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Training for a 10 month old problem barker

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by saraja87, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. saraja87

    saraja87 Forums Novice

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    Aug 11, 2011
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    Hi all!

    We have two pups, a 20 week long coated GSD and a new 10 month old sable sheltie Tintin who we just rescued. While he's as stubborn as they come and hunger struck for 5 days with his new raw food, our biggest issue by far is his barking. He's our third sheltie so we're well aware that they're a barking breed but we've never had one protest this much to crate training. Our GSD Milou used to whine and bark when we were first crating her but he turns every crating attempt into a 30 minute long continuous, high pitched bark protest. He makes our 20 week old pup look like a saint.

    He's getting tons of exercise (the two of them playing can wear each other into exhaustion). He barks while playing which is normal and playful but can get to be a bit much when he's barking nonstop at Milou because she needs a break to rest. His crate is in the bedroom, it's covered with a light cotton sheet, he has been given various toys that squeak or are stuffed with frozen peanut butter etc and he doesn't have to potty. I keep telling the family to stay strong and not respond to his barking but I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before the neighbors get fed up. Someone is almost always home during the day so he's not alone but the puppy trainer we used for Milou said they should be crated 18 hours per day in the beginning.

    We're also restricting the amount of time the pups have together to two half hour periods since he has bad habits that he's teaching Milou (jumping on people, counter surfing etc) and they have a tendency to not listen when they're together. He barks when we're home and when we're not home although he barks the most when we're home but not in the room with him. He likes his crate in general and will go in on his own.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to better control his barking? It's affecting how my mother (his owner/person) is bonding with him which is a problem. He's also not very affectionate yet with people and will playfully run away if you try to pet him calmly. We know he's still a puppy but feel very behind on his training since we got him so late.
     
  2. KarenCurtis

    KarenCurtis Premium Member

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    Hi- I don't mean this as a criticism, but why would any trainer say to crate a dog for 18 hours? That is way too much. Could part of the problem be that the dog is in his crate too much? It is wonderful that you rescued this dog, it seems to me that he needs some basic training. Maybe a puppy class would help! That could also help him with socialization issues too.
    Good luck to you. There are other people on this forum who are more knowledgeable than me concerning training Shelties, they will respond to this post too,I am sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
    Sandy in CT likes this.
  3. Whitney

    Whitney Forums Regular

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    Michigan
    Have you done any obedience training? Like a puppy kindergarten? I would start here and work on teaching better manners. It is also good for socialization. Once you get some basic obedience training down you can start working on tackling the barking problem. Generally Shelties are a barky breed, so to an extent you have to deal with it, some dogs are barkier than others. However you can train them to bark on command, and be quiet on command. But that might be a little advanced… so start with basic obedience. Secondly exercise exercise exercise! If you feel like he’s getting enough exercise but he’s still barky and overexcited, then clearly he is not. If he was properly exercised he would be tired, and probably be ready for a nap when put in the crate. Exercise is not just running around the backyard, but also walks/runs. You might also think about giving him other avenues to channel his energy such as agility or flyball. Also 18 hours a day is waaaay too much time in the crate, especially for a 10 month old dog. So this might also be another issue that contributes to his barking problem.
     
    Sandy in CT likes this.
  4. dmeyer123

    dmeyer123 Forums Enthusiast

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    I'm sure you've made a typo. Crating a dog, especialy a puppy, for 18 hours is waaaaay too much! I'd be barking, too. Make certain you are not encouraging the barking by paying attention to him when he barks and not paying attention when he's quiet. Even if he gets negative attention for the barking...it's still attention.
     
    Sandy in CT likes this.
  5. saraja87

    saraja87 Forums Novice

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    Aug 11, 2011
    United States
    I didn't make a typo! The puppy kindergarden teacher literally said 18 hours for the first six months. We haven't actually crated him or our GSD 18 hours a day (it seemed way too much/too mean) but I can see how people might. Lets say you put him to bed at 10pm and wake up at 8am, thats 10 hours there. Then you have him crated while you're at work from 9-5pm and there's your other 8 for a total of 18.

    We've only had him a week so he hasn't gone to puppy kindergarden yet, just our GSD. They're both signed up for novice obedience starting the 27th.

    We tried a prong collar yesterday for a training session with both our pups and I was shocked at how relieved he seemed. He actually wanted us to pet/praise him instead of dancing away from our hands when we tried to pet him and was extremely responsive, correcting himself without a needed correction. Our GSD ignored the prongs better than he did but she listens better in general so it evened out. I hope that a few little training sessions a day are enough to start turning things around.
     
    Terry Cook and Sandy in CT like this.
  6. SheltieChe

    SheltieChe Forums Sage

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    Crating is good when you can not supervise dog, but pup should be taken out often and exercised A LOT and if you do not want them play together which is fine in the beginning, you need to spend lots of quality time, doing games, teaching tricks or training. You might have very high energy pup that just needs much more.
    While barking is somewhat genetic and some pups are just barkier than others, number one reason why dogs, including Shelties bark is boredom.
     
  7. Whitney

    Whitney Forums Regular

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    I'm not the biggest fan of the prong collar, especially for such a sensitive breed like the sheltie. I would suggest trying a more positive training with praise/treats instead of the painful correction from a prong collar.

    And you've only had your puppy a week, so barky excitement during this adjustment period is to be expected before your pup learns what is expected. I think obedience training will help immensely, so it's good he is signed up.

    And again the best advice I can offer in the mean time is exercise! While out on regular walks I would strongly strongly suggest not using the prong collar, just a regular collar or harness. It might help your pup relax and just enjoy the walk more. This will help avoid walks becoming a negative experience. :yes:
     
  8. danisgoat

    danisgoat Moderator

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    I agree with LOTS of exercise.

    My dogs would bark a LOT if they were crated for 18 hours a day. Shelties are a very active breed, and that would be really hard for them.

    Does your trainer deal with Shelties a lot?
     
  9. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    I do not recommend using a prong collar on a sheltie. The prongs easily get caught in the sheltie mane and do not release so no matter what they do their is no relief from the prongs. Shelties are also a sensitive breed and you do not want to establish a relationship based on fear.

    Running away when you try to grab him is a very common behaviour for an adolescent or puppy. They are being playful, so you need to make it more fun for him to come back to you than to run away.

    Are there certain times when he is more likely to bark? When he starts barking put his lead on without saying anything and lead him away from what is making him bark. Don't speak to him until he has calmed down and when he has settled you can let him off the lead. He will soon realise everytime he barks he gets taken away from the fun.
     
  10. dmeyer123

    dmeyer123 Forums Enthusiast

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    There is a huge difference between a sheltie and a GSD. Some of the training techniques commonly used on GSD's would be way too harse for a sheltie. Hopefully you can find a trainer who has had some experience with shelties. I've never heard of using a prong collar on a sheltie. Good luck!
     

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