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Old 02-05-2013, 03:19 PM
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Barking in class

We returned to class after a six week summer break and Meeka has developed a very bad habit.

She has started barking during class, not all the time but randomly. Usually when we are sitting waiting while another dog is working. I'm pretty sure it is boredom but I don't know how to stop it. I don't want to give her treats because that is rewarding the behaviour, same with pats. She is getting disruptive, and she was not doing this before the break. She is 9 months old.

Any ideas on how to handle this please!


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Old 02-05-2013, 03:32 PM
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Teach her "no bark" for starters. This is a LOT easier at home when you get more recreational barking (single barks here or there).

Your instructor may have you squirt water or lemon juice in your dog's mouth, but I've found they turn that into a game and get more hyped up.

My Danny was a barker, and the way I sorted out how to stop him from barking at class was keeping him focused on me and calm. Don't let him look at other dogs and really put a lot of distance between you and other dogs and people. Some dogs get overexcited when bored or when they are focusing on other dogs, and it really is no stopping them once they've gotten started.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:38 PM
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I'll be interested to see what other people say here because Keisel too has developed to bark in class when the instructor is talking and everyone is on a leash waiting for their turn.

The instructor told me to just walk him away from all of us because he's barking to play. He explains that by pulling him away, he will see it as being farther away from the fun. When he calms down, I can bring him back into the circle. It's worked a couple of times but I would like to just have him sit and be still when everyone else is calm! I'm so embarrassed when he acts up in class! lol
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:29 PM
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Remember to praise and reward periodically when she is quiet. Work on keeping her attention on you, practice and reward eye contact (both 'offered' and when you ask for it). You can also get her mind focused on doing things like sits, down, touch or teaching her to 'settle' on cue.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:37 PM
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Do you walk your pup for awhile before class? Sometimes if you tire them a bit before class they aren't so boisterous. Sometimes you just have a barker that loves to hear themselves bark. Hope it's the former!
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:39 PM
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We have a Westie who is quite the barker in our current class. Our instructor suggests the same type thing as Charliethree mentioned.... she suggests: walk forward a few steps out, give a command like sit or down and then reward that behavior.

WHen Mack was younger, he would get extremely impatient with me while we had any downtime in a class. He would start offering behaviors randomly that he knew would normally get a treat and if I didn't cooperate he would bark at me. He's grown out of that mostly, but now I try to do better about keeping things going while we wait, as suggested by Charlie3, work on attention, we practice leave it, practice stay etc.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:47 PM
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Barking in class

Thanks very much everyone, there are some really good, and practical ideas here - I'll try them all. I'll let you know how she goes. I know she is very clever and she loves to please - so here's hoping she can stop barking and be the class star


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Old 02-09-2013, 11:01 PM
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I have seen a lot of dogs get very amp'ed up at training and especially at a competition. They are want to DO IT NOW. Barking is the most common result of this excitment.

I have seen two methods work to diminish that behavior. The first is to use a prong collar and to correct the dog for any barking, whining, or any behaviors that you see as leading up to the barking.

The second is to remove the dog from the training, even for just a few minutes, at the first bark. At first it seems that you are removing the dog every 5 minutes and that no training is happening at all. However, the dog catches on quickly that barking means that he has to leave.

I would not use treats to try to correct this behavior since you do not want any positive association with the barking.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:42 AM
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Molly went through the barking faze I taught her the watch me command and when barking I would tell her to sit and then say quiet the sit would stop the barking and saying quiet afterwards made her think a treat is coming. This seems to work for Molly and she now doesn't even bark in class but will either be watching me or looking at what another dog is doing.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:51 PM
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Barking in class

Thanks everyone, we had training last night and she was much better. I tried distracting her by taking her a short way out of the line and having her return to heel, also making her drop when she was obviously getting distracted by other dogs. She went down reluctantly but it get her attention back to me. Also I talked to her almost constantly when we were in line, trying to change my tone of voice to keep her attention. All ideas I took from your suggestions
She did bark a few times but she was not disruptive and it was much more enjoyable for me.


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