How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

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NaomiH
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How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

Post by NaomiH » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:38 am

I've posted on here about my 2 year old rescue Saluki/ greyhound lurcher Sparky and now I have a new problem...every time he goes out to wee in the garden in the dark (and sometimes during the day) he barks like mad. It's a proper territorial "ru ru ru ru ru ru" with stiff body posture, stiff tail wag etc so I'm pretty sure it's aggressive/ defending his territory barking. It's the only place that he does that sort of barking.

The problem is that our garden is very small, we live in a small terraced house with neighbours with a new-born baby and a toddler on one side and our garden backs onto a block of flats. Of course, everyone has their windows open at the moment and Sparky's bark is very loud indeed. One neighbour has cats, which drive him m crazy when they go past the end of the garden, there are squirrels that run along our fence, other dogs barking in the distance and foxes etc.

Sparky usually goes for his last wee anywhere between 10.30 and 11.30 which is when I am most concerned about his noise disturbing the neighbours. If he doesn't have that toileting then he barks in the middle of the night. If I were to put him on lead and take him for a short walk late at night he would bark his head off in front of the house anyway because our neighbour's cats are out there all night (that might be a subject for another thread - stopping him turning into a snarling, barking, hard-to-control monster on lead whenever we come across cats).

My main concern is this... what if the neighbours make formal complaints to the police/ environmental health agency. Would he have to be rehoused? I must stress that he is never left outside unattended during the day (they probably wouldn't be aware we had a dog during the day, apart from the occasional couple of barks) and he isn't left out there barking for ages at night. It's just that when he does start barking out there he gets fixated on whatever's out there and won't come in straight away. Should I try putting him on a long lead when he goes out at night so he can be hauled in if necessary? (Although he does need to be left out there for long enough to actually see). I read Ina different dog forum about PetSafe ultrasonic outdoor barking controllers that emit a high-pitched noise that is unpleasant for the dog but inaudible to humans. Presumably this counts as an aversive so is not acceptable? Or, if the alternative is that someone makes a formal complaint and he needs to be rehired, is it the only possibility?

He is such a good, lovely boy in all other respects and I am aware that this is just natural dog behaviour, I am just really stressed about not knowing how to prevent it. He is exercised a great deal, played with loads etc so it's not that he lacks stimulation or is bored so needs to make his own entertainment or anything.

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Nettle
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Re: How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

Post by Nettle » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:57 am

The aversive is not a good way - he will become stressed and likely bark even more.

He is a perfectly normal dog doing nothing in particular that is "wrong". A quick see-the-enemy-off bark is normal for any dog (maybe apart from a Basenji). Unfortunately you have a very difficult situation with cats being let out to stray, children at a difficult stage of life (lasts for the first forty years IME) crowded surroundings and open windows.

In your position, I would visit the most affected neighbours before they complain, with a bunch of flowers, box of chocs or a bottle of wine, saying you are sorry if he is bothering them but you are doing your very best with his training (no need to go into details, and don't put anything in writing).

At the same time, take him for a round-the-block walk each night instead of the garden. To minimise the bark potential of this exercise, have a toy to hand that you can distract him with, as it's hard to bark with a mouthful of toy. If he is not a toy sort of chap, then you need to rely on treats, but these must be given before he barks - so rustle the bag in your pocket as you walk to get his attention, and dispense treats for QUIET.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Nettle
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Re: How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

Post by Nettle » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:00 am

I have to do this in two parts because the stupid Board times out with longer posts. Teach him the command 'quiet' or 'shush' and reward. Do not reward while he is barking. Check out if Kikopup has some youtube footage on controlling the bark.

You could drive him a few minutes to another place for his last ablutions. This isn't for ever - just while he breaks the habit.

Ironically and most unfairly you have no redress against howling babies, screeching children or straying cats. A pity but that's how it is. Luckily saluki types aren't the dedicated woofers that some other types are.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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JudyN
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Re: How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

Post by JudyN » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:30 am

I have had this with Jasper, either on bedtime wees, in the night, or occasionally when he's first got up - though the morning ones don't last long because he gets his breakfast when he comes in. I think he's stopped doing it at bedtime because it's so light (I go to bed early) it doesn't count as nighttime.

I cured him of asking to go out in the night and barking by coralling off a small area up the side of the house where he could toilet if he needed to, but couldn't get down to the bottom of the garden (there's a strip of waste land beyond the bottom fence where the 'monsters' live - quite possibly foxes and cats). Within a couple of nights he didn't even bother asking to go out because he couldn't go and shout at the monsters.

That might not be any use to you though, as your garden is small so he'll always be close to his own personal monsters.

As an alternative to Nettle's suggestion of the 'round the block' walk (though I'd definitely teach 'quiet' as she suggests) you could try taking him out in the garden on lead - possibly a short lead rather than long - and lead him back inside the first time you see his 'alert' signs. You don't want to wait till he's so fired up you have to drag him. The problem might be that he never get round to having a poo/pee but if he does, reward the hell out of him. If he has regular poo/pee times in the day you could even work on this then - going into the garden on lead means that you want him to perform and then he gets rewarded.

You could also try making his last poo/pee time gradually earlier - you might find a happy balance where it's too early for him to go into barky mode but late enough that he can go through the night. Jasper's last wee is often soon after 9pm.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

NaomiH
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Re: How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

Post by NaomiH » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:28 am

Thank you for your suggestions. It's difficult to know, sometimes, whether he actually needs to wee or not or, as I suspect, he just wants to go outside when it's finally cool out there and he can bark at cats, dogs, squirrels etc. At the moment, as soon as it gets dark he is reluctant to settle indoors (having spent most of the day sprawled on the sofa because of the heat) and gets his "second wind".

I will try taking him out on lead and also leading him round the block. The problem is that as soon as he sees a cat he goes crazy and nothing can distract him - not even his favourite treats or toys - which always makes on-lead walks rather fraught. We live in the middle of a row of 8 small terraced houses where there are no fences between the front gardens. As a result, our neighbour's 2 cats often sit in our front garden, meaning that our walks always seems to begin and end terribly, with Sparky lunging, barking etc and he is actually pretty hard to hold when he gets into this state. The cats also wander into or next to our garden at night and Sparky sometimes wakes us up in the night by barking at them. He knows they are there even when all the curtains are shut and the windows are closed. I have subtly hinted to our neighbour that it would be really helpful if they were kept in at night, but to no avail. She is a friend, so I don't want to push it. Any advice on desensitising S to cats would be very welcome as it does make neighbourhood walks pretty stressful and also he looks like a horrible, dangerous dog (which he absolutely isn't!)

I am glad you think the noise emitter is a bad idea - that was my gut feeling too (although I did read of a couple of cases where people who didn't own dogs got so fed up with their neighbours' dogs that they bought outdoor barking controllers and put them in their own gardens!).

Shalista
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Re: How do I stop my dog barking in the garden at night?

Post by Shalista » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:07 pm

just chipping in my $.02 but scootching bed time wee back is def doable, but be prepared for set backs. Bax used to have a nightly wee around 8. thats been scooched back to just one LONG walk around 5... HOWEVER every so often he gets it into his noggin that he wants to go out at night and so for a few weeks we have to go out at night again until he goes back to his usual routine.

if he eats dinner then id recomend a super long walk (multiple laps around the block if needed) for him to fully empty the tank at least an hr after dinner. when bax goes out he immedialty wees but if i take him on a long walk her can wee at least another 6 times and poo at least 3 in a half mile walk. it may take a longer walk for the tank to fully empty before hes ready to tuck in.

if the tank has been fully emptied at say, 8, he might be less inclined to go out at 11.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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