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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Barking in obedience

Does a dog that is vocal in obedience signify anything to you? I've heard someone say it's a dog who is leaking drive and who can't think clearly, and I've heard someone say it's just an expressison of the drive state and not to worry about it. What does it signify to you?

For me, not just that I trust the person with the latter opinion moreso than the former, but trying to see it as a dog who can't think clearly, I dont think I get it , if the dog is performing as they've been trained, then obviously they are thinking, right? Maybe Im missing something, hence my post.

My dog, will bark rather continuously at me when setting up for obedience, in the basic position, doing pivots, during the halt, basically anytime she's stationary in basic position. As soon as we start moving she's quite for the most part, maybe an occasional whine or yip.

So what do you think?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:39 PM
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Re: Barking in obedience

I've seen that behavior in dogs with a LOT of prey drive.. I also see it with dogs that have certain dogs in their pedigree.. And when there's conflict between dog and handler (not saying that's you) or handlers that are hectic and it bleeds over onto the dog..

Leesa~

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:44 PM
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Re: Barking in obedience

To me in depends on what you mean by vocal. A bark here or there is not a big deal (actually it might even be looked on favorably as enthusiasm for the work), but constant barking or whining during the exercises can be a problem.

From experience, it's something you should suppress if you can. Our girl is a screamer. It's in her genes and she is high in the prey drive. We've worked on it, and worked on it and Anka is now to the point where she'll bark at the commands, but will remain quiet through the exercises. It is worse in the obedience during protection where the drive is even higher and is still an issue that we are dealing with. Working with food, which she has lower drive for, instead of her ball has helped.

I would agree that in general it's drive leaking. It's not necessarily that they're not thinking, but they're not putting 100% in the action, they're letting some of it go with vocalization. There are other ways that dogs do this besides vocalization. I've seen a couple dogs (mostly Mals, 1 Shepherd) that let their excess energy/drive go into chattering of the mouth, or quivering of the body. A vocalizing dog is generally more likely to break position and become imprecise.

Now that isn't necessarily a HUGE problem as long as it doesn't get out of control but if left unchecked, as the drive builds in the dog it gets worse. In competition a dog that barks or whines excessively WILL lose points for restlessness and lack of control, even if the exercises themselves are perfect. I've seen dogs get murdered in the OB (not as much in the protection) with the comment that the exercise needs to be more calm. They pass because the exercises are satisfactory but they lost a lot of style points. So I guess it depends on what your goals are, as to how much or if you try to alter the behavior.

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Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Barking in obedience

Hmm.. what dogs in the pedigree? She definitely, in my opinion atleast, has A LOT of prey drive and that's prob what it is. Could be a conflict I'm unaware of, but for her and I, I doubt it's me being hectic, if anything I tend to be too passive, but perhaps that's the conflict?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:52 PM
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Re: Barking in obedience

I'm not saying you Kristi.. have conflict with your dog or are a hectic handler..

But that I have seen that in people I've trained with..


Leesa~

Chaos v. Wildhaus, SchH2, OB3 (HOT) Forever in my heart ~ Bismark v. Wildhaus, SchH1 (HOT) ~ Kougar v. Wolfstraum, IPO 1, CGC (HOT)... Oberon v. Wildhaus, BH (HOT)
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Barking in obedience

How did you work on it with your girl?? At this point, it is mainly like I said, not during the exercises, but when we're stationary, but it is pretty intense barking, the longer we stay in one spot, the deeper and more intense the barking gets.

We've done hardly any obedience in protection, and Im sure it would be even more intense then.

I'm not worried about squishing drive, but if I were to correct her there, Im afraid it would just make it worse.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:55 PM
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Re: Barking in obedience

Yes, corrections can make it worse, sometimes it stimulates the dog more..




Leesa~

Chaos v. Wildhaus, SchH2, OB3 (HOT) Forever in my heart ~ Bismark v. Wildhaus, SchH1 (HOT) ~ Kougar v. Wolfstraum, IPO 1, CGC (HOT)... Oberon v. Wildhaus, BH (HOT)
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Barking in obedience

I know Leesa, didn't take it that way, and for all you know I could be hectic and conflicting
So I appreciate your experiences!
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 02:09 PM
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Re: Barking in obedience

Justin taught Anka "Quiet" at home with marker training (same as the clicker) and then started using that new command in stationary positions around the house until she understood that barking was NOT part of the behavior that we wanted.

Corrections with her prong collar didn't really seem to help. If anything they kicked up the drive higher. So from there we had 2 things suggested to us. Nylon slip lead and take away the air, or Non reward. Depends on what you want to do. The choking route is pretty common to see among older trainers and can be very effctive in a short amount of time if done correctly. And you're not really hanging up the dog, you merely pull against your leg so that they can no longer bark and reinforce with the word "Quiet" which you should have already taught.

If you go the non-reward route you have to be prepared for it to take some time. You have to go back to simple stationary positions and wait for quiet behavior. Any noise at all and there is no reward, no forward movement, Nothing. You have to wait it out, and if she won't stop then she goes away without working. Baby steps. Anka vocalizes becauses she wants to do something, and barking in those stationary positions get you to MOVE. (Or at least that's how they see it)

Will she wait when you throw the ball? That might be another good exercise. Waiting and holding a position quietly and then being released to get her reward.

Bianka vom Eisernen Loewen IPO3, CGC, TC 1-3-08
Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 03:05 PM
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Re: Barking in obedience

And it is not something that most judges like - they see it as leaking and/or conflict. Based on feedback from judges and critiques when I have seen it,

The drive should be (for them) shown through the intensity in the exercise itself.


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