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Hi all,

I have a 10 month old male Bichon and 9 year old female cockapoo. The problem I have is that the cockapoo has taught the Bichon how to bark and not be sociable especially at the neighbors dog. The dog next door is a black labrador and the dog is old and does not bother anyone unless he is bothered with, which our dogs are doing. Also, my daughter in law has pretty much the same dog and when we go down to visit our cockapoo normally gets aggressive with him at least once while we are visiting for no reason at all. The other dog is friendly and does not do anything to our dog but will not back off when he is confronted and then we have to separate the two.

Before my neighbors call and register a complaint about the barking, what would you suggest we do to keep our dogs from barking at the dog next door. I have put a wire fence up to keep our dogs away from the fence that separates our yards but they just sense that he is around and just bark for spite.

Please help!!!

Thanks
 

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How often, and for how long are your dogs out? Do you go out with them?
I would teach a "quiet" command. When the dog barks, stick a treat under her nose. She will stop barking in order to sniff the treat. Say "good quiet!" and give the treat. The idea is that you gradually start requiring longer "quiet" times before she gets the treat. The first time, the treat under her nose will be enough to make her stop, at least for a second, and you give her the treat to reward her being "quiet". Gradually, she has to stay quiet for, maybe 3 seconds, then the next time, maybe 5 seconds, then after awhile, maybe 20 seconds. It should all go gradually.

If she doesn't respond to the "quiet" command then she immediately goes back inside, until she's quiet. Then, you can let her back out. If she barks again and doesn't respond to "quiet", it's back in again. The hard part is putting her inside every time she barks and doesn't respond. But, being consistent is super important.

Also, I would go to the fence to see what they're barking at (even though you already know), and say something like "ok, thanks, I'll take it from here." I know it seems silly, but, someone recommended that for us years ago on Dog Forums, and it actually worked. Dogs often think it's their job to let you know someone or something is near your property or area, and if you let them know you got their alert, and will take over, they will often go about their business.
 

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Also, I would go to the fence to see what they're barking at (even though you already know), and say something like "ok, thanks, I'll take it from here." I know it seems silly, but, someone recommended that for us years ago on Dog Forums, and it actually worked. Dogs often think it's their job to let you know someone or something is near your property or area, and if you let them know you got their alert, and will take over, they will often go about their business.
This really does work.

I have to ask, though, why are the dogs outside unattended if you know they're engaging in problem behaviors? Until you sort this out, they're either inside with you or outside with you, but never outside without you. Really, you shouldn't leave dogs outside unattended anyway. Besides barking, they can get out, eat something bad, run into a wild animal, etc. My neighbor lost her chihuahua to a hawk a couple of months ago, right in her back yard.
 

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Thanks for the information. I will give that a try. It seems to have helped the puppy learn his basic commands so I will try it with both the dogs now.

BTW: I do go outside with them as even though our yard is fenced the puppy does have a tendency to get into things, especially my wife's flower garden and digs. Thanks for your concern though.

Again, I appreciate the suggestion and will try it.

Glenn
 

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Don't yell at them (not sure if you're doing that or not) because they just see that as you barking.

What you can do is get really, really good treats and have them by the back door or on hand. When the neighbor's dog is out, sit close to the house and offer them treats quietly, rewarding them for being near you and not barking. Then move closer to the fence, same thing. Use a quiet voice and praise them for being quiet, only when that dog is out. They start to associate that dog as being a good thing and not something to bark at and all is well! You can buy a bag of cookies for the neighbor dog and attach a note from your dogs saying they're very sorry and learning to have better manners when he's out, so they know you're working on it and not just ignoring the issue.

What worked for me years ago was the soaker sprinklers (the hose type with tons of tiny holes). I put that down along the area that was the biggest issue, back then it was because we had a long chain link fence on top of a hill and the kids used to walk along the back of the fence which drove my dog crazy - sometimes they'd start, he'd go bark, they'd run back, wait a minute then try again. So when that started to happen I'd just go stand by the tap and turn it on full blast when he was heading to bark at the kids starting to walk. He'd get turned off from the water and come back to the house for a treat and oddly enough the kids would go do something else!).
 
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