Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Courtney, not an easy one and how frustrating this must be for you! With the reaction from the neighbours i am not surprised at the dogs reactions - might even bite them myself if they threw stones at me!
There are a few ways to look at going about this -
1. Use management to keep the dogs away from this area when you are not home. Prevention, as is said, is better than cure. Alternatively if you dont have an area to put them, if you have a domestic helper, ask her to bring the dogs inside and give them some nice big Ox Femurs or chew toys to get stuck into about 10 minutes before neighbours arrive home - hope they have a daily arrival time!
2. If you are home, do the same as above and distract the dogs from the neighbours by way of chew bones, a game of ball or even a walk. The behaviour has also become a habit, so it needs to be broken and the dogs given other things to think about, such as walks, games etc. The timing here is crucial, you have to get them distracted before the barking gets out of control. Do this in a 'fun' manner, calling dogs in excited, high pitched, fun voice, showing them the distractions etc, rather than actually shouting at them to be quiet. If they think you are joining in, the barking will escalate.
3. change your own attitude towards the events happening. If you start stressing, the dogs will pick up this and the behaviour will get worse.
4. Additionally i would bring in the Real Reliable Recall that will enable you (and your domestic helper) to call the dogs back to you easily and i have pasted it at the end.
This is not an easy situation to solve and i do hope this is helpful. RRR follows. thanks Scotty and do let me know how you go.
A Really Reliable Recall
I received this about 10 years ago and the credit goes to Leslie Nelson of Tails-U-Win in Manchester, Conn, as presented at the APDT conferences in Pennsylvania. I have kept the content as the original I received, just tidied up the spelling and grammar. This really does work but has to be practiced until perfect, and then reinforced on a regular basis, and I have had hundreds of clients who have achieved success with this method. Personally, I reinforce this daily with my own dogs, calling them at least once a day with the Akee recall cue and (rest of the time I use dog’s name and ‘here or come’) and rewarding them for coming. Enjoy, thanks Scotty
“This is your emergency, life-saving recall. You will practice this until your hair turns gray and falls out, but otherwise save it for emergencies. This is NOT your everyday recall, but it will make your everyday recall much better.
Credit for this method goes to Leslie Nelson of Tails-U-Win in Manchester, Conn., as presented at the APDT conference in Pennsylvania a couple years ago, and I received this in 2000 from Wendy Dreyer.
Most of us have an unreliable recall with our dogs. We don't know why they don't come when called, but they don't. Most of us say "Fido, come!" and the dog ignores us. That's our Really UNreliable Recall. Now we need to teach one that is reliable.
Call the dog with a new word, praise and treat for 20 seconds, every time. Make sure the new word is NOT one used in everyday conversation. Start with the dog very close (2', then 3', then 4') so you are guaranteed he/she will come, using very tasty treats. When training this new word, the dog needs to associate the word with the best treats and 20 seconds of praise. This is the key!!!!!!!!!
#1. Choose a new word that you will remember, that you DO NOT use in
everyday conversation. It must be unique, short and sweet. "Come!" is already tainted so don't use it for this and it is a word that is used in everyday language. I like AQUI!" (ah-kee') which is Spanish and Portuguese for Here. It is high pitched and can be lengthened if necessary.
#2. Use excellent treats (tasty, smelly, motivating!), something very special. It's fine to vary the treats as long as they are delicious to the dog. Instead of feeding your dog its daily rations in a bowl, use this to give the food over the duration of the day but it is important that you add in really tasty treats as well. It's also OK to intersperse this training with a really fun toy that the dog loves. Possible treats: Hotdog (try turkey or chicken, or go to a natural food store for the really healthy kind) cut in four long strips, then sliced in nickel thick pieces, bits of steak, leftover chicken or turkey, Cheerios mixed with freeze-dried liver & crumbled bacon (keep in freezer) string cheese sliced into bits, Mozzarella (same as string cheese but cheaper) diced, any other cheese (careful, some gets gooey at room temp), Rice Crispies mixed in with Cheerios, freeze-dried liver and crumbled bacon. Anything else you can think of that the dog loves is fair game.
#3. The key is repetition, repetition, repetition. Did I mention repetition? Practice this exercise 2 times a day, for 5-10 minutes each time
Review: New Word, Tasty Treats and Praise for 20 seconds, Repeat Repeat Repeat.
Next 5 minute training session:
Put the dog on a 6' leash and do 50 "AQUII" recalls outside the front door. Don't
tug on the leash! This is totally voluntary; the leash just keeps the dog from running off.
With the dog still on a 6' leash do 50 "AQUI!" recalls outside the back door (even if you have a fenced yard, have the dog on a leash).
With the dog still on a 6' leash go across the street and do 50 "AQUII" recalls.
Congratulations! You just completed another 150 recall repetitions for a total of 300 in one day, in two 10 minute sessions! WOW!!!! You are on your way to having a Really Reliable Recall!!!!
Repeat this lesson, 300 recalls in two 10 minute sessions, every day for the next week. At the end of 7 days you will have done 2100 recalls. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Repetition is the key to learning. Did I mention this?
Now, take this lesson and repeat the training in as many new and different places as you can think of. In order for dogs to generalize their training, they need to be retrained in at least 10 different locations with increasing distractions. Make a list that is logical (in terms of driving) and has increasing distractions. Then, find some safe off leash places to train, and off leash start with your dog back at the 2' distance, and retrain from very close and slowly, slowly add distance.
REMEMBER, there are no corrections in this RRR training. There are no wrong choices, just 20 seconds of reward and praise with these special delicious treats when the dog comes. You are brainwashing, not training! Ha!
Some ideas for training locations: Start in the home, the garden and the driveway (brilliant for dogs that try to escape), the in Parks, the sidewalk outside a mall, Home Depot (or other hardware store), pet store, feed store (farm supplies), sidewalk across the street from a grammar school while school is in session, then later, when school is getting out, downtown sidewalks, more parks, nature preserves or "greenway" walking areas (some require leashed dogs, some do not), the beach, the sidewalk outside the Post Office, etc.”
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.