Post # 1
So, I have a Corgi, which are known to be a pretty vocal breed. But the older my dog gets the MORE vocal he is becoming. Things that make him flip the f out:
1) Morning alarm
2) getting his breakfast
3) getting his dinner*
5) any delivery truck anywhere in our neighborhood (squeeky brakes)
6) poltergeists, I can only imagine.
The only one we have had any success in stopping is his dinner. We used to feed him right when we sat down to dinner, but he figured that out and started barking as soon as (and throughout) my cooking dinner, which was super annoying. So we first stopped feeding him at the same time every night (we now feed him anywhere between 6 and 8, just to keep him guessing/unable to figure our schedule) and if he started barking when we went for his food container we just froze in action until he stopped barking, then started moving again, stopped when he started barking, etc. This eventually worked and he is 90% cured of the dinner time spaz-out… but I don’t know what to do about the rest of it.
We need an alarm to wake up. Can’t really fix that. And we like him sleeping in our bedroom with us, but it is soooo obnoxious how he FREAKS OUT when the alarm goes off. And then he is basically inconsolable until after he is fed. We’ve tried feeding him first, or waiting until after we shower, or some time in between. We’ve tried the stop-walking thing… he is just way too hyped up to calm down. And its not *such* a huge problem I guess except when we have guests over and then I feel bad because he always wakes them up.
And as for rain/sounds in the community– I can’t realy fix that? i don’t even know how to try. and the constant barking is really hard when I work from home.
So… for anyone who knows more about dogs than I do… thoughts? (and I am not interested in any kind of bark collar that shocks him btw, it isn’t THAT big a problem).
Post # 3
We had a corgi when I was in high school and my brother has one now.
I have no advice. They bark. 🙂
I loved my Chelsea (the corgi) but I love my silent golden retriever.
Post # 4
My best friend has a corgi and that little guy barks his ass off at EVERYTHING. Is he happy? He’s barking. Is he upset? He’s barking. Does he hear a leaf crinkle in the wind 2 blocks away? He’s barking.
I have no idea how to fix it. I’m just here to sympathize. She hasn’t figured out a way to make it stop either. :/
Post # 5
Have you tried a quick squirt with a water bottle to deter him from barking? I know they have those citronella spray anti-bark collar thingys too, but I’ve never used one. Usually a single, loud, commanding “STOP!” or a squirt from the bottle is all I need for my pups… but I don’t have a corgi. I hear they are wildly rambunctious and extremely vocal. Good luck 🙂
Post # 6
@AnneTossy: lol YES. I guess the baffling thing is that he wasn’t always this way! When I first got him he basically only barked when someone knocked on the door or when I took him to the dog park. It has just been a slow increase to the point we are at now where I’m like… I love you little dude but STFU please! 🙂
@DaneLady: Hm… we had a squirt bottle for keeping the cats off the counter but I didn’t think about it for the dog. I might try that.
Post # 7
try the squirt bottle. And try only rewarding him when he is quiet. Is he barking? Well he wont get his food unitl he is quiet. Does he want his ball? Well he only gets it when he is quiet.
Its all about consistancy. My friend has a german shepard who parks like a crazy dog when someone comes to the door. I dog sat for a week, the dog never got away with barking, by the end of the week she let one bark then SHUT UP when i told her to lol.
THe other thing that worked for her was a shock collar. I didnt use it myself, but the owner only ever had to use it once and then whenever she wore that collar she behaved.
Post # 8
I have always had golden’s so not a lot of barking in my house. But I wonder how old he is? Is there a chance he’s losing his hearing slightly or developing some anxiety? Those are two things I can think of that would increase barking, besides barking getting him the results he wants. Have you tried changing the alarm sound? Maybe a different noise won’t rile him up first thing. Or maybe he’s doing it because he knows you’re getting up and hes being pushy? Hmm I don’t really know just speculating. Good luck!
Post # 9
If he’s a typical corgi that thrives on human attention, what I probably would do is put him on time out. When your alarm goes off, give him a sharp NO, and if he doesn’t stop barking put him in another room with the door shut for 10 minutes or so. Don’t allow him out unless he’s quiet. Being separated from us was always the biggest “punishment” for my two, and they picked up on what they were doing wrong pretty quickly.
Post # 10
@Westwood: oh i am so going to do that with my Lab. He always needs to be with us and needs our complete attention or he will pick up things he knows he shouldn’t and try to get our attention back. 5 minutes time outs would probably work wonders. Starting that ASAP!
Post # 11
Try teaching him “quiet” or some other command that gets him to stop barking. Don’t simply reward him for being quiet; he needs to make that transition from barking to not barking or else the dog simply won’t learn what he is being rewarded for (for example, if he’s just being quiet and you toss him a treat, how is he going to know it was for being quiet? It could be for sniffing the couch, lying down, licking his paws, whatever – you won’t get very far with that).
Once you get that down, during rain, squeaky breaks, etc., periodically reward him for responding to the “quiet” command. This is very time consuming at first. Gradually lean the rewards over time, but continue to reward him occassionally for responding to quiet and move towards only rewarding him for longer periods of being quiet.
Another thing is that some dogs (mine included) bark when they feel there is something new in the environment that deserves attention. My dog rarely barks, but I can differentiate his “alert bark” (we live in a basement suite, and he picks up on people coming into the upstairs portion of our rental) from his other barks. The easiest and best way to deal with this was, honestly, to feign interest in what he was alerting us to and “check” what was happening (i.e., open the door and look out). He’d stop barking after that. Yes, this reinforced his alert barking, but it’s also a behaviour that we would like to keep so we are more aware of what is happening. If we didn’t check, his barking would continue.
Do you notice that he has different kinds of barks, like an “alert bark” for delivery trucks? Checking behaviours may help you with that.
Post # 12
The noise issue sounds like anxiety issues. Have you tried a thunder jacket? You can get them at pet stores, and they are wonderful for dogs who are easily startled by loud noises like the truck, the alarm going off, etc.
Post # 13
Oh yeah… mom did use a squirt bottle with water and vinegar for our yapper. It did help. She used to bark bark bark in the mornings until you let her out AND fed her. She learned that she didn’t get out or food unless she was quiet, came out nice, and just waited quietely.
They are smart, you just need to figure out what works with them. Food was her currency, she couldn’t give two hoots if you ever petted her.
Post # 14
Great tips all!
@JEHS: Yes, he has three different barks. One for when he is just really excited. We feel like this is his “OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME LIFE IS GREAT I NEED TO TELL EVERYONE” bark. Then his “THE RAINDROPS ARE ATTACKING THE HOUSE AND I NEED TO WARN YOU SO YOU DON’T DIE” bark. And finally his lower, less frequent, and less annoying “I’M UNHAPPY” bark, which we are generally able to deal with moreso than the first do.
Post # 15
@CorgiTales: The “I love life bark!!” is tough to deal with, they bark because they love to bark! I’ve never had to deal with that, per se, but I know several people who have with the “quiet” method. It’s great because you replace “I love life so I’m going to bark about it” with “I love life so I’m going to eat some chicken breast!!” That’s honestly my best advice, and it’s nice for your dog because you keep him happy, lovin’ life, with that method, as opposed to punishing him.
Try “checking” for the rain and truck. If it works for the truck, but not the rain, ohmybears48 may certainly be on something with anxiety (can’t believe I didn’t think about that, but I’ve always had rain lovin’ dogs). Thundershirts are a well-endorsed product by vets and professional trainers that wrap around the dog snuggling and creating a calming, “swaddling,” effect. I’ve heard good things, but never used it. My super-skeptical online community for my breed has some members who have had success with it, but not all. They are quite warm, though (like, don’t wear it on a really warm day, because overheating is a real possibility), and don’t have a 100% success rate (as with everything). They’re really cheap, though. If that doesn’t work, what I always do with my pup if he’s anxious is give him lots of treats and make the situation fun (i.e., “rain isn’t scary and something to bark at, it’s fun because you play and get treats!!!”). GRANTED, THAT MIGHT MAKE HIM GIVE YOU “I LOVE LIFE BARKS!!” LOL
Post # 16
I would follow the NILF method of training for this.
What you did to train him out of barking at dinner was perfect – do the same for breakfast. Not changing the time. But don’t give him what he wants (food) until he gives you the behaviour you want (no barking). We make our dog sit quietly and wait for our release before he can go eat.
Is he food motivated? if he is I would treat train him. I would purposeful set the alarm off. Treat him when he doesn’t bark, ignore him when he does.
Positive reinforcement typically works better with dogs than negative. If the treat training doesn’t work with the alarm – then I would try the squirt bottle. But I think you can definitely change his feeding time behaviour.