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bark-control collar for dog?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by outdamnspot, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. outdamnspot

    outdamnspot

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    I know this can be a really sensitive issue for dog owners, and didn't want to incite offence (I was practically chased off a pet-advice forum), so was wondering if anyone would be willing to offer advice in this arena, before I went ahead and discussed my situation a little more?
     
  2. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @outdamnspot

    Okay if its a REAL problem. There is a kinder option - its a citronella spray incorporated into the collar - so the dog gets a squirt of citronella which they hate!! whenever they bark. These collars are a training aid - they're not to be used on a dog which is left alone. That would be cruel and that is why the pet advice forum probably chased you off.

    And NEVER EVER use the shock collar............please

    People shouldn't have dogs if they don't have the time to train them properly. Plenty of forums offer training advice even for the extreme novices.
    My two pennyworth.
     
  3. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    i am always open to situations but will guarantee you now that my solution is always a kind one.

    i am sorry you got chased off a pet forum. I got barred from a Raw Meaty Bone forum lol (I asked questions). I actually feed raw meaty bones too.

    I am opposed also to the citronella spray. Leave all sorts of emotional scars and with dogs noses being exceptionally sensitive i find it very cruel.

    Any suppression and domination will lead to problems even if it first seemed like a quick fix.

    A T Touch trainer will definately help and they are VERY respectful of dog people...

    http://www.ttouch.com/pracWebsites.shtml

    :)
     
  4. outdamnspot

    outdamnspot

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    Well, my problem is that we have 2 small dogs that love to bark. One is an older bichon (7 years old), who responded successfully to a spray collar, and we barely have to use it anymore .. he's far more tame, relaxed etc.

    The other is younger (2 years old) who will yap and yap incessantly.

    I thought people might be a little more understanding here when I say that my nervous system is 'fried' from years of trauma and anxiety .. brushing up against a flower accidentally will cause me to jump in fright. But we live in a very small house, with about 5 dogs surrounding us. Almost inevitably, it is the youngest dog that will set off the others .. he has the most horrible, high-pitched squeal that can basically reduce me to tears. Every time he barks, my whole system goes into high alert, and I just don't recover after that.

    I can do nothing all day because I have a broken sleep cycle .. and am mostly bed-ridden, so rarely 'exhaust' myself working or being out. But whereas that used to be fine, and I enjoyed being a night owl, now I get woken up after 2-3 hours sleep early every morning by the little dog. I can never relax in bed anymore, which was my one escape .. I lie in bed feeling sick, wondering when he's inevitably gong to bark and wake me.

    I'm sorry if this sounds a bit melodramatic, but it's true. The dog is testing the little sanity I have left .. my brothers like him, but in all honesty I can't stand him because of all of this. I know he will ideally have to be trained, but right now it's impossible for me to e.g. be there when he barks early in the morning, or have to run downstairs and correct him everytime I'm trying to read something, because he barks at everything that moves.

    We have tried the Spray Collar on him and it had no effect .. so I had been wondering whether a 'vibrating' collar would be of any use, or just a waste of time?
     
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @golden
    dogs usually quickly learn about citronella and that's why it works as a short term aid for people who have tried everything else. Sometimes our health is as important and whilst I would never advocate being cruel to dogs neither would I to humans, sound sensitively in ME is cruel itself, I can't imagine having to live with a barking dog as well. Especially when he sets 4 others off.........my god it must be horrendous, of course in an ideal situation you would have to re-home the dog to save your health, but when its belongs to others in the family??? what does one do.....

    @outdamnspot
    I'm surprised the spray collar didn't work, maybe try it again, the only problem with the clicker aids is having the energy, of course you have to work with the dog, difficult when you are in bed ill........so sorry I sympathise greatly, I have suffered with the worst noise sensitivity at times in this illness, I know how you must feel. I don't wonder you are getting to dislike the dog given the impact it is having on you. Hope you figure something out.

    Training is the one thing that puts me off getting another dog - I know I just don't have the energy to do it.. Dogs need consistency, difficult when you're so ill.
     
  6. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    http://www.yourdog.co.uk/Dog-Training/how-do-i-stop-problem-barking.html

    your little dog sounds like he/she is on edge just as much as you.

    " Very vocal dogs often hold a lot of tension throughout their bodies and more specifically around the head and mouth; they are also frequently stressed emotionally as well as physically," explained top UK TTouch practitioner Sarah Fisher. "Barking can be a way of trying to release this stress and tension but usually just results in cranking up stress levels even higher, so it becomes self-perpetuating. Using TTouches helps show the dog how to relax and release tension without resorting to barking."

    If you can go away for a week or two or a few days - this would give you a break.

    Calming dogs nervous system is a multi -fold approach.

    Areas to look at are:

    1) Diet. No colouring, no additives, no crap.
    I have concluded a raw meaty bone diet to give them supreme calm.

    I watch my dogs chewing bones and cleaning their teeth and it instils a calm in me too as they are so happy. (cooked bones are dangerous)

    Natures menu is a commercial frozen raw food.

    2) Exercise. Are the dogs climbing the walls? Plenty of daily exercise is essential. A possibility of hiring a dog walker if unable yourself.

    3) Plenty To Do. Boredom Breaker toys include a Kong toy filled with peanut butter say - the licking action calms them and keeps them amused.

    4)

    4)

    4) T-Touch is designed to help - a t -touch trainer will help.

    5) Train your dogs to bark! on your request - with the word speak.

    Then train them to hush. This has to be an exciting game. Dogs are always only ever trying to please you.

    Treats need to be given when they are already being quiet. Often people miss the appropriate Que.



    6) can you use ear muffs, white noise, and find some place in your home which allows you to rest.?
     
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  7. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    What about the plug-in hormone scent appeasers? Might those calm the barky dog down a bit?
    I've used "Feliway" for my cats, it does work for stressful situations, eg. the fireworks display on November the 5th, in a park nearby.
    There is a dog version.
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    There's also a minor surgical procedure to cut the vocal cords. Then the dog can still express itself (very quietly!), and isn't being punished for it. No idea what the dog nuts think about that though :p
     
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  9. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    leela, Ema and Ren like this.
  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    :(
     
  11. Ren

    Ren Primum Non Nocere

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    My dog (and the dogs who were his buddies but now deceased) knows shhhh/shush/hush and speak. The trainer I learned from long ago always told us - praise, praise, praise. And my dogs have seemed to love to learn and love to please. But I also think they'd sell their little souls for the right treat - so praising (with treats at times) will work wonders.

    I also observed though that if my dogs were barking at something they saw, and I said hush that this didn't always work. They persisted. But if I looked at the "it" they were alerting me to and told them "good job - good job - all right hush" for example, then they would quickly be quiet again. I think they needed to know that I was aware of a possible "threat" and had judged the situation. It was counter-intuitive at first to say good-job in that context, but it worked.

    In addition to what golden mentioned, I can say that I do a game of "find" as well, where I tell my dog to "sit, stay" and then I hide a treat-filled kong/box/sock/thrift-store plush toy - and then I give the "find" command. They learn to sniff out / hunt their treat/prey and enjoy tearing into it once they find it.

    (Two of my dogs have also loved to chase laser pointers - but do bark with this. I just mention it because it's another way to exercise/play with them when you're "broken" as we are.)

    Routine is important. So my pup gets (and now herds/nudges me if I'm slow) a "find" game treat after dinner. After/while he exerts himself with his "kill", I play this long youtube meditation song - search "Pet Therapy: Sleep Music for Dogs and Cats" and he's fast asleep. (Sometimes my husband falls asleep too!) I know it may sound odd, but he (the dog) really likes this music. If it stops, he wakes up - but playing it helps knock him out, so to speak. (Edit: And it - the mellow music and/or a fan may help mask noise from the outside world that might provoke them.)

    I also agree with golden about the ear muffs. I'm fortunate to have a generally quiet environment, but I use ear muffs in general sometimes when my head begins to kill me. (I feel guilty for hating little birds sometimes - but their "songs" sometimes feel like nails on a chalkboard in my brain. So, I greatly sympathize with your need for the sound to stop.)

    I swiped the ear muffs I use from my husband who bought them with chainsaw gear, so I don't know if they're average or super-duper, but they give you a silence that is delicious. I keep them on my nightstand.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
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  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    Could you try something similar to this type of strategy?

    Wil Wheaton's anecdote about his barking dogs (the title has a curse word in it, but I suspect you might have a passing acquaintance with curse words already if the issue is stretching you that thin).

    I have a friend who is a dog trainer, and she is absolutely able to stop dogs from barking, without any use of negative collars, citronella, etc. Training based on strong negative reinforcement like that can have a lot of unanticipated down sides. I would strongly suggest investing looking into positive reinforcement options yourself, or even investing in a few sessions with an experienced trainer who uses positive reinforcement strategies (you'll need to ask). It might be far more value for your money than the alternatives, and seems well worth it for your peace of mind.
     
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  13. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I've been trying to train my cat using operant conditioning. (not an easy thing with cats - they prefer place conditioning to operant.)
    She has pretty much managed to turn it around into her training me.:redface:
     
  14. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I knew someone who did that to their dog. It was awful to watch the dog try to bark hoarsely. It didn't solve the problem for either the owners or the dog. The sound was almost as irritating as a full on bark.
     
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  15. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Is he crate trained? Does he bark in his crate? Can he be let out to do his business in the AM and then put back in the crate until you are ready to get up for the day? Can the crate be in the garage where you can't hear him??

    I totally sympathize. When my girls get going, it can fry my nerves too. Thankfully, they have learned "settle" pretty well with the application of many cookies. But training is exhausting and I sympathize with you on that too.

    Also, call your vet and ask about a trial of doggie Prozac. Inappropriate barking is a sign of anxiety and prozac has a long history of safe use in dogs. It's worth a shot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  16. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    peeps please note @outdamnspot said
    'and am mostly bed-ridden'

    training advice is useless when someone is so sick.
     
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  17. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    It is, absolutely, Maryb. The timing of the reward is crucial, it has to be immediate.
    You simply can't do that when you're sick; you have to be "on the ball" with the dog's behaviour and respond.
     
  18. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    If there is no one else in the house , a dog sitter/trainer could be an option. Whilst bedbound. To help with the change.

    http://positively.com/2011/06/04/barking-barking-barking-etc-etc-etc/

    Victoria Stillwell has one of the better dog trainer philosophies - not approving of the punishing spray collars. (Although different to T Touch philosophy)

    Also the smell lasts for ages....therefore so does the punishment.

    :)
     
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  19. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @peggy-sue
    thank you
    having had a bad day myself I can't imagine how bad it would be to be in @outdamnspot s situation, I could cry for him honestly......
     
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  20. Ren

    Ren Primum Non Nocere

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    Ideally, other members of the household would work with / train this pup, as in sparrow's link (post 12) - great story! And outdamnspot could perhaps minimally help reinforce said behavior once he has had lots and lots of proper sleep and rest and quiet. Please consider the ear muffs. They eliminate all sound - which in my experience helps head pain disipate more quickly.

    (A number of the other suggestions seem extremely cruel to me - to the extent that I might consider it more humane to euthanize a creature than to subject it to such things.)
     
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