Cross to pet forum

JamieAugust 13, 2014

I'm impatient and nobody over there has responded to my question. I know there's a lot of dog knowledge here. If somebody can help me stop Pink's bad new habit of barking at me, I'd be grateful Background and specifics are in the post. Right now she's in my lap and doing the other new habit that seems to go with the barking -- licking me like a cat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why did my dog start barking at me

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I answered through your link.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:24PM
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I read your link. It sounds like she is barking for attention or to get you to do something -- play, cuddle, feed, whatever. Our husky has gone through periods when he would look at us and bark or sit in front of us and bark, not persistently but a few "woofs." Sometimes it means he wants a bite if whatever we may be eating, or wants to be fed NOW, or it could mean that needs help finding his ball that just rolled under the furniture, but often it means that he is bored and wants a little play time or a walk. As long as we are good about ignoring him and not reinforcing, it is kept to a minimum. But if we slip up and give him that bite he was asking for or get up and do whatever we figure out he wants, then we have to start all over again. He gets plenty of attention and probably too many treats without being demanding, he just needs to be reminded that demanding won't get a reaction.

You pup probably has had a good deal of attention during her surgery and recovery and now that she is feeling better wants more. Just don't positively reinforce the behavior and she will probably get the message. Even if you think she is barking because she is hungry, make her stop barking and go back to whatever you were doing for a few minutes before feeding her. If it happens at night for attention, move her and her bed to another room. She will probably soon learn that the barking is counterproductive.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:18PM
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Talk to your vet - considering her age, 10+ which it seems could be even higher - and her past and recent medical issues, I would not be surprised if this is indicative of what is euphemistically termed doggie dementia. Have there been any other odd behaviors, for instance door confusion? One of the most telling signs is a dog who is suddenly unfamiliar with the opening side of a door. In other words, when at the door they normally exit through, they approach the hinge side rather than the opening side. In this case, my instinct is not to blame the dog (or owner) for bad behavior or habits but look to a medical/health source for explanation. I hope you are able to figure this out.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:52AM
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Elraes Miller

I have a rescue dog and the first 3 mos she would sit and bark at me while sitting about 6' away. Of course I had no clue what she wanted and admission it bugged me. Now it is only one bark and timed during the day...when we take walks, treat time and training time. She is being trained as a therapy dog and loves every minute of it. I swear she has a clock inside her. She now talks to me too (not barking), love it, and know it is for attention. The one bark and looking at me is not constant anymore, just when the schedule is on. Sometimes I'm not up to the moment, but "No Bark" now works.

Rarely barks outside or at other people/dogs. Although I have a herd of deer that sleeps next door, when they are there she will bark. But stops when I tell her. She does love the world and wants to play with everyone/dog seen, a very gentle gal. She is also a bit stubborn and thinks she is the princess going on walks.

I've never had a dog that did this, they always just showed up by my side and nosed me or whined a bit and I knew what was needed. Without knowing my dogs background it is hard to decipher the bark, but she is definitely settling into life with me and me with her now.

Aside from the above, with what yours has gone through, she may still have pain. Especially if this has just started. So difficult when we don't know and I love these rescue pups to do the right thing for them. Yes, perhaps a vet visit is due to check for any issues.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:19AM
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Any chance she's going deaf or not hearing you as well as she used to? We have a senior dog who barks at us quite a bit (more that I care to admit, lol) - stares us right in the eye and barks. I'm not sure it makes any sense, but it seems to have started about the same time we noticed her hearing was going. She's pretty much deaf now, and she'll just randomly start barking at us. She'll usually stop if we give her a treat. And we do - every time. Because she's 15 and has some senior related health issues, and this will probably be her last summer with us. I know we're reinforcing bad behavior but I think I'm grieving for her a bit all ready, and these days she gets and does pretty much whatever she wants.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:22AM
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I've thought about this on and off this morning and came back to post . . . only to find that Dlm has already said pretty much what I was thinking. At 10 y/o and having gone through some major health issues recently, my guess is canine dementia. A previous furkid of ours had pretty much those same symptoms. Talk to your vet about this. My guess is that the surgery, the pain from the recovery, the change of locations (your place, the vets and perhaps memories from places she was before you adopted her) , the meds she was and may still be on, may have all contributed to dementia. If it is that, it may be temporary or permanent. You vet would know more.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:25AM
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Thanks so much for your insights

Ellendi - I have heard of Bark Busters. I'm going to a dog fair on Saturday to find local resources. Maybe they will have a booth. They seem very expensive.

MojoMom - We did have to give her lots of attention after surgery, and I was worried that she would continue to want it. I need to be consistent with her. I think I need to show the spray bottle, because we have a hard time just ignoring the barking. At least with the spray bottle I can do something. She didn't bark last night. So far, it's only been the one night. Maybe it really was because I didn't walk her that day.

Dlm and Lynn - If it is dementia, I only hope it doesn't get worse. She has been to the vet at least a dozen times since we got her in February, between the surgeries, routine care, bandage changes, or boarding when we went out of town. I was looking forward to not going there for a while, but I will talk to him about it sooner or later. I did ask the Vet whether the pain med (I think she was on a morphine-like drug at first) could cause hallucination in dogs like Dilaudid does in people, especially older people. He sort of shrugged yes. I only noticed the hallucination behavior once a day or two after the operation, in the dark. I am pretty sure I won't put her through another mastectomy on the other side if the cancer recurs. That's what I say now, anyway.

Technicolor - She must still have at least a little pain. I still have some pain meds, but I think she can avoid the pain by not putting her paws up on my leg, etc. She's such a darling little dog, and I don't want to make mistakes with her that undermine her sweet nature.
Rilie - I had wondered about deafness. I didn't know Pink as a younger dog, but she does seem very visual now. She doesn't respond to "Come" or her name, but if you slap your thigh she comes. At the dog park we run around the perimeter, and she always looks back to make sure I'm there. I would think she could hear my footsteps and breathing. I suppose it's possible that she does hear and just prefers to to see. She's so spritely and cute that she gives the impression of a young dog, but I'm beginning to be able to see beyond that to the really old dog she actually is.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:39AM
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I remember your posting before you got her, having, I think,
never before had a dog? I am just so touched by your adopting an older dog, how you have learned to love her and how wonderfully you have cared for her. I'm guessing she is deaf, or partially so. Clap your hands a bit behind her back, and if there's no response continue to get louder. You'll see then. Also, a partially deaf dog can startle easily. My old pup responds well to hand motions of "come", as it seems your Pink does. I wouldn't bring in a 'no bark' trainer just yet. Give it time . She's had a rough time recently, and is likely not settled down or pain free yet.
From a great lover of rescues: Bless you!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 1:16AM
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Jamie, I can't speak more highly of our trainer from Bark Busters.
Our rescue dog,( inherited from our DD who can't have a dog in her city apartment) was very aggressive on leash. We tried a class for aggressive dogs (at the obedience club that I went with my Golden) and that really didn't work. They were all about treats as a distraction. Every time I passed a dog I was supposed to stuff treats in my dog's mouth. Supposedly a connection is made that ,"Oh, I see another dog, I get treats, therefore when I see a dog I will think it is a good thing." All I got was my dog anxiously nipping at my fingers to get the treats.

We paid a behaviorist. Basically he showed how HE could handle our dog. But really didn't give us homework and a plan.

Bark Busters comes to your home and you get homework to do. Before I committed I told the trainer what I wanted to accomplish.
Although we have always worked on heeling, there were always issues walking by other dogs. Now, I can walk by other dogs in a quiet fashion. Training is done without treats and without hurting your dog. If you follow the plan, you become the authority and your dog does not have the stress of feeling he has to be in charge. And, it is encouraged to give your dog lots of affection.

It is a work in progress, but I see results. It cost over $800 but you have lifetime support. We have had two visits and will be having our third at the end of the month. The most difficult is keeping my husband and daughter on board and with the program. For example, you are supposed to ignore your dog when he comes to be petted. Again, a control issue. You are supposed to call your dog and give him affection and encouragement, but you are in charge.

You get a special collar that fits loosely and has a small chain attached. That is for sound only. It is not a choker collar.

After having a beautiful Golden for 15 years, that was so well trained she became a therapy dog in a psychiatric hospital, to a dog that is totally different was very over whelming. I never knew there were so many approaches to training a dog!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Pink hasn't done the bedroom or stair barking since I posted but you'll never believe what happened today. While walking her on a quiet street toward a public golf course DH got hit by a car. Neighbors heard pink yelping and came out thinking a dog had gotten hit. DH can't remember exactly how it went down (he "wasn't there" for a while -- can't remember phoning me either ) but figures the leash must have gotten yanked real hard. She is fine. DH will be, too, but concussion, some stitches, staple, fractured cheekbone. The doctor says he's gonna feel like he got run over by a car.

I was lucky that it happened in front of a retired docs house. He explained everything he noticed and told me what would happen in ER. He phoned the emergency room to see if all was well. Although no bleed in brain, the retired doc told me that if DH was his family member he'd awaken him throughout the night, regardless that the ER doc says all is well. I'm going to do that; better safe than sorry and I'm glad to have the advice.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:53PM
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Ellen: "The most difficult is keeping my husband and daughter on board and with the program." Totally. I could have been the only master for Pink, but I wanted to share. And DH doesn't value/understand the consistency that I think is necessary.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:57PM
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So sorry to hear about your DH. Sending healing thoughts.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:52PM
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OMG, crazy! Wishing a speedy recovery.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Oh! How terrible!! I am so glad your dh and pink are going to be ok but what an ordeal for all. Will be praying for him. I hope you have/will call a lawyer.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Oh my, I was reading along through all the posts thinking, wow, isn't this the person who never owned a dog before? And how well you have cared for this poor pup since getting it. Then I got to martinca's post and was nodding my head in agreement, planning to post here echoing her sentiments about what a wonderful owner you have been, only to see your update!!! Thankfully your husband wasn't more seriously injured and hope he isn't too sore today. And to think that Pink's barking is what alerted that retired doctor the accident. Glad he was there to help!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Holy smokes! That's awful! And wonderful that he and Pink are ok! I do hope they recuperate quickly.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 12:57PM
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