Demanding shrill barking during training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Demanding shrill barking during training

Below is my one year old male (turned 1 last Friday). When I want to train him, either reviewing known commands or something new, he barks at me in that shrill demanding voice as if to say HURRY UP WHAT DO YOU WANT over and over and over. It's so loud and shrill that it hurts my ears. He also offers up behaviors over and over without waiting for me to tell him what to do. It's as if he gets frustrated that the action isn't fast enough to his liking. Remembered yesterday that a trainer I watch on YouTube said he first teaches the behavior and THEN gives it a name. That seemed to help a lot, but not eliminated. I haven't been able to find anywhere how to make him just stop screaming at me as he does. I call it screaming because that's what it feel like. He does "talk" on command. He's quiet when I tell him quiet but it has to be eye to eye focused attention and rewarded. Once he gets too excited and starts that barking he ignores the quiet command. This is driving me crazy and makes me want to not train him because it's so darn annoying and painful. I've actually considered wearing hearing protection like I would at a gun range, but that doesn't help my neighbors. Someone help. Is there a solution besides getting a bark collar which I'd rather not do.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 04:11 PM
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Please don't use a bark collar! It sounds (to me) like your dog REALLY enjoys training and has a very high drive and will to please. This could, quite possibly be a good problem to have!

Try playing hard and tiring him out a little before you train. Then, instead of immediately going into training mode, ease into it. I think if he is a little tired, and a little hungry, it will be easier to gain that focus.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 04:31 PM
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you could try working on fun little exercises in the house, commanded by a whisper. whisper sit, down, right paw, left paw, etc. Of course this means you have to be calm and quiet yourself, and very very patient. In the house with less space it might help. Hopefully some of those whispered games will bleed over into your regular training activities. I also actually taught my dogs to "whisper" or "tell me a secret" where they have to make a very quiet sound. My ridgie mix learned it quickly. My big-boy did, too. My gal-dog took awhile to learn how to modulate her volume.

At one year old, your dog is still very much a pup. As he gains maturity and self control you are going to love that drive to work with you. Some people would pay money for that kind of engagement!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 05:16 PM
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A bark collar is not the answer.

You need to teach the dog impulse control and "capping." He is pushing you for what he wants, the drive is nice if you can manage and handle it. The dog has learned to manipulate and control you. The barking is him demanding his reward and leaking drive.

I have a couple of questions, did you clicker train him as a young dog? What is his pedigree? I'm just curious.

You are going to have to change how you work with your dog. I would have a tremendous amount of patience and learn how to properly use both positive and negative markers. If this behavior becomes ingrained you will have a very hard time correcting or eliminating it. You can never reward your dog when he is barking, whining or screaming. You will need to go back to his foundation in training and teach him impulse control. You need to teach him to internalize that drive and that vocalizing will not bring a reward. I would start at the heel or basic position and teach him to focus on your eyes. He must be quiet and focus, staring into your eyes. Then he gets paid. I would spend a ton of time and 100's of reps doing this. I would only reward when he is really focused and his mouth is closed. When a dog closes their mouth they are really concentrating and focused. If his mouth is shut he can scream, whine or bark. If he barks, he gets a "nope", "knock it off" and the exercise starts over.

Just work on him sitting next to your side and looking at you, quietly, calmly, focused and capped. Then you move to other exercises. I would make him sit and wait calmly for his food, he doesn't get his food bowl if he breaks the sit / stay or barks. I would pick the bowl up and start over. If it takes 20 minutes and 50 reps of putting his food bowl I would be resolved to teach him to contain himself. I have tremendous patience when it comes to training dogs, and you will need that as well. Don't move along to quickly and don't expect any quick fixes. You need to learn how to work, handle and train your dog. What you have been doing isn't working very well if this is the behavior you now have. You need to change things up and try some new things. The good thing is, I'd rather train and work an annoying high dog than a dud. This is fixable and focus on the blessing that your dog wants to work. He just needs to learn how to get his reward. It's time for you to start using his drive to manipulate him into the proper behaviors instead of vice versa.

I see he has an E collar on, I don't think I would use that with him right now. A dog like him can be made to do almost anything with positive motivation and no compulsion. If you start hammering him, lose your patience or get frustrated this will only get worse.

Good luck, he is a beautiful dog.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great input, I'm going to re-read everything you said and work on this. He is patient for his food and never demands that. I eliminated him barking at me when he runs the backyard for the ball, but in training I haven't been successful.



He does have an e-collar, only because we have 1.5 acres and no fence. We have neighbors with similar sized lots and they're all connected and no fences. It's a safety measure so he doesn't bolt for deer or at people. He doesn't run off because he's so ball/play crazy, and he ignores our neighbors when he sees them in their yards. But he hates dogs so I keep it on him while outside "just in case" to protect him and...well you know.



Thanks again.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 09:23 PM
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Did he just start the behavior recently? This isn't a criticism, I’m curious if it has been going on for a while how it didn’t bother you earlier.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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It's been going on for a while but I got him to just about quit barking at me when we were playing by ignoring him. He doesn't get the ball if he's being a jerk about it, he has to be quiet. I turn my back on him until he's quiet, and always tell him YES when I get the behavior I want and throw him the ball. With my husband, he just screams at him and doesn't listen to him at all. I've quit letting him take him out for ball play it's just setting us back. I'm the only one in the house who has any kind of control over him.



Now, he only does the barking thing if I give him a command that he doesn't feel like obeying. Sometimes I tell him to sit, and he will, sometimes he downs and rolls over and barks, it's just crazy. He does know what I'm asking for. It only took me about three tries to teach him to roll over, I may be failing him because he's too smart.



If I tell him "no" because he didn't do the right thing (he rolls over when I just asked for sit) he'll bark at me shrilly until I'm about to lose my mind. I think I'll do what someone else suggested, and go back to the beginning and perfect his attention before moving on. Right now it's a drag and I really enjoy it so it bums me out it's so difficult.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I really don't want to do a bark collar, I had a trainer suggest it but I just didn't like it, I know there has to be a better way to do this. I will try the just wearing him thing out more regularly before I try training him. Thanks
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 03:29 AM
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Wondering if this blog post from trainer (and Canadian schutzhund team member) Monique Anstee might help. This behaviour does need to be corrected:

The Naughty Dogge
18 hrs ·
Dog Training teaches you to never say 'never'. I think I might be training one of those dogs.

He arrived on Monday, wound tighter than a spring. While he is of a sweet breed, I was cautious around him as it seemed that another stimulus added to his already over-loaded day might just make him go postal. I was glad not to be in his head – it didn't seem like a very fun place. For one of a handful of times in my long career, I thought he would benefit from medication. He truly appeared anxious.

Anxious is a word that is starting to irritate me. It's like the cool buzz-word of 2018, used as an unquestionable excuse for poor behaviour and lack of effort. Most dogs on medication need off the medication and instead require training that is right for them, and some rules that are not negotiable. I didn't think this guy would improve a whole lot without medication - his issues were deeper rooted. For him, I would have guessed medication was more important than training. Normally it is the opposite.

He barked his way through the whole of Monday, with his dilated pupils, puddles of drool, while I prayed for silence. Tuesday, I looked at him more closely. There started to be short moments of silence, making it easier to look at his barking. Yes, his barking was anxious, but it was angry too. When I closed the crate door on him, he moved his head towards my fingers as he barked. That looked like the threat of a bite. Next time I put him away, as he did that, I opened up the door, flicked him on the nose and told him not to be a jerk. He pulled his nose away from my hand and had his first moment of clarity. Then barked again.

Next time, I saw more of a snarly bark as I closed the door. I opened up the door, slammed it closed quickly while telling him what I thought, and walked off. No barking. That was the last time he barked as I was closing his door. And from that moment, his barking has been dramatically reduced. As I write currently, it is silent.

But. The on-going anxiety is leaving. He's happy now, for a big portion of his day. He has wound up moments, but there are no more puddles of drool, the dilated pupils are not as prevalent, and he seems happier living in his own head.

Which then leads me to my question. Is a lot of the anxiety that we see in dogs all coming from lack of rules? Was it the stress of him thinking that he needed to bite me if I closed a door on him that ruined his entire days? Once he realized that he couldn't, did I lift a giant burden off him?

Maybe I was seeing true anxiety. True anxiety about what he perceived his role was in this world. And now he has relief knowing that today, he is not required to do that.

Only time will tell. But for now, I'm enjoying the silence. And so are all of my other dogs.

Monique Anstee

https://www.facebook.com/monique.ans...mOzOSc&fref=nf
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 10:48 AM
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Does he listen to your husband at other times? I don’t have an answer but his screaming could be tied into how your husband interacts with him. It may have nothing at all to do with you, but carries over. Your dog is telling you something. Figure out what and why.
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