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Discussion Starter #1
We're having a problem with our 10 1/2-month-old poodle barking at people and animals outside. Permanently blocking access to the windows isn't really an option (we lived with baby gates for 5+ years when our cat began urinating outside her litter box and we really don't want to live with gates for another 10+ years).

I've looked through a variety of resources (this forum, other web sites, books) for ideas to address the barking. Here's what I tried so far:

- Going to the window, investigating, and then informing the dog that "everything is ok" and she can "be quiet" now. She stops briefly, but quickly resumes barking.

- Calling her into another room and having a short training session. This works if I can get her into another room and I have time (it's not always practical if I'm cooking, cleaning, showering, etc).

- Learning "speak" and "quiet." She can follow the cues in other situations, but not when she sees someone outside. I know this is probably just a matter of continued practice and proofing.

- One thing I want to try is to sit with her and try to catch her between the time she notices something and starts barking so that I can reinforce quiet. She's been doing great with "look at that" type games for her excitement around other dogs, so I'm hoping a similar type of training will work with this. Not sure my reflexes are good enough, though.

She gets two 45-60 minute walks a day plus about 30 minutes of running in the yard (she loves to grab a stick or a ball and do figure eights around the trees). We do several training sessions a day and plan to enroll in a level II basic manners class next month. Usually, she gets part of her dinner in a puzzle toy and part during training. She may be bored, so I'm open to recommendations.

Is there anything else you would suggest? Is this something she might outgrow if we continue to work with her?

Next week she'll be recovering from a spay and gastropexy, so she won't have access to the windows. Is there anything we can do during this time?

Thanks!
 

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An expensive option would be to replace the windows with ones that have mini blinds between 2 panes of glass. Close them to block the view.

I don't think she will outgrow it. After years of walking a dog in my neighbourhood, I can predict which houses barking will come from.
 

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Thanks for replying.

An expensive option would be to replace the windows with ones that have mini blinds between 2 panes of glass. Close them to block the view.
We just replaced all the windows two years ago - not happening again in my lifetime.

I don't think she will outgrow it. After years of walking a dog in my neighbourhood, I can predict which houses barking will come from.
So there's nothing we can do? We're doomed to live with a barky dog?
 

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with Loki I sit in the window with him when someone walks by if he is quiet he gets great treat - if he barks he gets a shhhh. so far so good - I would say persistance pays off. it sounds like your on the right track. I treat the window like any other exciteable situation.
 

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I had this same exact problem with Leeo. I tried for 5 years ... nothing doin! :) It was just his nature ... and believe me I tried everything. :)

The other two as sad as it is to say ... by staying in front of the windows when I know something is out there ... and treating them when they are quiet with TONS of praise ...is working ... since Leeo's passing. :( :( :( They are much better now that it is just the two of them.

Lucy ... she is a different story. She has not barked once yet? I wonder if she is normal? Lol! :/ Sure is a nice thing though!
 

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So there's nothing we can do? We're doomed to live with a barky dog?
It could all boil down to which scenario is more annoying to you .... 1) the inconvenience of the baby gates or 2) having to listen to the unwanted barking. That being the case, I think the baby gate option is more fair to the dog, and it should produce the results you are looking for.

- Going to the window, investigating, and then informing the dog that "everything is ok" and she can "be quiet" now. She stops briefly, but quickly resumes barking.
Have you tried NOT going to the window and investigating ? Simply place yourself between your dog and the window, and SILENTLY body block / 'push' him backwards away from the situation and into a completely different area / room. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

Bear in mind too, how incredibly self-reinforcing it is for dogs to "scare away" intruders who venture into their space, aka the Mailman Syndrome as I call it. ie: person approaches house with the full intention of passing by, .. dog barks, .. person then "leaves", or so it seems from the dog's p.o.v. If this occurs on a frequent basis, especially if the dog is unattended and/or has unrestricted access to the window, it's easy for it to become quickly ingrained. And that can be very frustrating to try to deal with, not to mention very frustrating for the dog as well.

Again, if you can't seem to find a workable training solution, I'd opt for the baby gates, annoying as they may be. JMO.
 

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Hargyle & Abbylynn - Thanks for the encouragement. Once she recovers, we'll start working on reinforcing proper behavior. She has calmed down considerably by doing "look at that" with people and other dogs, so I think there's hope.


It could all boil down to which scenario is more annoying to you .... 1) the inconvenience of the baby gates or 2) having to listen to the unwanted barking. That being the case, I think the baby gate option is more fair to the dog, and it should produce the results you are looking for.
But then we'd both be stuck in the kitchen all the time. Not pleasant for either of us.

Have you tried NOT going to the window and investigating ? Simply place yourself between your dog and the window, and SILENTLY body block / 'push' him backwards away from the situation and into a completely different area / room. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.
I have, but she can move her head a few inches and see around me. It's a 12' window, and while I'll admit I could lose 10lbs, I don't think I could effectively block her from seeing out.

Bear in mind too, how incredibly self-reinforcing it is for dogs to "scare away" intruders who venture into their space, aka the Mailman Syndrome as I call it. ie: person approaches house with the full intention of passing by, .. dog barks, .. person then "leaves", or so it seems from the dog's p.o.v. If this occurs on a frequent basis, especially if the dog is unattended and/or has unrestricted access to the window, it's easy for it to become quickly ingrained. And that can be very frustrating to try to deal with, not to mention very frustrating for the dog as well.

Again, if you can't seem to find a workable training solution, I'd opt for the baby gates, annoying as they may be. JMO.
That's why I'm trying to address it now. This started about a month to six weeks ago, could be because she's still settling in with us. I have read that some dogs seem to start doing this type of barking around adolescence and, with some training and leadership from their people, calm down as they mature.
 

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I found this great stuff called Pet Corrector. You can check out the reviews on Amazon. It is a small canister that realeases a loud hissing noise when activated. It gets our Minature Schnauzers attention. We would first verbally warn her and then if she continued barking we would activate the sound from the Pet Corrector. 99% of the time now it just takes the initial verbal warning. I think the stuff is amazing. It even works when she is in the yard and I am in the house and I do it out of an open window. Good Luck!
 

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Maybe you can install a french door in place of the baby gate? At least it would be more convenient and look nicer in the home.
 

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I don't treat but I did do what hargyle did. I would accompany my GSD to the window and reinforced to "look". And then when I observed he experienced a real threat, I reinforced "look", now 1 "woof". It works.
 
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