GO!

excessive barking about to get me kicked out of day care!

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Apollo

Captain of the- Deadweight- Brigade
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 6:05pm PST 
Apollo came to us at 10 months old, abused/neglected, underweight, and generally unsure of himself and his surroundings. For nearly a year, I was able to work with him regarding some of his socialization issues, training him with certain commands, and (mostly) getting him to where he needed to be. He's always been afraid of people -- still is -- but never shows aggression and usually only pees all over himself in submission.

I started working this last January and he started doggie daycare for dogs under 35 pounds, which has been a blessing for him (and a curse for my wallet! but totally worth it). He is still afraid of new people, but unless he has someone hovering immediately over him, he's stopped wetting himself and has become more curious about the person and less fearful.

Here's what my problem is -- he has NEVER been a barker. I think in the first year we spent together, I maybe heard him bark in one instance and it was because I had crated him for about 15 minutes and he did not like that, despite making great progress with crate training. His idea of warning and protecting me against strangers is woofing. Little pathetic woofs. We call it "venting atmosphere" because they're just short puffs of breath through the nose. But when he's at day care, oh boy, does he let those little lungs of his be heard. He's a little guy, but he sounds like a big guy. This is starting to become a problem, to the point that he might get booted from day care because there's no stopping the barking. The gal who watches him is pretty sure it's a combination of anxiety, excitement, and protection (of her -- they're best pals), but it's on the brink of costing her potential clients and getting the cops called on her set up by the neighbors who're complaining about his excessive barking.

She used to put a vibrating collar on him that he had a deep respect for. When it went on, he'd shut up. But one of the other dogs ate the nylon part of the collar, so I had to provide my own. Which was fine, since it proved to be working before. Only now, it's not working. He barks through the vibrating and moves right along to the point that he's scaring clients. Again, he is NEVER aggressive. But his barks are so chest-rattling, it's alarming and very much a nuisance.

So now, I need to find a fix, fast. I'm interested in medicating him, but not particularly in a pumping him full of prescription drugs to make him into a slug way. I've tried Rescue Remedy to alleviate possible anxieties, but that never helped. I've fed him steeped chamomile tea with his kibble and that made a wee bit of difference at home, but he wasn't having barking issues at the time at day care. Are there other things out there that have a pretty high success rate, maybe something that can be bought OTC at health food stores (tinctures, pills, teas, etc) or similar places?

I know I could "fix" the issue if he was a barker at home with me. But because he's the exact opposite at day care than he is at home, I can't even begin to shape or reward the silence. And due to the fact that the day care lady has her hands full with up to 10 other dogs at a time, she can't always be one-on-one with him, especially considering when he's the noisiest, she's with other clients.

Help?
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Isabelle the- Great

Nothing is- greater than an- Springer!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 6:46pm PST 
If I took my dog to a doggy daycare and they put any type of training collar on her, I would not come back or pay for the service. Those types of collars aren't for basic training. In fact the collar will make things worse. You also said your dog was abused and you are okay with this type of training? How do you know your dog isn't being shocked while at the daycare?

You should find a better staffed doggy daycare as 10 dogs is to much for one person. Also find a postive reinforcement trainer, one that clicker trains.
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Isabelle the- Great

Nothing is- greater than an- Springer!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 6:49pm PST 
If I took my dog to a doggy daycare and they put any type of training collar on her, I would not come back or pay for the service. Those types of collars aren't for basic training. In fact the collar will make things worse. You also said your dog was abused and you are okay with this type of training? How do you know your dog isn't being shocked while at the daycare?

You should find a better staffed doggy daycare as 10 dogs is to much for one person. Also find a postive reinforcement trainer, one that clicker trains.
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Apollo

Captain of the- Deadweight- Brigade
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 7:07pm PST 
It's a vibrating collar, not a shock collar. I learned my lesson as a young teen that shock collars are not the way to go. The vibrating collars on the other hand never hurt him and had gotten him to stop barking. However, that's a moot point now since he's decided that the vibrating is of no concern to him anymore. Like dogs who break through their Invisible Fences -- what's a minor inconvenience when you can run free?

The gal does not always have 10 dogs, but sometimes she does. She is the best day care in my area, I've never had a problem with her or her techniques, and I do not feel that my dog is in a poor position because of anything that she has done to help him in the past. I'm not 100% positive Apollo was abused because the pound conveniently lost his paperwork, that's why I said abused/neglected -- I don't know which. Anyway, I'd much rather leave Apollo with her than a place that will put him in a kennel all day long. That's my other option. Not much of one, if you ask me.

That all being said, I'm not looking for recommendations on how to get rid of my day care, but rather other ways to help him stop unnecessary barking. The main problem is, because I am a single dog household and he has no reason to bark here (no visitors, no other dogs, etc - which are the reasons he's barking there), I cannot even begin to understand how *I* can train him, so I'm trying to help someone, ANYONE, that will watch my dog, to make this not a problem.
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Isabelle the- Great

Nothing is- greater than an- Springer!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 7:51pm PST 
Look at past posts on clicker training. That is where I would start. Your dog sitter would have to be able to do the training and that's where you will hit a roadblock. Avoid correction collars period. Do you have time to run him or give him intense exercise before daycare? This might make him calmer as other dogs are being dropped off.

Is he crate trained? Perhaps time in his crate with a kong will keep him busy as other dogs are being dropped off. I am on my phone so the suggestions are more or less research ideas. Talk with the dog sitter before using a kong, though.
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Member Since
07/14/2011
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 7:56pm PST 
Do you have to bring him to daycare because of separation anxiety or something? Is there any way he could spend every other day at home while you work, so the barking id decreased at daycare, but he still gets to go?
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Snickers

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 8:04pm PST 
How training savvy is this sitter?

I'm more of the distract, illicit a more desirable behavior, reward that behavior, camp. But she has to be able to catch him early and illicit the alternate behavior even with clients and dogs coming and going. It's a lot to ask....

With his mix, I assume he's food driven, but can she use food in a daycare environment with other dog around?

Snickers has become a noisy thing in the last year, also anxiety as he's going blind. Tethering him to me is usually a good fix for him. Can she do that with you pup?
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Apollo

Captain of the- Deadweight- Brigade
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 8:52pm PST 
The sitter blows my mind with the amount of information she knows -- everything from basic quirks with particular breeds to homeopathic remedies for ailments of all sorts, and knowing what works and what doesn't work from experience when training her own fuss pot dog and everyone else who walks through the door with a dog with a problem. First and foremost, she is a sitter. But she spends her down time researching specific problems to "her dogs" to find out more and find a fix. And this is why I willingly allowed her to use a vibrating collar on Apollo. It's been a hit with many other pup parents and as I had mentioned, it did work for awhile, but it's known that dogs can figure out how to "override the system" so to speak, so we have to move beyond this technique. Hence me trying to find another remedy.

He does suffer from separation anxiety, but it's a lot better than it used to be. His "symptoms" were just excessive whining/howling, and uncontrollable panting/drooling/shaking when I was away. Even when my partner whom Apollo is comfortable with was home, he'd still sit at the door and cry. He's never been destructive, he's never dug at doorways, hurt himself when locked in a crate, or caused issues before. We have been working with him on the weekends and leaving him home alone while we run errands for several hours at a time and we end up coming home to a puppy whose tail is about to fall off because he's so excited to have us home. There's never accidents, no drool stains (it's an all hardwood and tile floor), and no damage. However, my job pulls me away from the house for a total of 11 hours each day and keeping him locked up, whether in a crate or free range in the house, doesn't seem right. We don't have a fenced in yard and it isn't a priority as of yet, so while the idea of a doggie door to let him in and out is a great idea, it's not a feasible one just yet.

Right now, after getting a suggestion from someone else and doing some research, my bets are on a Thundershirt and we'll see if that ends up working. Otherwise I may be revisiting the medicinal route in the near future.
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 8, '11 10:27pm PST 
What happens if your dog sitter pops him into a crate or quiet room when he starts being a noisy critter?

Would the punishment of being away from her and the other pups be enough to convince him to shush?

We do a lot of this with Rexy...act like a brat = quiet time in the crate...refuse to leave the kitchen when asked and decide to woof in my face instead = quiet time in crate.

Is it barking from excitement? Anxiety? Or just to hear the sound of his voice?
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Member Since
07/14/2011
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 9, '11 5:54am PST 
Hmm. I agree with you that 11 hours is too long. When you are gone and your partner is home, how long will Apollo sit at the door crying? The whole time? ie. several hours? Is your partner home more than you/at different times than you? When was he last time you left Apollo home with your partner for a few hours? What would happen if your partner gave Apollo a stuffed kong or something similar? Would that get his mind off of you leaving, and would he then be okay?

What I'm getting at is, would Apollo be alone 11 hours of the day or would your partner be there for some/most of that time?

Also, if he is about to be kicked out of daycare, then I wouldn't feel bad about asking your sitter if she has any recommendations of local dog walkers. If somebody came and spent 1 or 2 hours with Apollo during the day while nobody was home, and your partner was not gone he same 11 hours as you are, then he might be okay at home. Good luck!
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