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Discussion Starter #1
I was gonna google something like, "How to stop a dog from barking." However when I googled puppy training ebooks for my Kindle I came across a terrible book by a guy who breeds German Shepherds that was a Puppy Q & A. One of the techniques he said to do to stop a puppy from biting had me horrified. So I'm too nervous to just search the web, definitely don't want bad info when I'm liking the training tips I've read here. I searched the forum for "stop barking," but most of the posts I skimmed through were people who had outside dogs and such.

Starting today, Auriel, is barking at the cat. I really don't want a barking dog, so I want to curb this behavior now. From what I can tell she's just wanting the cat to play with her, the cats have acclimatized to her enough that she can get really close without them bolting. She playbows, growls, and when they ignore her, she barks. Of course she has no idea what "Quiet" or "Shhh" means. I'm leaning towards "Quiet" as a stop barking command if possible.

Do I distract her? Let her play with me instead? Move the cat? She's done it twice and both times I picked her up, which of course quiets her, but I'm still not an experienced dog owner enough to tell if I'm rewarding her for barking (heaven forbid) or rewarding her for not barking.

I ordered the Complete Idiot's Guide to Dog Training by Pamela Dennison at my library, but haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet. Any tips between now and then? Thank you.
 

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Emmett barks at me everytime he sees me putting on shoes and generally getting ready to go somewhere, demanding to go on a walk.

SO not cool. One of our trainer's suggestions that might work for you is a spritz of water and a "quiet" command. Her perspective is similar to yours, barking for attention is a big no no. And, I suppose the puppy wants attention from the cat... soon enough, she'll figure out you pick her up when she barks.
 

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Odin barks right in your face for attention. We spoke to our vet and he suggested a spray bottle with a lemon/water mixture or ignoring him. Since I can't see myself spraying him in the face (too mean in my opinion) we ignore him and that is VERY difficult. It seemed to be working at first. He would quiet down quickly and then I would jump up before it started again and play with him. He is now more difficult with it and can continue for a long time. I just have to walk away because his bark kills my ears.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
soon enough, she'll figure out you pick her up when she barks.
Ooh don't want that. I want to discourage barking. Okay, next time I'll pick up the cat. See how well that goes over on her. :)

PrincessLPN: I don't think ignoring this one is gonna work cause she's not barking at me, but I don't like the spray bottle idea either.
 

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I have heard that if you put the barking to a command it can curb barking.

I would assume you could
Command to bark (once it is trained).
Say enough or quiet or whatever your command is
treat for your dog stopping barking
Thus training the quiet command.

I don't think this would discourage the barking, but it will give it an off switch.
 

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Kikopup and Dunbar (dogstardaily) are the best.... Try those.

The conventional way is to teach your dog to bark on cue, then reward the dog when he's not barking. Understand that barking is fun and self-rewarding. Also, in this case, the dog is not threatened, but is communicating either an invitation or frustration. So, the stimulus is the cat with potential to play and the response is barking an invitation. As long as the stimulus is there, you have a strong chance for continued response. You can train the dog to stop barking when you say Quiet, but as long as the cat is there, he's going to resume barking... unless you play with him and convince him that the cat won't play. Anyway, the method that I used:

1. Determine when the dog will bark.
2. Just before he barks, say "speak" and when he barks, give him a treat. Repeat for 10 min. and for 3 days.
3. After you have a reasonably reliable Speak on cue; when he is barking, get all excited, get him excited, and get him barking more.
4. He will bark himself out... temporarily... and "take a breath." Be prepared, it won't last long. When he is silent, Say Quiet and treat.
5. Repeat this for 5 or more days, trying to anticipate and say Quiet just before the Silence. You now have Speak and Quiet on unreliable cues.
6. Keep practicing in different circumstances to improve reliability.
7. When he playbows to the cat, but before he barks, say "Speak" treat when he barks, then get all excited. The cat will think that you've freaked out and will leave the room and hide under the bed :) Then, as in Step 4 above, say Quiet as he winds down...
8. Tweak this method and you'll get closer. He may still bark at the cat, but you'll feel better, b/c sometimes he'll stop for a bit.
9. Note: When my dog was very young, I used to rub deep in his ears to give him an eargasm. So, if I grab his ears, it distracts him, anticipating a good massage. After I say Quiet, and he stops barking briefly, then starts again, I grab his ear (NOT pinch, not painful!) to distract him, and he'll reduce his barking...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone! I'll be looking at the videos shortly and we'll work on teaching her to "Speak" so she can be a good quiet dog. Before I got a chance to read the thread, she did bark at the cat again, and I ignored her and picked up the cat. She did not like that at all.

Just out of curiosity - what was the suggestion that left you so horrified?
I'll private message it to you. I don't want someone to think its advice I'm giving.
 
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