Serious Problem Barking

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Yarr's picture
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Here's this: http://www.gentledoberman.com/forum

And this: http://www.gentledoberman.com/forum

Ok, so we've been working with Scout to curb the rebelliousness, and inside it's working.  She's coming around and learning that her life ends until she obeys her commands. 
Outside it's a different story.  She has gotten worse.  Here's what happens:

1. Scout asks to go outside to do her business.
2. As soon as her paws hit the dirt she is running around barking at the air.  She has no target.  No squirrel, no cat, no neighbor's dog, nothing.  Head up, trotting around, letting it all out and then some. 
3. Whistles, calls, attempts at correction from us are ignored, and even thrown back at us, as she will speed up, run by just out of our reach while looking away from us and then intensify the barking.  It's an obvious "#@$% you."
4. Ignoring it does no good, as she will do this for hours if we let her.
5. The neighbors have complained twice and I have no reason to believe they won't escalate if we don't stop this soon.  They don't like her anyway.
6. I don't blame them as I am tempted to strangle her myself.
7. This behavior is getting worse. She used to do this every now and then.  Now it's every time she's outside, whether we are out there with her or not.  It's gone from once every couple of weeks to several times a day.
8. In an attempt to change the behavior we have taken her out on the leash to do her business where we have control and correction ability. She's fine then. It's when she's off the leash that it's a problem.
9. I don't want to have to take her out on a leash every time she needs to pee for the rest of her life.
10. We are in Houston.  The temperature changes often.  It doesn't matter if it's cool or cold, warm or hot, the behavior is the same. If it's cold she'll give up and come in sooner, but otherwise there's no change.

I'm really considering a shock collar even though I am more or less against them.  This crap has me reconsidering my moral stance on certain issues. 

It's that serious.

Please help- and please help specifically.  I know she needs 'training'.  What actions should I take in particular? 

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Hi there Yarr,

I've been giving this some thought. You certainly have a feisty little girl. This type of behavior is common in the Doberman. It's intentional. This horrible attitude puppies have (under 2 usually) is important for creating an extremely obedient dog. This is why it's so important to train the Doberman, and us the proper training method for the particular dog. Once trained, her blatant "up-your's" attitude will do things like keep her in a Stay even when other people call her, throw balls, and offer treats.

In general, your main problem here is that she knows she is in charge outside. She knows you can't do anything to affect her. This is one of the reasons i encourage people never to chase a Doberman puppy. You don't want them to find out they can stay away from you.

I know how tempting it is to use a shock collar. I've been frustrated enough in the past to joke with my wife about the need for "shock backpacks" complete with two car batteries.

But seriously, shock collars are usually not the ideal solution. If you do decide to train with one - understand that a shock collar is only a training tool. It's only as effective as the training method you use WITH it. It's is an extremely powerful training tool as well. Like a gun, if used accurately and responsibly by an expert, it can end problems quick. Also like a gun, it it's simple clipped onto a dog and fired when the dog missbehaves, who knows what you'll hit. You might shock her for barking and she might associate the shock with being outside at night and start messing in the house and fearing the back door.

A better place to start would be the recall command. You can start this in the house. Give her the command "come" or whatever, and reward her with a treat for coming. Then move outside. If she fails to come outside you can try a long leach, like 50 feet. Repeat the command and gently reel her in and reward her for returning.

Avoid letting her out and only calling her to come in. She'll learn returning means no more fun. Try calling her to the door to come in for a treat and right back outside. And - never call her for a correction.

Barking can be a tough one too in this type of case. She's just getting out her natural energy. Of course this in not appropriate around people.

I have two ideas for this. First, when I have a new dog in our home, a puppy of a rescue, sometimes they think they can run around barking and ignore me. Heck - sometimes our adults who know better test me now and then. When they try ignoring my "NO BARK" I WALK strait toward them with my angry face. Usually they crouch down submissively and apologize, but some times they try running around me. In this case I keep walking toward them until they make a mistake and corner themselves. Then I grab them by the scruff and rally let them have an angry verbal correction and usually order them to scurry into the house. This way they figure in their little doggy minds that I can pounce on them any time I want.  ;)

The other idea is to develop a good NO BARK command. To do this you start with a Speak command. Do this all in one lesson if you can: Get some treats, take a seat in a chair, place the dog in a sit in front of you, stuff some cotton in your eats, and show a treat. Wait for her to whine and give the treat. It might take a little while be eventually she'll let out a noise so reward it.

Show another treat and wait again. reward any noise. Soon she'll turn the whine up and into a bark to try getting the treat faster - and soon she will do it consistently as soon as you show the treat. Now add the command while you show the treat. Next just give the command, but still produce a treat as a reward.

Now you should be able to command her to bark. Next withhold the treat until she barks twice, then three time, and eventually until after receiving the bark command she barks continuously. (I know this sounds scary)

This is the good part. Give the bark command while showing the treat. Let her bark until she pauses and immediately give the treat. This is just to give her a clue. Give the bark command again, let her bark a few time and interrupt her with a strong NO BARK and quickly give the treat.

Practice this until she will start and stop barking with treats or praise as a reward. Now you can rest and try the command later one. Once she has it down you can try it outside in combination with the recall and treats.

Grendelspop's picture
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Nice response Horse, I think Ill try this just for the fun of it.

rgreen4's picture
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I agree with Grendelspop, good technique Horse. Fortunately Red is very quiet unless another dog in the area sounds off and then he has to make sure they know he's here. Of course he's usually standing right beside me in the house when he does it.

I will have to keep the technique in mind as Princess grows up.

SoldierRN's picture
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Our Dobe has a problem with barking, too, but a little different than the original post. When he is outside (we are inside the house) and wants our attention he will bark like there is no tomorrow. We do give him lots of attention but sometimes he needs to be outside. BTW, he sleeps in our bedroom at night.

IMHO, he has separation anxiety. I found a place (Rob Cary Pet Resort & Training) for obedience training which we will start next week. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

SoldierRN wrote:

Our Dobe has a problem with barking, too, but a little different than the original post. When he is outside (we are inside the house) and wants our attention he will bark like there is no tomorrow. We do give him lots of attention but sometimes he needs to be outside. BTW, he sleeps in our bedroom at night.

IMHO, he has separation anxiety. I found a place (Rob Cary Pet Resort & Training) for obedience training which we will start next week. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Well, they do not have the nickname of velcro dog for nothing lol. None of my dogs like to be outside without us. If they are playing or doing the occasional sunbathe then yes it is not a problem but to be outside by themselves with no purpose they wouldn't go for.

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rnddobermans wrote:

SoldierRN wrote:

Our Dobe has a problem with barking, too, but a little different than the original post. When he is outside (we are inside the house) and wants our attention he will bark like there is no tomorrow. We do give him lots of attention but sometimes he needs to be outside. BTW, he sleeps in our bedroom at night.

IMHO, he has separation anxiety. I found a place (Rob Cary Pet Resort & Training) for obedience training which we will start next week. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Well, they do not have the nickname of velcro dog for nothing lol. None of my dogs like to be outside without us. If they are playing or doing the occasional sunbathe then yes it is not a problem but to be outside by themselves with no purpose they wouldn't go for.

LOL, velcro dog... never heard that before but definitely fits.  :D

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I know this thread is old. But I am so glad for reading how to teach the dog to "Quiet" ! :) My Puppy is donig the SAME THING ! When we gooutside. But's not at air. Sometimes it's at something flapping in the wind, but it's always at the neighbors ! He does nto know them. They have tried to stop and say hello,and after greeting him,he would calm down imediately and be like "OH,it's just a nice person" :).. But I sohuldn't have to make people greet him everytime just to shut him up. So everytime I take him potty ,and it's mostly at night when they sit on their front porch, he is barking and growling away. It is so ambarassing. Bless their hearts for even trying. One evening when he went on&on barking (taking him out front to potty) they all shouted "Hey Buddy ! " ,Because the day before I had explained that I was sorry he does this and maybe if he knew them better he would stop.
A few "Hi's" are not going to be enough,and I don't expect them to become my friends just to shut him up.

I have planned a get together with my husbands work buddies. To come over Sat night. And try to do this on a regular basis. They will be told to ignore him too, unless he is being quiet.  Then his quietness wil lbe rewarded with attention. If he barks for attention, they will ignore him again.  Because even though I take him out in public every day to meet people and be exposed to people, he is not used to having company over. I am hoping that meeting more peopel ,at OUR house,might help him desensitize, and socialize better too. We'll see.
I don't mind his barking, as that is exactly what i got him for. But I want to stop him too,when he needs to stop.

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I am teaching the Quiet too! If she doesn't obey she gets a spray of water .. sometimes it works other times it does not...But she is so young and learning!! I think she is doing great!

rgreen4's picture
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Buddys-owner wrote:

I have planned a get together with my husbands work buddies. To come over Sat night. And try to do this on a regular basis. They will be told to ignore him too, unless he is being quiet.  Then his quietness wil lbe rewarded with attention. If he barks for attention, they will ignore him again.  Because even though I take him out in public every day to meet people and be exposed to people, he is not used to having company over. I am hoping that meeting more peopel ,at OUR house,might help him desensitize, and socialize better too. We'll see.
I don't mind his barking, as that is exactly what i got him for. But I want to stop him too,when he needs to stop.

Excellent Technique! It should socialize him further and also teach him that bad behavior will be ignored.

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Update : Buddy reacted differentyl than I expected. He allowed the men into our home from the front door. When we wre on the back deck (fenced in back yard) , and they came in through the gate, he still allowed them to come in, NO problems. he laid around,and basicly "chilled" with us. Occasionally sniffed ,but didn't pay attention to them,even as they carried on laughing,tellnig jokes.
later on a repair man entered the yard,when I wasn't expecting him. Buddy barked at him befroe he came in. I didn't know he was entering my yard,until afterwards. Anyway, after came inside the back yard, Buddy was fine! I noticed his only problem with people are outside in the front yard ONLY. Any where else he's a lover. I hope when he gts older, he wil lbe more portective of our yard and inside the hmoe though !  If an un invited intruder, or stranger comes inside my house OR Yard, I certainly would want him to bark&growl,and do whatever is needed.
If I get a personal trainer for one on one help, it would be for the front yard issue, jumping on kids OFF leash (knows not to do it on leash) and then for the dog issue I discussed in the other thread. He's learning "sit" "down" and a trick called "twist" (started clicker training). And already knows "wait" at door ways & before eating) , "OK" (release) and started learning "leave it" (for toys/house stuff) lastnight.
If he'd lose those 3 bad behaviors he has, he'd be the dog I dreamed of having ! Wellthe dog I dream of having befroe training in other things liek Agility,continuing Obedience,etc...  I know he can learn to improve on his issues if I find the right methods and things that will work for those particular situations. Because I was able to figure out on my own  how to solve one  problem, that got fixed mostly and had help with two other problems that he now is also imropoving 9and working) on...

rgreen4's picture
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To fully understand Buddy's behavior, you have to think like a dog. He is still young, so he will take his cues from his Alpha (you). When the first two men came in the back yard, you were unconcerned and to use your word, chilling, so he did too. When the repair man came in you were surprised but not concerned, so settled back and "chilled" and so did he.

Time and time again, people comment on their Dobies reaction when a stranger appears suddenly in the yard or even the house and how somehow the Dobie reacted properly and they wonder how they knew. If you had demonstrated uncertainty and concern, Buddy would have reacted differently.

A good example I can give goes back almost 40 years. I was home for a visit and my parently had a mixed breed dog (half boxer, half labrador) named Fellow. The door bell rang and dad (followed by Fellow) went to the front door. I was in the kitchen and stepped into the hall to see who it was. It was our neighbor from across the street, a friend of years. He had been in our home many times previously. He came over to ask dad a question and dad opened the door and invited him in. Fellow just sat there quietly. Our neighbor declined as he had been working on his car and was somewhat dirty, so dad closed the screen door. When dad closed the door with the neighbor on the outside, Fellow assumed that dad did not want him in the house, so the growled at the neighbor. Three very surprised people looked at Fellow. It took us a while to understand why Fellow growled until we remembered that he did not do so until dad closed the screen door.

You may be sending a signal to Buddy of unease because you are not sure how he will react. Then he reacts to your unease, a circular result. When you are working with him, try to be nonchalant and exude confidence.

We have talked about Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell, but another show to watch is Dog Town. You will probably have to watch the episodes off the National Geographic site on line since it no longer seems to be on the air. They work with dogs others have given up on. They rehabilitated many dogs and demonstrate in many cases how they desensitize dogs with dog aggression when meeting other dogs.

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Great advise Rick...Dog Town was an awesome show.
I guess it was not good enough for most folks since it is gone now.

rgreen4's picture
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It was. Some episodes can still be viewed on line. Some episodes were at times had to watch.

What fantastic people and what a great place. They had several rest areas under trees along a creek with cliffs as background. Then how many rescue places have a large eternal rest pet cemetery? For those there, it is not a job, it is a calling.

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Amen! to that! I saw the funeral one too! I use to watch it more often but in the last 12 months I didn't watch much TV. I got into gaming, well farming lol on Facebook with my family but I am so OVER that now. It was drinking up my free time and it was not all that much fun!!!  :D

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You will have to explain that phrase to me -- "Farming on Facebook"?

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ummm it's kinda hard to put into words!!! So I looked up the question >>>>  http://farmvillefreak.com/what-is-farmville

Q: What is Farmville?

A: Avoid it at all costs. It is an addictive game that is fun to play. You plant and harvest crops and generally run a basic farm. It is the most addictive game on Facebook.

FarmVille is a real-time farm simulation game developed by Zynga, available as an application on the social networking website Facebook. The game allows members of Facebook to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing and harvesting virtual crops, trees, and livestock. Since its launch in June 2009, FarmVille has become the most popular game application on Facebook with over 72 million active users in January 2010.

Me: I played it for months, close to a year. I got up early to harvest or plant...It was fun till they added other things that changed how we played. Like if I want to build a barn on my farm I have to get all the materials from you all. I have to say I need 10 nails, 30 broads or 10??? then I hope I get them in time to finish the barn. I had close to 80 neighbors...so it didn't take too long to get things I needed. I had farm friends from around the world. LOL I had over 3 million in money. But I could not buy every thing I wanted, cause I need points called "farm cash". However you could buy whatever you wanted with real money!! And LOL I would never buy a house that was only data with real money. Try it you'll love it, as most do. Oh and it is free!!!!

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No thanks. The only games I play are the ones that come with Windows. I love Mahjong Titans and have long played Freecell and Spider Solitaire. I agree with you about not spending real world dollars for virtual money. In World of Warfare, you can buy WOW money on several sites with real money! Sorry, to me that just doesn't seem to be effective.

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LOL I never played any of big lead games!!! Don't care to fight shoot or mangle ppl or creatures! However I have Spore and THE Sims. But my favorite game is Cubis2. Just a simple time waster.

Have a good day taking myself to the Doctor this time!

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Hi there, I was going to post a question very similar to the original thread here because Jack does EXACLTY the same thing....when he´s outside he barks constantly...when he´s given up barking at air he will then bark for attention, (i can tell the difference by now)....I ignore him when he´s barking for attention but really, it takes a looooooooooooong time for him to give up....and its drives me insane. We have an ultrasonic anti bark collar, it doesnt do anything. Well, it beeps a lot but he doesnt seem to notice. I think it bugs me more then him!!

I will try the speak- no bark thing and see how it goes....also need to spend more time with him outside showing him that the garden belongs to me, not him!

If anyome has advice of how I can get him more submissive when he´s in the garden please fire away. When hes on a line he´s wonderful, when he´s running free he´s a little nightmare and wont listen to anything, regardless if I have treats for him or not.