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Thread: Barking Mad

  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar

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    Default Barking Mad

    Ok, I knew Pyrs were barkers getting into this but lately Rajah barks at everything when we are in the house. It has gotten to the point where I can't leave my blinds open else he sits at the window and barks and growls at every person, dog, leaf that passes by LOUDLY. I can "talk" him down but 5 seconds later some new "threat" has started him off again. Leaving the TV on for "white" noise helps somewhat but not a lot (it used to work like a charm...guess he figured it out).

    I haven't had a good nights sleep in about a month now because of the barking. Rajah sleeps on the floor next to my bed and I close the blinds and have a white-noise sound machine he likes going and he still has barking fits throughout the night (though only about 3 a night and day time is much, much worse). Any ideas? He gets a good workout in all day long so he's plenty tired when he gets home but unless he is at the point of exhaustion he won't give up the post (and even then he will wake up from a deep sleep in full "attack" mode if he hears something extra worriesome).

    Please say this is a phase and not one that will last the next 10+ years. I'd like to see the sunlight once in a while in my own home.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar

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    ear plugs?
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

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    The Big Dawg (Administrator) risestar's Avatar


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    sometimes noise socialization can help a bit with those "bark first ask questions later" types. Try taking him out to places where theres lots of noise and new sounds so he can get more used to "normal" things.

    There is naturally more anxiety when something can be heard but not seen.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Benson View Post
    ear plugs?
    Cute, real cute.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by risestar View Post
    sometimes noise socialization can help a bit with those "bark first ask questions later" types. Try taking him out to places where theres lots of noise and new sounds so he can get more used to "normal" things.

    There is naturally more anxiety when something can be heard but not seen.
    That is what is so odd. Rajah is used to all of these sounds and sights...I've had him since 2 months and purposefully got him used to all of these sounds and sights early. He conveniently seems to have forgotten that and at 10 months he is going bonkers (which is driving me bonkers).

    Sigh, maybe a re-introduction is in order. I'll also try treating by the window when he is looking out but not yet barking (if I can catch him in that nanosecond).

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    Oh boy do I know what you're saying.
    On Tuesdays when we are home Sabby barks all day long. It's garbage day and he starts at daybreak and doesn't stop until all the garbage trucks are out of the neighborhood.

    When we raised our first pyr, Belle, I was home throughout her life. Now hubby and I team drive the truck and Sabs works with us. I was used to the barking and knew it would happen throughout certain times of the day. Now whenever I'm home, hubby is home and the barking has caused some disagreements between us. I personally let him bark.....he's a Pyr for goodness sakes...but he does go overboard I have to admit. Like yours Chi, he barks at everything out back. Which now we have a neighbor that didn't used to be there that is a pain in the NECK!!!! Even BARKING at our dog and then yelling at us to shut him up.
    (We don't leave him outside much while we're home because of this).

    So enough of that...
    We found out early that our big brave boy does not like squirt bottles. Plain water, a spray at his head.....he squints his eyes, it distracts him and he stops. (LOL sometimes it doesn't even have water in it, just the idea makes him react).

    So you could try the squirt bottle.

    One thing that one of my children used to do when he was still at home was yell at Belle NEVER works! Pretty soon the yelling "BELLE HUSH!" was louder than the barking.

    Oh and they are just like kids aren't they? Let yourself get on the phone if they aren't barking and don't you know they will start barking!!!!

    Good luck.....perhaps with maturity he will slow down on it.

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    Flock Guardian (Moderator) Terry's Avatar


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    Murphy is the middle of the night and usually just one monster bark and Emma is during the day out the front window not sure what she see's chi gal ? sometimes people walking or rabbits or birds or squirrels or air or or or?

    Terry

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar

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    Ugh, will try treating for silence first and, if that doesn't work, the water bottle. Tehehe, I have a feeling I'm shooting myself in the foot trying the water bottle idea though (Rajah will probably just get the zoomies or something...or pout in his crate if I spray him). I love the big lug and understand why he barks sometimes outside (if he sees someone walking funny/sketchy, skate boarders, etc.) but the inside barking is nuts.

    It was actually somewhat nice last night so I opened my window a little bit to get fresh air and Rajah decided to bark at EVERY sound he heard...got up, shut the window and glared at him...swear he started pouting after that.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) TexasKat's Avatar

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    Not sure if you've tried this or not, but I think Pyr barking is as much an alert as anything -- 70% alert, 25% warning to intruders and 5% because they like to hear themselves bark.

    You can short-cut the barking (as in "cut it short") by acknowledging in some way that satisfies Rajah that he's made his point and now you've taken over responsibility for assessing the 'threat'.

    At our house, we "check" when Scout alerts on something (by barking of course) by going to the front door and looking out at the neighborhood. (Scout does the alerts, Gypsy does the 'checking'). A few seconds of 'checking' eliminates the continuous barking that ignoring it would prolong. (He's trying to get your attention and no, shouting "QUIET!!!!!" doesn't count -- as tempting as it might be.)

    Whatever 'ritual' you come up with (that makes the situation liveable in your home) doesn't have to be elaborate, but requires that once Rajah has alerted you -- YOU assume the leadership role to 'handle' whatever it may be.

    You can encourage/discourage what he 'targets' as barkable by how much praise you give him when you've checked on whatever it is. BUT ALWAYS, say something in praise (after all, you want him to continue the ritual not the continuous barking...) HUGE praise for identifying 'real threats', a small, 'thank you' for letting you know a butterfly flew by. I've used 'identifiers' like "It's our neighbors" or "yep, it's a truck" or "Children playing" to help him learn how to 'group' neighborhood goings-on into doggy categories. Your tone of voice tells him a lot about how mundane the 'threat' is.

    For barking at night? Do you already have a ritual for bedtime? When he barks at night, it might work best to rollover and re-say whatever phrases you say to him when you settle him for the night and otherwise don't acknowledge his nighttime noise. As hard as it is to live through re-training him, he needs to know that "Puppy bedtime" or whatever you use means you are unavailable until the morning and that he should respect that unless the house is on fire.

    I know it's easy to say and hard to do, but it shouldn't take him long to recognize that you are NOT going to jump up in the middle of the night to answer alerts.

    One last thing (not for you 'cos I know you know) never shout at a barking Pyr -- he'll just think you are joining in the barking too.

    In summary,

    1. Create a routine for Rajah so that he knows you are actively acknowledging his alert.
    2. Praise him regardless, but small for 'silly' stuff and more for 'important' stuff.
    3. Help him learn how to categorize noises and potential 'threats' by giving them names.
    4. Stay calm -- not-calm just reinforces that his 'threat' assessment was right.
    5. Teach him to respect your sleeptime by reinforcing his bedtime ritual when you're woken up by him.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Murphy is the middle of the night and usually just one monster bark and Emma is during the day out the front window not sure what she see's chi gal ? sometimes people walking or rabbits or birds or squirrels or air or or or?

    Terry
    Tehehe, double the trouble eh Terry? Thank God Rajah doesn't bark at the elevated train that goes past my condo (though I suppose as I type this, I'm asking for it) but I swear he is barking at air half the time as well. If he sees another dog, forget it. Its funny but he sounds so mean with his bark whether or not he likes the dog he is barking at (i.e., one of his pay buddies) or doesn't like the dog he is barking at (i.e., some crazies we avoid).

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