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First of all, Anton, 6 months old, is a very vocal pup, and he's confident and not fearful. His barking is an excited juvenile barking, but I must say, pretty loud.

It doesn't really bother me and I do not loose my temper. I know he's a pup so I don't get too harsh on him and work on redirection, focus on me, use treats, ignore, move into other direction and wait for him to calm down, make him sit, heel, work on making the distance to other dogs shorter before he reacts, going to check out the new weird thing he noticed etc, depending on a situation.

I'm trying to be proactive, and I can see that I'm making a big progress with Anton. I do believe I'm going the right route with the barking issue. I rarely use a collar correction on this since a trainer adviced me that if I do force him to shut up then I am creating a dog reactivity problem with him.

The problem is that some people think that I'm a helpless dog handler that cannot deal with her dog. Some of those people are my friends, vet techs and receptionists (not my vet, thankfully), people in the park, in the dog club. Some of those people are ready to rush to quiet my dog for me which pisses me off.

I would like to ask the board members here how do you deal with your dog's barking? Do you think I'm right or wrong? I am open to any suggestions because I do want to be a better handler.

Thank you!
 

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I can't wait to hear the responses. Link is 8 months old and barks like crazy to get out of the car when we go anywhere. We have tried pulling over when he barks and not letting him out until he starts barking. Everyone always stares at us. So you are definatley not alone on this one.
 

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At 9 months, ours is still barking - but it is starting to calm down. We just scold "no - quiet" with every bark and it is starting to lessen. Once they discover that voice, they love to use it.

Also, let them know you are checking to see what they are barking at - as the bark is often to get your attention and let you know something is up.
 

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I would like to hear the responses too as I know what Oksana is talking about! I even know the "correction" folks as they are in the same training club.

We were at tracking on Sunday and truthfully I did not see it as a problem. I just saw a puppy being a puppy, infact I really did not notice it.

There is an older lady in our group that tracks with us and I think she sees herself as a bit of an expert as she has had dogs and GSD's most of her life. She currently has 2 Dobes and one of them is very soft and "perfect". He is quite a nice therapy dog. She is the same lady that wanted to put an e-collar on Havoc so she could "bump" him with it as he would bark and carry on horribly every time I left my vehicle with Kayos and he was left behind. I had left Kayos home on Sunday and Havoc barely made a peep when I went out to lay tracks and walk with other trackers.

I think as Anton becomes more mature he will settle some and the barking will reduce or subside. Kayos did that too as a pup and she rarely barks in the vehicle now. She simply outgrew it. In fact the same older lady thinks Kayos walks on water. She would think differently if she had known her at 6 months. I was living in KY then.

My choice of methods to handle this is notice when he is quiet and praise him for "good quiet" so he can learn to associate the word with no barking, then you can use the word to tell him to quit barking and reward it highly when he does. I would not want to use a hard collar correction for barking at dogs right now, I would use the redirection and increase distance instead. As he gets older and you know he is not dog aggressive but just being a butt then a correction is fair and warranted.

I would be willing to bet this is just yappy, excited puppy being a pre-teen. Firm guidance goes a long way and I should really practice what I preach sometimes!


Havoc is a barker too as Oksana can atest, but he is beginning to calm down.

It is a real pain when others want to correct your dog and it is sometimes hard to be diplomatic and still protect your dog. I kind of sometimes let this one person's advice go in one ear and out the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kathy, thanks for your reply. That's the thing that I don't see the problem so I was wondering if maybe I'm so blind and miss something in the picture because I am so attached to Anton (I admit I am
). You know, like kennel blindness.

Also, I think it got to me more than I thought when I was told that GSDs were not a breed for me. It's almost like I don't deserve Anton because I am clueless what to do with him. I start being self-concious to talk to him around that lady because everything what I say it's wrong and not a 'dog language'. Also all this spraying him with water in your car, no wonder he didn't calm down. She also suggested that I neuter Anton in the next months or so so I'll be able to handle him. It's funny that she thinks I cannot handle Anton because he's such an easy puppy so far...


Gosh, I am glad she didn't see Yana when Yana was a puppy because her tantrums and going up the leash were simply scary to anybody who witnessed them, and her barking would wake up deads. I'm glad I didn't use a collar correction on her for barking then even though I was adviced as well because she would be completely ruined by now.

I'm working with Anton on praising him when he's quiet but it does take time and when he barks he doesn't quit after the first bark. I carry treats with me all the time and work on treating him on a distance when he sees a dog and is calm and qiet.


Link's Mom, I'm selfishly glad I'm not alone with this barking thing LOL
 

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I was not real thrilled when she told me she stuck her hand into the vehicle to get around Havoc to spray Anton! She did comment on the size of his teeth and she was happy he was friendly. I think I told her she should know better than stick her hand in a car with a dog in it and then added but Havoc knows her.

We had put Anto behind the dog barrier in the back cargo area of my Subauru and Havoc was in the back seat so Oksana could lay a track and watch a few too. She did not want to leave him in the back seat of her sedan as he is still pretty young.

Not really even sure I like spraying water for a correction. I have never done that to a dog and have read good and bad things about it.
 

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Well, Yana is afraid of sprinklers of any kind to death so I'm guilty, I pull out a spray bottle if she goes too hard on Anton and pins him to the ground and doesn't let go even though he yelps and shows submission. I don't do it very often and I don't use it on Anton.
 

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Oskana, I'm with Kathy, sounds to me like Anton is a completely normal, bratty, pushy pup and you are doing just fine. There will always be people who think they know better, and feel at liberty to tell other people how to deal with their dogs. When I had my spaniel mix, who was excruciatingly well behaved and a Therapy Dog to boot, I used to have complete strangers come up to me and start lecturing me on training and behaviour. I just smilled, said thank you, and continued on. (Funny, never happened not even once with Keeta at my side . . . LOL, people aren't as quick to approach you and lecture you when your dog looks like a fluffy Rottweiler).

You have done so well with Yana, of COURSE GSDs are for you!!! How many people would have given up on your girl? A lot! But you did not, you made it better, and in the process became a better dog owner/trainer. That lady should give you credit instead of grief.

As for teaching "quiet", I used to hold Keeta's muzzle shut as soon as I gave the quiet command so that there was no opportunity for sneaking in even one bark after the command. Then I would praise and give a treat reward. So I never gave the command unless I was right there to enforce it, and it meant being alert and being quick, and dropping everything to go and re-inforce the comman, including getting off the phone, or getting out of bed at night. Also, try catching him just before something sets Anton off.

It took a lot off consistent, conscious effort, but Keeta will quiet on command, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate this! Make sure you also praise and reward Anton for NOT barking. If you see him eying other dogs, tell him "good quiet" and praise and reward even before he starts barking.

Hope this helps!

And I would be very clear about anyone but me correcting my puppy, regardless of the behaviour! At the vet Falkor mouthed the vet-tech's hand, and she lightly tapped his muzzle and said "no-bite"!, and I was not happy about that. I didn't say anything, but decided to be ready and speak up next time. Not sure how to tell the staff that I DON'T want to instill bit inhibition in my dog though, I'd probably come across as a loony, but, oh well . . .
 

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I let alex bark at whatever she wants. But when i say leave it, she better hush. I want her to be alert and let me know whats going on. We live in the middle of nowhere and our house has been broken into twice so i welcome her letting me know whats up.
 
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