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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Recently we had a few episodes where Rumo would stand in our backyard after dinner (he always asks to go out after dinner) and if our neighbor is outside working in his backyard, Rumo will start up with deep barking interspersed with growling. It seems to be a new habit of our neighbor (to garden at dusk). So we try to shush him and we call our dog in, telling him, "It's Michael! It's just Michael!" (I'm sure he does not understand that at all, I feel silly even saying it.).

We had some teenagers trespassing/lingering around our back fence (probably shortcutting through neighborhood) and Rumo went ballistic with that. In this case, I thought it was appropriate - I called him in, but I praised him for his scary fierceness.

Another time, the insurance guy came to look at our roof and they put a ladder up in our backyard and climbed up it. Rumo disliked that intensely as well, he stood at the back window barking at them until I shushed him - but I thought it was kind of OK because it is definitely a suspicious activity they are carrying out!

Normally he is a silent dog.
If he acts like this...something is out there.

I just don't know whether to encourage the barking or discourage the barking...
I don't want him to annoy our neighbor, yet I do like that he will alert us when people are moving around the house. He has a deep scary bark and I like that. I'm afraid that if I "shush" him too much, I'll lose my "guard dog". (He's very easy to train, it only takes a few times and he will absorb the lesson, so I have to go careful.)

How do others handle this...?
Thanks!

( PS He has been introduced to our neighbor but my neighbor doesn't like big dogs...we usually talk standing about 6 feet apart.)
 

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OP, I don't thik he needs encouragement. He should be quiet when told and not annoy anyone who is not a threat. I have taught Deja (somehow) that when I say, "Yes, I heard it too" (when the door bell rings) she will quit barking but still remain tense. We walk towards the door next to me where she will sit on her mat until I am done dealing with whomever is at the door, close the door and give her a squirt of Easy Cheese (it stays there) for being good. If she barks because she hears something, I tell her, "Everything is OK" or "It's the TV" or "Yes, I have seen the squirrel as well". She learned this along the way during the 5+ years we have been fused into one unit. Basically if she knows that I know, she will be quiet. If she doesn't stop, she will have to go on a down stay out of sight of whatever she barked for.
 

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My dogs bark when landscapers are doing the neighborhood lawns. Or if someone is walking on the walking path that is elevated, so people can see over the brick wall into our backyard, which means the dogs can see the person. They bark if the neighbors behind me are outside talking. They bark if the neighbors on the other side have their dogs out, they have an old lab that barks nonstop if he’s in the yard. I’ve finally got them all trained together for two separate responses. If it’s something I’m well aware of, and I know it’s just the neighbor or the landscapers, or they get barky with each other while wrestling, I give them a “quiet” command and they stop right away. If they start barking at night when everyone is in bed, or they are barking at something I can’t see in the yard, I give them the “alert” and “find it” commands. They will keep the low menacing growl, but stop barking, and will slink over to whatever it is they are barking at. That way they know the difference between nuisance barking and alert barking. I don’t give them praise for the quiet, otherwise they would keep barking to get that praise. But I do give praise when they find something out of place. That way, I still get them to alert, but have a different command that they know means it’s all good and I’m okay with what’s going on in our environment. Now if only I could get them to stop going ballistic when the doorbell rings. Sigh
 

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I live in an old neighborhood just outside the city, houses are real close and many homes have somebody else's house in their backyards. One of the cardinal rules is no barking at anything that goes on the other side of the fence, no matter how close. Another rule is no barking at anybody walking past the property line and I live on a corner lot. That does not stop them from scrutinizing anybody that stops on the street side of the property line to determine whether that person or people are a threat and dealing with them.

One time one of my females thought it was a good idea to put in an inground pool along the neighbor's fence. Unknown to us, evidently some people, not the neighbor's, had put something in between the houses where she was digging. One evening just after dusk, my female was doing some excavation work when the owner's of whatever came to retrieve it. Despite being trained not to bark at whatever happens on that side of the fence, she did not hesitate to let them know that she was on duty and they beat a hasty retreat.
 
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We live in a quiet neighborhood. Anyone who comes to the house unasked will be barked at. But we also teach our dogs "enough, all done". My gal still barks at my neighbor when the are both outside. It is mostly because she's a bit bored outside without me and I think it amuses her. It is not an aggressive bark but annoying none the less, so I call her in. What we don't allow is long term barking. I believe our county has a law about nuisance barking, depending on what time of day and how long (15 minutes max).
 

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I live in an old neighborhood just outside the city, houses are real close and many homes have somebody else's house in their backyards. One of the cardinal rules is no barking at anything that goes on the other side of the fence, no matter how close. Another rule is no barking at anybody walking past the property line and I live on a corner lot. That does not stop them from scrutinizing anybody that stops on the street side of the property line to determine whether that person or people are a threat and dealing with them.

One time one of my females thought it was a good idea to put in an inground pool along the neighbor's fence. Unknown to us, evidently some people, not the neighbor's, had put something in between the houses where she was digging. One evening just after dusk, my female was doing some excavation work when the owner's of whatever came to retrieve it. Despite being trained not to bark at whatever happens on that side of the fence, she did not hesitate to let them know that she was on duty and they beat a hasty retreat.
Ohhhh, what was buried?? lol I am just outside the city too, and I am waiting for Blitzen to find Jimmy Hoffa's watch or something (working on his digging...grrrr)

We have a similar philosophy due to similar needs. When the windows are open I can hear my neighbors in the respective kitchens. Our yards of course touch. Simply CAN'T have them barking their heads off that easily. I quiet them whenever it is not needed (someone merely walking by, normal neighbor activity). Had it good with 2 year old Valor to the point where I knew if he barked someone was actually on the property and I was quite happy for him to bark when that occurs. But Blitz the 7 month old is proving to be a bear about it and a little monster at the door. While I have recently had them out loose a lot together due to getting along well and great individual focus on me, I have had to go back to rotating again so that Blitz can have a prong and tab on while I am home ..so I can give corrections that mean something, I never do collars of any description when I have 2 young dogs that like to tussle for fun even. While I dont allow it in the house it only takes a second for a jaw or tooth to get hung up.

To answer OPs question about how much barking is allowed- basically, on my property is encouraged. Someone walking by out front is tolerated if responsive to a quick hush up. Barking at neighbors who belong where they are standing is a "Pfui" Nobody likes to earn the P word lol
 

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I do not encourage it either. It would depend on the dog. We live in a very private road and it’s very quiet. When the dogs are outside Luna will bark if anyone walks by the side of the property in an insane way that I think her eye balls pop out and I do think that is just boredom it is when I call her in right away. It’s the only time she does bark. With Max I never had to encourage him to bark at the door and I never gave him praise. it would be more just tell him enough and go to his spot. It is cute though I always know when the ups guy or fed ex guy leaves a box at the front door. Even if max just sees a box he will run to me and stare at the front door then look at me and then At the door sure enough every single time there is something out their - one time it was just a leaflet in the door -this is how I know something was left out there. He is very communicative of all the dogs I ever had. If something went bump in the night the dogs get many praises when they bark. Recently for a few days I had some workers fixing things in the basement and I would leave the outside basement door open as I knew the time they were coming and had to make sure the dogs were inside but they would come in seemingly unannounced to Max. Max would go run up to me then jump on the couch looking down through the window where the outer basement stairs -where the workers would enter repeatedly. Telling me someone was in the house. I would praise him for this though as I would want him to alert me if someone was in the house. Then I would tell him enough or go to his spot. There was a day the workers were here and I was vacuuming the couch near the window and one of the workers came up from the outside basement stairs and knocked on the window right near my head and really scared the crap out of my and I screamed - this is where Max lost his crap he slammed himself at the window biting the glass running to the slider glass door where this Worker was walking towards toward yelling out something as if I can really could hear through all the barking as this set off a chain reaction with the dogs. Max would direct his excitement to Luna. I know they have a clear head as I grabbed both of them though the excitement. Max wanting to get outside where this guy was. It looked messy at first but I did get them all to settle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is all interesting!
It sounds like everybody is considerate about quieting their dogs...
and it sounds like the dogs are smart about knowing when something is really wrong!

I guess I was worried that if I regularly shush him right away for Michael, he would generalize and shush for everybody (including the dude in the ski mask climbing over our fence, LOL!).

Because you have to know Rumo...he's a one-correction kind of guy...
- he tried to dig in our carpet. I shouted "Hey!" He has never done it again.
- he tried to climb on the bed. I pushed him back down and said, "eh eh" and he has never tried again.
- I sprained my ankle on a hill and shouted with pain, and he never goes up that hill anymore.
So if he barks and I tell him not to do it, he may actually never bark again?!
He is far from a chronic barker, he spends most of his life in silence (with a few huffs).

Hmm, so I think I will let him alert briefly for Michael, say "Good Job! Quiet now!" then stop him.
Then at least we will still get a bark or two when something is going on outside?
Hopefully our neighbor can live with those few barks...
and I may also just sidestep it all and let Rumo out after it gets dark (definitely no gardening going on then!)
 

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I wouldn’t worry about it causing no barking. Floki is a one and done too, and he still alerts. As for the neighbors being bothered by barking, well, I’m sure you can imagine what it sounds like when all 4 of mine go off at the same time! But even with that, my dogs are the least heard dogs in the neighborhood. We have the group of pugs that NEVER stop barking (and roaming the neighborhood) and a few others I’ve not seen but heard pretty much all day. They all follow me though, so if they are outside it’s because I’m outside, and I can decide to quiet them. I’ve had one weirdo peeking over the wall, and the dogs were putting up a big fuss, but I couldn’t see anything (night, and I didn’t have my glasses on), so I opened the gate to the pool area, and they all shot off towards the peeper, and once I saw him, they all got tons of praise and rub downs.
 

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I would not worry about it either max has hard head and Luna is a softy and takes one time for her to listen. I can leave a entire turkey dinner out she will not touch it. She is a sweet dog naturally obedient. Luna listens very well and still will attempt to bark at people or cats walking by her property line when she is outside on her own and with a quick Knock it off Luna she hurries as fast as she can inside.
 
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