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Discussion Starter #1
Help! Hubby has the opportunity to work from home with his present job. He really wants to do this. Our house is small. The company has a zero noise policy and Dixie barks at everything and sometimes at nothing at all. I have ninety days to get her to stop the constant barking. Can it even be done with a terrier?

So, if you had a yappy dog and ninety days to deal with it what would you do?

What I have tried in the past:
A spray bottle with water in it
A device that makes a noise when the dog barks
A basic no
Rearranging the furniture to limit her ability to see out the window

She is 5 years old. She was 4 when we got her and barking so much at the adoption fair that they thought she would never find a forever home. She is in her forever home with us and if the barking doesn't stop she will still be here.
 

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How about toys with treats to keep her occupied? Also, possibly more tiring and/or more stimulating exercise. A sleepy dog is usually a less yappy dog. :D When your husband is at work and she starts to get yappy, redirect her to the treat toy - get her interested in something else.
 

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Ninety days is possible:
1. Get a professional trainer to help and give you a plan.
2. OR Teach the dog to Bark on cue. When she barks, have a barkfest. Then when she is quiet for a microsecond between barks, Say Quiet! and shove a high value treat, like boiled chicken or liver treats into her face (can't sniff and bark at the same time). Repeat every day. even twice a day...
3. Or get a bark collar.
4. Or get a shock collar.
5. Or ask the Vet for doggie Prozac

Don't do 3, 4, or 5....
 

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You need to give her something else to do. Does she know all her basic commands? When she starts to bark, start a short training session - every time (the hardest thing is being consistent.). My dog is a barker and that works pretty well for me. First I give a "quiet" command and then the "come" command is given, and then "sit" or "down" or "focus" or anything that works. It takes time for a committed barker. At first you might need a strong lure - a sqeaky toy or a favorite treat to get her attention. A dog cannot concentrate on both barking and following your commands at the same time. Eventually she'll understand. Consistency and determination are required.
 

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I too have been working on this since Leeo's passing with his brother Blu Boy ... it has been 3 -1/2months ... and it is working! :D Whenever Blu Boy and Leeo were together they fed off of each other ... and were nuisance barkers for a while too. I am using the "Look at that!" technique along with the word "Quiet." ( I do miss my barker though. :( )
 

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Seems you haven't tried walking her. You'd be surprised how many issues magically disappear when a dog gets a walk everyday.
It's the same thing as providing her with stimulation.
Walking her then providing her with a kong filled with something is a lot for a dog.

Just remember: A tired dog is a happy dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We do walk her. We have even tried tag team walking her. With four family members we each walk her as far as we can and then the next person heads out with her. The kong only works for a short time. I need her quiet for 8 hours. I know that a tired dog is a happy dog but in Dixie's world if you are happy you just can't help but bark for joy.
 

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Walks are only going to get rid of extra physical energy. Try short training sessions throughout the day involving teaching her new tricks and free shaping. I've found that if my nuisance barker is being annoying (usually close to bedtime) and I'm trying to get something done, a quick training session knocks her out. Make sure it's not just doing the same tricks over and over, but getting her to learn new things.
 

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Physical exhaustion only goes so far. How do you feed? Feeding from food dispensing toys or puzzle toys burns excess mental energy as does training and games that require thought, like hide n seek and tracking games.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've tried various food dispensing toys and she just ignores them. She is smart but lazy. I gave her a frozen kong today and she finished it off in 10 minutes. She will play hide and seek if the person hiding has a high value treat and a whistle. Today I have been picking her up and holding her facing away from whatever she is barking at. I put her down when the barking stops. She hates it but the barking seems to be getting less. The last couple of times she started to bark she stopped immediately when I walked towards her. She isn't afraid of me or anything but she seems to know that I don't want her to bark. If she stops barking on her own I don't pick her up but I do praise her.

Okay she just started barking again and all I did was look at her and she stopped. She is now laying quietly on her bed.
 

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Well, I'm not sure if her motivation for barking is the same as Sydney's but I have a pretty barky dog and work from home. She wasn't properly socialized as a pup and is therefore afraid of and reactive towards strangers. So she mostly barks at people walking past our house. The first thing we did to manage it was, like you have, rearranged the furniture so that it obstructed our very low windows. Then, for the past year or so I've started calling her to me when she barks at something. It doesn't stop her, but over time she's gotten better at barking just once or twice, then coming over to me (she usually still whines a bit, but it's much better than her vaulting at the window and going berserk like she used to!) Her reward is usually praise and petting, but if I have food nearby she gets some of that, lol. Then, during times when I need to make phone calls, I put her in our bedroom where there are no lower windows. She pretty much doesn't bark at all in there. This probably isn't much of a solution if your husband will need to be on the phone constantly, or if she's barking so much that he can't concentrate, because you probably wouldn't want to keep her there all day. But honestly, plenty of people are away for 8 hours a day, so even if you had to keep her confined to a bedroom for the duration of his shift, it wouldn't be so bad IMO.
 

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I suggest a slight modification to your method:
1. She barks.
2. Say (don't yell) "Quiet"
3. Pick her up and hold her facing away ...
4. When she stops barking, Continue to praise her, perhaps say Quiet (Yes, after the fact.) and give her a tiny treat (kibble?)

She's learning to stop when you get up. If you add a word, before you get up... she may learn the verbal cue... which is what you want.
Be consistent and disciplined so that she learns that Quiet means Don't bark, under all circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We had lots of opportunity to practice today. Our landlord was here painting the outside of the house. Dixie is doing much better after only 2 days. I had to quit giving her treats. She is way too smart. She would bark at absolutely nothing so that I could pick her up and give her a treat. Now she gets treats only if she is looking out the window and something goes by and she doesn't bark at it.

I know she can be quiet. We were evacuated last week because of a wildfire. The place where we were staying didn't have any windows that she cold see out of. She was quiet all week.
 
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