Hi guys! We are just LOVING our 1 year old chocolate lab. Over the last year she has become the best, most well behaved dog we have ever owned. Unfortunately over the last couple weeks she has begun barking at everything and nothing. She barks when there is nothing to bark at. This is a new problem and we have tried just about everything we know to do. We tell her no sternly, we got a training collar, we pop her mouth (not hard)... NOTHING works. I have never had this problem. Anyone have any new ideas? She is extremely smart but its as if she doesnt care and she just wants to bark.
Thanks for any help.
Usually dogs bark for a reason. Often it is because they want attention. This means, they need (want) more excercise, are bored, are in pain or are hungry. Can you confirm that you have thought about all these points?
She gets tons of exercise. We feed her 4 cups of food per day plus treats. She shouldnt be in any pain. Vet says she's in fantastic health. I just dont understand why she has decided to bark so much. She used to only bark at people walking by outside which was understandable. Now she will just be walking down the hallway and bark a couple times for no reason.
I think labchris pretty much nailed it. HK is a quiet dog, has been for 6 years. The only time she would vocalize was when I was late with dinner, and it is pretty funny listening to her escalate her request for her dinner. She has started to bark at unexpected noises. Car door slamming outside, a strange voice out on the road, someone walking upstairs in the house when both of us are downstairs with her (one of our kids over for some reason), anything out of the ordinary. It hasn't become a problem for us, so we ignore it.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
What exactly do you mean by "tons" of exercise? Usually there is a significant gap between what an owner of a young high energy dog thinks is enough and what actually is enough.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Dogs have keen hearing, she could be hearing something you are not even aware of. Some dogs bark just because. Or as labchris suggested, she could be trying to ask for something.
First ensure she is getting enough exercise to expend her energy, since the vet says she's just fine health wise. Labs are people oriented dogs, is she getting enough mental stimulation and attention?
Telling her "no" is too broad a command, "no bark" or "quiet" is more specific. What type of training collar did you get? Were you using it properly? Even a gentle "pop" in the mouth... uncalled for. Positive corrections usually get the results faster. And sometimes ignoring the behaviour gets the desired results.... once you rule out all of the rest of course.
Last edited by Diesel_Dawg; 07-01-2013 at 10:52 PM.
Todd's trainer taught us too reward quiet and ignore barking. We had a puppy in class that would bark for a treat. Owner had to wait for quiet, then reward.It really worked.Somewhere along the way, maybe she was inadvertently rewarded for barking? I'm having a problem with Todd and Utley barking when I come home. I won't come in the door until they stop. It seems to be working.
Todd, Yellow Lab, 1/4/13
Mr. Utley, Welsh Corgi, 2/20/02
Agree with everyone, dogs usually bark for a reason (boredom, loneliness, not enough mental stimulation or socialization with other dogs). We found that our dogs do really well with a schedule - they eat breakfast and dinner at about the same time, we walk them every night at the same time. They get to visit with their dog friends on weekends and during their walks. After a few years, you get to the point where you learn to read your dogs behaviors. For example, one of our dogs would sit there an pant and pant for extended periods of time. We thought that she was hot, but in reality she would want to sit in between us on the couch or change her position on the couch. As soon as we figured that out, she would get comfortable and go right to sleep.
J.R. and June
Since I don't know how much excercise your dog gets, I can't say it's not enough. I can tell you my Jack (14 months old today ) will bark if he's bored. My hubby & I can play with him, let him run, let him swim...but he's way more high energy then us. He "makes up" things to bark at. He'll look out the window look at me and bark. Or go in a different room peak around the corner and bark. This isn't an everyday thing, he's usually very good about not barking in the house. I disscourage it . But when he does I use "Quiet" when he is...he's "good, good boy" . Totally agree with Diesel_Dawg, please don't "pop her in the mouth" I can't think of any scenario where I'd hit Jack. Possitive reinforcement. Scold if necessary. The tone of voice is punishment enough. Please don't hit her. Good luck. By the way I forgot to say, she's very pretty.
Last edited by KathyArch; 07-02-2013 at 06:30 AM.
I agree that dogs bark for a reason. Bilbo barks almost constantly when he is outside by himself, even when there really isn't anything going on out there. It turns out that his previous owners locked him outside almost 100% of the time and he has anxiety when he is outside by himself. So he barks the entire time he is out there alone because he wants me to go out there with him or let him in. He is getting better, but if I try to make him stay outside by himself for longer than it takes him to poop he will bark and bark and bark.
Also, Dobby hates one of the new toys my mom just sent my youngest (a toy piano) and will bark at it, even when it isn't on, because she hates it so much.
Since this is a recent thing, has anything changed lately?