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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 11 month old male bastard (not fixed) barks whenever there's comings and goings outside our door. our building is old and you can hear everything.

I find the barking to be annoying.. for me (I might be taking a nap), for the neighbors, and also as a matter of discipline. I feel that a disciplined dog should not be barking like this. At the same time, if two robbers knock the front door down and start beating me with a stick, I would welcome the barking.

Since hushing and firm no commands won't work, I've taken to muzzling him for five minutes after each barking. he's not so used to the muzzling yet, so he looks rather pitiable and dejected and I feel very bad for putting it on him.

It seems to be working...

any opinions on how efficient this might be (or not)?

if not, other suggestions on how to curb the barking?

many thanks

Rogan
 

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Fortunately I don't have a barking dog, and I live in a private house so it wouldn't matter anyway (except for my own sanity), but as I understand it, one way to teach a dog not to bark is to teach them "Speak" and then the opposite "quiet" and use the "quiet" command when barking. The muzzle thing seems kind of cruel to me. I think you're wise for seeking out an alternative.
 

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This method might be good for the short term, but I suspect you're not going to get away with it forever. Pretty soon the dog will learn that muzzle in your hand = bad things and will run away to avoid you, at which point it means you've taught your dog to fear you.

There are a couple of common approaches to this - crating the dog and covering the crate with a blanket until he's calm, teaching speak/quiet on cue. The latter requires a lot of skill and the former just require efficient transportation from barking to crate.

One of the things I thought about was to play audio tracks of people talking and banging on stuff throughout the day to desensitize the dog to noise.
 

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Some types of barking are part of what a dog considers their "job", like alert barking. They think they're doing a good thing by letting you know something is going on. So, we don't mind a bit of barking.

I think the problem for you is, you want your dog to understand when barking is ok (two robbers break in and beat you with a stick) and when it's not (coming and goings outside your door). I don't know if you can really teach your dog to differentiate the two. How is he supposed to know if the people passing by your door are ok, or are robbers about to break in?

We taught our dogs a "quiet" command. They are allowed to bark, but just a couple times, and then, we check out what they're barking at, and give the quiet command. This is really twofold: by checking at what they're barking at we've "taken over". They alerted us, and we took over and went to see for ourselves, so they don't feel the need to keep barking, they did their job and we take over. The second part of that is the quiet command.
Then, if they don't respond we can put them in another room for a time out.
 

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Go stand between the dog and whatever he is barking at and say "Thank you, that's enough". Strangely enough, it works. The dog learns that you take care of things, and he learns what is normal noise.
Muzzling is going to cause a bunch of problems. Dogs also don't understand punsihments that occur after the incident. And since the dog isn't barking at the moment the muzzle goes on, they don't know it means don't bark.

Calling your dog a bastard is inappropriate and makes me worry if you treat him disrespectfully or cruelly.
 
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