|Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 1:47am PST |
|Yeah Foxxy is a barker too. It's just that Chis are bred to alarm bark. So are schnauzers, actually. Among schnauz lovers, there is a saying " If a schnauzer can't bark, it will explode" It's sort of one of the vast number of things that they were for.
small dogs have this register that is in the realm of a baby's voice, so lots of people have tons of trouble with our own instinct. small dog voices put us on alert the same as a baby cry, or a child's scream. We are programmed by nature to to react to that by locating the cause of irritation and mitigating it. The problem is that when the dog will never grow out of that high pitch, because it is just a tiny dog, and that dog can bark literally at 110 decibels, It drives people into anxiety and anger. The anxiety is anticipation of the bark, anger at the execution of it.
With chis, they have radar ears. They have ears that can echolocate. They can hear things that I swear only cats and bats are supposed to be able to hear. YOu actually might not know all of what is triggering your dog. The first step is to work with the stuff you know. The doorbell, the neighbor opening his door across the hall, being allowed to look out the windows and react, those are the most common. It's our job to teach the dog that nonverbal communication is better. That is a lesson that wolfs have to teach their puppies too.
To signal outside, a paw touch, or a bell for them to ring prevents barking for attention. Don't let them get territorial by letting them gaze out the window. If they must gaze let them look at the backyard, where there is less likely to be stimulating things.
Teach your dog that the doorbell means "go to your box" otherwise he will be excited by your haste to answer the door and fueled by your excitement at a guest in your territory. train that right, and anytime the doorbell rings he will go there and hopefully be calm when he comes out. You have to b ecreative like that with a barker.
Shush is a command similar to heel and can be trained in the same way. What you are really asking for is for absolute attention. A dog that is heeling walks with it's attention 100% on the handler as it walks. A dog cannot bark and heel at the same time. Similarly A distracted dog cannot shush.
What you will find is that there are different kinds of barking, but the kind that annoys people, this is caused almost entirely by aggression or frustration in combination with drive. drive is the will to get something to happen accomplished. This could be hunting a rabbit, or it could be getting the human to pay attention to him by jumping and barking. Think about a dog seeing a rabbit on leash vs. that dog being allowed to chase it unrestrained. There is no doubt the natural tendancy of the dog will be to silence unrestrained, and barking when leashed. It's frustration is screaming at you as the handler/master, to let the dog get his rabbit. That's the barking. The dog doesn't care the kind of attention, if you pay attention of any kind, you are justifying the behavior. Aggressive barking comes with a whole list of nonverbal postures and most certainly needs to be nipped in the bud. The combo of all three is what makes on-leash barking so bad, for example. It's the same with being allowed to bark out the window or at the door.
The dog will bark because there is something that it wants, it's not getting it, and it is asking your help to relieve that want or need. It will do that by manipulation, no problem. Don't be manipulated. Obsessive barking is a frustration need for stimulation or attention. Your dog wants you to also be reacting, ideally to fix his frustration. Unfortunately, your solutions might not be the same as his. He wants you to open the door to kill the rabbit, you think you want him to stop barking at it, but what you really want is for him not to pay attention to it. This is why you better not yell at him to stop, otherwise he is going to think 1)you are ineffective to relieve his frustration thus not being a leader 2)you also want that rabbit and 3)you are also barking. The key to handling a barker is very simply to train it in ways that allow him to solve his issues and your issues nonverbally and you do that by showing him that your solutions should be preferable and desirable. Bark at the rabbit? Oh look, here, chase this rawhide ballball! The dog is quiet and calm, praise him "good shush. shush. that's right."
The citronella sprays, water spritzers, and e-collar etc, these are just treating the symptom, not truly solving the root problem. They can be effective initally, even long term but there is going to have to be training, and consistency.
Edited by author Wed Jul 25, '12 1:58am PST
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