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Dog Training/excessive barking and whining

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QUESTION: We have a 2 1/2 year old peruvian inca orchid. We are seeking advice on how to control his excessive barking and whining. So far the only thing that works is removing him from the situation when able and even then he continues barking for several minutes. We have tried commanding him to sit and lie but he will still bark or whine non-stop.  We have tried a startling noise to no avail. He gets over excited and we are out of ideas. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.
Karen

ANSWER: Hi Karen, can you provide some more information about the type of barking? Do you think he is demanding attention, such as, "Play with me" or "Give me treats?"

Does he seem anxious or scared?

It might be boredom. If that is the case, the best medicine is more physical exercise and training for mental stimulation.

If it is demand behaviors, you can try shaping the absence of the behavior by rewarding when he is quiet and ignoring whining and barking.

Let me know if you have questions.

I gave short answers, so if you need more help, provide me with a little more information and I can help.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Jeff,
Thank you for for suggestions.  We have started to give him more mind stimulating activities. He is a very intelligent dog and probably does get bored. That was a great suggestion.

The type of barking we are having the most difficulty with is when he gets excited. When he sees a dog outside, the doorbell rings, etc. We address it by having him sit, lay and stay.  He still barks from a laying position and then starts to whine incessantly.  Certain dogs that go by seem to cause more of a response than others. The other way we have dealt with it is leashing him(to us) when he starts and  thus removing him from the situation.This seems to help since he isn't in view of the dog and distracted by what I'm doing. I don't interact with him at all, just leash him to my belt.  When he's calm for a short time then I unleash him.   When he gets excited he goes from 0 to 60 which makes it hard to intervene before it gets out of hand.

I exercise him on a treadmill just about everyday for 30 minutes. Walking him outside was very stressful. Within minutes of our walk he would start to whine and pull sideways. Upon seeing a person or dog, he would bark and whine and would continue till well out of sight. We tried a gentle lead, weighted vest, harness, giving treats when he was calm, strong smelling treats to redirect, redirecting the walk (turning other way momentarily). It got to a point where I really wasn't comfortable walking him because it was embarrassing, that is when we started him on the treadmill.

thank you so much for the help you have already given us.  
Karen

Answer
Hi Karen,
I do have a book on my site that would be helpful about barking, but I can suggest some tips as well.

You can desensitize him by saying, "Yes" and treat or 'click' (if you are using a clicker) and treat.

The key is to stay far enough away so he is able to respond to the marker and turns around to get the treat. You can also play tug with him or throw a toy if he likes toys a lot. The key is to change his behavior pattern by having him think about something else when he sees a dog or person.  

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Jeff Millman

Expertise

I studied with Jean Donaldson in San Francisco in 2002. She is one of the foremost dog trainers anywhere and I sought her out and traveled from Chicago to work with her. I am expert in all phases of dog development in regards to training. I can offer advice from young puppies through adult including aggression, separation anxiety and barking. While aggression is often handled best in person by a skilled positive reinforcement trainer, a lot of advice can be spread in this forum. I have written EBooks on separation anxiety and barking and am currently writing a book about dog aggression.

Experience

I have been working as a full-time professional dog trainer since 2002. I only use positive reinforcement techniques and am well-versed in using the clicker. My clients do not have to use a clicker to have success using my techniques. I started teaching 14 classes a week for the first two years while I was building up my private practice, Chicago Paws. Since 2004 I have worked exclusively as a private trainer in the Chicago area. On January 1, 2007 I launched an online version of my business that can be viewed at Watch and Train. At WatchandTrain.com you will find streaming videos for purchase that play directly on your computer and cover a variety of specific topics including house training, jumping, come when called, counter surfing and leash walking.

Organizations
Association of Pet Dog Trainers

Education/Credentials
Dog training: I graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers in San Francisco, CA. I attended Karen Pryor;s Clicker Expo in Chicago, IL. I attended week-long APDT conferences in Portland Oregon, Orlando, Florida and Oakland, California. I attended a Pat Miller seminar in Chicago, IL. Previous education: Journalism and Fine Arts degree from Indiana University.

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