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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19460
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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hello, we have a young labradoodle (14 months old) - reasonably

Customer Question

hello, we have a young labradoodle (14 months old) - reasonably well behaved but with a few issues which we need to resolve. She barks at the slightest noise - open a window, close a door etc all result in her barking. If anyone comes to the door or rings the bell she goes mad, not just barking but really excitable, and goes on barking and running around for ages. She is also territorial, running around the garden barking. I have started the take her to meet the postman at the gate on her lead but she still barks and jumps at the gate. There are other issues which I am trying to resolve - for example she chases birds and squirrels but her recall is getting better though not yet good enough.
Sounds terrible but with help she will be a lovely dog......
thanks in anticipation.....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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She is still very much a pup. She'll probably settle down in about 6 months or so though she may still have some issues.
There are several ways to approach the barking. We had a rescue that barked at the wind and everything else. This is the method that we used for this one. We left his leash on in the house attached to a chain collar. Each time our dog barked inappropriately we gave a quick tug correction to distract him, said "no bark" and had him sit. After a few corrections right in a row, he would finally stop barking for a second. When he didn't bark I'd give him a treat. By the end of a couple of weeks, he had reduced his barking significantly. We did go through a lot of treats.
We did this over the course of a month all together, giving treats for non barking and eventually phasing out the treats and using praise instead with a treat only once in a while. Now he rarely ever barks.
As crazy as this sounds you may wish to teach him the speak command and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after the dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.
http://www.dogskool.com/web/news/summer2002/page3.html
You also have the option of getting a bark collar such as citronella spray collar, or a shock bark collar that will stop excessive barking. If you go with a collar be sure the collar is tight enough for the contacts to touch the skin or trim the hair back so the sensor can tell if the throat is vibrating. If you use the shock one, let it shock you first so you know what the intesity is and have it set on the lowest setting at first. Try the other methods first.
Continue your obedience work. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
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For the recall, call her to you at least 5-10 times a day when you are in the house or she is contained. Usually they come in that case. Reward her each time with a high value treat like a hot dog (vienna sausage) slices or liver slivers and not regular treats. This gets her into the habit of immediately coming for the treat when she hears the commands. You might change the command to "HERE" instead of COME as well so she associates HERE with the treat and comes. After a few days of doing this when she wants to come to you, you should see her obeying pretty quick even when she is distracted. Use treats and praise as you will eventually phase the treats down to occasionally.
Many dogs are territorial when it comes to their yard or garden. Putting in a second fence within the existing one a couple of feet in helps lessen the issue since the dog can't get right up to the outer barrier. Many owners get an underground fence system and put it on the existing fence which in effect keeps the dog 3 feet away from the fence line. You can see one here:
http://www.petsafe.net/fencing/in-ground-fences
they are pretty cheap on auction sites. Keeping her off the fence line should help reduce her territorial response. You can also do specific training to stop this behavior. Just attach a long leash and wait for her to react to something like squirrel or person. When she does give a short tug and firm NO. When she doesn't react, go ahead and give her the special treat.
You seem to be socializing her well, so that doesn't seem to be a problem, but be sure to keep it up. Also have your postman help you as well if he will. Let him come to the fence multiple times until she doesn't react if possible. If he can't have her obey a command and let him toss her a "special" treat so she associates him with good things.
She sounds like she will be a great dog as she matures, keep up the good work. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19460
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks for your quick response - we will continue with your suggestions and will review the links you provided. Other typical issues are around jumping up and lunging at dogs/children and even vehicles but I try to anticipate such actions .

we will be in touch again if we have any other specific problems.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Richard,
.
Correct undesired behavior and reward desired behavior but try not to tense up in anticipation of a behavior as that just makes the dog more likely to respond in a manner you do NOT want.
.
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If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may go here http://www.justanswer.com/pet/expert-jane-lefler/ and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Please recommend me to your friends and family members if they have any problems with their dog as well. I would truly appreciate it.

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