Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior...
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Thread: Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior...

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    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
    CaliforniaLabLover is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultAlmighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior...

    How do you go about training a dog to bark on command who doesn't normally bark much?

    Libby had only barked about 6 times total as a puppy...and then basically stopped until we moved in October, when she started barking at the door. Initially we "shushed" her, but after a while, it seemed like it would be nothing but a good idea since we live on the outskirts of town now at the top of the hill in a culdesac where there isn't much traffic. A big barking dog is just another "deterent" to a potential thief.

    I've gotten out my clicker and treats, and have started praising Libby for barking when someone rings the doorbell about a week now...it was like a game for the past couple of weeks. She'd bark if someone was at the door, and we'd joke around with her, "Who's there, Libby?"

    I can't get her to bark so that I can click and treat for the life of me! Ugh.

    She has a "job" in 3 wks, where she needs to bark on command.

    Can anyone give me any good ideas? Pretty please?

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior

    I use positive reinforcement for barking. I can get Ruger to bark on command. The command is "Speak!" and he will bark. What I did to teach him was... when he DID bark on his own I'd jump in with "Speak! Good boy! Speak!" and laugh and make it a game and get him excited about it.

    Now... Magnum is NOT a barker and she will not "speak" on command. She sounds alot like your girl. She will give out a little "woof" when someone comes to the house, or maybe two or three "woofs" but that's about it.

    I think some dogs are just not barkers. That's why I'm glad I have "the mouth" Ruger. He honestly has the biggest bark in our little neighborhood... I know it's his bark even when I'm in the back 40

    Living in the "country" it's good to have a barker.

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    ObedienceLabs4Me is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior...

    "Training gurus"--Julie you are too funny!!! Ok, not give up after trying something once or twice. Sometimes it takes repeating and repeating for the "light bulb" to come on. Took me quite a while to teach my first Lab to speak on command but I just kept at it. Would bark at her, reinforce when she did bark. It is through constant and consistent repetition that the dog learns. So, keep working at it. I do believe from your other posts what you are doing will eventually work.
    Susan
    UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
    FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN

    www.labmed.org


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    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
    CaliforniaLabLover is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior...

    Thanks, Susan...I appreciate your confidence! I hope she gets it sooner rather than later...this is stressing me out.

    I just finished reading the 120-page script for the movie- man, I couldn't tear my eyes away from it! I am still coming down from my suspenseful "high." LOL Whew! I e-mailed the writer (who I've been in contact with) and asked about doing doggie "voice-overs" in case the dog gets performance anxiety and doesn't want to bark or whatnot at the right moment.

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior

    Man, you are too lucky. I wish I lived in CA. I would be all about getting Angus in the moooo-vies. 8)

    It is SO WEIRD you would ask this question. Not that I have a ton of great advice for you, but it's odd because I was talking to my Mom about this very thing just yesterday. Weird!

    Crash knew "speak." My hand signal for it was to hold up my hand like a sock puppet and open and close the "mouth" once (if that makes any sense). I taught him the same as raian. He picked it up very quickly...which always seems to be the case, I think anyway, when they offer the behavior first and you just reward it and give it a name.

    Simon has been doing "speak" for a few weeks now. Again, taught the same way. He loves to bark, so when he would do it I just said "speak" and gave him the treat. Picked it up in just a few reps. Easy as pie.

    Now Angus...that is another story entirely. He does bark, but he is never vocal unless a) the neighbor's dogs are pestering him or b) there is someone outside our house. So, his barks are always for the purpose of defending his territory, I guess. He never barks at me conversationally, the way Crash did, and the way Simon does.

    Am I making sense?

    I agree that some dogs are vocal, and some are not. Crash also learned "talk to me," which was not really a bark, but a kind of low mumble/growl. Sometimes he would get that and speak mixed up, but usually he made a distinction between the kind of sounds he made for one command or the other. I am positive I'll be able to teach Simon this too, as he just loves to "talk" if he wants attention.

    Sigh...I don't know how you can teach her to bark if she's not offering the behavior. I suppose you have tried standing there barking at her, trying to get her to respond? This works for Simon, because again, big talker. Angus just looks at me like I've lost my mind. :P

    Maybe I will try (again) to teach Angus to speak tonight and see if I find anything that works.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Almighty training gurus...I need some help with training a specific behavior...

    Julie, if you ever meet Wendy Pennington from the LRCSC, her black lab was in Stella Got Her Groove back.

    Her dog was also supposed to be the dog that the Lycos ads used for a while, but then some stupid politics went on and someone else wanted their dog used, but it was a yellow lab, which they painted black. Or so the story goes. Wendy laughed when she told the story, as the person who demanded their dog be used couldn't do the commands that were required either. It was a huge fiasco.

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