Oscar and his bark-a-thon
Well, I'd mentioned in another post about how Oscar barks relentlessly when we're not home, and we've had a complaint from a neighbor about it. He is understanding VERY well, that when we're home, barking at every sound in the hallway isn't necessary. Though he still tries sometimes, he understands us telling him 'quiet' and 'go lie down'. If he's insistent when we're home, I have him lie down and I say 'relax' while resting my hand on his shoulder, then slowly I can see and feel him relaxing, especially his legs. Then I praise him (lots!!).
It's when we're not home is when it's hard to help him correct it. I've been trying to teach him 'speak', but he looks at me like I have 3 heads lol. We picked up a kong that we stuff with different goodies (chews, kibbles,treats,peanut butter), and when we leave he's chewing on it. When we come home, we can hear he's barking to a perfect beat. There's never anything or anyone in the hallway when we've come home. I leave the tv on, which soothes the puppy, but not him. I tried putting him in our bedroom and gave him his blanket, some dirty laundry, and the kong, and he just tried to dig through the door.
When I came home today, the puppy had gotten loose from her pen, and was with him at the door when I came in. I'd heard him barking (to the perfect beat) as I entered the hallway. I was surprised the pup didn't phase or distract him one bit, because she's always climbing on him to play. I wish I could set up a camera to videotape when we're gone. I swear he just sits fixated at the door thinking he's calling us back. When we get in, and before we leave, we do the no touch no talk no eye contact rule for 10-15 minutes. Nothing is breaking his habit, it's as though nothing matters more to him, no treat or toy, than barking at the door until we're home.
"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan