Old dog has barking problem

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Sorgoth, May 2, 2004.

  1. Sorgoth

    Sorgoth New Member

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    I have a miniature Shnauzer who recently turned nine.

    In his younger days, we...well, we didn't bother training him that well, and now he's had a barking problem for a long time, but it seems like it's gotten worse towards strangers lately.

    We tried a shock collar, and he figured out how to push it with his paws so that it didn't shock him anymore...thought it was a mistake first time, put it back on right, repeated multiple times...

    I've tried just ignoring him, holding his muzzle shut, etc.

    What can I do? Is it too late?
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Sounds like he's enjoying some of the perks that come with age!

    Seriously (unless I'm remembering wrong - which is possible), there's a good thread here about barking that has quite a few good suggestions to help modify this behaviour.

    Don't expect miracles, though; after all, he's earned the right to gripe every now and again.
     
  3. Sorgoth

    Sorgoth New Member

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    Oh, it wouldn't be him anymore if he didn't bark at all. But it's especially with new people...whenever new friends come over, he barks if they move .

    And not just a bit, either...
     
  4. Sorgoth

    Sorgoth New Member

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    Uh...could you give me a link to the thread?
     
  5. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    How is his hearing and eyesight? Sometimes when dogs begin to lose some of their sensory information gathering abilities they can get a bit edgy. It might be more comfortable for him to be in a quiet room away from the new people during most of the visit, just spending some time at the beginning for a "meet and greet" and then letting him out later on, then if he begins barking incessantly again, take him back to his quiet room. He'll either get the idea and start being more quiet, or he'll find out he prefers to be away from the stress of dealing with people who are strangers to him.

    I gave it a quick look, but can't remember exactly which category that thread is under. I'm foundering under too much work right now, and what time I'm spending here is playing hooky! The more I've thought about it, though, it seems that it was a problem with a young dog and you wouldn't necessarily have success using the same tactics on an older dog.

    Incidentally, one way to check eyesight is to toss a cottonball. It makes no noise and has no smell for your dog to follow. A very canny old vet taught me that trick when we were trying to ascertain how much, if any, vision my parents' blind Australian Shepherd has.
     
  6. Sorgoth

    Sorgoth New Member

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    Thanks! I'll try the cottonball thing.

    I'm thinking it may be a territorial issue, though... But I hadn't thought of the sensory thing before.
     
  7. Sorgoth

    Sorgoth New Member

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    Hmm...his vision is fine.
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    He may just be getting older and less tolerant of incursions into his home and his time with you. We've all dealt with relatives and/or friends who, as they age, get less tolerant and more outspoken about things that annoy them. Our dogs sometimes get the same way. It really may be easier on him (and you) to let him see who is visiting, then, if he gets cranked up, put him in the bedroom or whichever room seems to make him happiest. You might even want to give him something to chew on to distract him and keep him busy until he takes a nap. Just be prepared to make a big fuss over him and pet him a lot when your company leaves. If you let him back out while they are still visiting, be sure to make it a point to pet him and pay attention to him so that he gets the idea that visitors aren't necessarily a bad thing. We once had a terrier that just did NOT tolerate company in any way, shape or form with the exception of about three specific people. She just spent the time in my bedroom or in the backyard until they left.
     

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