably not nearly as bad as I'm making it out to be. I have a cat and she's not only very quiet but extremely well trained. So that's what I'm used to. Not to mention I'm really stressed out and having a hard time with losing my Dad too.

[This message edited by Myname at 8:25 PM, April 12th (Monday)]

AnnieOakley posted 4/12/2021 20:44 PM

Iím sorry to hear that your Dad passed away.

It sounds like everyone indeed is going thru a lot of stress...including your dogs. Have you done any research on doggy dementia? Itís real.

Our oldest one developed it several years ago. The random barking was insane.

Jeaniegirl posted 4/12/2021 20:52 PM

Maybe they are grieving. Dogs FEEL things, just as humans do. Can they be taken back to visit their 'home?' Walk them around there? I understand your Mom's grieving but they are probably really missing her too. Do you think she will come around and hopefully visit them? Poor babies, I feel badly for them.

I have 'barkers' but they are just Chihuahuas and that's what they DO.

Myname posted 4/12/2021 21:26 PM

Theyíve always barked a lot with my parents. My parents didnít seem to care. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I know they went through some grieving for sure and a lot of stress. For the first month snd a half they both had diarrhea.

My mom has only visited them a few times since all this and at this point itís been over a month since she last saw them.

Fortunately both the dogs know SO and I so at least they arenít at a strangers house.

DragnHeart posted 4/12/2021 21:37 PM

Our chihuahua is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, with the other not so great so we have to shout his name or stomp the floor to get his attention

He barks at everything. He was always with our St. Bernard and when we lost him the chihuahua grieved for a while. Now he's in with the cats and the cats and dog don't get along well. Dog barks at them constantly. The naked cat only comes out from his bed amd blankets to eat and use the litter box. The other cat just gets on top of the fridge or kitchen chairs, some place the dog can't reach her. She also seems to know he's blind on one side since if she has to walk past him she does it on the blind side.

Do these dogs sit, lie down on command? You could try redirecting their attention each time they bark.

Ok so this will sound weird and its not a dog but one of my goats with go crazy at times, even screaming. He does this until i come and love him up with petting him and rubbing his head. Maybe they just need pets.

homewrecked2011 posted 4/12/2021 21:50 PM

My friend trains comfort dogs from puppy until they are adopted. She teaches the quiet command-she says quiet, and when they are quiet they get a treat and lots of praise. Do it over and over and over so that they can learn this new command.

My other friend got a box fan and when her dog is in the kennel, he cannot hear anything bc the box fan is on.

There is also and APP on your phone-when they start barking the APP emits a sound they donít like and they stop.

Awesome that you are able to give the dogs a home.

Bigger posted 4/13/2021 06:17 AM

One thing that definitely wonít work is yelling at them when barking.
They simply think you are joining in and even see it as affirmation that barking is justified in those situations.
As a general rule the old-fashioned rolled newspaper and dominance training of dogs has been disproven and discouraged. You sort-of need to catch the dog doing something they KNOW isnít allowed and discipline him at that very moment for it to work. Like if he KNOWS he canít be on the couch you could forcibly remove him, but if heís gone off the couch he probably wonít understand being scolded.

With older dogs dealing with a lot of change, plus the tummy-issuesÖ I think stress.
Try to establish a fixed routine. Follow it for a couple of weeks. Same person feeds, daily training sessions (sit, lie, stillÖ). Walks at comparable times, plenty of time around family-members. Make them feel at home and realize that this is their new pack.
If you can, remove the stimuli that makes them bark (block their view out windows, keep them in the back-yard etc). Do bell/door knocking routines where the learn to sit and wait when the bell is buzzed. Divert their attention when they bark or even better just before you know a stimuli might take place. Once they start feeling secure and know better whatís expected of them things will calm down.

tushnurse posted 4/13/2021 07:52 AM

I'm sure there will be negative responses here for this, but I don't care. I have raised many dogs, fostered, and trained high level hunt dogs.

That said it's time to invest in some bark collars. They make some really good ones now. I use E collars for training and the ones we have, have an anti-bark feature. The first thing it does when is senses a bark is vibrate, then on the bark it vibrates, and beeps, on the third it gives an extremely low level shock, on the fifth a higher level and so on. When they stop it resets back to vibrate mode. But it is never high enough to cause pain to the animal. The whole point of Ecollars is to get the dogs attention so you can command them out of the behavior they are doing, especially when they are not right next to you. YOU decide on what the command is to stop the barking behavior, no bark, stop, quiet, whatever, but you and GF have to use the same command and be very consistent with it. When they bark, you give the command and reward them when they stop. Their kibble works great for a training treat, and it allows you to keep a close eye on how much they are eating/getting in treats, so they don't get too much (as an owner of labs this is important they have no "i'm full" switch.

Start working on the training prior to putting the collars on, then after a few days of consistent training with them on, put the collars on and deaf, blind, etc doesn't matter they will feel the vibration and quickly relate that to stopping. My dogs wear the bark feature if they are kenneled alone during the day as my son works. It doesn't completely stop a dog from barking either, if there is someone on the property they will give a warning bark. But now that the behavior is trained, they will only give a woof or two when I am around. No more going bezerk over squirrels, chipmunks, or people walking by, no more crazy behavior when the amazon guy drops a package.

I used an e collar on my deaf dog with the vibrate feature as a way to call him to come in, he loved to stay outside, and would often mosey off. With that I didn't have to go out into the yard, and touch him. I would vibrate, he would look up I could then use hand signals to bring him in. He went deaf at 7-8 years. He lived to be 11.5.

If you don't want to go this route, then invest in using a trainer.

Bigger posted 4/13/2021 08:26 AM

As an alternative you can get spray-collars that spray a lemon-scent over the dogs face. Itís (slightly) more humane than the e-collars if you were to have some moral doubts about them.

PricklePatch posted 4/13/2021 09:22 AM

I am sorry for the loss of your Dad.

Blind and deaf dogs are notorious for barking. I would recommend a citronella collar or a shock collar that can be dialed back to a vibration.

annanew posted 4/13/2021 11:40 AM

My sister has had very good success with the citronella-puff collars. They are sound activated, so there is a problem with multiple dogs. If there's any way to separate them for a few hours a day and let the collars start to help them inhibit their impulses, do that. When you have the collars off, they will still bark, but it should start to be less frequent.

Myname posted 4/14/2021 06:58 AM

Iíve never heard of these lemon collars before. Why do I feel like they would bark just to try and lick the lemon stuff.

They definitely understand that they are not supposed to be barking. The redirect idea made me think to have a treat in hand every time a ďbark triggerĒ is going to happen. Like SO and I hugging. Tell them to be quiet. Hug her. And if they didnít bark give them a treat.

I can expand that to their other triggers like opening the windows. All the barking Iím trying to stop is the predictable stuff. Iím okay with them barking if someone comes to the door.

tushnurse posted 4/14/2021 18:43 PM

MyName you are on the right track.
The shocks from the collars are not bad. I have never ever shocked an animal on a level I haven't shocked myself with.

The whole point of the shock is to get their attention to give the command you want. Yes rewarding is huge when changing behavior. Hamd signals work as well as verbal signals. The current trainer we work with does not give voice commands at all when running dogs. He only uses hand signals. He does it for 2 reasons one he doesn't have a strong voice and by using the hand signals means they have to stop and look. In hunt tests this is important. But I digress.

We used a bark collar on a foster and to retrain my MILs dogs. They are little and yappy. But we kept them for a couple months while my StepFIL was dying. Worked like a charm.

Myname posted 4/14/2021 21:23 PM

They are trained in both verbal and hand signals. I didnít know all of the words or hand signals my parents used but weíve got some down now. The older dog canít hear very well so sheís hand signals almost exclusively.

I think the frustrating part in all of this is that I have a 1.5 year old cat that I have trained to listen to everything I say. A CAT! And Iíve got these 2 dogs who wonít shut up!

Like I said before. I know they arenít that bad. Iím just super stressed and overwhelmed.

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