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Old 05-01-2018, 02:38 PM   #43
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New AS Owner: advice on traveling w/ dogs

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Originally Posted by MicheleL View Post
We just adopted a rescue puppy - 10 month old Pointer Mix. She barks at EVERYTHING that goes by the trailer - dogs, people, tumbleweeds. We have been trying everything to get her to stop and she just won't stop. She cries even more when we close up all the blinds so she can't see out. I'm at my wits end - how can I get her to stop barking?



She's also leash aggressive - which is making walking her every day loads of fun too.



I'm beginning to think maybe I'm not just a dog owner - or that trying to adopt a dog while living in the AS was a bad idea.
You have what’s known as a “reactive rover.” This behavior can absolutely be trained out. Look for trainers who specialize in positive reinforcement (e.g. clicker training) and training of reactive canines, and for books on the subject of training reactive dogs.
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:52 PM   #44
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Yup. It's an excitability thing. Two of ours were that way, also rescues. You need to exude calmness, use a firm hand, and be in charge. It can be trained out with patience and a firm hand...

Dogs pick up on your state of mind via observing your body language and hearing your heartrate. If you are upset, they know it, and react strongly. If you are serene and calm, they realize there is NO danger, and will relax.

My two young Malti-poo street dogs are now very calm, cuddly, "lap magnets" and rarely bark any more. They have learned they are safe, but it took a year of gentle handling and assurances.

The dummy Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix still likes to randomly bark at people, but shuts up when we call him inside. He's just insecure, or simply likes to bark like an idiot occasionally. I suspect, like all dogs, he's occasionally convinced that somewhere, somehow, someone is up to no good...locking him inside promptly stops the noise, and he does not do this while on the road....
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:29 PM   #45
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Big fan of clicker training. The same thing can be done without a clicker, but the clicker makes for a fantastic communication tool.

"Stop barking" training is an ongoing process, but it's one of the easier things to train for.

1. Say the command.
2. Wait a second.
3. Did she bark? If no, click and treat. If yes, go to 1.

You can practice this endlessly, gradually increasing the time between the command and the reaction. It's a great game. Younger and high-energy dogs can have more difficulty with self-control, but with enough practice, they can do it too.
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