Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Our dog occasionally barks at us during training. Not aggressively, but seemingly out of frustration or boredom. We'll tell her to back up or lay down and she'll look at us and bark.

Any idea the reason for this behavior (she's 10 months)? We feel it is because she's bored and wants more energy/complex tasks but we're not sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
It may be "leaking." It is ususally genetic based and undesirable. Usually a combination of prey drive and nerve (but not always).

Don't reward it. Absolutely don't punish it. If she leaks she gets no positive marker and no reward. She only gets a positive marker and a reward when she does the task silently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
You're probably right with thinking frustration - which is usually caused by confusion. You could try a few different things to add more clarity, like increasing the rate and/or value of the rewards, or breaking the desired behavior down into smaller components and reward for smaller steps until you have the complete behavior. I find I get more barking/whining in training sessions if I cut down the rewards too much, too fast.

Some dogs, too, don't like doing the same behavior repeatedly. Especially if you notice her performing a behavior less cleanly the longer you train with it, ie "sit" turns into "back up a little and sit" or "sit and then down". It's a good idea to rotate cues with these kinds of dogs instead of drilling one behavior over and over, and making sure training sessions are short and have ample play breaks. Otherwise it's easy to "train until failure" as you attempt to get a "good" response to the cue while the dog is getting more and more frustrated, until the behavior completely falls apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,913 Posts
Leaking drive is nothing more or less than a fancy way of saying 'frustrated' - except in as much as it's usually a specific kind of frustrated. It's not desirable, it's not helpful, it's something you want to avoid under all guises.

You can reduce this by not doing long sessions, limiting repetition, upping the rate of reward, and generally doing more face paced activity between the slower or stationary things like position changes. ANd, of course, using toy/play rewards or toy/play breaks during the session.
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Apologizes for piggybacking on this thread. I'm having a similar problem so I figured I would post here rather than start a new thread.

My dog is 4 and has been doing obedience and agility classes. She's a nervous, high energy dog who is very vocal. I swear she wants to talk.

Here's a typical situation. She's doing a down stay and starts barking. Maybe she wants up, maybe she wants the treat. But she barks and barks and barks. She's so loud I don't like to train in my backyard because I'm afraid neighbors will complain about the barking. I try not to give her the treat until she stops barking, but she's a dog who has very little patience and needs a lot of rewards. So it's difficult to try to train her on another command or agility obstacle. I can't immediately treat when she does what I want because she's always barking. I worry she has got the message that she gets rewarded for barking or gets the treat faster if she barks. I have used a clicker, but she doesn't seem to care. She want her favorite high value treats.

I really would like to work more on agility training in my backyard but she barks continuously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Apologizes for piggybacking on this thread. I'm having a similar problem so I figured I would post here rather than start a new thread.

My dog is 4 and has been doing obedience and agility classes. She's a nervous, high energy dog who is very vocal. I swear she wants to talk.

Here's a typical situation. She's doing a down stay and starts barking. Maybe she wants up, maybe she wants the treat. But she barks and barks and barks. She's so loud I don't like to train in my backyard because I'm afraid neighbors will complain about the barking. I try not to give her the treat until she stops barking, but she's a dog who has very little patience and needs a lot of rewards. So it's difficult to try to train her on another command or agility obstacle. I can't immediately treat when she does what I want because she's always barking. I worry she has got the message that she gets rewarded for barking or gets the treat faster if she barks. I have used a clicker, but she doesn't seem to care. She want her favorite high value treats.

I really would like to work more on agility training in my backyard but she barks continuously.
I have seen a LOT of agility dogs with this issue. In fact, I know of one dog that barks constantly when in a "place." Again.. it is leaking drive.

I never use the word Stay (not that it matters.. but it MIGHT in your case). If the dog is in a down, then she is staying or in a sit or stand.. the dog is stationary and staying until released or given another command.

So.. try changing the word to what the dog is doing and not adding the word Stay (you are changing the dynamic a little). Then, ask for less. See how much less you can ask for and maintain silence and build on that. It is going to take time.

I have found you cannot punish leaking. Most people inadvertently reward (pay) the dog while leaking which builds more leaking. Most of the dogs I see that leak just want the reward (usually a ball or toy) and are driven to get to the reward and so they leak. In these cases it usually helps to change the reward from a toy to food. This immediately changes the drive. Dogs working for food and dogs working for a toy are in different drive modes and different drive levels.

Try changing the reward, delivering it only when the dog is silent, delivering it more frequently and GRADUALLY building up time between rewards and shortening the training sessions so the dog doesn't have as much time to amp up. While the suggestion to speed things up and change things up sounds great in theory, it often can backfire as the rapid fire changes can build drive as opposed to lowering drive (and lowering the leaking). Actually, getting the dog to offer to slow down and THINK is the goal.. and to get that you need to be creative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
Telecaster: I'd look into Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol. You can find it easily (and free!) online. It's basically a down-stay protocol, but with really detailed instructions centered around teaching the dog to remain calm regardless of what's going on around them.

Another thing I might try is actually using lower-value treats. I've found that in some situations, my dog loses his brain trying to figure out how to get super awesome high value food rewards to the point where he completely loses self control and starts vocalizing or throwing behaviors at me that I didn't ask for. He's still highly motivated by kibble, but he has much better self control and focus when using low-value rewards in environments that are otherwise not very challenging (IE, the living room, a quiet yard or sidewalk, etc.). Challenging environments are where I break out the super exciting treats, because there the food reward is competing with lots of very exciting environmental rewards (cats, squirrels, kits on skateboards, other dogs, etc.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,834 Posts
Probably a mixture of frustration or confusion. Its really not that unusual for a 10 month old.

I would just ignore it. Perhaps mix up your training a bit and avoid making it seem like a 'drill.' Also, make sure the dog knows what you're asking her to do. You may have to go back and pretend you're training her the task from square one, as 10 months is also an age where pups push boundaries and like to ask, "Okay, you asked me to sit, but do you really mean sit?"
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top