Excitement Barking - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
CatChandler's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Excitement Barking

This is not a serious behavioral problem, but it is very annoying to my housemates.

Sitka is a 1-year-old rescue that I got about a month ago. For the past week or so, whenever I let her OUT of her crate, she gets very excited and barks. This is very much a problem at 6am when I get up to let her and my two (uncrated) Labs out. The Labs get excited and jump up. Sitka gets excited and barks, barks, barks all the way out the door, in the yard, and back inside again.

I am not complaining, I'm sure this is a very common behavior, but I would like to take her excitement down a little, or teach a replacement behavior. I am very calm while I try to get her to focus on me, but she is so excited at these times that I can't get her to listen to me, or even to notice that I'm holding a treat. The only thing that gets her to stop for a minute is if I clap my hands suddenly.

She does not bark while she's in the crate - just when I'm getting ready to open the door to let her out.

Not crating her at night is NOT an option unfortunately. Also, she frequently does this even if she's just crated for a half hour - just not as long.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Northern CA
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If you let her out while she's excited, you're only reinforcing that behavior. Before letting her out of the crate, make sure she is sitting or laying calmly. I would remove the other dogs while you're training her to come out of the crate calmly, as they're a huge distraction and giving off a lot of excited energy, adding to your problem.

If you have a lot of trouble getting her to sit calmly in order to let her out, here are a few tips. Make her sit calmly before giving her food or treats, so she learns how to do it outside of leaving the crate as well. You can even use the word "calm" to teach her the command. At first, only make her hold it for a few seconds. That way she learns immediately the behavior you want from her. Then you can start extending the time you ask her to be calm. A clicker might help too, as you can instantly mark the behavior you like as soon as you see her do it.

My puppy barks (excitedly, I think) when she sees other dogs, so I asked for advice about it here yesterday since we were having a puppy playdate. A member suggested I only allow my pup to interact when she was sitting and being calm and quiet. So I kept her on leash and only allowed her to meet the other pup and play when she was quiet and calm. So, for me the take away is that any time your dog is overexcited, barking and jumping, make them be calm before engaging in any way. I would probably get up, let the labs out, then go back to Sitka, let her out when she is calm and not barking, and if she starts to bark and jump on the way to go outside, put her in a Sit. Every time she loses control, make her sit. Get her attention back on you.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Akron, Ohio
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Right, I forgot to mention, she'll do this for a very long time. She damaged her crate during the last episode I tried to wait out. I agree the Labs aren't helping, but if I take the other dogs out of the room, she gets even more frantic. Very frustrating.

She is fine outside the crate - we do a lot of obedience work. That's why I mentioned that I can't get her to focus on me when she's in this state of mind.

Re-reading my own post, I realized that the advice I would give myself would be to revisit crate training, slowly increasing the time in the crate, and practicing getting into and out of the crate so it's not such a big deal.

I was just wondering about other people who have had this specific experience with their dog, and have resolved it. I have heard that teaching 'quiet' helps, but if she won't respond to any other command I don't know why she would respond to that one.
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