Advice with barking General Chat

Discussion in 'English Setter' started by Mavisfairy, Mar 4, 2024.

  1. Mavisfairy

    Mavisfairy New Member

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    Advice with barking

    [​IMG] Morning from Spain!
    So I have been quietly lurking and trying to learn as much as possible on Setters. I have adopted a female Setter who we think is around 2.5/3 years old, she was found running on the main highway in Spain, skin and bones, it is very common here for dogs not fit for hunting to be dumped around this time of year, and Jupi only seems to like chasing birds, butterflies and Bee's! She has just started to come to her name after over 2 months, trust is still very on and off, I have had dogs all of my life but this is the first time I have had to ask for help, and I know this is going to be a very long, slow progress with her. She goes on a 10 meter leash for the beach and is let off free in our sports ground as it's fenced in, she is fantastic with other dogs but no recall whatsoever, she see's a bird, butterfly or bee and her head is in the clouds so I wont risk it, the thing we are having problems with is barking, no matter how tired she is. She paces around the house barking, it can be at anything, if the curtain is open, a shadow, a car noise, or for attention, the only way to stop this is by having her on a short leash and at my side all the time, but that's not possible all the time, any tips or advice on this would be really appreciated, treats/rewards are also another issue as she doesn't know what to do with them, so training is done with praise, which works well with her. Thank you
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  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    I have a barker. He could bark nonstop forever if I let him.

    What I found is that dogs bark to tell us things. We bred them to warn us of strangers, danger, etc. So, I acknowledge his warnings.

    If he barks at a butterfly, I'll say "good boy! Yes, that's a butterfly. Leave it be now" and as soon as he stops barking I reward him.

    He still barks - he always will. But he stops barking much sooner than if I don't acknowledge his warning.

    In Jupi's case, she is unsure of her world. Things that we don't even think about, she sees as threats or scary, etc. I would acknowledge that fear and then tell her it won't hurt her and reward her when she ignores it.

    So, if she starts barking at the curtain, say to her "good girl! Did that curtain move? Is something there?" Then go over and check it out and say "good girl! There's nothing here. All done now". Don't force her to come to the curtain, but if she does, keep telling her she's a good girl.

    This will be a pain in the beginning as you want to physically check at what she's barking at, but as you do it, she will respond quicker when you say "all done now". And by checking it out each time, you are showing her you can be trusted - you are listening to her, you're not yelling at her to shut up.
  4. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Well done for providing this young lady with a secure home. I wonder how much of her behaviour is due to being abandoned - or whether she was abandoned because of the barking?
    My breed isn't normally a barky one, but my last girl was highly sensitive to the sound of alarms. Very embarrassing when she would Arrooo! after midnight, and the actual alarm sounded to be two miles away! I never managed to stop her from doing it but did learn to pre-empt it by hustling her indoors.
    I live next to two small terriers that are very noisy. Their barking has no meaning beyond a repetitive, 'I'm here, this is my space'. Shouting, 'Shut up', or 'Get in', has no effect so their owner mainly ignores them. I think I would be more inclined to reward the periods of silence in a case like this.
    I think @Toedtoes advice to reassure is good when the barking seems to have so many different stimuli, and Jupi is not responding to the usual rewards. (Could you try upping the value? Most dogs can't resist small pieces of chicken, ham, cheese or baked liver).
    One further thought, are you sure that her hearing is normal? The English Setter is one of the breeds that can suffer from hearing loss due to its linkage to the gene for piebald/spotting, and deaf dogs do have a greater tendency to startle. It might be worth mentioning this possibility to your vet the next time you visit.
  5. Mavisfairy

    Mavisfairy New Member

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    CaroleC and Toedtoes like this.
    Hi there,
    Sorry for the late reply, her hearing is spot on. I know her barking is due to being anxious but, it's also become an habit. It starts after 4 pm and only stops if we put her on a short lead and have her at heel, this isn't the answer I know but it helps.
    We have had some training with her which we had to stop due to finances, I have noticed a huge difference since stopping, she has recently starting play biting, especially if she cant get what she wants, she is also restless at night for some reason, even after a good exercise, this morning she was up at 4.45am and that was it!
    All of our previous dogs that have passed were so placid, it's just taking some getting used to and we know now we are going to have to be consistent with training, it just seems a little overwhelming when there are so many things to deal with. We seem to take one step forward and 2 back. Traffic including cyclist's are still a no, but we walk in the mountains or beach, our main concern atm is the barking, biting, and sleeping. We have 2 crates, one in the car and one for the home but she is petrified in the house one, we are thinking she was kept in a very small enclosure previously, the car is different because it's light and she can see everything.
    Thank you for al your advice
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Remember that she lost trust in humans - they failed her before. So always make everything as positive as possible. She also likely missed

    For the biting, try to redirect and reward. If she starts biting at you, redirect her to a toy or a chew. If she turns to it for even a moment, praise her.

    For sleeping, try to tire her brain not her body. Teach her tricks or play mental games with her. That will help her settle down. It should also help with the barking.
  7. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    A tired dog is a good dog. Work to make her tired. This is a good link from AKC.
    https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-stop-dog-barking/
    on the contrary:
    Don’t Respond to Barking Dogs
    Many dogs will bark to get your attention, ask for food, or to tell you to open the door or let them out of the crate. Don’t respond. Wait until your dog is quiet to give them what they want. And be sure to recognize the behavior you want i.e. provide positive reinforcement to your dog when he’s lying down quietly.
  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    I just saw that part of my post disappeared...

    I meant to add that:

    She also likely missed being socialized properly. In this case, she hasn't learned all these important behavior lessons or how to handle stressful or scary moments. Her biting you to play may be that she is starting to trust you (she feels safe to behave towards you like she would have towards her siblings), so you want to make sure you maintain positive reactions.
  9. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    Honestly, you have no idea of her background, don't make up stuff and reward it. You can't even try inventing her past life. She is a stray. Her life is unknown to all but herself.
    She may love people but right now is just shy. You have no idea how long she's been running around lost. For all you know she may have a bite record and was dumped over that. Some strays have expensive health problems and the owner couldn't afford it and dumped her. Do not reward any behaviors. When rewarding a dog if you don't join it with a behavior like 'sit" good girl then reward. Make sure she knows why the reward. Try to find an AKC obedience class and get help from the instructor.
    https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/how-help-stray-pet
    https://wnyt.com/top-stories/stray-dogs-a-growing-and-expensive-problem/

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