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I've read a number of posts on here that explain some of the barking we see in our pups is due to fear and not protectiveness as it is initially thought by the owner.

Since realizing what's going on with Seven when this happens, I've been trying to reassure her that everything is alright. When it happens in the backyard (usually barking at loud cars that drive by, or people walking on the sidewalk behind the house) I try to call her over to me, pet her and talk to her gently about it (It's ok, Seven, they're just on a walk. You're safe in our yard). When the barking continues, we go inside.

When it happens in the house, it has been a reaction to new noises out front. This has happened the past two days. The first time I tried reassuring her while we were inside, but she was still anxious so I took her out front (leashed) and stood/sat near the front door so she could see what was going on. I was petting her and gently talking to her about it. The second time (today) I didn't even bother trying to talk to her inside and just took her out so she could see it. Of course, as soon as we get out and realizes it is people (read: potential attention givers) she gets excited.

So, am I doing this right? I nervous about doing something wrong and turning her into an unstable dog.
 

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I should add that I think I can distinguish the fear bark from the whiny, I want something bark. Her fear bark seems to be lower, deeper and more forceful. The attention seeking bark is almost higher pitched.

Have you guys found this to be the same with your dogs - the different back?
 

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I don't think any of the barking you are experiencing in the home/yard are the fear barking.

It's more the normal alert barking we want. I WANT that bark but......................once I come and see what the bark is for, my dog needs to stop. I came, I saw it was ok, thanks for the info and knock it off :)

So I try to come out when I hear the bark to see what's up, I look at the whatever, tell the dog 'good girl, I see it, ok' . Then if my dog keeps barking I'll just calmly get her and take her into the house.

I WANT the alert bark. I do NOT want the out of control barking. When I say I've analyzed the situation and determined life is fine, it's not up to my dog to 'argue' and continue barking at a situation that's been determined to be fine.

You may just want to use all the great training you've got in place at this point and instead of the soothing (not needed in these situations) I'd just go to the dog, tell them it's ok and then get the dog into the kitchen for a treat. This stops the barking, rewards the 'come'. If you do this everytime the dog alert barks (go to see why dog is barking, tell them it's ok, get them to come into the kitchen for a treat) it give you the leadership role and calm the pup by respecting their alertness but YOU taking control to show life is fine.

Are you in dog classes? Another great help to better learn and analyze dog behaviors and barking.
 

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What they said.

I don't make a big deal and try to soothe my pup. You want your pup to see you are aware of what it is and that you are not worried about whatever it's barking at. As MLR said, I WANT an alert bark, I just want her to quit once I check things out and tell her 'it's ok'.

My pup usually continues to do a few little "boof" barks for a minute, but I just try to redirect her to something else like a toy or whatever and go back to what I'm doing.

Yes, there is a definite difference in the bark, I know exactly what you mean. My pup has a "big girl bark" when she's worried about something.
 

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It's more the normal alert barking we want. I WANT that bark but......................once I come and see what the bark is for, my dog needs to stop. I came, I saw it was ok, thanks for the info and knock it off :)
Couldn't agree more. I have a command, "Enough". That tells my dogs I appreciate the concern, but no worries, I've got this.

If the barking continues (and the distraction remains) I'll leash my dog and (with treats in pocket) begin with simple commands. Sit (praise! treat!) Look (praise! treat!) Soon the dog totally forgets what they were barking at and will focus totally on me.

I NEVER request something from my dog (while the distraction is still present) that I know my dog will have trouble following through. An example would be if a strange dog is present (outside our fence) I wouldn't ask my dog for a 'down' as that would clash with the dog's natural instincts on how to behave with a strange dog present. I set my dog up to succeed without much effort on the dog's part.
 

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You also may want to take her out front to casually observe 'life' out there when she's not barking, etc. This will get her used to the 'normal' noises and activity. Removing her from the stimulus at this age will encourage more of the same. It is likely to be interpreted by the dog as a reason to fear (we're getting away from this) so it will continue. Same for reassuring, coddling, etc. Just be very matter of fact (if you acknowledge at all at this time) and let the dog figure it out. This will leave the dog better equipped to handle new situations later on and increase confidence. If you're not worried, the pup shouldn't be worried. Some barks at this age aren't abnormal, and may help the pup make sense of what's a real danger and what isn't.
A car came up the street when I had Grim out front on the side walk. He was on the boulevarde, so the car was not too far away, but he was in no danger. I'm hard of hearing, so I didn't hear it coming. His breeder lives way out in the country, so he's not used to cars. Anyway, he did finally get spooked. He carried on for a few seconds, crying, trying to run away. I didn't allow him to run away, and ignored his cries. I just said in the same happy voice "let's walk, Grim!" and he recovered within seconds. I have a very vocal dog, and I can easily see someone giving into his vocalization when he's spooked. Dangerous thing to start, though. There's no reason for him to carry that 'trauma'... and if his handler doesn't see it as a threat, he won't either. More exposure, no coddling. JMO
 
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