Riggs doesn't bark... with the rare exception of when someone is outside and he feels the need to let me know but even that is not consistent, he mostly wuffs and growls then. And that one time on the porch when he wanted to eat the Church people (wow, that was weird) Oh wait... I lied. He barks his head off in his crate. Will... Not... Shut... Up...
I have done everything
. and I mean EVERYTHING
. When I first got him I did the "ignore you until you are quiet and then I'll let you out" It took literally hours
to get him out of his crate sometimes. This would be after I was at work for 8 hours, then we'd spend two hours trying to get him out so he could go to the bathroom. I admit, after a month (maybe longer? definitely not less) I gave up on that because I actually had things I had to do besides stand in my room ignoring him for being an ass.
"Then there was the don't come into the room when he's flipping out." That kept me prisoner in my own house because he would be quiet until he heard me move, then start barking again. His crate was in my bedroom at that point, so you can see the problem there. I slept on the couch more than once.
In the car all bets are off, he does not
tolerate anyone looking at him in his crate. (We love you Jody!) Well, I can because he thinks I'm going to let him out and he gets all excited, but a stranger? Uh, no. If you approach confidently and say "Hey Riggs, you want to come out?" He's pretty much ok, but just "looking?" or "hey doggie, how are you?" No. He does not
like that. And even I can get him to flip out at me if I tap on the glass and tease him
(I only do that after he scares my friends, so that they know it's nothing personal.) And frankly, I'm ok with the car thing because sometimes it's useful, though scaring Police Officers at 2 am when I get pulled over isn't cool... though he laughed (from the other side of the road) evidently Riggs took a while to even notice the officer - you know, beauty sleep and all, then had to let out one ROAR to make a grand entrance.
Currently, in the house he barks until you get near him, then he gets all excited or just is quiet because he thinks you're going to let him out. He also sorta stays quiet (mostly whines) if he can see you. Bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause, bark bark, pause.... until you are ready to kill him.
I've used an ecollar high enough to make me
cry. If I put the collar on him he's silent until the battery dies, then starts barking again. I had a spray commander that worked like a dream, until he chewed it up (only collar he has ever touched, I love that dog, I love that dog, I love that dog...) I tried an ecollar on vibrate in a metal dish on his crate, startled the hell out of him and he was silent
but the batteries die really fast doing that, so it's inconsistent. I've tried the "treat for silence" but that's practically impossible because he's quiet when you approach the crate, and that quickly turned into "bark to get mom to come into the room and give me a treat." I tried a regular shock bark collar, but that was horrible, just horrible
and I'll never do that to him again. I can't use an ecollar on vibrate on his neck because it scares him, and though I'm perfectly ok with compulsion training, I will not scare him, and the vibrate scares
him. (The only thing I've ever seen in five years that really truly upsets him on that level.)
His crate used to be in the laundry room, so I could sneak up on him when he was barking and wack
it - and he'd shut up for a few minutes... Just the startle factor I'm sure, then start up again.
So... why do I bang on the crate? Because it makes me feel better for half a second to be obnoxious and rude right back at him. Does it do anything in the long run? No. It hasn't hurt our relationship, hasn't made a dent in the behavior, I've broken more than one crate, I've ruined more than one crate door, and it hurts my hand.
As for him getting mad right back, well, that's rare and hasn't happened in a loooong time. But it used to more frequently. But honestly, I can't blame him. Here comes mom, screaming her fool head off, and there's Riggs stuck in his crate and unable to get away so he let's me know that he doesn't appreciate my behavior.
Can't say I blame him.
So that's my story. Quite frankly, he just plain hates his crate. He does the spinning run to it at dinner time "are you still behind me? are you still behind me?" and when we come in from going to the bathroom because he knows he gets crated when Connor goes out, and the Fairy Dog Mom treats (we love you Christine) have made a huge difference in that. But as soon as the treat is finished, the barking stars.
According to Demo, he only barks when I'm home. When I'm around, he wants to be out with me. That started day one, and I've never been able to fix it. He doesn't care much for men, so I don't think he cares if he's out or not with Demo.
funny is if he finally gives up (after hours and hours) he puts his back to the crate door as if to say "ok, fine, I'll ignore you too." And he sits and pouts. It's really cute... in an infuriating kind of way.
The "smack the crate" is the only time I ever "discipline" when I'm mad/frustrated. I do not interact with my dogs when I am angry with them... except that obviously. Ruby also hates her crate, due to separation anxiety (also from day one) but when she's in trouble she RUNS to it because she knows I won't touch her in it. Well, I will drag her out by whatever I can reach to get whatever food out of her mouth that she stole, but that's it. And when I do that, I give it to one of the other dogs right infront of her (I don't know if that's the "right" thing to do either, but it makes me feel better.)
But bark at a decoy in training? Oh Dear God, we can't possibly do that! Little crap head....
So, that's my story... and though there are lots of things that frustrate me, the crate things is the one thing that just completely
defeats me... and speaking of defeating, I have to get back to the program I'm writing that is fighting back something fierce.