Last Tips on Barking

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
User avatar
Shalista
Posts: 1102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Last Tips on Barking

Post by Shalista » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:45 am

So bax is definitely livable right now. Very little hysterical barking. and he sleeps through the night and snoozes through the day. he is definitely capable of ignoring some thumps and basically only reacts to thumps I CAN HEAR (as opposed to also reacting to ones i COULDN'T) so def progress. But i'd like some help polishing it off so he can relax fully.

His current status:

1) On loud thumps he will lose his marbles. he also misplaces them if someone is at the door. I'm mostly okay with this. I still take him into the room but it doesn't bother me if at a most egregious offence he barks.

2) On quiet thumps he sometimes ignores them but most often he will growl/whuffle/whine and run to me for his french fry. (we ran out of fried potato pieces so hes eating left over french fries as treats now).

its #2 that concerns me the most because he does it ALOT and it def disturbs his peace. With #1 i can put him in his room for 20 sec, let him out and hes 100% happy. with #2 even WITH a french fry he sits waiting and begging and whining and i refuse to give him more than one french fry for a single thump. Not only that but #2 happens fairly regularly and i can see its stacking affect on him. if she thumps and he gets a french fry a second thump in quick succession will send him pacing and growling and running to the door. (its worth mentioning that on first thump the sound he makes the most is whining, not growling. growling comes after second thump or more)

I guess what I'm asking about is where do i go from here? Barking isn't the issue, it's Bax's peace. I don't want to summon him off his comfy bed every time i hear a thump and he DOESN'T react (that seems counter productive) but by the same token rewarding him with a french fry when he DOES REACT (albeit with growling and pacing instead of barking) also doesn't seem the right way. thoughts?
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6344
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by JudyN » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:23 am

Could you insist on giving him the reward on his bed? So if he gets up and comes to you, ask him to go back on his bed and treat him there, in the hope that eventually he'll just wait for you to bring it to him.

I've a feeling that might work better with bone idle lurchers than terriers though....

Also, now he can ignore some quieter thumps, I wonder if it would help if you gradually reduced the size/value of the French Fry, so the reward itself doesn't get him excited and therefore more likely to react. Even if you got to the stage where he growled/whuffled/whined but stayed on his bed that would be a step forward and worth rewarding.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

User avatar
Shalista
Posts: 1102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by Shalista » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:57 pm

hmmm i might add some kibble ot his treat bowl. he can usually take it or leave it but lately hes been moderately interested in it. if its hit or miss if he gets kibble, a french fry, or nothing that might be the start of phasing out treats at least.

its not that i mind giving him french fries though, its more that he's still so anxious about the noises... and also my uncertainty if hes just not hearing the noise and thinking "KACHING! jackpot!" and running over for his treat.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

jacksdad
Posts: 4822
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by jacksdad » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:42 pm

I don't think this is the time to be discussing backing off. if what you are doing is showing signs of progress, keep it up.

If bumps worry, scare, agitate, create anxiety...EVERY SINGLE BUMP needs to be followed by something YUMMY until you are seeing a conditioned emotional response (aka a YIPPY response...vs a OH CRAP response) ...bump causes him to run to you for food vs react to the bump with growls, barks, whimpers.

for counter conditioning to work, you MUST follow EVERY single incident of the trigger with the food..hot dogs, french fry etc. IF certain intensity levels are not creating intense response...you can try a less exciting food...but you MUST continue to have that "trigger" makes food happen association as close to 100% of the time as you can. it's not forever, but it also isn't yet the time to back off.

Why? because it sounds like it is only just starting to work AND if there are low intensity trigger noises fairly close together (vs just one that would not cause a reaction) such as multiple noise will. Also, more intense levels of the trigger are still causing a reaction.

ultimately we don't want to be relying on classical conditioning all the time as it is tiring and the positive effect is more susceptible to fading quickly when stooped than operant based behaviors. BUT it is VERY, VERY good at changing emotional associations, particularly when fear/worry/anxiety are involved>

have you tried simulating the noise such as a door knock, and then follow it by a bit of food to help speed up this process? when we our self create the knock noise we can control the intensity and duration. start soft and brief as you need to get a reaction from bax, but not a bark, growl, pace etc. otherwise unwanted reaction. look for a perking up of the ears and a turn towards the noise, a "hark there was a noise" reaction, not a "OMG the world is ending" reaction. follow it with food quickly. do that like 10 times, take a break.

knock, food...pause 1 to 3 seconds...knock, food....pause 1 to 3 seconds. repeat 10 times. take break. when you knock and get a happy/anticipatory response, increase either the intensity or duration or both. keep upping the intensity and duration.

as the duration of the knock gets longer you can do knock, knock, knock etc. and then after the first knock treats start happening while the knock is...but the treats STOP soon as the knock stops.

if you make the noise (such as knocking) and he barks...he still gets the bit of food, but the next knock you make less intense/quiet/shorter. whatever is needed. you want awareness of the noise, but no barking, growling, any of his unwanted reactions.
my uncertainty if hes just not hearing the noise and thinking "KACHING! jackpot!" and running over for his treat.
honestly that is THE GOAL!!!!. this is 100% no question what you want. this is a changed emotional association when you get that. stop worrying that your dog is "playing" you. he isn't. that is old school thinking. you want that happy KNOCKS/noise makes yummy/fun/cool things happens anticipation. that IS the goal of counter conditioning. once you have that for the vast majority of his triggers...THEN we can talk about what next.

don't back off at the first sign of progress. that is a common mistake.

User avatar
Shalista
Posts: 1102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by Shalista » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:22 am

Thanks for the most excellent post jacksdad! that makes a lot of sense. I'll keep up the good work!

EDIT: also sadly tried the knocking myself and he just looked at me like i was an idiot. i thought i was being sneaky to :(
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

jacksdad
Posts: 4822
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by jacksdad » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:23 pm

you made a knock noise and he did'n't react? perfect...now pair that with a treat....knock at the level he doesn't react...follow with a treat.

slowly increase the intensity of the knock towards a level he would normally react. not all in one session, but as quickly as you can without creating a reaction. do short brief sessions.

This is how you help change his association...noise makes food happen. we DO NOT want him reacting to the noise with barking etc in the ideal. the more reaction, the less learning is happening. There does need to be a minimal reaction for his brain to make the connection between noise and food. but not so much of a reaction you get barking, chuffing or worse.

right now he has some kind of association with the noises/knocking that results in him reacting as if there is danger. by paring the noise with food, we change that association in the ideal, but at the least we take a lot of that intense reaction out of it. this opens the window to other more long term training options. the what to do rather than "flip out" options.

User avatar
Shalista
Posts: 1102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by Shalista » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:46 pm

oh i see t he problem here. i apparently mislead you. knocking isnt the trigger. muffled thumps far away are the trigger. i can knock till im blue in the face, i can stand outside the door and knock on it. zero dice. but that muffled thump 30 feet and six inches of concrete away? THATS the trigger.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

User avatar
Shalista
Posts: 1102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by Shalista » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:24 pm

hahahaha barking update:

My downstairs neighbors heat blew on friday. Bax has been getting LOTS of practice with hearing loud thumps and banging from downstairs. I bought him his very own mcdonalds large fry and ive been breaking the fries into pieces and giving them to him as treats.

hes actually been taking it like a champ! def more activity on his part, but also more times where hes just blinked and sighed and closed his eyes again. i feel like we're on the fast track to success with these construction repairs downstairs!
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10385
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by Nettle » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:50 am

Well done both of you - nothing like capitalising on the unforeseen. :D

Watch out for upset stomach from lots of fries! He might benefit from extra greens.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

jacksdad
Posts: 4822
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Last Tips on Barking

Post by jacksdad » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:03 am

woohoo. well done. I also find that sometimes the best training sessions come from those unexpected opportunities.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests