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I'm so excited - how to shush the "drill sergeant"?

1069 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  sarahk
I've got a 3 year old fox terrier who loves mountain biking. He was the perfect companion until the first morning he saw a deer and since then he's just beside himself with excitement once he knows he's going. From the moment I put on my helmet he barks encouragement to get me moving and its only by the halfway point that he's suitably exercised that we can stop for a rest and not get barked at. The more I take him out, the fitter he gets, the more he wants to run and therefore the more he barks.

At home he's really quiet and if he does bark I know there will be a genuine reason - someone at the door for instance. On regular walks or jogging he's great. He plays with other dogs and does terrier growls in rough play but this is not a vocal dog.

I can see that at the moment we're "rewarding" the behaviour by only having short stops.

If I take dog treats and coax him towards me he knows that I'll try and catch him (he doesn't bark if I hold him) so he rejects them.
I can't keep him on lead and bike safely.

I could, I guess, take him out there one weekday (ie fewer people to annoy) and play the I-won't-move-until-you-stop-barking game but I'm hoping there may be an easier solution.

Any ideas?
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My old cattle dog used to LOVE going for a run on the ATV or side by side where we used to work & she would bark up a storm lol, some times I would tell her "OK!!! I'm coming!!!" lol, I never did get her to quit lol.

Does he know any commands? Maybe trying a sit or a down might help, or perhaps waving a fav toy & playing with him to distract him from barking.
I think you'll have to go during the week and play the not moving game a few times, unfortunately. Dogs do whatever gets them what they want.

I was on vacation last week, so I got to see my MIL and dog interacting. When she comes downstairs after waking up, he starts shrieking and barking up a storm until she gives him a treat. She asked me why he does that. I said, "Because it works. If you want him to stop doing that, stop giving him a treat for doing it." Turns out, she really likes all the fuss, so we're all good. (He doesn't do that to me or my husband, either.)
Thanks for the replies!

On the only group ride I took him on you could see him catching on to my plans.

At home when I loaded my pockets with treats I had the perfect dog willing to sit, wait, roll over, spin, stand etc.

On the ride I started by just asking him to sit and wait and applying treats. Before long he decided that treats didn't cut it and would not come for the treat but would sit at a safe distance where I couldn't catch him. Sitting and barking is just as annoying.

I'm heading out tomorrow with a friend so I'll try the distract technique... Pine forests are full of sticks I can throw. If that fails then I'll write a few days off in my diary...
I took him out yesterday with a couple of girlfriends so couldn't be as hard on him as I probably should have but did basic commands like sit, down and wait and he responded well and appeared calmer. I'll have to wait until next week to take him out again - it'll be interesting to see what he's remembered/forgotten.
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