Constant Barking Discussions

Discussion in 'Pomeranian' started by Pegs, Mar 10, 2024.

  1. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    Constant Barking

    Hello -
    My Pomeranian will be 4 years old at the end of the month and in the last 2-3 months he has started barking like crazy and constantly at birds and airplanes he sees through the window. We live in a highrise and he has a clear view. The blinds are see through somewhat and he sees them all. Today he has thrown up 3 times I think from excessive barking.
    BTW, he's a larger Pom - about 14 lbs.
    We've tried bark collars. He shakes them off.
    How do I get him to stop? It's out of control. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2024
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  3. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    I've had up to 7 shepherds at a time and lived in the boonies so everytime anything at all passed our front window the barking began. Usually it tapers off and it's not easy stopping 7 at a time but as the numbers reduced I a) give them NO attention while they bark, maybe even walk out of the room 2) call them into another room without the view and treat them for a sit. If you do that consistently you'll have a dog that wants to bark but runs into the other room for a treat. Make sure it's a high value treat like hot dog pieces or leftover steak whatever they like best. You do need to be home for this to work well.
  4. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    Thank you for replying and your advice. Wow up to 7 Shepherds at a time, definitely couldn't be easy. I try to avoid giving treats to stop or distract behavior but I think you're right, I may have to. He loves any human food, even lettuce. lol. But I'll try it with an actual tasty treat. I luckily work from home so I can try this for sure.
    Thank you again!
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    First, if he is throwing up, you want to get him checked out by a vet to make sure there is no medical reason for his issues. Barking should NOT cause vomiting.

    Once you have the medical resolved, I disagree with the above advice to ignore the barking. We have bred dogs to bark as a warning to us. Ignoring them just makes them feel the need to warn you even more. You always want to acknowledge the warning and let him know that you hear him and are aware of the threat. And barking is the way they communicate, trying to get them to never bark is like trying to teach a young child to never speak - the only way to succeed is to completely screw them up emotionally and mentally.

    So, the next time he barks at a bird, tell him "good boy. Yes, that's a bird. Enough now." Then redirect him to a toy or game and as soon as he redirects, reward him. If he really enjoys toys, you can redirect him to one and reward him with play. As he likes food, you can redirect him to a food toy like a kong. You want something that will catch his attention for a few moments.

    This does two things:

    1. You acknowledge his warning . This alone will reduce a lot of barking simply because you got the message and he doesn't have to keep trying to tell you.

    2. As soon as the warning has been acknowledged, you redirect him to an appropriate behavior and reward him for doing so. This encourages him to leave off with the barking and focus on something more pleasurable for him once the warning has been conveyed.

    I did this with my giant jack russell terrier (a breed notorious for constant barking) and after he barks at something going on for a moment, he immediately goes to find a tennis ball for a game.

    You can also get window film to reduce the visibility while still allowing light in. This is great if you have one window in particular that is a problem or if you have one room he can stay in when you are out.
  6. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    Thank you Toedtoes.

    He knows for sure we hear him. He is so consumed by the bird or the airplane that he doesn't know we exist no matter what we say or do.
    He hadn't drank any water today and was barking so much that I think he got dry mouth. He never throws up but today after hours or running from window to window barking he finally got sick. He's been fine for hours since then.

    We will try with getting his attention with a favorite toy but honestly he is focused on the bird/airplane that nothing phases him during that time.
  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Pegs likes this.
    If he doesn't redirect easily, then you need to first physically redirect him. You can do that by just placing your hand on his back - no pressure or pulling, etc. Just making a physical contact to catch his attention, even for a second. The more you break his attention like that, the less intense he will be. He will turn away much easier each time and it will be easier to redirect him to the appropriate behavior.

    The main thing is that all your interactions will be positive. Instead of punishing him for barking, which is a natural behavior, you are redirecting him to an acceptable behavior and rewarding him for that redirection.

    As for him knowing you hear him, it's more about you acknowledging him. Whether he sees the bird as a threat or an intruder, he needs you to tell him that the bird is allowed to be there and to move on. And you need to continue to do so until he understands that the bird is allowed.

    I promise it will work if you are consistent. And be sure to have appropriate items to redirect him. As he likes food, I recommend food dispensing toys. These will be desireable for him AND will keep him busy. Just giving him a treat will be short lived - once the treat is eaten, he will go back to the undesired behavior. With a dispensing toy, it will occupy him for longer and continue to reward him for that redirection.

    When I did this with my boy, I used his tennis balls. As soon as he barked at something outside the window, I would touch him and say "yes, those people just walked past. Good boy you chased them away. Now get your ball". And then we played for a few moments - this was key: it's not enough to give him the toy, you need to give him the interaction with the toy. After the first few times (I kept an extra ball at my side to make the redirect quicker), my boy would actually bark once and then immediately run to find a ball.
  8. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    Pegs likes this.
    I think you don't need to reinforce barking at birds and airplanes that's over the top and I certainly wouldn't praise for that. If it's a person sure, praise and treat but you're not getting the benefit of the bark if it's for a bird or plane or cat or whatever.
    Still would bring into another room rather quickly and treat, you can say, "good boy" without specifying what was good, the barking or moving into another room. He won't get the difference anyway.
  9. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    Yes, I think getting him away from the window where he sees the birds/planes quickly is the best idea. He gets so worked up over them.
  10. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    Toedtoes likes this.
    The key will be consistency for him. He's a smart dog, a little stubborn, but smart. lol. I will try to distract and take him away from the situation. Thank you!
  11. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    You do have another alternative I'm trying out with my puppy Pom. When she barks I tell her "Good bark! Good girl, Bark!" then after she gets that down, if she's smart enough, I should be able to unbark her with NO bark. She has to know what 'bark' means first tho and NO as well. Shouldn't be too hard says the always had German shepherd smarts girl.
  12. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    He knows "No," but whether he chooses to stop barking if another thing.
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    There's an inherent problem with the command "No". It means a million different things. You may say "no" and mean don't scratch or stop barking or leave it alone or don't lick or stop eating that, etc. So saying "no" has no value as a training tool ecause the dog has no idea what behavior you want him to not do.

    Imagine you are at work and are sorting and stapling papers as you pick up the phone and your boss walks in and says "No". You know your boss is telling you to stop, but which action do they want you to stop? Do you stop sorting or stapling or do you put the phone down? Stop one, two or all three of those actions?

    You want your commands to be very clear. And you want to encourage him into appropriate behaviors - not just stop inappropriate behaviors.

    Again, consider being at work and constantly being told to not do this and not do that every time you try to go about your day. After a while, you're going to be frustrated because you can't seem to do anything right. Your instincts are all wrong but you don't know what is expected of you. If instead of just telling you " don't do that", you were told "do this instead", you wouldn't be frustrated and you could focus on doing those things that are encouraged.
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    I don't see anyone suggesting rewarding for over the top barking.

    And moving the dog into another room and rewarding him IS redirecting. You are changing his focus and rewarding when he does it.
  15. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    Ok so whats this posted above? Reading is fundimental !!
    Once you have the medical resolved, I disagree with the above advice to ignore the barking. We have bred dogs to bark as a warning to us. Ignoring them just makes them feel the need to warn you even more. You always want to acknowledge the warning and let him know that you hear him and are aware of the threat. And barking is the way they communicate, trying to get them to never bark is like trying to teach a young child to never speak - the only way to succeed is to completely screw them up emotionally and mentally.
  16. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    That is ACKNOWLEDGING the barking NOT rewarding it.

    Dogs bark at things as a warning. It is natural and instinctive. Acknowledging such a warning is simply saying "I hear your warning and I take it seriously."

    If you then dismiss the concern "that's just a bird. No more" and redirect the dog to something else, the dog doesn't become frustrated at being ignored AND learns to 'let it go' and not obsess on it.

    By just ignoring the barking, you are not making any difference. The dog will keep barking because there's no reason not to and because they think you don't understand that there is something there that shouldn't be.

    You can simply redirect without acknowledging the warning. But that will make it less likely that the dog will alert you to a real threat. And most people WANT their dog to bark if someone is trying to get inside.

    Being in a high rise is a bit different because a real threat is probably only going to come through the door. But the dog doesn't know that. To them, those windows are subject to tresspass and anyone or anything coming close to the window is a potential threat. The dog is doing his job - what we have bred them to do.
  17. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    TOED TOES
    The above is a description of a dog I would absolutely not want in the house. Personally if i couldn't redirect to another room with a treat, or teach no bark that dog is not living in my house.
    There's a woman at the store saw my puppy today she said, quote "We had a Pomeranian once but gave it away due to EXCESSIVE BARKING". Not everyone is going to tolerate what you want them to.
    Barking like crazy, constantly at birds and planes, throwing up due to barking, won't stop with a bark collar, IT'S OUT OF CONTROL are key phrases to helping her. HELP don't make her live with it. Geez.
  18. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    @Lifew/dogs I have given her advice on how to fix it. No where did I say she needs to live with it.
  19. Lifew/dogs

    Lifew/dogs New Member

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    Pegs likes this.
    I will add that a tired dog is a good dog make sure he's getting enough exercise. He's wasting most of it on barking out the window.
    AKC on barking. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/excessive-dog-barking-causes-stop/
    One way to help them is to provide them with a daily routine, such as going for a walk every day and playing with a Kong or a puzzle toy. One option is to ignore them when they bark. If you can’t ignore them, try squirting them with a water bottle when they start barking. <----This is an effective way to eliminate behaviors you don't want.
  20. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Toedtoes and Pegs like this.
    I definitely agree with the first suggestion, and thinking about it, this does sound like a frustrated dog seeking an outlet. The majority of domestic dogs are under-exercised, and lack any chance to use their natural talents.
    Personally I wouldn't do the squirting. I wouldn't want my dog to begin to distrust me. I would actively check the barking, using distraction and with calming hands-on, and reward for any period of silence, however brief initially.
    Having said that, I never did manage to stop my <-- Merry from Arroooing at car alarms. She had sensitive hearing and the stimulus was too infrequent and unpredictable. It might prove difficult with the birds for the same reason, but it could work for the planes, and if you beat one thing - coupled with exercise and mental activities - the other could begin to fade!
    Quite a choice of methods to choose from!
  21. Pegs

    Pegs New Member

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    We have started to tire him more with walks and playing with his toys. If we can reduce one thing he barks at the next will come soon enough. :)

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