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Given the situation with your neighbor, I would also suggest keeping a high value, long lasting chew or frozen food toy on hand, so your dog has something to occupy themselves with that's (hopefully) more interesting than the neighbor trying to goad them into barking.

This wouldn't replace training a cue to stop barking, but might help make your life easier in cases where you can't prevent or stop what's triggering your dog to bark for an extended period. Just try to only offer the activity as a reward for a period of silence - even a brief one - to avoid teaching them that nuisance barking gets them tasty treasures. My dogs know "let's go get a treat" as a reward marker when I don't have goodies right nearby, or I want to reward them with something out of the freezer or chew bin. That way I can let them know they've earned a reward the moment I see behavior I like, even if it takes me a minute to get the treat actually delivered to their mouths.
 

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Indeed, they did.

Well.... I suppose that depends on your particular definition of harsh tactics.

There were plenty of recommendations of tying dogs to trees, electric stim bark collars, suspending dogs onto two feet, corrections in the proofing stage, etc etc.

But yeah, I guess all those things don't qualify as the least bit harsh when you're looking through an 'every dog is a GSD' lens, right?.


The OP has already stated that their dog responds poorly to a minimal amount of P-. The dog is a SHELTIE. Like almost all shelties, it is sensitive. Just imagine what's likely to happen if and when P+ is introduced.

You might want to re-consider your definition of HARSH, apparently. And also acknowledge that certain techniques can be rather benign to one dog and yet be absolutely devastating to another.
 

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Look, I know the OP is clever and can comprehend but I'll reiterate my stance once more and summarize my suggestions. And then I think I'm out on this one, because at that point if it's STILL not sinking in, nothing more I say will sway them.

The dog is a Sheltie. It is sensitive. Avoid punitive or, ahem, harsh methods. Stick with positive-based methods. If that's not yielding results when going it alone, consider the assistance of a qualified trainer (which I do understand the OP is scheduled to begin).

If ALL else fails, very carefully consider 'bark softening' as a final option.
 

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To the OP, you have received some good advice here that does not involve teasing your dog to frustration. We have talked privately and you are looking at ways to minimize the ability for your neighbors to tease your dog. You are on the right path. Don't destroy the trust you have built with your dog by using methods that ARE NOT appropriate for companion dogs.
 

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Alas, mods do have to sleep sometimes, as well as spend time away from the forum to attend to our own dogs and lives outside of the internet. Our response time can't always be immediate.

I will be going through and deleting posts unrelated to the OP's questions. Any further bickering will result in temp bans at minimum. This is the only warning I'll give.
 

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And for further clarification: this warning applies to other threads. Members who have a history of posting unhelpful, rude replies that have nothing to do with the post topic, or who deliberately bait for arguments, are on thin ice. This needs to stop or you need to find a different forum that doesn't expect respectful behavior from its members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thank you to all who gave well meant advice, even if I don't intend to try some of it. I appreciate the time you took to help a complete novice. And a special thank you to Toedtoes for reaching out privately.

Ruby is very smart. She's already started to realize that if she attempts to howl with the husky, she immediately gets ignored. Thank goodness. If you think a husky howl sounds annoying, you've not yet heard a wannabe sheltie puppy imposter. :oops: I imagine that the barking will take time, but she will learn.

Things are progressing well! 💖🐕
 
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