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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm new to this forum. We have a 14 week old basset named Fergus. Fergus is our first dog and my first basset. He's usually sweet as a lamb, but lately is reaching an obstinate phase. I'm looking for suggestions for the barking. We play with him, walk him and give him toys, but sometimes he'll just 'go nuts' and bark at us endlessly.

Any suggestions for distracting him and getting him to stop faster? A simple No isn't working. I tried a loud noise, but that seems to only stop it for a minute.
 

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I tried a loud noise, but that seems to only stop it for a minute.
a loud No! can work the same way. That is exactly they way they were designed to work. They give you a momment to train a more appropriate behavior. Without training a new more appropriate behavior it does not work.

see Citronella Collar which works the same way for the vast majority of dogs
In late 1998, two French vets (Pageat, P. and Tesseire, Y.) did a study regarding the efficacy of disruptive stimulus as opposed to punishing stimulus. This is important in your case because they specifically used a citronella collar to eliminate barking. Here is a portion of the abstract:
ABSTRACT:
[...]The concept of "disruptive stimulus" results from behavioral patterns. It can be defined as a jarring stimulus that interrupts the course of the sequence, which produces an expectation stage enabling enticement of the pet to another (desired) activity. The present study starts from this definition to show the usefulness of a citronella spray (device called ABOISTOP?, by DYNAVET, France) as such a stimulus in dogs showing territorial barking. 52 dogs spending at least 4 hours a day in a garden adjacent to a busy street were included. The trial compares the effects of a punitive stimulus consisting of a garden-hose spraying water, to the ABOISTOP? collar. Treatment was allocated at random. Once a week, each owner noted the frequency of barking towards 10 pedestrians. A first control was done on day 0 (which provides the reference figure), then every seventh day till day 35 when therapy was stopped. Relapses were to be assessed on day 90. It should be noted that every bark interruption by the device was immediately followed by a play session initiated by the owner (redirection of behavior). [emphasis inserted by Doug] In the "punishment group" we could note a sudden cessation of barking, as early as on day 7, which was subsequently steady until day 28. In the "disruptive group" the decrease of barking was more gradual (48.6% barking on day 7 - 16.9% on day 14) and a total disappearance could be heard by day 21. In addition, the relapse rate on day 90 was 86% in the "punishment group" versus 3.8% in the "disruptive group".​

Note that the distruptive stimulus is more effect long term than punishmentwhen it is coupled with training a more appropriate behavior.

For most dogs barking is an attention seeking behavior. For dealing effectively with Attention seeking behavior see Harmony Programme
 

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I don't claim to be an expert by any means, but if he were my dog, something I would try is when he starts getting into a barking fit, turn away from him and refuse to look at him or pay him any attention, and as soon as he stops and is silent for a few seconds praise and treat.

Every basset I've ever met is very food driven so incorporating treats for rewarding good behavior should help. When our basset first came home we had a bag of treats in just about every room so we could quickly praise her for something good, though be aware that if the treats add up you have to feed less. Most of the experts I have come across including the trainer that taught our basset basic obedience agree that rewarding good behavior is more effective and beneficial in the long run than scolding bad behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for the advice. Sounds like we're mostly on the right track. I guess I wasn't sure how to reward the right behavior. Thanks for the help! We'll just work on a loud noise to stop it and praise with treats when he's quiet. Thanks again! So glad I joined up here. They're sweet dogs and I'm so happy we have him.
 

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We'll just work on a loud noise to stop it and praise with treats when he's quite
There is one drawback that is the dog learn it must first bark in order to be rewarded for being quite. It pays at time to place the dog in situation in which it normally barks and to reward it for being quite before it has a chance. When and if it barks the reward goes away until quite again. This set the president to not use barking as a mechanism to get a treat.
 

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Are you supporting your dogs barking

Sounds like your Basset as so many do is demanding your attention with
barking. You have tried no, noise etc but you have always responded and
he gets you to do something.

The key is to wait him out. Like a baby that cries knowing that his parents
can't stand it for too long and come and give him the attention he desires,
your dog has got you on the hook.

I know Bassets have a really intense bark but you must "ignore" him
for as long as you can. Hounds are meant to chase until they practically
drop. Most humans, especially after a tough day don't have that kind of
staying power. He wins, you lose.

Hang in there, wear ear plugs, headphones or whatever but don't react or respond till he stops, then quickly praise him. If he starts again, ignore him
again.

Think about this...Are you giving your beloved pet "too much love" and is
he somewhat addicted to it and are you addicted to petting him.

Ron Ron Berman - Dog Expert, Bite Expert, D.A.B.F.E., Expert Witness and Consultant for Litigation
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. Even though I know we're supposed to ignore him, it's hard. I will try harder. Thanks!
 

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Hang in there, wear ear plugs, headphones or whatever but don't react or respond till he stops, then quickly praise him. If he starts again, ignore him
again.
know we're supposed to ignore him, it's hard. I will try harder
The problem is those that advocate ignoring the barking so it is not reinforced and there by the behavior becomes extinct over time. Forget to tell you of the consequences of such an approach The first being a phenonenom known as an extinction burst in which when a previously reinforced behavior is no longer rewarded the behavior gets worse (i.e. louder, more frantic, longer in duration) before it ends making it exponential harder to simply ignore. As with behavior like barking there are usually neighbor and the like that need to be considered as well. Not all of them are to keen on the ignore it approach when it result in some distrubence to themselves.

2. attention seeking behavior because of a percieved need by the dog that is not being met. While it may be possible to extinct a behavior by ignoring it. It does not fundamentally change the dogs need. That leaves the dog to find an even more obnoxious behavior that can't be ignored to use instead. Instead one must then teach the dog a less obnoxious/aceptable behavior to use to seek attention i.e. sitting quitely. see
Stopping Negative Behavior Positively

The first step in changing undesired behavior is to identify the behaviors that you want to change. Every time you interact with your dog, ask yourself, "Is my dog doing something I want him to do?"
The second step is to define what you want your dog to do. If your dog is doing something you don't like, define what you want him to do instead. It's not enough to say "I want him to stop doing what he's doing." He could stop doing what he's doing and choose to do something worse - and then you'd have to stop that as well. It's faster to define what you want him to do from the beginning. For example:
  • I want my dog to hold a sit-stay while I prepare his food. (Not "I want my dog to stop jumping on me when I prepare his food.")
  • I want my dog to sit at the top or bottom of the stairs when a person is walking up or down.
  • I want my dog to lie quietly on a mat while the family eats dinner.
  • I want my dog to lie quietly on a mat when I have visitors.
3. Not meeting the needs of the dog fundementally changes the relationship between the dog and owner and not for the better.

The key is to wait him out. Like a baby that cries knowing that his parents
can't stand it for too long and come and give him the attention he desires,
your dog has got you on the hook.
Interesting analogy. The thing is studies show that a crying baby that gets attention immeadiately is less need over time than those that let to cry. There are also studies that suggest possible long term harm from letting a baby cry for prolonged period of time.

Cry It Out: The Potential Dangers of Leaving Your Baby to Cry
The child stops crying because she learns that she can no longer hope for the caregiver to provide comfort, not because her distress has been alleviated.
Do babies cry more when they are attended to? A 1986 study concluded just the opposite: the more a mother holds and carries her baby, the less the baby will cry and fuss.
Excessive Crying Could Be Harmful to Babies
One study showed infants who experienced persistent crying episodes were 10 times more likely to have ADHD as a child, along with poor school performance and antisocial behavior. The researchers concluded these findings may be due to the lack of responsive attitude of the parents toward their babies. 14

...Researchers have found babies whose cries are usually ignored will not develop healthy intellectual and social skills.

...Researchers at Pennsylvania State and Arizona State Universities found that infants with excessive crying during the early months showed more difficulty controlling their emotions and became even fussier when parents tried to consol them at 10 months

...Dr. Brazy at Duke University and Ludington-Hoe and colleagues at Case Western University showed in 2 separate studies how prolonged crying in infants causes increased blood pressure in the brain, elevates stress hormones, obstructs blood from draining out of the brain, and decreases oxygenation to the brain. They concluded that caregivers should answer cries swiftly, consistently, and comprehensively. (3) and (4)
The harmony Program I linked to above takes these finding into account. It is bases on giving the attnetion seeking dog the attention it seeks immeadately which over time reduces the neediness of the dog, Also being proactive and giving the dog attention before it has to ask as well. It avoids the problems most have with ignoring the behavior because quite simple the dog has learned a behavior that quite simply the owner is not capable of ignoring so such advice is basically useless.

While simply ignoring an attention seeking behavior can work for most it never does because the advice simply can not be followed. It is also not without potential longterm problems which those that offer the advice fail to mention. It is why a general offer an alternative method that also can work and in general has few adverse consequences associated with it.

Bassets are pack animals, they really need to be in pairs. Get another hound
This might be appropriate advice if the barking behavior was occuring when no one is home, which is not what has been presented, which is clearly an attention seeking behavior. Adding another dog could make the behavior worse not better as the owners attention becomes further devided. While most basset are social and like the company of other dogs there are certainly the exceptions as well that would be better of in a single dog household.
 

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Bassets are pack animals, they really need to be in pairs. Get another hound
You're so right.... that's why we have always kept two or three Bassets together, always a variety of ages apart from when we decided to get two litter sisters two years ago.... and it must be very boring for a single Basset as they adore a Basset pal to play, sleep and get into mischief with and they have each other for company if we go out for two or three hours as well as our much older Cocker Spaniel.

My two sister hounds go around like a little gang and they also always rest at the same time and if one's in their bed, so is the other, if one's outside so is the other, they do everything together. They love to play around the garden together, chasing each other in and out of the house, chasing through the shrubs, running over the sun beds and generally having a fun time! They even steal the runner beans together... several Bassets together have always been a total joy to be owned by.:cool:





 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bassets are pack animals, they really need to be in pairs. Get another hound
LOL! It took me forever to convince my husband that we needed one, let alone two. We're planning to get another dog in a couple of years, but for now, one is all we can handle. Thanks for the suggestion, though. I would dearly love two of these little beasts running around.
 

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@Sophie Thank you for the tips. I would dearly love to add to our brood, but we have to wait a bit. We can't add another one into our mix right now. Maybe in a year or so. We're doing our best to be with him all the time. He only has two days where he is alone and we spend all of our home time with him.

@MikeyT I really appreciate the thorough responses. Thanks for linking studies. Right now, we are working on redirecting to get him to do something else when he starts barking- chew on a toy, play fetch, etc.
 

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Many behavioral issues involving puppies are out grown such as, mouthing, chewing and to a large extent neediness/attention seeking behaviors. hence why contrary approaches do work. What you want to avoid is unintentionally rewarding a behavior you do not want.
 

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Yes, I was kidding (although he is beautiful). Steiner once posted a photo of one of his bassets wearing a curly wig and told us it was a cocker. Funniest picture ever. Sure would love to see it again.
 

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*laugh* I started reading this forum awhile back but hadn't actually joined or posted to it.

Anyway, hello everyone. =)

On that note, I was going to email some people (probably some of you who are part of this forum) but decided to look here first to see if there were any questions about puppy barking since you're all knowledgeable basset hound enthusiasts.

Well...this is going to sound like a mirror image post (and I'll play a bit off Cassidy's because this thread made me giggle lots)...

I have a 14 week old basset named Willow. Willow is my boyfriends and my first dog together and a first basset for us both. We live in an apartment and while aware of the challenges we face while living with our basset and her energy level in one, lately Willow is reaching an obstinate phase. Mixed with her ultra hyper-activity it's making things challenging. Usually Willow is fun and as sweet as a lamb, or she's sleepy as a hibernating bear, but occasionally she goes *nuts* (best word ev.ar to describe what she does) and starts barking endlessly (oh yeah). Usually its at us but sometimes it's at random things (toys, the air, treats, flies, June bugs, her potty pads, I think sometimes it's just because she wants to hear herself).

I play with her lots. It doesn't matter. I've tried doing some training with her. She likes to bark at the treats. A simple no isn't working. I tried loud noises via a penny can but she could care less about the sound. The times she's gone nuts at midnight or 1am then threat of the vacuum cleaner seemed to kind of work but it only lasted for a minute and then she was right back at it and I don't enjoy scaring her. I tried a water-bottle and it worked great...well...it worked great to train her to do this really funny trick where I now squirt water into the air and she pounces (which I'm sure you folks know is hilarious with the floppy ears and low body) at the water catching it in her mouth all happy like and then giving a nice long session of puppy going nuts barking and crazy hyper. I've tried totally ignoring it, to her that just means she can bark away without being told no. My more recent thing is to reward her when she quiets down if she stops quickly (though she's catching onto this and has started to realize if she barks and then quiets she gets a treat), and when she's out of hand removing her from me -- or rather I was leaving the room when she'd start but I guess it's supposed to be done the other way around. *shrug* my bad.

Anyway =P you guys already made suggestions for the "how do I get this to stop" question so I won't ask it again I'll read over the responses and give what you all suggest a try, also someone else who I think is really awesome with dogs has been giving me some advice. I guess I just wanted to add in an AA style manner the:

Hi Cassidy.

Hello everyone. My name is ..., and I have a 14 week old basset hound brat.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
*laugh* I started reading this forum awhile back but hadn't actually joined or posted to it.

Usually Willow is fun and as sweet as a lamb, or she's sleepy as a hibernating bear, but occasionally she goes *nuts* (best word ev.ar to describe what she does) and starts barking endlessly (oh yeah). Usually its at us but sometimes it's at random things (toys, the air, treats, flies, June bugs, her potty pads, I think sometimes it's just because she wants to hear herself).
Hi! I swear it's the same thing- he just wants to hear himself. We're making some *slow* progress with the advice here. Good luck.
 

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:cool:Try a water bottle. When he barks squirt water towards him and say firmly,"NO" or "NO BARK". This has worked for me,with no bad reactions. Of course Mikey may know of some study where it gave the puppy nightmares and affected him traumatically for the rest of his life but my dogs have grown up with no problems. Try it.:)
 

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:cool:Try a water bottle. When he barks squirt water towards him and say firmly,"NO" or "NO BARK". This has worked for me,with no bad reactions. Of course Mikey may know of some study where it gave the puppy nightmares and affected him traumatically for the rest of his life but my dogs have grown up with no problems. Try it.:)
Haha. Here's how a squirt bottle went down for me.

bark-bark-bark-bark-bark

me: "oh ho, time to be sneeky"

*squirt* *squirt* *squirt*

Willow: "haha she thinks she's being sneeky, I'm smarter than this"

<Willow stands back, opens her mouth, starts happily and eagerly pouncing into squirt stream gulping up the water with every squirt>

me: "hrmmm, okay I'll out smart you dog, I'll squirt ya from the side"

*squirt* *squirt* *squirt*

Willow: "oh heck yes! this just got a bit more difficult, the squirt stream moves. wwwoooohoooooooo!!! Oh yeah people now I have a new game! yayyyyy!"

And...that was the end of the squirt bottle being anything more than an interactive toy. =P

Edit: My boyfriend concurs that's how it happened. XD
 
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