The positive interrupt is a well-programmed, highly reinforced behavior that allows you to redirect your dog’s attention back to you when she’s doing something inappropriate like barking. Ideally, you want your dog’s response to the “Over here!” cue to be so automatic – classically conditioned – that he doesn’t stop to think whether what he’s doing is more rewarding or interesting than turning his attention toward you and running to you for a treat. He doesn’t think – he just does it, the way your foot automatically hits the brake of your car when you see taillights flash in front of you on the highway.
This only aggravated the behavior. Extinction bursts, take place when an owner tries to stop a behavior by not giving in and the dog increases the behavior to obtain whatever it wants. As much as an extinction burst sounds like an annoying problem, in reality it is a sign that not giving in is working. Giving in, when an extinction burst takes place will only add more fuel to the fire.
Learning how to stop a dog from barking doesn’t have to be a strenuous process. Sure, it’s a challenge to stop dog barking, but most importantly, through all of these techniques, you have to remember that just as there are some great ways to treat dog barking, there are definite ways NOT to treat it. Because frustration and boredom are often at the heart of incessant barking, scolding your dog won’t do anything. Agitation won’t be fixed with more agitation, so try to speak to your dog in a soothing voice and don’t let your anger over the situation get the best of you.
Let’s take a look at what happens in the dog’s mind during an ”extinction burst”. The behavior of barking in the morning had to start somewhere. Very likely, upon barking in the morning you or somebody in your family got up and fed the dog. Since the barking worked in getting what she wanted, very likely she continued to do so, and very likely you continued getting up and feeding.
my tip is to keep him on a leash. I have seen a . Why would any little dog need to be off leash in a field is beyond me. Sorry just sayin’ As for having him behave on the lead, I will have to leave that advise to the experts. I just can’t say enough how important it is to keep your dog on a leash. Even a well trained dog can run off if its prey drive kicks in……like seeing a cat, a bird, or another dog to greet (though this one would not be prey drive) But I think that you understand. I learned this lesson the hard way. I thought that my well behaved highly trained dog would always listen to me off leash (I mean really, he ALWAYS did for years) Then, one day, I decided to let him swim in the dammed up part of the river where the water is calm. He wasn’t wearing a leash or a life vest. A duck flew by low and over the river……….then off went Yogi. He is a Labrador Retriever……..he went for the duck and inevitably got caught in the swift current in the middle of the wide river. He didn’t hear me when I called him to come back because of the river’s loud noise and cars driving over the overpass. He couldn’t see my hand signals either because he was out of view due to the concrete walls holding the overpass up. Plus he was chasing the duck. So, I watched on in agony as he struggled to get out of the current. Then, he went under, he came up, he went under…..I was frantically trying to get him to see me down stream because his only chance of getting out was to see my hand signal and come to me with the current while swimming diagonally. He went under again, and then again. When I had successfully maneuvered into his line of sight; he saw me. I waved the signal that I had for him to come to me. He finally started to ride the current toward me and swam diagonal when he got closer WHEW!!!! he made it out. He was exhausted and scared. shaky. I was relieved and wiser. Now, I NEVER leave him off leash unless he is in a dog park with friendly dogs or in an enclosed space or on my friends 500 acre secluded ranch (which has no river) I hope that these 2 examples help people understand that leashes are important. I also hope that you find some help with your dog issues. There are many utube videos of positive solutions. Seek and ye shall find. Happy trails and tails.
If your dog barks all day because he is bored, try leaving him with puzzles or games that take a while to figure out in order to get to the treat. If the dog’s separation anxiety is intense, you may need to call on a trainer or behaviorist for more advice.
Think twice before ignoring. Of course another less preferable way is to ignore the barking and wait for it to go away. In a crate or enclosed area this may work (particularly with a puppy who is learning to settle) but if the dog is outside or in a large area then the barking itself can be self-rewarding. In many instances there are multiple stimuli occurring will encourage the dog barking. In my opinion, dogs should never be left outside unsupervised or unaccompanied. Go out with your dog and do not allow him to run the fence, race down the hedgerow chasing the cars, or barking at the person walking by. Show your control and confidence in handling these situations and be the leader of your pack. Have him on a leash or a long line so that you can reinforce your commands and maintain control without shouting or becoming agitated.
Pay attention to the circumstances. Barking at the mailman teaches pups to repeat the behavior when your two-pound terror thinks, “My ferocious bark chased him away — I’m an awesome guard dog, beware!” You may want to enlist your mail carrier’s help — ask him/her to feed your pup a treat once he is quiet and praise him for being silent.
But, since dogs bark for various reasons, the first thing to do is to figure out why your dog barks, at what you might consider to be the most inappropriate times. Once you know the reason behind the uncontrollable barking, you can start to treat the problem.
However, it’s unlikely that he became a noisy, insistent pest on his own; your family likely had a hand in this during his upbringing. For example, perhaps you thought it was cute when he barked at you while you were cooking chicken and you slipped a piece to him. Dogs are pretty good associative learners and if they make the connection that barking equals food, they won’t stop just because you no longer find it cute.
Excessive barking due to separation anxiety occurs only when a dog’s caretaker is gone or when the dog is left alone. You’ll usually see at least one other separation anxiety symptom as well, like pacing, destruction, elimination, depression or other signs of distress. For more information about this problem, please see our article, Separation Anxiety.