I am a new user and am excited to participate in and get feedback from such a knowledgeable community!
Oscar is our 7 month old black lab who is bringing us fun, laughter, energy and some frustration (only some of the time!). One thing that we're trying to work on is having him outside with us in our yard. We live in a northern climate (Oscar encountered grass for the first time only a month ago or so - it has been a LONG winter) and we live on a dirt road that isn't too heavily traveled but is traveled on at high speeds unfortunately.
Given all of that, Oscar is always on a leash when outside unless we're at the park which is miles away. Since it is now time (finally) for yard and garden work, we'd love for him to be out with us but not totally free. We can't afford fencing (permanent or invisible) right now but have put one of those corkscrew things with a run attached into the lawn for Oscar. We never put him out there and just leave him, it's more of that he's out there when we're out there too but need to do yard work or stack wood and can't have him on the leash. If we give him a bone, he's fine for awhile but if he loses interest in that or finishes it, he barks and whines constantly. He's not a huge barker (knock on wood) normally.
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to encourage a pup not to bark/whine when in our presence and attached to something like that? Thanks in advance - I am enjoying reading everyone's questions and responses!
The first few times from now on I would wear the guy out before he goes on the chain. He probably excited to be out there and wants to play with you. I'd get the playing done first, tire him out, then give him the bone to chew. If he barks it will be much easier to correct compared to a dog full of energy.
Barking is a difficult one to resolve, as it a) is often an attention seeking behaviour and b)can be self reinforcing and c)often involves an extinction burst, one last gasp before the behaviour stops
Even attempting to correct the dog for barking can be rewarding, any attention is better than none.
So what I would try is, assuming the neighbours won't throttle you during this process, completely ignoring the dog while she's barking. The instant she stops, even for a few seconds initially, mark the silence with a "YES" (or a clicker), go to the dog and give her some loving and a tidbit. Slowly work up to longer and longer silences, ignoring the barking and marking the silences.
We have only be putting him out on the run (again, while we're out there with him) after we've worn him out but maybe we'll try to wear him out some more! Noting and positively reinforcing the silences while ignoring the barking sounds like a good idea that we'll work on this weekend.