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Discussion Starter #1
So when I take my dogs outside to go potty, especially when their is weather, I usually go through the basement since we have a walkout basement. At first my older dog (she is 3 y/o) would bark at my younger dog to initiate play if she made it down the stairs first. Now she whines the whole way down the stairs and then runs straight to the door jumps on it and barks, not even attempting to initiate play with the younger dog. I've been trying to teach her that the barking and whining doesn't help her get outside faster. Usually I stop wherever I am while she whines and pretend I'm interested in something on the wall. If she barks I casually act like I forgot something and start walking back upstairs. Usually they go outside every few hours and many times she doesn't need to pee, but today I knew she really needed to due to unforeseen circumstances I couldn't take her out earlier. Unfortunately, the deck steps from the main level were icy so we had to use the basement to get to the backyard. She barked a lot so I kept slowly walking back upstairs because I knew we needed to get her out soon but I also didn't want to reinforce the barking. Today she peed on the mat in front of the door. She has never peed in the house since I got her 5 months ago. Needless to say I was irritated but I did nothing until they had both gone outside to relieve themselves (she had to poo to).

I realized that while I've been doing the not giving her what she wants when she barks or whines for over a month now, it hasn't improved at all. I feel very frustrated with the whining and barking, especially since I'm sure the neighbors can hear. While it's probably fine during the day, I'm sure it's annoying at 6:30 in the morning and 10:30 in the evening, especially since they have really young children who go to bed early. So I'm thinking I may be approaching this the wrong way. I assumed her motivation for whining and barking are to hurry me, but that may be wrong.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

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As far as the peeing incident today goes, that isn't her fault, as I think you realize. You knew she had to go but purposely delayed getting her out the door. You win some you lose some.

I don't have any great advice for your issues, but it kind of sounds to me like she isn't being mentally stimulated enough and/or receiving enough exercise. You may want to try increasing the time you spend training her each day, or invest in some puzzle toys, make sure she gets a difficult chew or a kong or something each day, etc. Since she doesn't always have to pee when she goes out, her whining/barking could be more excitement based - she's excited to be getting out and doing something. More stimulation throughout the day could help take the edge off of that energy.

I think your going back upstairs idea is on the right track, but you may want to take it a step further. Have good treats on you. Have her perform a few basic tricks before entering the basement so she is engaged and paying attention to you. On the way down the stairs, give her a treat as long as she is quiet (as long as it is safe - don't want anyone falling down the stairs!). This may have to be almost rapid fire at the start, as you want to set her up for success. Continue on the way to the door. After a day or so, start increasing time inbetween treats, rewarding for quiet. No treat when she makes noise, and start over back at the top of the stairs.

Hopefully someone else will come along with better advice! But that's the direction I would probably go in.
 

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Not to be harsh, but a lot of your posts sound quite similar to me. Some combination of overarousal, anxiety, stress, barking, two adolescent or young dogs feeding off each other or not being able to be separated for training sessions... I hope some of the things you sought help for in the past have gotten better! But I would strongly recommend looking for a reputable trainer to help with this issue. It sounds like she has formed a habit. Move and bark, then mom stares at the wall for a bit, then we move and bark again... I mean, you're right in that ignoring does help with demand barking over time. But ignoring on its own without reinforcement of something else will not get rid of this behavior and instead cause this on/off pattern you're seeing. There's a lot you can do, like ask for desirable behaviors before she even starts barking. Work on some "with me" or "heel" type exercise on the way to the door, teach "stay" then release when you reach the door and open it... Basically training a desirable alternative behavior. But based on all of your posts, I feel like having a good trainer help you in person will be best for this and for everything else. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you SydneyNicole and Canyx. I actually do have good trainers but I feel like I'm always asking questions and having issues, or I keep forgetting to ask them. Luckily, a lot of the issues I've asked about in the past have been resolved, but it seems like new issues keep arising. The issues that remain seem to be the constant vocalization. They have never once eaten out of a bowl when they are with me (don't know about when they go to daycare), always getting their food as rewards for training or from puzzle toys (we have a huge assortment).

The youngest, our first dog, actually is hyperactive, at first she couldn't self settle, now she just struggles with it if there is something else she could be doing, like following me around the house. She has been diagnosed with separation anxiety, which we are working on with a behaviorist. We've been working on teaching her to settle on her own but she definitely has her good and bad days. The hard part is that she isn't very food or toy motivated. Her bigger reinforcers are chasing squirrels/rabbits/butterflies/bees/any living thing that moves or playing with other dogs.

The 3 year old has a tendency towards jealousy of the younger dog, originally she was dog on dog resource guarding food, me, toys and spots, but we've been able to work most of it out except toys. She is also nervous of new people, terrified of children, possessive of her home and family, and is definitely very demanding of attention. Luckily she can self-settle and generally loves the younger dog if there are no toys around. The funny thing is she seems to prefer being massaged over play or activities.

So I'll start working on a behavior the older one can do instead of rushing to the door and barking. We already do the sit at the door before being released suggestion. We do that both at the door to the basement and the door outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both again. We just did our final potty of the night and we worked on sits and downs, then I released them and walked to the basement door. They sat so I released them to go through the door, did a recall when they reached the bottom of the stairs, released them, did a recall when the got halfway to the door to go outside, released and then did a recall when they reached the door. Once I finally made it to the door, they did their sits to go out. It worked great, not a peep. They were both very engaged. I hope it's ok to do recalls. I haven't worked much on heels with the youngest and not at all with the oldest, but that seems like a good idea. Usually they are at the door to outside before I even finish walking down the stairs.
 

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Here is my take (not reading any of your other posts. First: Listen to Canyx. Good stuff there.

However, ignoring a behavior and not rewarding a behavior is often not enough to get a behavior to stop. Sometimes it takes replacing the behavior with another behavior (and that is what I do here).

When we go out (and I only take one dog at a time out) Nalluh will run to the door that leads outside and jump on it. Repeatedly. I do not want that behavior. I want him to sit at the door and wait. So I back chained sitting at the door quietly to go out. He will also do the same behavior to go in. I replaced that behavior as well with sitting at the door.

Yes, I have to remind him as he is flying toward the door to SIT! but he skids to a stop at the door and sits. If he gets up, I stop moving. I do not move forward unless he is sitting. Sometimes, when he was first learning, I had to remind him to sit. But I never moved forward toward the door unless he was sitting. He learned VERY fast that his behavior got me to move my feet. His misbehavior (if you will) got me to not move my feet and delay what he wanted.

We then built MORE on this (and now have it perfect) to keep sitting when the door was opened and to remain sitting until I say "yes" at which point he is allowed to blast out the open door. I do the same thing for exit/entrance from/to the crate, exit/entrance from to the outdoor kennel (yes, my dogs want IN their kennels and crates). I do it for food and other things.. and I use other stationary commands such as down (platz) and stand (Sta pronounced Shhhhtaaay).

I think you need to teach each dog to go down the stairs and lie down at the bottom of the stairs. They stay in a down and then you open the door to go out. They both have to stay in a down until after you open the door. I would then teach them to respond to only their name and a cue such as "Fido, Yes." and that dog can go out. Then the it is "Pooky, Yes" and then Pooky can go out. I would switch it up so that they never know which dog will go out first.

You can use this for many other things as well and you can teach this for eating, going into a crate and many other things such as getting into and out of a car and even in training.. One dog is in a long down on their mat while you work the other dog, then switch. Long down on a mat is an active job as much as sit, stand, recall, and so forth.
 

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Thank you both again. We just did our final potty of the night and we worked on sits and downs, then I released them and walked to the basement door. They sat so I released them to go through the door, did a recall when they reached the bottom of the stairs, released them, did a recall when the got halfway to the door to go outside, released and then did a recall when they reached the door. Once I finally made it to the door, they did their sits to go out. It worked great, not a peep. They were both very engaged. I hope it's ok to do recalls. I haven't worked much on heels with the youngest and not at all with the oldest, but that seems like a good idea. Usually they are at the door to outside before I even finish walking down the stairs.
I'm glad you are seeing progress!
 
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