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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since Ole moved in, we have not been able to raise the shades on the front of the house, which faces the street. Ole goes nuts at anything going on outside.

My plan is to move a chair and my laptop into my bedroom so I can see both Ole and what is happening outside. Ole can spend the day on my bed. Whenever I see a potential distraction or Ole shows that he is elevating, we will start playing our engagement exercises. Our primary game is to get his attention with a whistle and toss a handful of kibble on the floor. I ask him to 'find it." I keep throwing kibble until the distraction is gone, or Ole has lost interest in the distraction.

Does this seem to be a practical approach to barking out the window issues?
 

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What kind of exercise is he getting? It’s a learned response but he might also be bored and frustrated. He needs to do a lot more than sit and look out a window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After morning wake up, we do about 15 minutes of playing on a long lead in the yard in foot deep snow. Playtime is followed by 15 min of obedience training.
Nap until about noon. Then we go out on a 2.5-3 hour trip exploring the world. We play in parks, random sniffing, chase toys, and desensitize to people, places, and animals. We do basic impulse control exercises while exploring; things like recall, sit, stay, find it.
Nap until supper. Supper and inside playtime for 30-60 minutes.
Around 7 or 8 pm, the zoomies hit hard. So another 15-20 minutes playing in the yard followed by 15-20 minutes of obedience training.
Nap/snuggle until 11 pm potty break.

He had some issues with pooping and peeing immediately after going in the crate when I got him four weeks ago. Now only the afternoon nap, when he is exhausted, happens in his crate.
 

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Exercise is important. But play engagement games? Why not just teach the dog to stop that nonsense?

Seriously, there are some things that a puppy can't help doing...this ain't one of them. Stop accommodating him. Teach him that the behavior is unacceptable!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
stop that nonsense
How? Yell at him? Yank his choke collar? Kick him in the head? That and being locked in a crate all day created these problems. Now I have to fix them.

Yesterday, I slipped on some ice. I raised my arm to regain my balance (it looked like a hitting motion). The pup was 10 feet away, yet he went screaming and headed for the front porch like a shot. He trembled for about 5 minutes before returning to normal.
 

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Obviously communication has to be taylored to the dog you're working with. But instead of accommodating him, or trying to distract him, let him know that his behavior is unwanted - using the least pressure that gets the point across.

Corrections don't have to be harsh. But you have to communicate. Otherwise you'll end up with an adult dog that's doing the same thing he's doing now!
 

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Whenever your dog is elevating and it is followed by playing engagement exercises, you are reinforcing the elevation.
I find this very interesting. I haven’t fully thought about the behavior the dog is doing right before I engage him. But I do agree with the statement.

These dogs love to bark, I think it feels good to them. So it’s self reinforcing.

My boy is almost six months old and I’ve only lightly introduced the world outside the windows to the front of the house. I think it might be a lot to expect some dogs at this age to not react to random people walking by their home. So I don’t think it’s a bad idea to set the puppy up for success and limit exposure for now, but work on it like you work on the other stuff.

I’ve treated the world out front similar to how I believe you are introducing your pup to the outside world. Find the reaction threshold and reward calm behavior. If we are inside and there is something I think might be bark worthy (like trash pickup or mail delivery), I try and use it a training exercise. He can look but I have cheese and cheese is more awesome than barking at that thing.

Just a suggestion, but you might want to transfer some of that time you explore the world with your pup to exploring your front window.

Good luck!
 

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Timing of reinforcement is fundamental and critical if you want to develop the behaviors you desire for your time. This happens all the time with people trying to train a dog for competitive obedience. It also applies to day to day obedience and many people end up reinforcing the behaviors they are trying to extinguish. To the OP, what kind of obedience do you have on your dog at this time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
These dogs love to bark, I think it feels good to them. So it’s self reinforcing.
Yes, I have had several dogs over the past decades. But, none like Ole.

All the other dogs have had what I would call an informational bark. They would bark a little bit at something unusual. Saying "thank you" or "Enough" would settle them down. After a while, it would get so that they could recognize vehicles long before I could see them. We had three different school busses that would go through our neighborhood. The dogs would learn the sound of the interesting bus, the one that dropped off our kids, from a quarter-mile away. They would ignore the other busses. My guess is that the brakes on each bus where loud enough that the dog could hear them.

Ole is entirely different. The slightest stimulus would set him into an enraged pattern of snarling, barking, and lunging. Any verbal or leash correction would escalate the situation. If escalated, he would continue to bark, snarl, and lunge for minutes after the stimulation was gone.

My current working hypothesis was that his previous owner couldn't handle him. Every time Ole misbehaved, he was punished and thrown into his crate. As a result, he never learned how to be a dog. He learned that stimulants were really, really bad.

It was self-reinforcing. See something. Bark to chase it away. Get punished. Get sent to crate. Eventually, everything he saw was bad.

When I can disrupt the cycle, he is awesome.

Last night at the trainer we worked on down. We hadn't been working on down because if I said the word 'down' he would stick out his front paws and freeze as if to resist being pulled down. The trainer showed me how to lure him into position with a treat and mark that position with a verbal reward. The first couple of times took several minutes before he followed the treat down. After a few tries he figured out what was expected and responded quickly.

With our seemingly insane process of exploring the world in a very safe and structured manner, Ole is learning to be a dog again. It is great to see his tail wagging as he waits politely to hop out of the car.
 

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hi, forgive me if this info has already been posted in the past and feel free to link/refer to a previous thread... but Ole is 5 months old and you’ve had him 4 weeks...... i’m curious about this dogs history (known, not presumed). what’s his breeding? where was he acquired? wondering if some of his fearful behavior and reactivity is genetic - has your trainer given any insight in these areas?
 

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I ran across this video and really like this approach. It certainly seemed to make a huge difference in this dog.

 
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