Bark/yap control for small dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Parajaka, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    Some of you may have seen my other post about my living situation. I've come to an agreement, but my dog is still in the middle.

    He's an 8 year old Pomeranian that has always been a yapper. It seemed no matter what training techniques I tried, he wanted to yap/bark. The biggest time he does it is when I leave and I'm not there.

    Now, the dilemma is I have less than a week to move to the new place. He's going into a house where only 1 of the 2 households is a dog lover. Any sound of barking will be bad news.

    I'm looking into devices that may work. I hate the thought of using a shock collar, and opted to try an ultrasonic device that is set in the room with him...unfortunately, it didn't even phase him. I looked at a 'vibrating' collar that Petco offers, but I really question its ability to work.

    So, basically, I have less than a week to try and resolve this issue. What do I do?
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Pomeranian bark. A lot. It comes with the breed. They're probably one of, if not THE, noisiest dog breed.

    You can train him to stop barking SO much, you can train him to be quiet on command, but you probably can't just make him bark less.

    I would not recommend using any kind of shock collar, vibrating collar, or negative reinforcement.

    You can search for other threads about teaching the "quiet" command. My best suggestion for getting him to stop when you're not home is to make sure he's getting enough exercise/has enough to do (like kongs, toys, etc.) by himself, so he'll sleep or occupy himself instead of barking for fun, and not entering the house until you hear him be quiet. If he's barking at stuff out a window, block off the window.

    This is not really a problem you can solve in a week. It's an issue that's being going on 8 years that you have to break. It's probably going to take a couple of months, or at least a couple of weeks.
     
  3. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    He gets plenty of exercise as I'm located right next to a large field for him to run around in.
    As for entertainment toys, he has never, even as a puppy, had much of any interest in toys. He'll grab something when he's hyper and run around with it for a minute, and that's the most use out of a toy he wants.
     
  4. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Will he bark if you're not home if you, say, leave on the radio or the TV?
     
  5. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Did you try a kong? If he likes food (peanut butter, dog food, cheese, frozen yogurt (literally FROZEN yogurt, not the ice creamy thing)) a kong would be a good bet. Or get a toy he can get kibble out of, and only feed him 1/2 his dinner in a bowl and half of it in a toy.

    If he's really tired from enough exercise (and mental stimulation..he needs that...teach him some tricks), he SHOULD sleep most of the time when you're gone, especially if he's gated or shut in an area without windows or things to bark at. If he's only barking right when you leave, you'd have to ask a real trainer's advice.

    If he's barking the ENTIRE time you're gone (like for hours straight), and you're positive he's getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation (poms need A LOT, more than many other dogs there size. They are high energy little dogs) that's probably separation anxiety or another issue.
     
  6. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    He doesn't bark nonstop when I'm not there, but if he knows someone else is in the house, he will bark.

    Unfortunately, where I plan to go, there will be a pretty strict no-bark policy. If it happens, then I may be SOL. I'm kind of at wits end.
     
  7. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Okay, I'm kind of confused about this situation.

    It's a two-household house where you're going. Are both households living together in one house, or is it separated? Will he be locked away from the other people in the house while you're not there?
     
  8. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    In your other post you said you are presently renting a room, but you are not happy there. You want to go home (your parents house I assume), but your dog is not welcome, even though your dog loves your mom.

    Have your tried using a crate? A wire crate that is big enough for six little poms, with a water bowl, kongs and pillow/bed. Cover the crate on top and 3 sides with a heavy bath towel. In this confinement she may not feel the need to guard bark. The towel will also help to muffle the sound.
     
  9. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    It's a regular house. Ideally he would be in my room, but they're wanting him to stay gated off in the kitchen.

    Correct.

    I do have a crate for him. From the couple of times I've used it with him, it actually seemed to make the yapping worse.
     
  10. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    A couple of times isn't enough to train him to the crate. Train him to the crate by feeding him in it with the door open, dropping little treats in it, let him find a favorite toy in it. Good things happen in the crate. It needs to be big enough to put in a little bed, basket, pillow or towel for a comfortable nap. You aren't using it for housebreaking, so it needn't be small. Never never ever ever let him out when he is fussing- you are training the dog, the dog is not training you.
     
  11. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    A little update:

    I've been getting him acquainted to the crate. He's been staying in it for 5 minutes or so at a time with me not in the room and has been doing OK.

    I took him and the crate over to my parents house today, let him run around outside for a little bit, then crated him in a closed/quiet room. He started barking like crazy and would not stop -- ten minutes straight until I went in there and sat on the bed (completely ignored him). He quieted down and I let him out and praised him for being quiet.
     
  12. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Again...
    Have you tried covering the crate with something like a towel and then turning the TV on when you leave?
     
  13. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    Sorry, missed that. I usually leave the TV on but I'm unsure if it makes any difference

    I've started using a kong stuffed with peanut butter and putting it in the crate, locking him in, and leaving. I just left him in there for about 15 minutes while I went to the store. I expected to come back and hear him barking, but he wasn't.

    I'm hoping it's a sign of progress, but, after his barkathon at my parents house today, I don't know.
     
  14. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    M'kay. Often the noise of a TV or radio does help but if you haven't noticed it making a difference, it probably isn't. Part of his problem may also be the new environment at your parent's house. Auggie loves his crate at home and NEVER barks when left in it (and often even goes in it on his own) but if I am at a hotel and want to go grab food, I have to cover his crate with a blanket and leave the TV on. The change of environment is something new so that will probably take some time just getting used to the new place.

    What you need to do with him at your parents is to put him in the crate, take a step back, then come back to the crate and give him some treats as long as he hasn't started to bark or whine. Take a few steps back, come back, give him treats and/or let him out. Slowly work your way out of the room, one step at a time, but you will not shut the door at first - just walk right back in and give treats/let him out. Then you will shut the door to the room but only for a half-second, open it again IMMEDIATELY, and walk back to give treats. Then keep the door shut for a second, then two, then three or four seconds. It's a very very slow process and is probably going to take days if not weeks to get him used to being left alone and being quiet for minutes and hours at a time. What you're teaching him is not only "being quiet in the crate gets you a cookie/let back out," but also "I will come back when I leave you here."

    You can stuff the kong with peanut butter and put it in the freezer to make it last longer. A lot of people have two kongs so they can always keep one in the freezer when the dog has the other! Getting him used to being left in the crate when he is at home will help him transition to being in the crate at your parents, but like I said, a different environment can be expected to change the rules some. It's normal and he'll be able to work through it with time!
     
  15. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    Thanks for the tips.

    How do I respond to barking while he's in the crate at home? I'd like to leave him in the crate while I go out tomorrow, but my roommates will be here. Of course he will be in my room with the door closed and the crate mostly covered -- but what if he barks? How do I tell them to respond to it?
     
  16. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    They should ignore the barking. At some point you may be able to put a "hush" command on him, but someone yelling "hush!" from the next room may not do the trick.

    Does he have to be left in your room? If he was in the hallway he may feel better seeing who is coming and going.
     
  17. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Does he ever stop for a minute or two? If during those times you walk by and drop a treat in the crate it might help (ignore barking, reward silence). At first it will likely get him started barking again but then if during the next quiet you drop another in, then so on and so forth, he might try holding his silence for longer. If he does and after the treat he continues his silence for another minute come back and drop another, repeating for the whole time he's crated (don't make it too long). Then over time have a longer space between the treats (go to two minutes, then 3, then 5, then 10 (if he can deal with that, if not try 7 or whatever he needs)) and so on until he's silent for hours. Obviously it would be very long annoying work but it might do the trick. However I don't know if he'd keep it up once you left the house but he might. Start with short outings and then increase time. Video tape the first few outings if you can.


    If you can get him to stay quiet just by occupying him with kongs or bully sticks though, that might work out better as it's a LOT easier for you. Only give him these items for crate time though so they stay special, and change what you put in the kong from time to time so it stays exciting.
     
  18. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    I broke down and tried a citronella collar. It didn't even phase him. I only tried it after other methods failed to work. It's now off of him and not being used. I was recommended a D.A.P pheromone plug-in...not optimistic, but it's worth a shot.

    I took video of him today while I was gone. After finishing off his PB filled Kong, he started barking. At the time, there was one person in the house that he probably heard. They leave, and I fast forward and count three other times during his 8 hour stay in the crate where he got up and just started barking. He wasn't barking at anything specific, his ears weren't perked up, he wasn't looking at anything like the door or window, just randomly barking. He went back to sleep, woke up however later and started up again. It recycles like that.

    I'll see how this 'calming' pheromone works tomorrow.
     
  19. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    He's barking to tell you he's ready to come out of the crate. Nobody comes, he gives up. It's working. Could put an interactive food dispensing toy in the crate with him. Give him his breakfast in the toy and he will be getting mental exercise moving the toy around to get the kibble. If you feed raw this won't work so well.
     
  20. Parajaka

    Parajaka New Member

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    He's been staying in his crate for nearly two weeks now and the barking isn't getting any better. I've tried everything I can think of. I figured getting him worn out would work, so I got up extra early and made him go running with me. Wore him out and the barking was still persistent.

    I've tried using kibble in the kong, but it's not something he's interested in. The PB wears off fast, even if frozen overnight.
     

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