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I realize I screwed up. I inadvertently trained my puppy to bark at things he wants. When he was very little, he wasn't able to get up on the couch on his own, so we'd have him sit, and then we'd pick him up and let him sit with us. He always had toys to chew on otherwise he'd chew on us. He'd drop them all the time, and then bark at them (since he couldn't get down/up) and we'd pick them up for him. I didn't even think about it at the time. He also would bark at his toys if he got them stuck somewhere, like under a chair or behind some funiture, and we'd get them back out. Well great, now he barks when he wants something up on a high surface, and he barks at me when I'm eating because he wants food, he'll sit and stare inside his pen at his toys and bark and look at me, and bark, and look at me until I hand him the right toy. I stopped doing that and just open the gate and let him get whatever the heck he wants, but nonetheless, I feel like I've reinforced that barking gets what you want and I don't know how to undo it. Do I just stop giving him what he's barking at? I try to reward him with the item when he STOPS barking, but it hasn't decreased the barking to alert me to the fact that he wants it in the first place.
 

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Change what barking gets him.

If there's a bedroom or something that you can use, or a bathroom, make barking = mom is going to take me to the bathroom and put me in there and shut the door for a minute. It won't take him long to realize that barking doesn't get him what he wants anymore, it gets him carted to the bathroom. Storee barks if she's out in the dog run and it's somewhat close (within four hours) of when she assumes she should be fed (anytime after noon). She has however realized that I'm quite dumb and assume she's barking because she'd like me to open the kitchen window and give her a shower with the veggie sprayer. Being smarter than me she now stands around the corner and barks but it's a start.
 

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Change what barking gets him.

If there's a bedroom or something that you can use, or a bathroom, make barking = mom is going to take me to the bathroom and put me in there and shut the door for a minute. It won't take him long to realize that barking doesn't get him what he wants anymore, it gets him carted to the bathroom. Storee barks if she's out in the dog run and it's somewhat close (within four hours) of when she assumes she should be fed (anytime after noon). She has however realized that I'm quite dumb and assume she's barking because she'd like me to open the kitchen window and give her a shower with the veggie sprayer. Being smarter than me she now stands around the corner and barks but it's a start.
That cracked me up!
Bordermom's advice is good. Additionally, or instead, you could put on your nerves-of-steel, and wait her out. Do NOT respond, at all, to the barking, not even by looking at her. Turn your back or head away from her when she barks. It will take awhile, and you'll get the "extinction burst" where she'll just try harder at the thing-that-used-to-work, but if you can make it through that, you should break her of the barking. If you give in, even once, you'll have made the new rule, "Bark and bark for a long time 'til they finally do what you want, because the people seem to have gotten a bit deaf lately." :p

Good luck!
 

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That cracked me up!
Bordermom's advice is good. Additionally, or instead, you could put on your nerves-of-steel, and wait her out. Do NOT respond, at all, to the barking, not even by looking at her. Turn your back or head away from her when she barks. It will take awhile, and you'll get the "extinction burst" where she'll just try harder at the thing-that-used-to-work, but if you can make it through that, you should break her of the barking. If you give in, even once, you'll have made the new rule, "Bark and bark for a long time 'til they finally do what you want, because the people seem to have gotten a bit deaf lately." :p

Good luck!
That's not bad advice, either. It's what I was going to recommend. (This also works for small children throwing temper tantrums. I outwaited a 45 minute screaming, kicking tantrum once.)

Don't feel bad. We've all done that sort of thing. "Oh, you love me and jump on me, how cute!" becomes "no, wait, now you're 80 lbs and this hurts, stop it!" pretty quickly.
 

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I feel bad about the "Bark it out" method -- not for me or Hamilton, but for my neighbors!! We've got all the windows open :\ I think if I lock him up somewhere he'll just bark more to get out again. I have put him in his expen for a few minutes when he's climbed up on furniture and is barking out the window (as I found just removing him from wherever he's sitting just results in him jumping back up again and again...).
 

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Don't feel bad. We've all done that sort of thing. "Oh, you love me and jump on me, how cute!" becomes "no, wait, now you're 80 lbs and this hurts, stop it!" pretty quickly.
It was totally cute when he was too small to get his own toys. Didn't even cross my mind that it would become a problem later on! I guess there are worse problems we could be having!
 

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I'd also put it on cue. Get her speaking on command then teach a quiet command. Make quiet a more rewarding behavior.
 

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I feel bad about the "Bark it out" method -- not for me or Hamilton, but for my neighbors!! We've got all the windows open :\ I think if I lock him up somewhere he'll just bark more to get out again. I have put him in his expen for a few minutes when he's climbed up on furniture and is barking out the window (as I found just removing him from wherever he's sitting just results in him jumping back up again and again...).
Yes, I do have the advantage of living in a more rural area where everyone has barking dogs, so we all put up with each other's. ;) Still, the dog is already barking a lot, so in the long run, this will fix it. Also, putting it on cue as Gally suggests, then fading the cue, is a good approach.

Is there another way you can work out to allow the pup to get what he needs? Like, a ramp up on the furniture, and easy access to all his toys?

The key to any of these is going to be your own will and ability to be smarter and more stubborn than Hamilton. So, good luck! ;)
 

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Yes, I do have the advantage of living in a more rural area where everyone has barking dogs, so we all put up with each other's. ;) Still, the dog is already barking a lot, so in the long run, this will fix it. Also, putting it on cue as Gally suggests, then fading the cue, is a good approach.

Is there another way you can work out to allow the pup to get what he needs? Like, a ramp up on the furniture, and easy access to all his toys?

The key to any of these is going to be your own will and ability to be smarter and more stubborn than Hamilton. So, good luck! ;)
I have several neighbors with barky dogs... I just don't want to be "that" neighbor too.

Hamilton HAS access to everything he needs!! He is able to get up and down off the couch and living room chairs now, he has a big box of toys that he can rifle through on the floor, but why jump down to get your toy when someone else will pick it up for you? Granted when he gets his toys stuck somewhere, we do actually need to help him, but the rest of the time he should be able to do it himself!

I've got all his people (my husband, his two "aunties" -- my friends who are at my house a few days a week) on board with ignoring the barking. Last night he was looking out the window barking at something, and I put him in his pen -- which made him bark more, argh. I waited until he had a break in barking, praised him, and quick grabbed him back out again before he started up again.

Thanks for your help! I'm going to talk to his trainer about it next week too.
 

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Granted when he gets his toys stuck somewhere, we do actually need to help him, but the rest of the time he should be able to do it himself!
He still has you thinking like a servant! ;) If he has a bucket full of toys he can reach, he can go get one of them, instead of making you come dig out one he's (cleverly?) stuck out of reach. Eventually, when you do your normal picking up, you can rescue that toy and toss it in the bucket with the others. On YOUR terms.

Good for you, getting the family on board! Stick to it, and your endurance will be rewarded! Beware the extinction burst, when things will get worse right before they finally get better. Hang in there!
 

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I talked to my trainer. She said if he's making a reasonable request, get him in a sit-stay/down-stay, and then get it for him as a reward for doing his command. If he's barking at something he can't have, use a "leave it" and reward him with something else. If it's something outside that he's excited about, then do a "leave it" and do some commands with him to refocus him. If it's something he is being obnoxious about (he wants my dinner), and his own dinner isn't keeping him occupied, crate him 'til we're done.
 

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I talked to my trainer. She said if he's making a reasonable request, get him in a sit-stay/down-stay, and then get it for him as a reward for doing his command. If he's barking at something he can't have, use a "leave it" and reward him with something else. If it's something outside that he's excited about, then do a "leave it" and do some commands with him to refocus him. If it's something he is being obnoxious about (he wants my dinner), and his own dinner isn't keeping him occupied, crate him 'til we're done.
That all sounds pretty good. The devil will be in the detail of what's a "reasonable request"?
Good luck!
 

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I've also accidentally trained this and Alfie has been getting worse with his demand barking over the last few weeks, to the point that I was pulling my hair out last night trying to get him to settle down. Half the time I think he's just barking for my attention, and it's not like I didn't spend many hours with him yesterday on 2 long walks, training class and games of tuggy and fetch.

Aside from this, he's a near perfect dog! Looks like I might have a long couple of weeks while I try to retrain it :(
 

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I talked to my trainer. She said if he's making a reasonable request, get him in a sit-stay/down-stay, and then get it for him as a reward for doing his command. If he's barking at something he can't have, use a "leave it" and reward him with something else. If it's something outside that he's excited about, then do a "leave it" and do some commands with him to refocus him. If it's something he is being obnoxious about (he wants my dinner), and his own dinner isn't keeping him occupied, crate him 'til we're done.
I am late getting to this thread ... but this is what I pretty much did with Leeo and Blu Boy. They are very vocal dogs. :p

If their toys were stuck under a piece of furniture I would call them to me and have them sit. Then I would say "What!?" in a high pitched tone. I would have them follow me to the area ... get their toy. After a while they would come on their own and sit in front of me ... and when I would say "What!?" they would take me to the area and stick their head under the couch or chair or whatever and all you saw was their rump sticking up! Lol! They became "Lassie" ... "Take me to Timmy!" Lol! :D
 

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Change what barking gets him.

If there's a bedroom or something that you can use, or a bathroom, make barking = mom is going to take me to the bathroom and put me in there and shut the door for a minute. It won't take him long to realize that barking doesn't get him what he wants anymore, it gets him carted to the bathroom. Storee barks if she's out in the dog run and it's somewhat close (within four hours) of when she assumes she should be fed (anytime after noon). She has however realized that I'm quite dumb and assume she's barking because she'd like me to open the kitchen window and give her a shower with the veggie sprayer. Being smarter than me she now stands around the corner and barks but it's a start.
Ha!

I guess I'm very lucky in that Hobbes almost never barks. Unless someone is at the door. Or Hobbes has reason to believe that someone might approach the door in the near future. :) He has to warn them with his low-pitched, loud, and generally scary bark to prepare them for the lick-fest which will inevitably follow.
 

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Ha!

I guess I'm very lucky in that Hobbes almost never barks. Unless someone is at the door. Or Hobbes has reason to believe that someone might approach the door in the near future. :) He has to warn them with his low-pitched, loud, and generally scary bark to prepare them for the lick-fest which will inevitably follow.
All said, Hamilton could certainly be worse! He isn't a 'recreational' barker - he does the alert barks when someone comes over - but doesn't seem to bark to hear his own voice. Our neighbors have two chihuahuas that just don't quit ever!! I don't even know what would be setting off their barking/howling fits in the middle of the night. All I need is for him to think he's getting rewarded for barking though!!
 
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