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Its hard to get her to relax. She likes to bark. A lot. Just last night she was chewing on a bully bone when suddenly she jumps up and starts barking out the window. Other times, she'll be sleeping someone will enter the room or I'll close the book I'm reading(type on the computer, or there might not even be a reason) and she'll jump up and bark, and bark. It was fine the first couple of weeks, but now my parents are threatening to bring out the squirt bottle and my sib's are calling my dog stupid. -.- I think she just might need time, but over the last couple of days it seems like she's gotten worse. What should I do?
 

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Does she have a "quiet" command? Because my dog can be very sensitive to sounds too... Sometimes he hears things that we can't and he'll leap up, fur on end, and give out 3 or 4 loud booming barks. He'll stop if anyone says "Quiet" though.
 

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We also use the "quiet" command, or "settle". To teach it, we did use a spray bottle with bitter yuck or bitter apple spray which we sprayed in his mouth as we said the command.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does she have a "quiet" command? Because my dog can be very sensitive to sounds too... Sometimes he hears things that we can't and he'll leap up, fur on end, and give out 3 or 4 loud booming barks. He'll stop if anyone says "Quiet" though.
I'm working on that. She seems to be responding to "shussshhh,". She'll stop and look at me then I'll praise her for stopping. Normally she'll then do a few quiet, "'oof, 'oof" after that. Just a few minutes ago my brother closed his bed room door and she started barking. I don't want to completely discourage her from barking, but family members are complaining.

I think you're right on the sensitive hearing. One of her ears are completely erect and the other is on its way.
 

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We also use the "quiet" command, or "settle". To teach it, we did use a spray bottle with bitter yuck or bitter apple spray which we sprayed in his mouth as we said the command.
I would NOT reccomend spray anything bitter in a dogs mouth. Largely due to the chance of accidently spraying in the eyes but there are better ways than using an aversion like that.
 

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That type of behavior would annoy the bejeezus out of me.

I'm no expert, having trained all of 1 dog and just now starting on my 2nd, but I think what I would do is start having some training sessions wherein you create noises of various types and then reward her when she doesn't bark. If she barks at every single noise that you make, then you'd likely need to teach her the Quiet command first, as mentioned above.
 

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I agree with upfromtheashes except instead of going straight to proofing her, first teach her what you want, then proof.

Do not spray anything bitter or otherwise use aversive methods on a 17 week old puppy, please. Your puppy may become scared of you and will just have all the more reason to bark. At least try some positive reinforcement first.

You can help build confidence in a puppy a number of ways. One of these ways is to work on commands and teach your puppy how to sit, down, stay for treats. Get creative too. As long as you keep it happy and positive the dog will love it and it will keep her busy and help her gain confidence.

First, have a family meeting. Tell them that you want to work on training your dog to be quiet. Tell them that she will continue to bark the couple weeks but that you are working on it and you will eventually get her to quiet on command. Also, tell them your rules. Tell them you need them to help with teaching her when it is ok to bark and when it is not. Show them how to train her and have them help out and be a part of the process. If they don't want to, fine. But at least explain to them that you are working at it.

There are a number of ways to teach quiet. I would first start easy.
1. Get some treats your puppy loves
2. Try to get your dog to bark by either taunting, barking yourself, etc.
3. Treat the barking behavior and give it a cue "Speak" or "Bark" or "Whats up?"
4. Train the dog to bark on cue
5. Once the dog will bark on cue, tell her "Shh" and the moment she stops, treat her
7. Do this over and over. Cue "Bark" dog barks cue "Shh" and treat when she is quiet. When she is pretty reliable about quitting when you say "Shh" start proofing (You will need to be quick about treating the moment she's done with the next bark)
8. Tell your siblings to go in other parts of the house and close the door
9. Let her bark once or twice, then say "Shh" The moment she quiets, treat her, run outside, play with a toy, go bananas
10. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Close doors, ring doorbells, sing loudly, run a blender, close a window, cry, laugh, etc.

*If she does not stop barking at any point after you cue "Shh" just say "Too bad" or "Oops" and gently take her by the collar and lead her into another room for 3-5 minutes. Only let her out to try again when she is quiet. If you cue quiet and she does the quiet "Woofs" under her breath, just say "Too bad" or "Oops" and gently lead her by her collar to another room for 3-5 minutes.

This will take as long as it needs to. She is young so I am thinking maybe 2 weeks. Go slow, don't rush her, and just be positive about it. Your puppy will learn to hush. However, you need to also give her time to bark. Take her to a park and cue her to bark and treat her. Dogs bark, they just need to do it when we say, not necessarily when a leaf blows by.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
That type of behavior would annoy the bejeezus out of me.

I'm no expert, having trained all of 1 dog and just now starting on my 2nd, but I think what I would do is start having some training sessions wherein you create noises of various types and then reward her when she doesn't bark. If she barks at every single noise that you make, then you'd likely need to teach her the Quiet command first, as mentioned above.
This would be my 2nd dog, too, upfromtheleashes. :)

I agree with upfromtheashes except instead of going straight to proofing her, first teach her what you want, then proof.

Do not spray anything bitter or otherwise use aversive methods on a 17 week old puppy, please. Your puppy may become scared of you and will just have all the more reason to bark. At least try some positive reinforcement first.

You can help build confidence in a puppy a number of ways. One of these ways is to work on commands and teach your puppy how to sit, down, stay for treats. Get creative too. As long as you keep it happy and positive the dog will love it and it will keep her busy and help her gain confidence.

First, have a family meeting. Tell them that you want to work on training your dog to be quiet. Tell them that she will continue to bark the couple weeks but that you are working on it and you will eventually get her to quiet on command. Also, tell them your rules. Tell them you need them to help with teaching her when it is ok to bark and when it is not. Show them how to train her and have them help out and be a part of the process. If they don't want to, fine. But at least explain to them that you are working at it.

There are a number of ways to teach quiet. I would first start easy.
1. Get some treats your puppy loves
2. Try to get your dog to bark by either taunting, barking yourself, etc.
3. Treat the barking behavior and give it a cue "Speak" or "Bark" or "Whats up?"
4. Train the dog to bark on cue
5. Once the dog will bark on cue, tell her "Shh" and the moment she stops, treat her
7. Do this over and over. Cue "Bark" dog barks cue "Shh" and treat when she is quiet. When she is pretty reliable about quitting when you say "Shh" start proofing (You will need to be quick about treating the moment she's done with the next bark)
8. Tell your siblings to go in other parts of the house and close the door
9. Let her bark once or twice, then say "Shh" The moment she quiets, treat her, run outside, play with a toy, go bananas
10. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Close doors, ring doorbells, sing loudly, run a blender, close a window, cry, laugh, etc.

*If she does not stop barking at any point after you cue "Shh" just say "Too bad" or "Oops" and gently take her by the collar and lead her into another room for 3-5 minutes. Only let her out to try again when she is quiet. If you cue quiet and she does the quiet "Woofs" under her breath, just say "Too bad" or "Oops" and gently lead her by her collar to another room for 3-5 minutes.

This will take as long as it needs to. She is young so I am thinking maybe 2 weeks. Go slow, don't rush her, and just be positive about it. Your puppy will learn to hush. However, you need to also give her time to bark. Take her to a park and cue her to bark and treat her. Dogs bark, they just need to do it when we say, not necessarily when a leaf blows by.
Funny you should mention training her to bark on command. I started that 3 days ago and now she does it on command half of the time. It was funny, I heard her barking in the other room so I went in there and told her, "bark." encouragingly. She stopped and looked at me. So I told her bark again and then proceeded to bark myself :crazy: That REALLY got her attention. She trotted over to me, her tail wagging uncertainly. I repeated the process and she started barking. I rewarded with chest rubs and praises and got her to do it 3 more times. :eek: I had no clue I was heading in the right direction! :cool:

I'll keep working on it, Nil, and will definitely follow the rest of your advice. Thanks so much! My mom thought I would end up making her bark more but actually she's getting better. Whenever there is something that scares her, I go to it and touch it. She'll be right behind me trying to figure out if its safe or not. Today, it was my brother's hat. She started barking at it on his head so he took it off and gave her time to check it out before slowly putting it back on his head. Yesterday, the gate. A couple of days ago, it was a quilt that was on the ottoman.

We run a blender, mixer, and even a very loud wheat mill. Strangely enough, she has no problem with this things. Whenever there is a sound she starts barking at. I repeat it and at the same time show her that I'm normally the one doing it. XD Its just the really quiet things that happen when she's sleeping that she jumps up to bark at.

Pippa knows how to sit, lay, stay, come, heel, "get in your bed(kennel)" from across the room, leave it, drop it(she's REALLY good at this), down, some target training, and, of course, working on bark on command. I'm running out of ideas. Anything else can I teach at this age? Everything is rudimentary, and I keep it short because of her age.

Again, thanks so much for the advice! Everyone has been so helpful! I'll tell you how it goes. :) Thanks again!
 

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Considering she is still a puppy I would definitely try to show her more of the world and get her used to a lot of different and sometimes scary things since she seems a little nervous about stuff. I'm not sure what type of place you live in, but these are things I plan on teaching my future puppy while they are still young:

1. Handling. Learning that people touching them all over, holding paws, looking at ears and teeth, mean that the puppy gets delicious good things. Even lightly pulling on tail or ears then treating for staying calm. Some kids just don't know how to interact with puppies so teaching the puppies early to stay calm before you can intervene can really pay off in the dog's later years.

2. Putting puppy on at least 20 different surfaces. Grass, cement, asphalt, wood chips, rubber matting, snow, mud, dirt, linoleum, etc. I don't know where my dog is going to go exactly so I want to teach him/her that all of these surfaces are ok to walk on.

3. Buja board. This is a board you can make at home and essentially it wobbles. So you can lure the pup on this board and teach them to move it around. I think this helps a lot with puppy confidence and teaching them to maintain balance and not get freaked out about something moving underneath them.
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcURjZm32hU

I'm glad you have already been teaching her to bark! It is very counter intuitive when you think about it, but it works amazingly.

Teaching touch is good too. I think that is what you mean by target. If the puppy is scared of something, teaching them to target that something for treats is definitely helpful. You never want to push them though because that can ruin a lot of your training. Just let her go at her own pace.

Just fyi, I don't know if it snows where you live, but if your pup is only 17 weeks old I am going to bet that she hasn't ever met anyone in full snow gear (boots, parka, hat, scarf, etc). That can be very scary for puppies. I suggest dressing up in snow gear now and showing your puppy that it is ok. Up to you, of course. But I was reading an article somewhere where someone had a puppy during the summer and didn't think to socialize the puppy to snow gear. Winter comes around and the poor dog was having panic attacks whenever someone walked by! :p
 

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Haha, I might freak out if I saw someone wearing all of that! XD But I do see your point. Once the house isn't so hot, I'll put on a jacket and a scarf- thats about all needed in winter clothing here. :) Thanks for the video. I'll do that. I noticed on the side that they were introducing Dare to an umbrella. I'll have to do that too!

We live out in the country, so she isn't exposed to new people everyday. :( We take her to the farmer's market about once a week(when they are open) and we're taking her next week to a pet shop for(we hope) socialization. This is probably what concerns me the most because its something I can't work on when we're at the house and its something I know is detrimental if ignored. She barks at any stranger who approaches her, makes eye contact, and starts baby-talking her. I give them treats to offer her and she'll take them, hesitantly, barking, and skittish. Its all fear, they've commented. Because lately I've started to worry at the back of my mind that its aggression because when we're standing there talking to the person(who has already acknowledged Pippa by talking to her or treats), Pippa will come up right to them and bark(I'm not sure how to react to this besides walking away, or getting her to lay down for treats). :confused: This is my game plan for next week: Last time, Pippa once came up to the person sniffing their feet. This time when/if she does it, I'll use to clicker and treat her for going up to the person. Last time I was surprised she did it, this time I will be prepared. Does this sound good?

I would take her out with me more but it is so hot outside right now and even with the AC in my car running it's still warm(plus, gas isn't cheap). I don't know of any dog parks here. When I go to the post-office or library(all short trips and she gets to watch people out of the windows) I take her whenever I can.

You've given me so many great ideas... Thanks again, you are a wealth of information!
 

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She might not like the eye contact from people. Have people ignore her but just throw treats on the ground near them while you talk. There is no pressure on her to have to face them persay. If she starts barking at them while you are talking I would try redirecting her attention and asking for a sit or down to get her focused on you again.

Sometimes to socialize puppies you have to get creative. Here are some ideas,
1. Grocery stores on weekends
2. Farmer's markets
3. Schools around 2-3pm when they are let out
4. Gas stations
5. Puppy training classes

I'm sure if you did a google look up you could find more. I am also not sure what all is out where you live.
 
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