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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Barky or no barky that is the question

Hi,

My name is Kim Sager rand I live in New York City.
I have a 3 year old Havanese named Bear.
I am hoping you can help me as I am new to the Havanese forum, and in need of some advice/help.
I am trying to determine if my dog has a barking problem, vs. him barking for good reason, or rather I should say normal dog reasons.

He barks because he hears noise outside our hallway in my apartment building. When we travel to our friends house, he barks at footsteps upstairs or footsteps coming down the stairs. It drives my friends crazy, and that is what I want to address mostly.
That said, he listens to me and my commands for the most part, He sits, he lies down and so on. He does not bark when the phone rings-he will bark at the buzzer, or front doorbell. He does NOT bark when I get off the elevator to come into my apartment, or when I leave.

I don’t think I will ever get him to stop barking if someone comes to the front door, or hears a noise. Am I right? I do not want to scold him when he barks to warn me.
Perhaps I can address the footsteps down the stairs? It does seem like there may be a protection issue, as I am to deduct that the reason he does not bark when I am not in the apt. with him leads me to believe he is protecting me.

I have also heard that Havanese in particular are “extremely ill-suited to harsh training methods” and am wondering what your feelings are on that subject.
I do not like to scold my dog for behavior that seems like “Natural dog instincts” as I’ve read that they should not be scolded for such.
The question is determining what these are, so that I don’t create a neurotic animal. Apartment living can have unique challenges, and I do not want to punish my dog every time he alerts me.
Going crazy when he hears a buzzer is something else.

I am hoping that you have some advice for me.

Thanks and kind regards,
Kim

Kim Sager

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 06:05 PM
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Got your private email. Will get back to ya.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 06:46 PM
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Welcome to the Forum, Kim. Of course we expect pictures of Bear.

He sounds like a perfectly normal dog. Maybe your friends need training.



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

That's what I was thinking.
Thank you for your response..pice to follow!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 08:06 PM
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Eh...I gotta say, I think he could be taught to NOT be vocal all the time. I just adopted a 7 month havanese and she does the same thing, but we are working on it. I think a lot of her alarm barking is due to anxiety, so we are doing lots of walking and obedience to help her feel calmer. Peeing on the floor is a "natural dog instinct" but we dont just shrug that off. A single "woof" is very different from continuous barking. Dogs are frequently and sucessfully taught the "shush" command. My first thought was whether or not he is getting enough physical activity. Some apt dogs bark out of boredom and to burn off nervous energy. It might help to increase his walks, play some games with him, or give him some stuffed kongs to focus on.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 08:21 PM
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My dogs bark when they hear me shut my van door. I don't correct them for this as they are greeting me. They also do a different bark if some one other than my husband or I drive up the driveway. I don't mind that either. Otherwise, it seems at home they just bark at each other or in greeting. If they bark alot, they know the shush sound means be quiet and they do. In motels, particularly the younger the dog, they want to bark at people walking past the room or any noise on the floor above. I often request a smoking room as they are usually on the top floor. I do the shush sound if someone walks past, it usually works. If someone stops outside my door and talks, they go nuts and I don't discourage this. It makes me feel a little safer. I don't live in an apt, so pick and choose what you want to curb and teach that the shush sounds means quiet. Havanese are smart dogs and learn to differentiate.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 08:27 PM
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Hi and to the forum!

How long have you been at the apartment? I think some sounds they may get used to. Gucci used to bark at the mailman, the UPS man, but now she ignores them, she will bark like crazy at some people, but not others (anyone bearing food gets a free pass... I could have Ted Bundy knock on the door and if he was holding boxes of pizza, he'd get a free pass..lol)

Seriously though, my DH trained her to be the 'guard' dog and the barking thing drives me nuts too, but it has toned down on its own and when we'd go to hotels when we travel quite a bit and it was AWFUL for the first few years, but now she is pretty tolerant of hotels and certain exterior noises, she'll be 5 in a few months.

I'm just giving you hope that it won't always be so bad, but whatever you do, be mindful of your emotions when this happens because they are very *tuned in* to us, and if you are frustrated with him or irritated with the barking, he might perceive that is anxiety over who is outside and that might be fueling the behavior, so when you do try to calm him, make sure you, yourself are even keel..they tend to follow our lead with feelings and sometimes the things that frustrate us most, we keep perpetuating because they misread our frustration..

Kara
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
(anyone bearing food gets a free pass... I could have Ted Bundy knock on the door and if he was holding boxes of pizza, he'd get a free pass..lol)


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacierew View Post
Eh...I gotta say, I think he could be taught to NOT be vocal all the time. I just adopted a 7 month havanese and she does the same thing, but we are working on it. I think a lot of her alarm barking is due to anxiety, so we are doing lots of walking and obedience to help her feel calmer. Peeing on the floor is a "natural dog instinct" but we dont just shrug that off. A single "woof" is very different from continuous barking. Dogs are frequently and sucessfully taught the "shush" command. My first thought was whether or not he is getting enough physical activity. Some apt dogs bark out of boredom and to burn off nervous energy. It might help to increase his walks, play some games with him, or give him some stuffed kongs to focus on.
Agreed, and he is really not barking all the time. He does quiet down when I shush him or say "it's ok, etc. the exercise is key, and also the time of day. In the morning when he is alert and there is more coming and going, he is more tuned to it vs. at night when he's passed out, he could care less.
He really is a good boy, and super smart. I have been working on acknowledging him and being consistent when I quiet him. Seems to have helped...work in progress.
Thanks for your reply, all of this advice is so helpful.
Happy thanksgiving!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
Hi and to the forum!

How long have you been at the apartment? I think some sounds they may get used to. Gucci used to bark at the mailman, the UPS man, but now she ignores them, she will bark like crazy at some people, but not others (anyone bearing food gets a free pass... I could have Ted Bundy knock on the door and if he was holding boxes of pizza, he'd get a free pass..lol)

Seriously though, my DH trained her to be the 'guard' dog and the barking thing drives me nuts too, but it has toned down on its own and when we'd go to hotels when we travel quite a bit and it was AWFUL for the first few years, but now she is pretty tolerant of hotels and certain exterior noises, she'll be 5 in a few months.

I'm just giving you hope that it won't always be so bad, but whatever you do, be mindful of your emotions when this happens because they are very *tuned in* to us, and if you are frustrated with him or irritated with the barking, he might perceive that is anxiety over who is outside and that might be fueling the behavior, so when you do try to calm him, make sure you, yourself are even keel..they tend to follow our lead with feelings and sometimes the things that frustrate us most, we keep perpetuating because they misread our frustration..

Kara
We have lived there his whole life, this is not a new thing, and he is used to certain neighbors sounds, it's mostly the elevator, or voices.
I totally agree about the anxiety and him being tuned into my emotions.mgood to keep in mind, we will both be healthier if I can keep that in check!
I find when I speak to him in a calm but serious tone, he responds just as well, if not better to my commands.
Thanks for your help, happy turkey day!
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