by Troubles' Mum
Hiya my pit, Trouble barks very loudly when he knows he is going out. In the morning before I get showered, Trouble needs his walk. He barks from the minute I get up sooo loud and we just cannot stop him.
He gets plenty of good walks. Everyone round my way says he is the best walked dog about:), If I have to put on my dog walking clothes, I have tried to get my clothes together and go into the bathroom quietly. But he knows and he still barks. And it is a bark that is so loud it goes right through you.
We were thinking of getting the collar that when he barks a puff of air will go onto him, but we are afraid that he will then think he has never to bark and I do not want that. Has anyone used one of the collars?
It can take the fun out of walking him. It's like 'Aww no, Troubles got to be walked' and then we have to go through the barking. We love walking him but the getting out of the house part is the chore. Any suggestion welcome, thank you.Gale's Reply
First, I realize that you submitted your question quite awhile ago and you may have already solved your problem with Troubles. I've been inundated with many more questions than I can answer timely. I'm sorry for the delay. If nothing else, perhaps this will help others with the same or similar problem.
The approach I would suggest doesn't involve the collar you mention. I don't know how effective it is. But, if any of our visitors have used it, perhaps they can leave a comment
This probably started as simply an expression of excitement and anticipation. But it sounds as though Troubles may have gotten the idea that his barking is what gets you to take him for a walk.
He barks. And because he apparently doesn't stop until you take him out, you feel some pressure to hurry up and get him out the door. So, he's actually being rewarded for barking at this point. Instead, you need to reverse this and reward him for not barking.
Have some high value treats ready when you get up in the morning. When he starts barking, ignore him and make no move towards getting ready to take him out. (I realize this will require patience and fortitude on your part. You'll probably want to do this on a morning when you do not have an early appointment.)
When he stops barking--and he will eventually if only for a moment--give him a treat and start getting ready for the walk. When he starts barking again (which he almost certainly will) all walk preparations stop. Sit down and wait for him to stop barking. Give him a treat the moment he stops. Rinse and repeat.
The idea is to impress him that good things start happening when he is quiet. Since you walk him frequently, you'll have multiple opportunities during the day to reinforce this. The key is to be consistent.
You may also find it useful to teach him both 'Speak' and 'Quiet' commands. If you'd like to try that, here's an article about teaching 'speak/quiet'
using clicker training.
Good luck. Feel free to let us know how Trouble is doing. And, again my apologies for the delay in response.