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KickReturn

How to stop barking

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My young (20 month) boy barks at me for attention. There is no pattern as to time of day. Sometime he wants a belly rub, sometimes play. I get that responding to the barking trains it, but he won't quit if I ignore him. He begins with a gentle ask but escalates if I don't respond. I once yelled at him and he stopped but I hated myself for it. He gets lots of belly rubs and play but there are times when I simply can't give him the attention he desires

Lest anyone think this dog is lacking in exercise, let me assure you that he is exercised to the extreme. Daily, at least two hours of high paced leash walking, one hour of galloping with other dogs in a large field, and at least one and often two rounds of insanely intense zoomies in the yard. Not just 30 seconds of butt-tuck hopping around, I am talking about full acceleration, ground thumping laps that can last 3 or 4 minutes. When he's done he collapses in exhaustion.

Tips to stop the barking?

Thanks.

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Others will likely chime in with more proactive techniques, but I think the first thing is that you have to go full hard-ass mode and ignore him when he does it - get some ear plugs if you have to, and maybe warn any wall-sharing neighbors of your training endeavors. Eventually he will give up, having been distracted by something or other, and when he stops and quiets down, that's when you give him what you know he wants. I'd also generally reward him with attention (as it seems he is very open to that as a reward) when he's just being a nice, chill guy (not barking). Pick a word to capture that chill behavior (we use "relax") and hopefully he'll eventually know that when you say it, it means chill out and I'll get some pets :)

Have you done or are you in any training classes? For a young dog like that, especially one who I assume never trained to race, they need that training to teach them how to be. The older greyhounds most of us are used to were trained to be that way while they were training to race; you need to find an alternative "school" for him to channel that energy.

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He's still only a puppy and I agree with Bizeebee about going "full hard-ass mode". Only reward him either with attention ot treats when he behaves and don't be afraid of telling him QUIET in a loud firm voice but not shouting or screaming and then give a reward when he stops barking.


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Seeing this a month late because I'm rarely on the board these days, but not only do you need to ignore the barking, you need to REWARD the quiet. Remember that even yelling at him is giving him attention (which is what he wants) so don't do it. Do not respond. He will escalate before he gets better (this is called an extinction burst).  Reward the behaviors you want and he's more likely to repeat them.  To understand the science-y part of positive reinforcement training, I highly recommend "Don't Shoot the Dog" (Karen Pryor) and "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson.  I'd also enroll in a positive reinforcement training class so you can get a good understanding of timing, etc.  In your other thread regarding his energy levels, you intimated that teaching him commands was akin to torture.  You don't need to be the bad guy to teach him good behaviors.  And if he's food motivated (and it sounds like he is, what with the butter theft :lol) he should be easy to train.  Another bonus:  training tires them out.  Remember the more exercise he has, the fitter he is, the more exercise he needs.  Training tires out their little lemon brains, so it's a good way to contain all that energy.  Training should be fun and engaging for both of you.  One of my two is super freaking smart (learned how to ride a skateboard in his tricks class!) and would love it if we were in a training class every day. The other one is not bright and training moderately stresses him out. But he's easy to live with so I don't push the issue :lol

 



Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Oh, and I've heard it said that to stop barking, teach him to bark on command and then never give the command.  I don't know if that works, but I've seen it recommended by several well respected dog trainers :)

Edited by turbotaina


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Ha! I yelled in his face and chased him to his bed the last time he barked. Hasn't barked at me since. Obviously got the message. He now asks for attention with a barely audible whimper or rubbing against my leg like a cat. He has also learned that if he holds a roach position long enough, sooner or later someone will rub his belly.

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2 hours ago, KickReturn said:

Ha! I yelled in his face and chased him to his bed the last time he barked. Hasn't barked at me since. Obviously got the message. He now asks for attention with a barely audible whimper or rubbing against my leg like a cat. He has also learned that if he holds a roach position long enough, sooner or later someone will rub his belly.

I did a similar thing with Grace when she growled at me soon after I got her. I growled back but louder, the look on her face was priceless, and as with your hound she hasn't growled at me since.


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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