I have a barking problem and could really use some help!

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Postby hey21jude » November 19th, 2009, 11:57 pm

So since we’ve had our baby girl the dogs have seemed to have settled down quite a bit, and everyone is coexisting quite nicely. Dexter was our main concern with the baby for no other reason than he's a big hyper goof ball and does not know his own strength. After about a week of having her home he stopped seeing her as a “new person” and now is totally relaxed around her. Lots of gentle kisses and sniffs...super cute stuff. He’s really impressed both of us with how much he’s calmed down with everything in general. I think a lot of this has to to with us really cracking down on certain behaviors that we may have let slide before. Like basic NILIF stuff, sitting for collars, petting... They would always comply when we asked for a sit but we didn’t always make them do it. Now they MUST be calm and sit for everything, especially when around the baby and they have been great. I couldn’t ask to better dogs to raise my girl around. I can;t wait till she can talk and start to “train” them. I swear her first word will be “SIT!”

The one thing that has not changed and they both have always been horrible with is barking when someone knocks on the door. And it’s not just that. They bark when they hear ANY noise near the door or ANY noise in the house that sounds remotely like a knock at the door... like if I move something on the coffee table and it makes the right sound...all hell breaks loose. Cleo is the worst about it and Dexter just follows her lead and they feed off eachother’s stupidity. They don’t just bark either, it’s more of a howling, snarling, hair raising frenzy that is totally out of control. I’m not gonna lie, they look scary. In a way it’s nice knowing no one unwanted is gonna come in my house with hem around, but when we have company, it’s embarrassing not being able to control my dogs and the last thing I want is for anyone to be scared of them. They mean no real harm. A few of our friends, and even my mom, will just walk right in and they go just crazed beasts to wiggly babies in .5 seconds. W

The only way we get them under control( and I use this word loosely) is to get in between the people and them and yell “That’s enough, go to bed!” and they run off to their “beds” (Cleo to the bedroom, Dexter to his crate). Sometimes they even start going off and then realize they’re going to be sent to bed anyways and will go there themselves, barking the whole way. When we have people over who are not dog people they stay in their beds. But this is rare, luckily most of our friends are dog people and after they have calmed down they come out and socialize.

I don’t know if they do it out of fear or if they just are very protective of their territory or what. By no means do I want the barking to completely stop, Iike the warning... and I know there is no quick fix for this, but I just don’t know where to start. I would just like for them to stop freaking out when I ask... and for them to trust me that when I say its ok they can calm down and don’t need to protect the house anymore. Could someone help? or at least point me in the right direction??

Sorry for such a long post but I just wanted to give as much info as possible!
Thanks for reading!
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Postby iluvk9 » November 20th, 2009, 6:42 am

No dog trainer here, although I have managed to keep them off my new leather couch...

I had the same problem with the door and my 4 dogs. All hell broke loose. My friend came to the door once and said I needed bars INSIDE the windows. 8) And now that you mention it, heaven forbid there was a similar "knocking noise". :rolleyes2:

It was suggested to me that I desensitize them to the door bell, someone knocking and someone coming to the door. The idea was to do it with each dog individually. Have a sucker ....er...friend...come to the door and ring, knock, etc. and give the "sit" and "no" command. Over and over again. Then add two dogs to the mix, etc.

I never really followed through too well. :sad2: I am sure someone who actually DID it can give you better suggestions. 8)
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Postby hey21jude » November 21st, 2009, 9:10 pm

Thanks! I bet I could get my mom to help out!
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Postby amazincc » November 21st, 2009, 9:21 pm

Do yours know a "speak" command?
Sepp does, and he also knows "enough" (meaning Shut Up NOW!!!... lol)... *most* of the time it works, but when one dog (Daisy :x ) gets the other two riled up mine act exactly like yours, even when they know the person who's knocking/making noises/whatever.
It's a looooong and - sometimes - frustrating process, that's for sure. :nono:
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Postby hey21jude » November 21st, 2009, 9:59 pm

amazincc wrote:Do yours know a "speak" command?
Sepp does, and he also knows "enough" (meaning Shut Up NOW!!!... lol)... *most* of the time it works, but when one dog (Daisy :x ) gets the other two riled up mine act exactly like yours, even when they know the person who's knocking/making noises/whatever.
It's a looooong and - sometimes - frustrating process, that's for sure. :nono:


No, they don't...but I intend on teaching them so I can teach them a "quiet" command too. Hopfully that will help slove the problem...along with some desensitizing and some clicker training.
We'll see. :wink:
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