Spray bottles to stop barking?
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Thread: Spray bottles to stop barking?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Finkie_Mom's Avatar
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    Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Kimma barks. I know that and I'm OK with it, anyone who has met her knows that. Anyone that knows the breed would expect that. She's gotten SO much better at controlling her barking, except for her boredom/anxiety barking.

    She's WELL exercised, we train constantly, and she's a smart dog. But in a training class environment, she still gets quite anxious if we're not doing anything, thus leading to barking.

    We started at a new training facility, and the FIRST thing they told me to do with her is to squirt her with a water bottle filled with a 1/4 vinegar, 3/4 water and squirt her. I did it, but she started cowering and didn't want to come near me (I don't blame her!). When we're constantly working, she doesn't make a peep, but the trainers in the class want our dogs to be used to having to just sit around (which I agree that she should learn, but at what cost?).

    But the thing is that this is one of the "best" agility training centers in the area (I won't disclose a name, obviously). Everyone I've talked to that has used this method said that it worked wonders for their dogs, and their dogs never became fearful of them, only cowering when the bottle was present, but it only took a couple weeks for them to stop barking altogether.

    I've also read that vinegar can sting their eyes, and cause damage to mucous membranes. But she actually likes being sprayed in the face with water (tried that with her as a puppy), so that's not going to work the way they want it to.

    What are your thoughts on this method???


    Owner of Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
    Co-owner of Boundless Pawsibilities

    Loistava's Jari CGC - 21 months old (M)
    Loistava's Kimma RN AX AXJ RATN CGC - 4 years old (F)
    AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
    CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 7 years old (M)

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    Senior Member SydTheSpaniel's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    When I worked at a doggie daycare, we used spray bottles as a method to control barking, humping, or rough housing that looked like it would get out of hand. It worked on ALMOST every dog, we had a couple of dogs, two dogs specifically that were seriously aggressive that didn't respond to it and just ignored it, and I no longer work there because of the way they did things. But as for spray bottles, it did seem to work, and it was harmless.

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    Senior Member katielou's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Holy cow there is not a hope in hell you would get me to spray vinegar at my dog. Have you ever got that stuff anywhere near your eyes? Its as bad as chili in your eye.

    "If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."
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    Senior Member TheBearCat's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Long ago, we were advised to use this method on our 15 month old Rottie to address his behavioral issues(sans the vinegar). Initially it stopped the behaviors almost instantly, buuut in about a week or so, he made a game of trying to catch the water in his mouth. That was the end of that.
    Personally I'm not a fan of any method that causes a dog to cower from anything, particularly the owner. However, I can understand being a desperate owner and feeling like you're low on options.

    ETA: My job's doggie daycare does use hoses and spray bottles with plain water to break up squabbles and fights though.
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    Senior Member Indigo's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Vinegar water? Whaa?! I've never heard of that. I've seen people just using water but never with vinegar. What if it got in their eye or nose. That would seriously hurt. Spraying with water is pretty harmless, but some dogs aren't going to care. I don't know why they went to vinegar though when they could have gone to ice water.

    My favorite way to teach them not to bark is to teach them TO bark, on command, for a cookie. Some kinda weird reverse psychology happens and they often decide that barking is not worth it anymore unless they can get a cookie out of it. One can ONLY reward them if you ask them to speak however. Once they know what speak is, you can also teach the opposite, quiet. That's how I did it anyway, it becomes a game you can play with your dog. YMMV.

    The thing with punishments for something like that is that it doesn't remove the desire to bark and needs perfect timing. They still want to bark at something, they just can't because they know they will get action: "spray in the face". Seems like progress right?

    They hold it in and get whiny and anxious. If they know they can't be sprayed, like if they are in a crate and you're on the other side of the room, they might still chose to bark because the desire is still there. If they don't see the sprayer around, they might choose to bark. It becomes a threat. By the time you get back to spray them, its too late, they just associate you coming back to them with "spray in the face". I saw a woman using this method at an obedience class and she didn't have the timing to pull something like that off. Timing and context has to be perfect for punishment to be effective for learning, or else it is just a threat for them to stop. I'm no professional trainer but that's my experience with it and going on what I learned of psychology in university.

    Opening mouth to bark? Spray in the face that comes out of seemingly nowhere. The thought of starting to bark has to be associated with punishment, not you going for a spray bottle, which will make them cower and hide as they anticipate being sprayed in the face. Keep that in mind if you want to use that method. Be the invisible "hand of god" and make it come from their actions and not you. I hope that makes sense?

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    Senior Member Charis's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indigo View Post
    Vinegar water? Whaa?! I've never heard of that. I've seen people just using water but never with vinegar. What if it got in their eye or nose. That would seriously hurt. Spraying with water is pretty harmless, but some dogs aren't going to care. I don't know why they went to vinegar though when they could have gone to ice water.

    My favorite way to teach them not to bark is to teach them TO bark, on command, for a cookie. Some kinda weird reverse psychology happens and they often decide that barking is not worth it anymore unless they can get a cookie out of it. One can ONLY reward them if you ask them to speak however. Once they know what speak is, you can also teach the opposite, quiet. That's how I did it anyway, it becomes a game you can play with your dog. YMMV.
    I'm going to have to try this. I would love to teach Misty quiet.

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    Senior Member Indigo's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charis View Post
    I'm going to have to try this. I would love to teach Misty quiet.
    I see you have a "roo roo dog" (Misty) like I did. You can teach her to sing and yodel for you too. I used to have howl-offs with my Samoyed and he loved having the opportunity to show off his voice and get praised for it.

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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Agility sounds like a lot of fun. I would like my Puddin to get into that someday.
    Hope the class is going well other than the barking issue.

    EDIT: Just reread your post. I see that she is barking when bored. Can you bring something for her to chew on when you are sitting around - like an antler or something? I would also work on some quiet tricks. You can use hand signals and have your dog touch, watch lay down, sit, etc.. while the instructor is talking.
    At home, I would work on practicing longer and longer down stays. And work on rewarding quiet and calm and ignoring excitment. Maybe some long slow strokes while you are sitting in class could help soothe her when she is bored. I also like sitting on the flloor with my dog rather than in a chair when we are in class.
    Or maybe try giving her a big glob of peanut butter. Will be hard for her to bark while licking the peanut better. Or a stuffed Kong?
    I made one of my dogs a 7 layer pupsicle that kept him busy for 30 minutes. How about tug? Can she do that without getting too excited?

    And i noticed that you said that she likes being sprayed with plain water. Does it stop her form barking? If so, then that might be the trick. Everybody wins. She has fun and she doesn't disrupt the class.

    Below is what I originally wrote when I thought the dog was barking at the other dogs. A lot of the info below (especially the references) can still apply.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
    only cowering when the bottle was present,
    If the dogs are cowering, this method is aversive. Just because something doesn't physically hurt doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt the dog, hurt your relationship with the dog etc..And who's to say that it doesn't physically hurt. How do you know it doesn't hurt?
    I agree with Indigo. who said you might supress the barking (or you might not) but it doesn't change the underlying reason why the dog barks. And you could bring up a whole new set of problems i.e. "I get around other dogs, I get the sting of vinegar, therefore all dogs are bad, therefore if the vinegar isn't around, then I need to attack.

    Behaviorist Ian Dunbar says that suppressing a growl is like removing a ticker from a time bomb. I know your dog isn't growling, I'm just using this as an example. Dunbar says that if a dog growls, you know something is wrong. But if you suppress the growl it doesn't change the underlying problem and what might happen is next time the dog will just bite with no warning.

    So is your dog barking because of the novelty of all the new dogs at training? Then start below threshold and get her used to being around other dogs. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. This is just a condensed outline of how it might work:

    Stand with your dog in a quiet area - like early in the morning at a park. Have someone walk by with a dog who your dog knows. Treat your dog if she doesn't get too excited. If she gets too excited, then you started with the dog too close. Have the person pass by as far aways as needed so that your dog doesn't get excited. When that works, the person can pass by closer and closer as long as your dog doesn't get excited. How quickly the the other person can start getting closer and closer depends on the dog. This could take a couple of days, a few weeks or a few months.

    Once this works well, have someone walk by with an unfamiliar calm dog. Then have someone walk by with two dogs and so on and so forth. Then stand outside of a dog park and work on calm behaviors. Then stand outside of a training class that's not yours, etc.. etc..

    Additionally, a loose leash (in and out of class) is important to keep down the frustration level.

    References
    Bones would rain from the sky - excellent book on our relationship with our dogs. Lots of competition dog examples.
    Barking: The sound of a language - excellent book on barking
    Some great books that have a lot more detail on desensitization and counter conditioning
    Fight! and Mine! by Jean Donaldson

    More details on counter conditioning and desensitization (not as much details as Donaldson's books)
    This was written for someone who had a dog who didn't like other dogs. But can also be applied to a dog who just gets to excited.
    How do I get my dog to like other dogs

    Great Article From Whole Dog Journal
    Fighting Fire Without Fire - once again for an aggressive dog but the same principles can be applied

    TheBearCat. Yes, I'm fine with breaking up a fight with water. Much safer than sticking your hands in between two dogs fighting. I Don't think I'd use it for a squabble. Dogs squabble and posture. It's natural. Sometimes a "leave it" or a "come" then a redirect is much better and not aversive. And the dogs can get right back to playing with no hard feelings.
    Last edited by Puddin's Training Tips; 04-12-2011 at 06:26 PM.

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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by katielou View Post
    Holy cow there is not a hope in hell you would get me to spray vinegar at my dog. Have you ever got that stuff anywhere near your eyes? Its as bad as chili in your eye.
    I'm with katielou. I would not do this to my dog. If my dog is cowering away from me, what has that done to his trust in me?
    I guess I should also say, I'm usually very anti adversives.....and I totally agree with Puddin: just because it doesn't physically hurt, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt or affect the relationship...

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    We use a water bottle in puppy class for SOME pups but the rule is you squirt them on the BUM/TAIL area...certainly NOT in the face. Vinegar and water mix is for cleaning up accidents not for squirting the dogs. Water spritzes should only be water. And many dogs enjoy the spritz so we try something else...none of which is designed to make a dog cower. There is no place in training for anxiety or fear inducing punishments. Training should be FUN for all involved.

    Actually, if it were MY class (I'm an assistant) the overexcited or nervous dogs that whine/bark etc would be fed or offered a chewy for all times when they are not working. It's classical conditioning, keeps them busy and allows you to focus on what the trainer is trying to teach you.
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    Senior Member Finkie_Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Yeah, I've tried nearly everything to get her to stop the boredom barking, including trying her with chews, tug, and doing tricks while waiting to work. The whole idea behind this is that the trainers in the class we are in want our dogs to get used to NOT doing anything for a period of time. So I am not "allowed" to do anything else with her (doing tricks and random stuff was what helped us in our previous training classes at a different place/with a different trainer - and Kimma responded beautifully, as all she wants to do is work).

    She doesn't respond to just water, so that's why the vinegar/water solution was given to me. I didn't spray it in her eyes or anything like that, but I wouldn't doubt that a few drops had accidentally gotten in her eyes... Poor girl...

    I'm not going to teach her to bark, because I KNOW this will not work for her. I have thought about it in the past, but she will most likely just bark bark bark because she thinks it will get her a treat. She knows what quiet means, and will stop barking, but after a few minutes it starts up again. I think I will just have to go against what these trainers are saying and keep her busy.

    They are teaching the dogs to "settle" by standing on their leashes so that the only comfortable position is a down. I didn't do that - I just had Kimma in a down (she knows that down means down/stay or down/wait until I release you), and she was fine. But some of these poor dogs were strangling themselves trying to get up! I'm not really sure why they wouldn't just TEACH a down/stay or down/wait...

    I may be looking for another new training place really soon....

    They also had puppies in their THIRD WEEK of training class with prongs that were around their necks near their shoulders. UGH.

    So much for being the "best" place in the area.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    We use a water bottle in puppy class for SOME pups but the rule is you squirt them on the BUM/TAIL area...certainly NOT in the face. Vinegar and water mix is for cleaning up accidents not for squirting the dogs. Water spritzes should only be water. And many dogs enjoy the spritz so we try something else...none of which is designed to make a dog cower. There is no place in training for anxiety or fear inducing punishments. Training should be FUN for all involved.

    Actually, if it were MY class (I'm an assistant) the overexcited or nervous dogs that whine/bark etc would be fed or offered a chewy for all times when they are not working. It's classical conditioning, keeps them busy and allows you to focus on what the trainer is trying to teach you.
    Yeah, we're not allowed to give them ANYTHING to do. They have to just lay down on the ground and the idea is that they will eventually associated "settle" with lay there and do nothing. The people were actually shocked that Kimma got a CGC since she barks at times. Well, she got it EASILY because during the off time, I was allowed to keep her busy, thus she was not barking!!!
    Last edited by Finkie_Mom; 04-12-2011 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost


    Owner of Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
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    Loistava's Jari CGC - 21 months old (M)
    Loistava's Kimma RN AX AXJ RATN CGC - 4 years old (F)
    AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
    CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 7 years old (M)

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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Finkie - this is concerning. They are the best, but they want you to spray vinigar on your dog and they use leashes as a control device with a clicker and treats when accomplish the same thing??
    I have taken classes where i don't agree with certain parts. And like you, I just don't do those parts. You will just have to work on increasing the lengths of your settles and down stays at home the proper way - by proofing. Sigh.

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    Senior Member Finkie_Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Puddin's Training Tips View Post
    Finkie - this is concerning. They are the best, but they want you to spray vinigar on your dog and they use leashes as a control device with a clicker and treats when accomplish the same thing??
    I have taken classes where i don't agree with certain parts. And like you, I just don't do those parts. You will just have to work on increasing the lengths of your settles and down stays at home the proper way - by proofing. Sigh.
    I KNOW!!! I was SHOCKED at what I saw last night... Seriously shocked. But they have such an amazing reputation for everything, that it was/still is hard to believe.

    I'm definitely just going to keep proofing down/stays at home, which I've been doing sinice I got Kimma anyway, haha. It's just really frustrating... This is the forth place we've been. The previous ones were either not with it (not a good trainer), too easy, or too harsh for me, and my sensitive/reactive/anxious/a bit fearful dog. They didn't even ASK if she had any issues with anything, they just handed me the bottle and said "spray."

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees huge problems with this... But anyone I know that knows about the place around here, doesn't see an issue with it! Maybe their dogs just came in to class perfect, but mine isn't hence why were are in a basic/easy class two steps below the CGC class they offer when my dog already HAS hers!


    Owner of Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
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    Loistava's Jari CGC - 21 months old (M)
    Loistava's Kimma RN AX AXJ RATN CGC - 4 years old (F)
    AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
    CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 7 years old (M)

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    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Vinegar? No way.

    Kit barks a lot in agility, particularly at the start line. It's insistent, impatience barking - "release me NOW!" I've used a spray bottle once or twice, and it generally helps. It's about the only positive punishment method I'll use (aside from a time out) because I find it to be relatively innocuous for a confident, headstrong dog.

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    We use the leash settle as well, but do not expect it to happen immediately and if a dog is really stressed by it we give them substantially more lead...they are not expected to lie down but to EVENTUALLY do it. This needs to be practiced at home too in order for the dog to get the negative reinforcement (ie learning) through repetition.

    I do have to say though, that your trainer's expectations seem pretty high. We don't introduce the leash settle til week two and even then don't expect perfect quiet settles for at least another week or two (with homework). There is no point in setting the dogs up to FAIL. That being said, it is a valid goal to have a dog that does not go nuts everytime you are not actively entertaining her. Check out the Control Unleashed game "Off Switch" Snap shows arousal with crazy tail..notice how she waits for the tail to stop before releasing him and then building duration.

    Last edited by Cracker; 04-12-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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    Senior Member Finkie_Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    GLM, actually, Kimma was barking during an exercise (teaching "spin"), as she always does because she likes doing spins, LOL. They told me she was allowed to bark then since it just meant she was excited about the exercise? Or something like that. I don't know. I'm confused by the whole class, to be honest.... It's supposedly purely positive, but that's obviously not the case.

    Yes! We have done a bunch of CU stuff, and it's awesome. I think I may bring my mat to class next week, since Kimma already knows what "go to your mat" means. We can build up a bit more duration during training ourselves this week (she's OK on there for about 3-4 minutes right now), and add some more distractions outside. That's a good idea, Cracker. And if they have a problem with it, then they can deal with my barking dog for a few more weeks, LOL.


    Owner of Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
    Co-owner of Boundless Pawsibilities

    Loistava's Jari CGC - 21 months old (M)
    Loistava's Kimma RN AX AXJ RATN CGC - 4 years old (F)
    AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
    CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 7 years old (M)

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    Senior Member LazyGRanch713's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
    Kimma barks. I know that and I'm OK with it, anyone who has met her knows that. Anyone that knows the breed would expect that. She's gotten SO much better at controlling her barking, except for her boredom/anxiety barking.

    She's WELL exercised, we train constantly, and she's a smart dog. But in a training class environment, she still gets quite anxious if we're not doing anything, thus leading to barking.

    We started at a new training facility, and the FIRST thing they told me to do with her is to squirt her with a water bottle filled with a 1/4 vinegar, 3/4 water and squirt her. I did it, but she started cowering and didn't want to come near me (I don't blame her!). When we're constantly working, she doesn't make a peep, but the trainers in the class want our dogs to be used to having to just sit around (which I agree that she should learn, but at what cost?).

    But the thing is that this is one of the "best" agility training centers in the area (I won't disclose a name, obviously). Everyone I've talked to that has used this method said that it worked wonders for their dogs, and their dogs never became fearful of them, only cowering when the bottle was present, but it only took a couple weeks for them to stop barking altogether.

    I've also read that vinegar can sting their eyes, and cause damage to mucous membranes. But she actually likes being sprayed in the face with water (tried that with her as a puppy), so that's not going to work the way they want it to.

    What are your thoughts on this method???
    Depends on the dog (sans vinegar). Auz thinks spray bottles are toys, and if I sprayed him everytime he acted up he'd actually BUILD that behavior because of the really cool reward.

    If I sprayed one of the paps with water, I can almost guarantee you they'd knock off whatever they were doing. Not my top choice.
    Dude is like Kimma--barky. Auz is kind of like Kimma--whiney. Teaching them to do this on cue and then enver giving the cue has never worked for me. Dude barks because he likes the sound of his own voice. Auz whines because...he's Auz.
    Is Kimma crate trained? When we go to rally class, I crate Tag so I can walk the course (the class is ran like a trial). For awhile Tag would do this screechy, high pitched whine/growl/grunt thing. Never really barked, but was making more noise than I wanted. Last week I got sick of it, took off my coat and hung the coat over the crate so he couldn't see what we were doing. Instant silence. No idea if this would work for Kimma or not, but it might be worth a shot.

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    Senior Member Crantastic's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
    I don't know. I'm confused by the whole class, to be honest.... It's supposedly purely positive, but that's obviously not the case.
    Sounds like the puppy class I took Casper to. The instructor talked about positive training and Brenda Aloff and all of that... and then she forced me to drag my fearful puppy around the room by his neck (I did half a lap, realized he was NOT going to move his feet, and refused to do it ever again), and she corrected Casper for fear-barking/growling at her big GSDs (she'd tap his nose or poke his side and tell him not to growl, which I think is a bad idea anyway, and she'd do it after he'd stopped growling, defeating the purpose). We ended up not completing the program. I think some trainers can be good -- my friend has taken all of her cocker spaniels to this class and loves it -- but not right for our type of dog.

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    Senior Member Finkie_Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Kimma is a combination of Dude and Auz, LOL. But ONLY when bored. Spray bottle water is cool to her (though she doesn't like hoses - too much pressure I suppose?), so plain water is a no-go.

    She is crate trained, but will bark in the crate (even if it's covered) in class situations. We've been working on it whenever we can in that type of setting, but there are only so many times I can randomly have my dog in a crate when it's not my class, haha.

    I wouldn't mind bringing a crate and trying it at this place (or using one of theirs), but they WANT the dog to get used to just laying there during downtime. That's what I have an issue with. If I could work her during breaks (like we did at our old training place that I didn't like for different reasons), then we would be fine.

    We just did some more CU mat work, and she's fine (we haven't used the mat in a while - my fault for not keeping up with it). I will continue focusing on that this week and build duration, and bring her mat with me to class, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crantastic View Post
    Sounds like the puppy class I took Casper to. The instructor talked about positive training and Brenda Aloff and all of that... and then she forced me to drag my fearful puppy around the room by his neck (I did half a lap, realized he was NOT going to move his feet, and refused to do it ever again), and she corrected Casper for fear-barking/growling at her big GSDs (she'd tap his nose or poke his side and tell him not to growl, which I think is a bad idea anyway, and she'd do it after he'd stopped growling, defeating the purpose). We ended up not completing the program. I think some trainers can be good -- my friend has taken all of her cocker spaniels to this class and loves it -- but not right for our type of dog.
    That's horrible... Poor Cas...

    I think you're correct. This may just not be the class for us. However, I would be interested to see how they handle their actual agility classes, since that's what they're really known for around here...
    Last edited by Finkie_Mom; 04-12-2011 at 11:08 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost


    Owner of Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
    Co-owner of Boundless Pawsibilities

    Loistava's Jari CGC - 21 months old (M)
    Loistava's Kimma RN AX AXJ RATN CGC - 4 years old (F)
    AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
    CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 7 years old (M)

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    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: Spray bottles to stop barking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
    GLM, actually, Kimma was barking during an exercise (teaching "spin"), as she always does because she likes doing spins, LOL. They told me she was allowed to bark then since it just meant she was excited about the exercise? Or something like that. I don't know. I'm confused by the whole class, to be honest.... It's supposedly purely positive, but that's obviously not the case.
    I agree, and for the most part, the behavior doesn't bother me very much. Kit's not a huge barker, but if there's something she really really wants, that's sometimes how she expresses that desire. I let her bark all she wants when we play disc because the cues are all body movements and hand signals. In agility, I actually need her to be quiet enough to hear my verbal cues. A spray bottle isn't going to put a dent in her desire to run a course at breakneck speed, and I know her well enough to know that it's not going to damage our relationship, so I fail to see the harm in it as a once-in-a-while reminder to SHUT UP! To me, it's the same as a time out. I would never implement either of these techniques with any dog lacking stellar confidence.

    Boredom/anxiety barking is a whole different cup of tea. In this case, I think I'd probably refrain, just because if the dog is already anxious about something, adding a spray bottle just heightens that.

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