As a long time dog owner I can very much relate to your need to train
your dog to contain his barking, especially when it really starts to
affect your family's quality of life and not to mention the neighbors
Gwen Bailey, chairperson of the Association of Pet Behavior Counselors
: ?Dogs bark for a variety of reasons ? when the postman delivers or
when intruders are about, when excited at the thought of a walk, when
needing attention, when in the car, or left alone at home, when bored
or anxious or just afraid. Persistent barking means something is
making the dog unhappy: it could be distressed, afraid or bored."
If possible these reasons could be addressed, thus eliminating the
need for your dog to bark. Your dog, Rocky, seems very distressed when
someone 'suddenly' intrudes on his 'territory' - his first reaction is
- BARK! Even if it's a well known and loved family member that has
just arrived back home.
I also had a dog which was always barking whenever there was a knock
on the door or a ring on the bell. Even slight noise anywhere in the
vicinity of the door would start her off. I solved it by using plain
tap water in a spray container - like the ones used to spray your
Every time she would start off with the barking - out would come the
the sprayer and a firm spray or two at her general muzzle region would
immediately stop her barking. Each spray action was accompanied with
me saying 'QUIET'. At first, of course, after shaking off the nuisance
water (I'm sure she was thinking 'What the..?!?') she would start up
again - but got sprayed again and again until she completely ceased
I was very persistent with this method and soon enough within less
than one week she would quit barking as soon as she was SHOWN the
sprayer. Within less than 2 weeks she stopped barking completely when
people came to the door or entered the house.
I want to stress that never did she whimper or cry from this water
spraying. That would have been unacceptable to me as a training
method. Water is a natural substance and cannot harm a dog by means of
light spray or mist at the muzzle, even if it goes into the dog's
Some other methods you can try if the water spray method doesn't work:
Spraying Water+Vinegar mixture, sonic bark collars that sense your
dog's bark and emit a painless audible tone. Ultrasonic (non audible
to humans) collars are also available that in many cases causes your
dog to cease barking - but some consider these confusing to dogs - as
they cannot feel the source of the sound. A shock collar should always
be used as the last means to control your dog - it can hurt and
frighten your dog and have adverse effects.
Conventional Reward Based Training
"1. Set up a situation where your dog will always bark. For
example, you can ask someone to ring your doorbell or knock on
2. When your dog charges to the door and start to bark loudly,
approach your dog, grab his collar and give the command ?quiet? ?
no shouting please, it doesn?t help.
3. If he stops barking, praise and reward. He?s a genius and
4. When he continues barking, close his mouth with your hand,
wrap your fingers around his muzzle ? use both hands if needed,
and give the command for him to keep quiet. Praise if he stops.
Most dogs would be able to learn the ?quiet? command with
repeated training like this. Set up similar situations to "lure"
your dog to bark and repeat training whenever possible."
The Spray Method Continued Step By Step:
"If you happen to own a hard-core persistent barker, use this
1. Vinegar-Water solution ? mix a proportion of 7/8 water & 1/8
vinegar together. Pour the mixture into a water pistol or what
kids call ?super soaker? for longer distance shooting.
2. Aim and shoot at his chest whenever he can?t stop barking even
on your command. Dogs hate the smell of vinegar and would usually
back off and stop barking. He?ll even sneeze a few times. It?s
harmless so you need not worry.
3. As always, praise him when he stops barking."
Hi-Tech Bark Control Collars
"HIGH TECH No Bark Collars end barking quickly, easily and humanely.
We represent to you that our bark control collars are simply the most
effective bark stopping collars made anywhere at any price. We have a
success rate of better than 90% and while we can't guarantee that our
collars will stop every dog in the world from barking, we can
guarantee that if our no bark collars don't work on your dog, nothing
... Our more advanced models progressively increase the sonic stimulus
as barking persists. Our most advanced models employ gradually
increasing electric shock stimulus along with the sound to stop even
the most stubborn barkers in a humane manner. Each model is designed
with state of the art, microprocessor controlled, circuitry that is
extensively tested to prove its effectiveness. Browse though the
models listed below. You are certain to find a product that will stop
your barking dog."
The Downside to Shock Collars
(especially for Rocky - who was previously abused)
"There is no visual or scent-related cue to help the dog understand
it, raising the danger that the dog will associate the shock with
something other than barking, such as another dog, or even you. If
your dog is aggressive, it may attack you out of fear or a feeling
that it must defend itself against this shock. For shy dogs, such a
device may make them withdraw even further, convinced that the world
truly is a hostile place. "
Dog Physiatrists & Trainers
I doubt this is the case, but Rocky may no longer be trainable. He may
have become too neurotic or disturbed by the former abuse for an
inexperienced trainer to train. You may need to consult your
veterinarian or a qualified dog-trainer if you feel this is the case.
Search the Yellow Pages in your area for dog trainer or dog analyst or
ask your vet.
The "Bow-lingual" - "A gadget that analyses a dog's whines and growls
and translates them into words will be launched next year.
The "Bow-lingual", developed by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Co.
Ltd, consists of a six-centimeter dog collar microphone that transmits
sounds to a palm-sized console. The console uses 200 different words,
including "fun", "boring" and "happy", to translate six basic dog
"emotions" in real time.
A series of similar words automatically produces sentences such as
"Please, please, if you don't listen to me, I'll sulk."
The device can also be set to "Dog Diary" mode to record and analyze a
whole day of emotions. An owner returning home from work could be
greeted with: "I had a relaxed day today, peaceful". Or even "Lots of
enjoyable things happened! A mega-happy day!"
A few things to keep in mind:
- Bark Collars will work when your dog is on it's own. With water
spraying methods - YOU or someone else will have to be physically with
the dog to perform the training - including the middle of the night.
- As in any - successful training - consistency is paramount. The
avoids confusing Rocky and also - any lapses can be swiftly corrected
- When the training period is over and deemed successful, your dog may
not bark at REAL intruders anymore...
Search engine used: Google.
"King went a-runnin' after deer
Wasn't scared of jumpin' off the truck in high gear
King went a-sniffin' and he would go
Was the best old hound dog I ever did know.
I had a dog and his name was King
I told the dog about everything
There in my truck the dog and I
Then one day the King up and died.
Then I thought about the times we had
Once when I kicked him when he was bad
Old King sure meant a lot to me
But that hound dog is history."
- "Old King", Neil Young.