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Non-stop Barking

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Shelly the Sheltie, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Shelly the Sheltie

    Shelly the Sheltie Forums Novice

    Feb 7, 2018
    Boston, MA
    I got my sheltie puppy. She is 7/8 months old and I love he to death, but all she does is bark at anything that moves, including whatever is on the TV. She gets regular exercise, and I play with her all the time. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to quiet her down a little? I'm a new owner with little experience with training.
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Hi and welcome to the forums. This is something Sheltie people hear all the time. Shelties bark. And bark, and bark some more. Unfortunately, your puppy is doing what comes naturally to her. That isn't to say though, that you can't train her to bark less. Search "barking" here and numerous threads will come up discussing the same topic.

    I haven't had any success with aversion training....methods such as shaking pennies in a can, spraying water at the dog and the like. That's always just made mine bark more! :rolleyes2: The most successful method that I know is positive reinforcement, teaching your dog to be quiet, rather than not to bark. For instance, if you know she barks at something on the TV, have a really high value treat that you only use for this training (hot dogs, cheese, soft smelly dog treats) and show it to her when she barks. As soon as she stops barking, give her a treat and praise her, using a word like "quiet". It may only be for a second, but reward her for being quiet. Keep doing this until the quiet periods become longer and she realizes that good things happen when she's quiet. Eventually, you will be able to say "quiet" as your command.

    You can also teach her to go to her crate, or bed, and treat her there. But I think it's easier to start in the moment when she's barking at the trigger. Be persisitent; it takes time and patience! Enjoy your new puppy and good luck!
    Hanne, RikyR, ghggp and 1 other person like this.
  3. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    Ann have given you great advice. I have used the 'no bark' command with great success. Using this method is non threatening and uses positive reinforcement that works wonders on any dog with barking issues. Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress!
  4. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    I have done what Ann suggested and with persistence and consistency it does work. Shelby barks at reflections, so cooking, doing dishes etc. can be a challenge. We started slow like suggested and now we usually don't even need to tell her to be quiet. When we are in the kitchen she will put herself in a down stay and she will stay there until we tell her she is free. Then she gets a vegetable (carrot, lettuce, pepper etc. whatever we had with dinner). She will not move until she gets her treat. If she starts barking all I have to say is "I guess you don't want a carrot" then she stops and lays down.

    And yes I have already forgotten she was in a down stay until quite some time later ☺️.
  5. mimiretz

    mimiretz Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 14, 2014
    We recently hired a dog trainer to come to our house to help us help Oberon. Although I realize Shelties are very barkative (love that word - got it from someone here), there were three times he barked that were becoming issues: (1) when we got ice from the in-door ice maker; (2) when I was on the phone and, of course, (3) when someone came to the door. The trainer taught us sort of a combo method - we shake a small chain at Oberon while saying "uh-huh" when he starts barking. Usually that stops him, but if not we toss it at his feet (not at him; not to cause pain, but to refocus his attention). Once he stops barking, even for a split second, he gets a "good boy" and occasionally a treat. He doesn't get a treat every time because since he's so smart there's no doubt he'd bark and stop just to get the treat! We keep it random, so he never knows when he's getting the treat. He does always get the "good boy". And if any of the three things happen and he doesn't bark, he gets praised out the wazoo.
    Ann likes this.
  6. sable

    sable Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Lil' Lady is 12 and since she is now an Ol' Lady the barking is really something. She understands No Bark and
    she understands SHUT UP. I lost Lucky two years ago, and at age 11 she realized the attention was all hers.
    She comes over to me and demands. Yes Lil' Lady you have me trained. Now if you stop barking I will give
    you a treat. Sometimes to get a treat she will do a Sheltie Dance.
  7. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg Mb
    My older dog Riley has some separation anxiety so he barks whenever I leave the house while Piper just stands there as if to say 'what's all the fuss about' and of course outside they bark at EVERYTHING! I told my sister the other day I was getting another dog and her response was first the dog hair and second the barking I said they don't bark THAT much o_O....that's the Sheltie owner in me. I look at it as they bark but they're Shelties and Shelties love to bark lol.
  8. Daisy1015

    Daisy1015 Forums Enthusiast

    May 2, 2014
    45 years of sheltiea and we have ywt to have a quiet one, ok my mom had one.

    At her age she will also get hyper aroused too which adds to amount of barking.

    Other pps have good ideas and i will try a new idea someone shared myself. It will be a difficult battle.

    I do crack up at the poster who said her dog knew the word “shut up”.
  9. Daisy's Mom

    Daisy's Mom Forums Regular

    Aug 25, 2017
    I have been using the treat method to get my Daisy to curtail barking at other dogs when we're on walks. The problem is my other dog. Trying to get two dogs to calm down is a challenge since they get each other worked up. However, I have noticed that I am now able to draw their attention with the treats, so we are getting better. High value treats like little bits of string cheese.

    A bigger issue for us is when Daisy is in the backyard because she LOVES barking at squirrels. That is probably her favorite entertainment, but not pleasant for our neighbors. I found the vibrating bark collar to work pretty well on her. When she barks it buzzes and vibrates and that seems to soften her barking. There is a big difference in her barking between when she wears it and when she does not. I recommend looking to purchase one of those if you have barking issues. You can find them on Amazon.
  10. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 13, 2014
    I really hope that it's my bad english that makes me believe you recommend using anti-throat collars - you want to punish a Sheltie because it does what it's created to, exactly to keep other animals away from the pack.
    You punish without the dog knowing why, and it will make it even more uncertain.:confused2:
    Cara Sandler likes this.

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