Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to train my dog to bark on command, so that I can train her to do the opposite, thereby making me able to keep her quiet when I need to. I've heard this is possible.

She's a very good puppy, but tonight she barked a few times around every five minutes for about 25 minutes. I live in an apartment, so this could be an issue.

She was very well exercised today: indoors and outside at two different relatives' houses, the first being partly on a 15' long line on a very large property. She also is successfully learning to come, at least on the long line! So, she had mental stimulation too.

But I left her for five hours today (with all her amenities, including water & a potty). I started from day two working my way up, half hour by half hour, but I had a rare, in person work meeting (I work from home permanently, not just during COVID). We had previously been at 3.50 hours and were going to stay there for some time, because she is young. I couldn't bring her to daycare, because she isn't yet fully vaccinated (due to age).

Would anyone be willing to let me know how this is best done? I don't want to accidentally just teach her to constantly be barking & I can see myself winding up in this situation. Thanks very much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,417 Posts
As part of IGP/IPO/Scutzhund we train dogs to bark in certain situations. Barking is a privilege and not a right (wish the same could be said with people talking...).

We teach the dog barking by putting a padded agitation harness on the dog and back tying to something solid (pole or tree) usually on a 15 foot nylon web long line.

Then we take a flirt pole and build frustration... by teasing the puppy just out of reach with a puppy leather (good size piece of suede leather) on the flirt pole. Two things must happen for the puppy to get that leather. Puppy must look the person operating the flirt pole in the eyes and bark. Those two things together allow the leather to be grabbed by the puppy. Then the puppy is allowed to have the leather for a bit until they drop it. Some do not drop it.. and then the puppy is lifted by the harness and held there (back feet on the ground) until he/she lets go of the leather. Then the game starts over. 15 minutes of this is a lot.

The game teaches the puppy that to get what he/she wants, they must ask for it (bark and look the person in the eye). The dog is essentially controlling the game.

As the dog gains skill barking a command is added. Soon the puppy understands that the command means bark/and look the person in the eye and the bark is rewarded (most often with a bite by a decoy but food and toys are also used on young puppies).

That is how we teach a dog to bark. We build it. We reward it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
The essence of training any behavior is (1) figure out how to either capture and mark a desired behavior, or how to elicit and mark/reward the behavior. (2) practice it over and over until the puppy/dog shows that they've made the connection, and (3) connect that behavior to a cue/command. And practice in a wide variety of locations and relative positions (facing the dog, facing away, when you're close, when you're at a distance, while walking, when stopped etc.).

But if I understand the OP correctly, the concern is about barking when the pup is left alone, is that right?

Teaching the dog when to bark and when to stop while interacting with you is unlikely to help with that IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,450 Posts
As part of IGP/IPO/Scutzhund we train dogs to bark in certain situations. Barking is a privilege and not a right (wish the same could be said with people talking...).

We teach the dog barking by putting a padded agitation harness on the dog and back tying to something solid (pole or tree) usually on a 15 foot nylon web long line.

Then we take a flirt pole and build frustration... by teasing the puppy just out of reach with a puppy leather (good size piece of suede leather) on the flirt pole. Two things must happen for the puppy to get that leather. Puppy must look the person operating the flirt pole in the eyes and bark. Those two things together allow the leather to be grabbed by the puppy. Then the puppy is allowed to have the leather for a bit until they drop it. Some do not drop it.. and then the puppy is lifted by the harness and held there (back feet on the ground) until he/she lets go of the leather. Then the game starts over. 15 minutes of this is a lot.

The game teaches the puppy that to get what he/she wants, they must ask for it (bark and look the person in the eye). The dog is essentially controlling the game.

As the dog gains skill barking a command is added. Soon the puppy understands that the command means bark/and look the person in the eye and the bark is rewarded (most often with a bite by a decoy but food and toys are also used on young puppies).

That is how we teach a dog to bark. We build it. We reward it.
You're suggesting that the op TIE THEIR DOG TO A TREE, and then FRUSTRATE the dog in order to teach it to bark ???

SERIOUSLY ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,450 Posts
OP, what you probably want to do is 'capture' and reward the moment when the dog STOPS barking. This will likely require some tremendous technical creativity on your part, in regards to how best to go about it. Nuisance barking, ie: when you are not present, is a behaviour issue that has perplexed the training community for a long time now. Frankly, it's just not an easy problem to solve, and many inferior so-called trainers will resort to such things as bark collars, spray devices, sonic devices, and other questionable and aversive means.

If the issue is indeed nuisance barking, any reinforcing of barking at any time will only exacerbate the problem.

One method does suggest to teach a dog TO bark, and then put it on a verbal cue such as "speak !", so that in the ABSENCE of that speak cue the dog will be silent. That's the general theory, anyway. This method is best reserved for attention-seeking barking, ie: when you are present, and will be of little value for the instances when you are not.

Overall I strongly recommend you consider the assistance of a force-free trainer for some in-person tips and pointers, if your situation seems to exceed your ability. Overcoming barking problems often requires a fresh perspective from a second set of eyes. And ears, lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your advice!

This is for when I'm home mainly. I have some neighbours who like to provoke other people's pets. They have a frustrated (under-exercised) husky with which to do it. It would be nice to be able to tell my dog to stop, because the neighbours stood their dog outside my door, then by the shared wall, then on our divided balcony to howl, in succession.

On purpose. Yes, it really was. No, I'm not reading too much into this. I've lived by them for years & they're frequently high. I'd like to teach her discretion so that she'll snap out of it & stop if told to.

Frankly, I find their attitude vastly ungrateful. I'm the only person who stood between them and eviction for almost a year when they adopted their rescue husky. Other people tried to get me to complain; due to where my apartment is relative to theirs, my complaining would have been critical. I thought of the dog, with whom they really were trying, & feigned ignorance, though my sleep was interrupted all night long. It was so tiring.

We're starting puppy kindergarten in two weeks. They also do private training, so I'll ask about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,417 Posts
You're suggesting that the op TIE THEIR DOG TO A TREE, and then FRUSTRATE the dog in order to teach it to bark ???

SERIOUSLY ???
The OP can do whatever they want with their dog.

They asked how to teach a dog to bark on cue. This is a method that works; the dog is on a harness (the only time a harness is useful in training or handling a dog) in prey drive; the reward ("getting" the puppy leather) is a reward that eclipses most other rewards as it satisfies drive.

Drive satisfaction is good training. We use it all the time with food and clickers (food drive satisfaction). We use it all the time with toy rewards (prey drive satisfaction).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
21 Posts
The OP can do whatever they want with their dog.

They asked how to teach a dog to bark on cue. This is a method that works; the dog is on a harness (the only time a harness is useful in training or handling a dog) in prey drive; the reward ("getting" the puppy leather) is a reward that eclipses most other rewards as it satisfies drive.

Drive satisfaction is good training. We use it all the time with food and clickers (food drive satisfaction). We use it all the time with toy rewards (prey drive satisfaction).
Nice post 3GSD4IPO.

Very common method but it doesn't surprise me that trainers with limited understanding have no clue what you're talking about.

The following video illustrates the method you were referring to:

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
21 Posts
Thank you all for your advice!

This is for when I'm home mainly. I have some neighbours who like to provoke other people's pets. They have a frustrated (under-exercised) husky with which to do it. It would be nice to be able to tell my dog to stop, because the neighbours stood their dog outside my door, then by the shared wall, then on our divided balcony to howl, in succession.

On purpose. Yes, it really was. No, I'm not reading too much into this. I've lived by them for years & they're frequently high. I'd like to teach her discretion so that she'll snap out of it & stop if told to.

Frankly, I find their attitude vastly ungrateful. I'm the only person who stood between them and eviction for almost a year when they adopted their rescue husky. Other people tried to get me to complain; due to where my apartment is relative to theirs, my complaining would have been critical. I thought of the dog, with whom they really were trying, & feigned ignorance, though my sleep was interrupted all night long. It was so tiring.

We're starting puppy kindergarten in two weeks. They also do private training, so I'll ask about that.
I see you're in Canada. Look up Shield K9. Haz knows his stuff. I'm in Europe and know several people that took his online classes with much success. Very clear and easy to understand teacher.

If you have barking issues you can start with a force free trainer if you wish, but just understand they are limited in what they can do. Be very wary of trainers who say you have an anxious dog because of leash reactivity, needless barking, or any other easily trained out behaviours, and say you need drugs to help them. Most of these drugs are ten times more aversive than any leash correction could ever be. Any good balanced trainer can easily fix behavioural issues and train dogs without drugs. Try force free and when that fails go talk to Haz at Shield K9.
 

·
Registered
Cat-dog, GSD spayed female and Tornado-dog, JRT mix, neutered male
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
Good positive trainers WILL NOT push medications unnecessarily. And they certainly WILL NOT recommend medication simply to stop a dog from barking.

A good positive trainer will use methods that do not stress, scare or hurt the dog to achieve results. They will consider the emotional impact of the training technique on the dog AS WELL as the desired goal.

Purposely teasing a dog, especially a breed like a sheltie, is old school and damaging. A dog being trained in protection sports will have a very different life, and personality, than the average pet dog, and what may "work great" for them will likely cause more problems for the average dog.

You are working with a sheltie, which are known to have the tendency to be shy, nervous, and skittish. Using harsh tactics with her will result in creating more shyness, nervousness, skittishness, and will add fearfulness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,450 Posts
I'd like to train my dog to bark on command, so that I can train her to do the opposite, thereby making me able to keep her quiet when I need to.
I'd like to teach her discretion so that she'll snap out of it & stop if told to.

I'm still waiting for the resident balanced training advocates here to address ^ THIS ^ issue, which I believe is the OP's main concern, and primarily what they are asking for advice on.

Capturing, reinforcing, and assigning a verbal cue to the barking that ALREADY EXISTS doesn't seem to be a problem, really. Even if it is, it would still appear that it's not the OP's ultimate end goal.

Please give advice on how the OP can STOP the barking, -- not how to create it.

I, for one, am curious and I'd like to hear your suggestions. I suspect others are curious as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,450 Posts
I see you're in Canada.
Try force free and when that fails go talk to Haz at Shield K9.
Ummm ... Canada is a VERY big country. Second largest on the planet as far as land mass, ya' know? We don't just "go talk to" someone here as if they're right around the corner.

And I'm pretty sure you meant 'IF' force free fails, and not "when". .. Some sort of Freudian slip? Or maybe your pre-conceived notions just overcame you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,417 Posts
I'm still waiting for the resident balanced training advocates here to address ^ THIS ^ issue, which I believe is the OP's main concern, and primarily what they are asking for advice on.

Capturing, reinforcing, and assigning a verbal cue to the barking that ALREADY EXISTS doesn't seem to be a problem, really. Even if it is, it would still appear that it's not the OP's ultimate end goal.

Please give advice on how the OP can STOP the barking, -- not how to create it.

I, for one, am curious and I'd like to hear your suggestions. I suspect others are curious as well.
Totally agree that this should have been the question (how to put SILENCE on cue).

That is not what was asked... and thus the answer given.. even while I was thinking "silence on cue is what you really want."

Teaching barking on cue so you can teach silence is a method, but not for every dog and often less so for most handlers due to the need for perfect timing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,417 Posts
The way to teach a dog silence on cue is to reward silence. This is most effective when the reward is HIGH VALUE and is marked and delivered at exactly the correct time and still satisfies the dog's drive.

The second part of this, especially in a habitual barker, is 100% consistency. Silence must be rewarded EVERY time the dog starts to bark. THIS last part is the most difficult part to attain, especially if the dog barks when no one is present.

It also helps to know why the dog started to bark. In some cases a dog is nervous or worried and the bark is a self rewarding behavior that relieves that stress (the dog unloads by barking in the same way a dog unloads stress by chewing).

IF there are times when a dog barking will disturb neighbors and there is no one there to maintain consistency in training then the next answer is a no bark collar.

I do NOT recommend Spray collars. Citronella spray is caustic to the dog's nasal passages and the pain lasts AWHILE.

I recommend a good electronic bark collar. This collar will activate when the dog barks, usually allowing 2 barks before activating. Some have levels that automatically start with a low stim and increase stim levels as the dog continues to bark. Others have manual stim levels set by the owner.

If your dog has a lot of coat you need to obtain longer prongs so the collar contacts skin. The dog learns very quickly that silence turns the collar off. Most collars will indicate how many times the stim was activated while the collar was on and you were not there. Most dogs will show "0" stims by the end of the first week wearing the collar. It is unlikely you will ever be able to leave the dog alone without a bark collar if your dog is a habitual barker.

I do not recommend a bark collar for young puppies... 6-8 months old is as young as I would use a bark collar and I prefer older.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,450 Posts
The way to teach a dog silence on cue is to reward silence. This is most effective when the reward is HIGH VALUE and is marked and delivered at exactly the correct time and still satisfies the dog's drive.

The second part of this, especially in a habitual barker, is 100% consistency. Silence must be rewarded EVERY time the dog starts to bark. THIS last part is the most difficult part to attain, especially if the dog barks when no one is present.

It also helps to know why the dog started to bark. In some cases a dog is nervous or worried and the bark is a self rewarding behavior that relieves that stress (the dog unloads by barking in the same way a dog unloads stress by chewing).

IF there are times when a dog barking will disturb neighbors and there is no one there to maintain consistency in training then the next answer is a no bark collar.

I do NOT recommend Spray collars. Citronella spray is caustic to the dog's nasal passages and the pain lasts AWHILE.

I recommend a good electronic bark collar. This collar will activate when the dog barks, usually allowing 2 barks before activating. Some have levels that automatically start with a low stim and increase stim levels as the dog continues to bark. Others have manual stim levels set by the owner.

If your dog has a lot of coat you need to obtain longer prongs so the collar contacts skin. The dog learns very quickly that silence turns the collar off. Most collars will indicate how many times the stim was activated while the collar was on and you were not there. Most dogs will show "0" stims by the end of the first week wearing the collar. It is unlikely you will ever be able to leave the dog alone without a bark collar if your dog is a habitual barker.

I do not recommend a bark collar for young puppies... 6-8 months old is as young as I would use a bark collar and I prefer older.

Not every dog is a hard-nosed GSD who is training to compete in IPO, which always seems to be your go-to, one-size-fits-all mindset.

This is a SHELTIE, for pete's sake. Risk vs reward is a whole different ball game, especially in terms of overall breed temperament. And risk should be made quite clear to inquiring novice owners, which you never appear to do in any of your recommendations.

I'm wondering ... have you ever owned or trained a Sheltie?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My sheltie is very smart. I taught her to come on a long line Wednesday & Friday by getting her attention, then calling her & acting like both of us were amazing. My sister tried to call her today & she actually came!

That was totally off topic, but I have been having some luck with barking too, by ignoring her (no reaction, good or bad; what I did with my budgies & the preferred method for parrots). If she reacts to the neighbours' dog or otherwise barks more than a couple of times, I go pay attention to something else (cooking, cat, book, etc.). She takes this very hard. Then I praise her when she's been quiet a minute or two. I intend to increase the time as she grows older.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
My sheltie is very smart. I taught her to come on a long line Wednesday & Friday by getting her attention, then calling her & acting like both of us were amazing. My sister tried to call her today & she actually came!

That was totally off topic, but I have been having some luck with barking too, by ignoring her (no reaction, good or bad; what I did with my budgies & the preferred method for parrots). If she reacts to the neighbours' dog or otherwise barks more than a couple of times, I go pay attention to something else (cooking, cat, book, etc.). She takes this very hard. Then I praise her when she's been quiet a minute or two. I intend to increase the time as she grows older.
I like when my dog alerts that someone is at the door. So when he naturally showed this behaviour as a pup I rewarded with food and praise initially then faded out the food to just praise. Then I introduced the word "guard" so that he lights up anytime I say that word.

To stop the dog from barking when someone is at door is fairly easy too. What you do is first praise the dog for alerting to door and then defuse the dog by telling him "enough". As soon as the dog goes quiet, even briefly, mark that exact moment with a clicker or a verbal marker such as "yes" and reward the dog with food and praise/petting using higher pitch voice.

The dog may start barking again but just tell him "enough" and mark with "yes" the very moment he is quiet and reward/praise. If you are consistent, the dog will eventually understand what you are asking. Once he understands in the house you can start practicing outside and different environments throughout your day to day life.

Eventually, during higher distractions, you may need to introduce corrections to proof your command.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I like when my dog alerts that someone is at the door. So when he naturally showed this behaviour as a pup I rewarded with food and praise initially then faded out the food to just praise. Then I introduced the word "guard" so that he lights up anytime I say that word.

To stop the dog from barking when someone is at door is fairly easy too. What you do is first praise the dog for alerting to door and then defuse the dog by telling him "enough". As soon as the dog goes quiet, even briefly, mark that exact moment with a clicker or a verbal marker such as "yes" and reward the dog with food and praise/petting using higher pitch voice.

The dog may start barking again but just tell him "enough" and mark with "yes" the very moment he is quiet and reward/praise. If you are consistent, the dog will eventually understand what you are asking. Once he understands in the house you can start practicing outside and different environments throughout your day to day life.

Eventually, during higher distractions, you may need to introduce corrections to proof your command.

Good luck.
This is similar to what we do. The dog gets to do a job (watch/guard), gets praised for initial alert, then once 'trigger' is acknowledged (by you), there's no need to keep alerting. It's not like he's never allowed to bark, he even gets praised "thank you". I try to keep everything fair and it keeps the dog happy and wanting to work with you. Involve your dog, give them a job to do, praise when they get it right.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top