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Hi guys!
My first post so please excuse the errors. I have a 5 month old golden retriever, Coco. Recently he began the habit of barking at everything in the house. He is the perfect little boy outside, but a complete monster in the house. We live in a duplex and he is restricted upstairs with a baby gate. He will stand in front of it and bark even if one of us are downstairs. Mealtimes are a headache because he will go on barking untill he can see the food. Then he is an angel. I am going crazy and wondering what to do about this? Is it just his age or am I doing something wrong?

P.S For the last week or so we have been able to take him on only 1 short walk a day due to it raining constantly where I live. Maybe that has something to do with it?
 

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He might be a little bored. If the weather is a problem I would look into fun inside games and treat puzzles. Also, training with your dog is a great way to stimulate their mind and get some energy out. There are plenty of youtube videos that I used myself this past winter. I just googled "inside games for dogs" or "training for fun with your dog". Also who doesnt love a well trained dog? This will help both of you and its fun!

I also love Kongs, puzzle mats, and frozen beef marrow bones from the butcher. Im not an expert but I find when I give my dog something to do like chew something frozen or lick she will settle. My Billie girl loves a job as most Goldens do I believe.

Best of Luck!
 

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Mealtimes are a headache because he will go on barking untill he can see the food.
Perhaps some more experienced dog owner can back this up, but to me, this indicates that he has learned to bark, to get the food.

Now, getting this "bad habit" is easy, since it only takes 1-2 times, where he barks and after that, he has gotten the food. While it is considerably harder and time consuming to train him out of it.

Idea is, not to give him the reward, he thinks, he can get with barking. Be it food, or even your attention.
And it will be difficult, since you need to outlast his barking "sessions" and only when he is quiet, you give him his reward. <- This teaches him, that he does not get what he wants with barks (currently, he does think so).

Oh, crate/pen training also helps, especially alone training. This way, your pup can be without you for some time, without creating a racket.
 

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The barking during mealtime seems to be demand barking. Typical of young puppies, but you have to nip it in the bud soon or it just becomes an annoying habit. The barking at the baby gate also seems like demand barking, trying to get your attention.

You cannot feed him if he's barking -- I know it's hard but this just reinforces his barking. By this age, our puppy mostly outgrew his barking. There's an interesting technique suggested by some trainers to fill a jar with coins, and you can shake it every time he barks at you. Every time he barks, you shake. I think it's supposed to mimic barking back. Soon enough, he will stop barking, and just wait 5 seconds (and then build up to a longer duration, maybe a minute), and then set his food down. Do this enough times, and he'll get the message. Same thing with letting him through the baby gate -- don't let him out until he's quiet.

Funny thing is that now we're trying to teach our dog "speak" as a command/trick. And it's sooo hard to teach because we've conditioned him so well to not bark at us. At best, he'll let out half a bark after 5 mins of waiting.
 

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We have had success eliminating behaviours with the can of coins! (Countersurfing).

Ours demand barked at mealtime around that age too. We would have her on a house leash, ask her to sit, and prepare her food right in her line of sight. Every time she barked or broke her sit, we'd say "too bad" and stop. Only after she was sitting quietly in her original spot would we resume. The first few times she needed the leash for us to enforce putting her back in the same spot, but she picked up really quickly that the fast way to food was to sit quietly. These are very intelligent, food motivated dogs I think!
 
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