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I take Kane to work with me, but he growls and barks at strangers who walk past the window. Sometimes it's just a growl and sometimes it's full on jumping at the window, snarling and barking and freaking out. Most often it's somewhere in between those two.

What I've been doing to try to train him out of this is give him treats when he sees someone. Sometimes I have to wait for a lull in his barking before he'll notice I'm waving treats around in his face. Sometimes I toss a few onto the floor, which he will eat, then immediately go back to barking/snarling. Ideally I'd have the treats out and ready before he sees the person, but this usually is not possible. I'm working so I'm not focused on him, plus my desk is angled about 45 degrees away from the window. So most of the time he sees them or hears them coming before I do.

While sometimes this works, generally speaking it hasn't really been successful. His reaction seems to depend on how caught off guard he is (like if he was sleeping), how close the person is to the window, and what the person is wearing (there is some construction going on down the street and those workers will sometimes walk by to get to the cafe - he doesn't like the bright, reflective vests). If it happens a couple of times in a short period he won't settle back down and will keep watch for any more "trouble".

This has been going on for over a year. I feel like I'm just giving him treats for barking and he isn't really "getting it".

Kane is 3 1/2 years old (Boxer/Cane Corso) and is fearful, which is why he's barking.

Any other suggestions/advice? Keep in mind I am at work (in an office) so I can't spend large amounts of time at once on training. There are 3 large windows that he can see out, plus the door if he's at the right angle. I close the blind on the window he has direct access to and have put his crate in front of it so he can't get directly to the window. He can still see through the blind though, it doesn't block vision completely. The other two windows he can see, but can't get too - they're on the other side of the desk and I have a gate keeping him in with me.
 

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I felt like I've read this before and I dug up the old thread where you asked this: http://www.dogforums.com/general-dog-forum/471857-not-making-any-progress.html

Reason being, my suggestions are still the same. If he's comfortable in the crate, crate him. I imagine he is with you because of separation anxiety? Otherwise, what I would have suggested is keeping him at home.

I'm really sorry to hear that he hasn't made any progress with this. I think the reason is pretty simple. In a perfect desensitization and counter conditioning context, the trigger would start far away enough as to not illicit a reaction. Unfortunately, in enclosed and small spaces like offices, there is never the perfect scenario unless all of your coworkers were working with you and decreasing their intensity about their approaches (which is unrealistic). So basically, your attempts to counter condition with food are ineffective because he is immediately over threshold any time a person appears. Even the times he is eating... " Sometimes I have to wait for a lull in his barking before he'll notice I'm waving treats around in his face. Sometimes I toss a few onto the floor, which he will eat, then immediately go back to barking/snarling."... This is still not ideal CC/DS. In an ideal training session, it should be super easy for Kane. That, and the fact that any small amount of progress you are making is instantly being erased when he inevitably practices reacting. On top of that, when he reacts once he is then on edge which makes his fuse shorter for the next person walking by. It's a positive feedback loop for failure.

As you put it, you are also not in an ideal situation to train because you are working.

This combination of reasons is why I so strongly recommend almost pure management in this scenario.

IF Kane's training is such that YOU override fear, a more skill training type suggestion I would have is immediately cue him to go to his crate (then close crate and reward him in there) when he lets out his first bark. This may or may not eventually teach him to put himself into his crate after a bark when he sees a person. But for most dogs, once they are lunging and snarling there is no getting them. It's still not ideal because he is still practicing reactivity to some degree.

I hope this helps and I apologize if it is too blunt. I know you've worked so hard with Kane over the years and I'm sorry that this is still a struggle. I wish fearful dogs could just understand english so we could tell them "it's okay!"
 

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Yeah, what Canyx said.

Once he's started barking, he's over threshold and there's really nothing to be accomplished by giving him treats. CC/DS with treats is supposed to be used in the space between the dog spotting the trigger and barking at it. Because of your set up at work, and the fact that you're working, this is basically impossible. All that's really happening is he's reacting and there happens to be food. Nothing about that is teaching or changing his emotional state.

Manage it, however you need to. If you want to work on it, it's probably going to need to be in other situations where you have more control over the environment. It sucks, but between the uncontrolled environment and you needing to work I honestly don't think there's much you can do except prevent him from reacting.

And, I don't mean this to be harsh, but be aware EVERY TIME he does this, his fear and response to it are becoming more ingrained. I don't mean reinforced in the traditional sense - you can't reinforce fear - but every time he barks and explodes his adrenaline is going up, and he's left in a state of heightened arousal and more on edge and with less threshold and resilience next time. It's self-perpetuating, even before you address the possibility of superstitious behavior wherein he believes barking makes the scary thing go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Haha, I forgot I posted about this before (almost exactly a year ago)! Thanks for digging that up!

Yes I do bring him to work because of his SA. Pepper is at home alone, but she gets the whole living room/dining room to herself. If I leave both dogs at home, they both have to be locked in the back room (where Kane's crate is) otherwise Kane freaks out that he's alone. So I bring Kane to work to give them both a bit more freedom. Pepper likes to be in the living room where she can lie in the sun and she doesn't like being trapped in the back room. We used to leave them both home every day, but I'm trying to make their lives a bit more enjoyable since they spend so much of it waiting for us to get home from work :-|

Kane is very comfortable in his crate, but he still barks when people go by if he can hear them. I tried covering his crate, but he seemed to be more nervous that he couldn't see what was coming (when he hears sounds).

IF Kane's training is such that YOU override fear, a more skill training type suggestion I would have is immediately cue him to go to his crate (then close crate and reward him in there) when he lets out his first bark. This may or may not eventually teach him to put himself into his crate after a bark when he sees a person.
This is what I do if someone comes into the office (like a courier driver). Kane already knows to immediately go to his crate, which he does perfectly. He just doesn't stop barking. I will try putting him in there at the first bark though and see how we go with that.

Fortunately it's a small office and the people here like Kane, but he's a big dog with a loud bark It's annoying for me so it has to be irritating for other people. Especially if someone happens to be on the phone when he starts.

I wish fearful dogs could just understand english so we could tell them "it's okay!"
Me too :)
 

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It's self-perpetuating, even before you address the possibility of superstitious behavior wherein he believes barking makes the scary thing go.
Yeah this is a big part of the problem too. People are only there a few seconds, then they leave "because he scared them off"

Thanks to both of you. I guess there's not too much I can do but either manage/prevent it better or leave him home.
 

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If sounds are a huge factor, how about some white noise or music?
Can you move Kane's crate into the living/dining area?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If sounds are a huge factor, how about some white noise or music?
Can you move Kane's crate into the living/dining area?
I have music on, but it's quiet so not everyone has to listen to it. There isn't really room in our living room for a 42" crate :-(
 
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