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First of all I'll start off by say that my SCWT, Spirit generally doesn't do a lot of barking for no apparent reason. She is generally quiet and barks at appropriate times such as play with other dogs and when she sense people or animals near my house. That later is what I'd like to work on.

I genuinely appreciate her alerting me to people walking near my house and believe that she's something of watchdog (not a guard dog). My problem is that when she starts barking at someone she generally doesn't stop until they either go away or in the case of guest when I invite them in the house and start talking to them. I suppose what I want is a compromise which is that she can and should bark to alert me to these things, but that after I look at the situation I want to her to stop and understand everything is fine.

I was tempted to teach bark/quiet but a quick search found dozens of people who could never get them to stop barking. I'm wary about teaching bark since I know Spirit loves to bark as long as there's something to bark at like cats, birds, people she can hear but not see, men with from Kingston, Jamaica or several islands south of Jamaica and their descendants (really).

Any suggestions? And about how many months do you suppose it'd take to teach?
 

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Yeah, mine are the same way and I'm struggling with the same issues, so I can't really help. Mine are dachshund mixes, and they like to bark. Particularly at people walking down the street, but they also bark too much at each other while playing (not just one bark, but constant, LOUD barking if they get excited). Dogs, too. When the neighbors have their dogs out to pee, mine won't pee, because they're too busy barking. I've tried to desensitize and pet them, talk, play, give treats, etc. but they just won't be swayed once they're started barking.

I haven't made much progress yet, but I've read that you need to teach bark or "speak" before you can teach "quiet," but i'm not sure. When mine bark, I try to say "speak" to associate it with that,but we haven't made much progress on either as of right now.
 

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....

My SCWT barks at everything, anything and the stuff inbetween. And everything you read says.... not really a barking breed.... well..... apparently mine is the breed failure. He was hit by a car a few weeks ago... we were teaching him to not kill the ducks (my parents have several species of birds)... well then he saw a car... so he barked at the car... well then he decided to attack the car (while it was driving mind you)... so with a full on sprint he DID attack a tire, lost a tooth... LOL

Oh back to the barking... he barks at school busses, he barks at tractor trailers, dump trucks, recycling trucks, fire trucks... he tries to attack them in the car (picture me driving, him standing on top of me snapping in the air out the window). So now we're learning "your seat and my seat".

I cannot help you but I wanted to comment because I love SCWTs and their mental ness :)

My parents have a prejudice dog too :p
 

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We went at this two ways. First, when our dogs alert us to something, we pay acknowledge them. It may sound silly, but, we go look out the window at what they're barking at and say "thanks, we've got this." And then we go about our business. Usually the dogs stop barking after this. They did their job, we acknowledged them, so they don't feel the need to keep barking.
The second thing we did is we taught our dogs the quiet command. If they, for some reason, continue to bark after we thank them and take over, we give the quiet command.

The way we taught this was, when they were barking we'd say "quiet" in a excited voice. When they looked at us to see what was up we'd praise them and say "good quiet!" and give a treat. Gradually, we'd require them to be quiet longer before getting the treat.
 
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