to correct or not to correct...that is my question.

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Postby NcPrisonguard » July 23rd, 2006, 11:43 pm

So my boy Boomer just recently has started flipping out over any living thing venturing through the yard or near the yard. Rabbits, possums (he's killed 2) deer, squirrels, other dogs and other cats. He's fine with my friend's dogs, he's fine with my cat and kitten, he's fine with Cheyenne my female pit. But outside of those anything with 4 legs that nears the yard he wigs out.. Now I know he has a moderately high prey drive, and I want him to feel comfortable protecting the his territory and the house..etc.. So I haven't been correcting him one this... right thing to do or no? :?
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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 9:41 am

If you don't mind a little protection of your property---warning barks, etc., then try teaching "leave it" if you haven't already.

My female is like that, and if I just tell her to "leave it" now, she'll chill right out. I do let her bark if people come to the house to warn us, but I try not to let her get nutty at the door. If she's getting nutty near the door, I use "go," so she knows her job is done and to chill out.
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Postby mnp13 » July 24th, 2006, 10:19 am

I second the use of a "leave it" command.

Two or three barks are ok at my house, after that I've had enough!
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Postby SisMorphine » July 24th, 2006, 10:27 am

mnp13 wrote:I second the use of a "leave it" command.

Two or three barks are ok at my house, after that I've had enough!

No barking allowed at my house. One protective bark? Sure. Both Wally and Mike will give one low "woof" if something is amiss, or if somoene is behind the fence and they can't see. But they might bark once a week at the very most (though Mike will bark when I turn him on for bite work, otherwise won't bark here).

Halo barks his fool head off anytime anyone comes to the door (which is at least 10 times a day during the busy summer months). He is not being protective, nor do I believe he would protect me if the chance ever came about. He's just being stupid and annoying. I hate it. Yes, it scared off a pizza boy one night (Halo was barking like a lunatic when he rang the doorbell, when I answered Wally was standing next to me and the kid jumped out of his skin and hid behind the screen door . . . I had to tell him this dog wasn't the one barking . . . which I think he figured out once he found his balls again), but it's totally unacceptable.

Personally I would prefer a dog who would bark only when things feel . . . wrong. Not at everything and anything. I would be correcting for the innapropriate barking and praising for the barking that isn't annoying. i would think you'd have to be consistant, though, on what barking is okay and what isn't.

But frankly I have no clue, that's just a guess. I'd talk to a trainer. I discuss things with two trainers before I correct or reward or anything. Each dog is different as far as what is going to help and/or hinder their training. Best to get your info from a pro! It's easiest to do things right the first time, then correct incorrectly and have to do some backtracking in your training.
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Postby katiek0417 » July 24th, 2006, 10:55 am

SisMorphine wrote:
mnp13 wrote:I second the use of a "leave it" command.

Two or three barks are ok at my house, after that I've had enough!

Personally I would prefer a dog who would bark only when things feel . . . wrong. Not at everything and anything. I would be correcting for the innapropriate barking and praising for the barking that isn't annoying. i would think you'd have to be consistant, though, on what barking is okay and what isn't.



I always allow Nisha to bark a few times if SHE hears something. This is not a me-based decision. Her hearing is much keener than mine, she has often heard people coming towards my house before I have.

Many dogs can hear things before their human owners (has to do with sound wave vibrations and frequencies)....so, I don't correct unless it become incessant...
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Postby rockermom » July 24th, 2006, 11:26 am

This is an interesting thread. Rocky was not much of a barker and at one time I wondered if he even knew how to bark. More recently I guess with maturaty he has begun barking. I have trouble telling when it is protective or being cautious or just alerting me. Often I dont see anything when he is barking out the back window barking. I too am not sure when or should I correct. Actually last night all the neighborhood dogs were doing there barking thing. Most dogs are left out for hours here. First time Rocky began barking back. This I know to quiet and call him in. Drives me nuts when the other dogs are out barking for friggen hours.
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Postby SisMorphine » July 24th, 2006, 11:38 am

katiek0417 wrote:
SisMorphine wrote:
mnp13 wrote:I second the use of a "leave it" command.

Two or three barks are ok at my house, after that I've had enough!

Personally I would prefer a dog who would bark only when things feel . . . wrong. Not at everything and anything. I would be correcting for the innapropriate barking and praising for the barking that isn't annoying. i would think you'd have to be consistant, though, on what barking is okay and what isn't.



I always allow Nisha to bark a few times if SHE hears something. This is not a me-based decision. Her hearing is much keener than mine, she has often heard people coming towards my house before I have.

Many dogs can hear things before their human owners (has to do with sound wave vibrations and frequencies)....so, I don't correct unless it become incessant...

See I don't like my dogs to bark when people come to the house (you know, since people come up here all day long and all). To me that's innapropriate. When people are lurking . . . sure (which is why I don't correct if they bark when someone is at the kennel gate, because they cannot see the person and it's an abnormal place for a person to be). But somoene walking up the driveway, up the steps, ringing the doorbell? My dogs need to keep quiet.

If Wally or Mike hears something, their ears will prick, they will walk towards the noise (slider, front door, kennel door, etc) and that's cool. They're alerting that there's something going on, some noise, and that's awesome because they do it QUIETLY (except for Wally's excited toe nail on floor tip-taps as he dances in front of the slider door . . . he loves company). In the middle of the night Wally has growled and barked at an intruder (my father coming into my room to grab my keys) which again is totally cool with me because it was out of the ordinary. I'm sure Mike would do the same, I'm counting on Mike to do the same (being a PP dog in training and all). And also one woof I'm cool with. It's the multiple, or incessent barking, that I do not accept.

Halo is not quiet. He barks incessently at the slightest noise, especially someone on the front steps or ringing the doorbell, and I'm running out of places to put him when I have clients coming and going. Especially since I'm a no-bark boarding facility, him being here just isn't cutting it, and he gets worse as the days go on.

Maybe at your house people knocking at the door is considered "out of the ordinary" but I have clients coming to my door throughout the day, it's nothing new, my dogs need to deal with it and move on.
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Postby Malli » July 24th, 2006, 12:16 pm

I think it sounds like preference to me?

The key being to be consistent either way, #1 allow all barking, #2 allow appropriate barking and correct always for anything else, #3 Never allow a bark.
like always it needs to be very "black or white" ?

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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 12:55 pm

Dogs bark. Incessant barking means there's an unaddressed issue.

I think the original poster's question was more regarding whether or not to correct his/her dog for wigging out over critters, etc. outside.
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Postby Sue » July 24th, 2006, 1:03 pm

My Pepper barks... at everything - cats, squirrels, the doorbell ringing, someone walking by. But you know what? He's a shep mix, part of his nature. He was also kept tied to a dog house for 5 years outside. I deal with it.
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Postby Sue » July 24th, 2006, 1:08 pm

"Leave it" or "Quiet" can work. I usually let Pepper get in a bark or 2, then tell him "quiet". The other 2 don't bark much, usually just to join in with Pepper...
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Postby mnp13 » July 24th, 2006, 1:09 pm

Malli wrote:like always it needs to be very "black or white" ?

exactly... dogs think in black and white. Gray area is bad for training.

I think the original poster's question was more regarding whether or not to correct his/her dog for wigging out over critters, etc. outside.

I think it's all about preference. Some people allow a few barks, some want no barking. all of that can be addressed with training.
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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 1:31 pm

Sue wrote:My Pepper barks... at everything - cats, squirrels, the doorbell ringing, someone walking by. But you know what? He's a shep mix, part of his nature. He was also kept tied to a dog house for 5 years outside. I deal with it.


Exactly . . . another good point---guarding breeds will often bark more naturally.
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Postby Marinepits » July 24th, 2006, 1:35 pm

a-bull wrote:Exactly . . . another good point---guarding breeds will often bark more naturally.


Well, that explains Mac's hysteria when someone comes up the driveway! :D
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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 1:40 pm

I'm sorry, but having a dog that isn't allowed to bark is just ridiculous.

Dogs bark.

Dogs bark for MANY reasons---to warn, to communicate to their pack, to communicate in general (such as pain), to get attention . . . and like I said before, if your dog just barks incessantly, there is definitely an underlying issue, even if that issue is that you have created a naughty dog.

I'll never understand people who want certain animals, but then they don't like when that animal just does what it does naturally---cats scratching furniture, etc. I don't get it.
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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 1:42 pm

Marinepits wrote:
a-bull wrote:Exactly . . . another good point---guarding breeds will often bark more naturally.


Well, that explains Mac's hysteria when someone comes up the driveway! :D


Is Mac the one that looks like he has Mastiff in him??
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Postby Marinepits » July 24th, 2006, 1:50 pm

a-bull wrote:Is Mac the one that looks like he has Mastiff in him??


Oh, yeah. He guards this house like it's Fort Knox. I'll have to post new photos of him soon -- he's starting to "bulk out" and his coat looks fab since the allergy shots started working. He's pretty damn intimidating now. :D
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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 1:52 pm

Marinepits wrote:
a-bull wrote:Is Mac the one that looks like he has Mastiff in him??


Oh, yeah. He guards this house like it's Fort Knox. I'll have to post new photos of him soon -- he's starting to "bulk out" and his coat looks fab since the allergy shots started working. He's pretty damn intimidating now. :D


Works for me. :D Post pics!!
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Postby Sue » July 24th, 2006, 2:00 pm

Marinepits wrote: -- he's starting to "bulk out" and his coat looks fab since the allergy shots started working. He's pretty damn intimidating now. :D


Yeah, he is!! He's a big boy :D So handsome!
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Postby a-bull » July 24th, 2006, 2:04 pm

Oh, and NcPrisonguard~

Work on bite inhibition with your dog, too. Dogs with moderate to high prey drives can hurt kittens and such without meaning to, and you don't want to go there. :o
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