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Barking like crazy


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My 13 month old has been barking significantly more as she's grown older.  Jax barks loudly at just about everything; things out of place in the house, any little noise, wildlife, people that don't come greet her on a walk etc..

I know Cairn's bark but honestly it's making us crazy at times.  We've tried quietly trying to calm her, rewarding when she stops, a can of pennies to distract her all to no avail.

Does anyone have any suggestions?






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Idaho Cairns

I "ball cap" mine.  When they start barking I fling my cap at them.  Now all I have to do is just make the move to the bill of the cap with a firm "NO!"  and that stops them cold.  Cairns do not like objects flying around their heads.  The problem with the rattle can is that you can't throw it at them because you might hurt them or damage furniture or decorations--a ball cap won't do either.

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DH recently came up with something similar to Idaho.  He smacks his slipper/shoe on the arm of a chair or on the floor and says "No bark!".  The sound gets their attention and re-focuses it on you.  Now we can sometimes just say "Slipper!" and they stop.

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I used a spray bottle filled with cold water aimed at Addie's rear end with some success while saying "no bark" as soon as the water hit her. 

On barking rampages, I'd pick her up and flip her on her back (basically cradling her like a baby) and hold her until she stopped barking and struggling.

She's still vocal, but it's no longer in the realm of "oh goodness, I could get evicted."

"as far as i am concerned cairns are the original spirit from which all terriers spring, and all terriers are cairns very deep down inside." pkcrossley

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Thank you Idaho for the cap idea and HHeldorver for the slipper..very clever suggestions and I will give that a try asap!!!  

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Another item in the old trick bag: 

On 3/17/2011 at 10:14 AM, bradl said:

We found that for the most part, our dogs either cannot or will not bark when in a sit. Haggis eventually figured out barking from a sit, but will still not bark from a down. So a down is usually pretty foolproof.

Most of them will stop with a simple "watch me" if we're walking or whatever. But in an environment where they're just sort of hanging around waiting to be distracted (in the bad way), it's a bit harder to distract them in the good way. If you come to visit them in an expen, *nothing* is going to stop them from barking and jumping hello :P The distraction has to be either higher value, or more compelling in some way. Or more "automatic."

In terms of ignoring other dogs, this assumes the other dog is not rudely barging on top of them. In which case they have my permission to take a nose off.

Using a sit/down or other automatic behavior does require you to train the dog in the behavior until it is very reliable. Don't let anyone tell you Cairns can't be trained. (No one's saying it's necessarily easy, tho' :P)

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Nick has said, 'NO BARKING' so many times over the years that it has become more annoying than Lola's barking! :D  However, it has worked to a high degree. I try to say it in the exact same way as Nick, since our accents are very, very different and I want Lola to know we are saying the same thing. :P We were very consistent and would say it even when she barked a little bit, just to keep drumming it in her head. I'd say she barks only 20-30% of what she used to do - so a huge improvement. Maybe I will employ one of the tactics above as a reinforcement.

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  • 5 years later...

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