Dog advice please...

Prairie Rose

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Update on the training...clicker training seems to be Boone's thing. He took to it very fast and is way more willing to work with us without overthinking everything. In about five minutes yesterday he learned to shake, although we were actually supposed to still be conditioning him to think of the click as a reward. He started offering behaviors, so I ran with it.

Today we are supposed to be starting the games that will teach him to offer behaviors and think on his own to get his reward, and running up against his lack of playfulness. I just get a blank look that says what do you want me to do this dumb box?

The increased mental stimulation has helped tone him down a lot at night, we had a couple of cold windy nights where he just wanted out to pee, and not to guard the house. On those nights, the pacing has pretty much stopped, as has the restless whining. On warmer, clear nights, he's still happy to go out and guard the house--he has a big fat possum for a nemesis atm, but only barks at big trucks going up and down the road, not at everything all night long.

Thank you for the book recommendation, it has made a world of difference!
 

baymule

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That is awesome! I am so glad that Boone has hit his sweet spot and is settling in. He's one of the family now. How wonderful that you have continued to work with him and have found what works. :weee
 

AMKuska

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That's really great! It's probably a relief to him to know clearly and definitely that "This" (what ever you click for) is what you want. We humans can be terribly sloppy about showing wanted behaviors. :) It's really helped me too.
 

secuono

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Where do you live?
It might be possible to pound in tposts or use a tractor to install wood posts now.
I agree with tall fencing, but also skirted so he doesn't dig out.

I had a female that obsessively barked, it was unnecessary, nothing there, but she would just bark because the sun went down. I'd yell at her to shut it and she eventually learned to limit the pointless barking to have alternating quite times for a couple hours.

Barking at common commotion is unnecessary and usually not a threat. They need to learn that and ignore those constants that aren't actually anything to worry about.
 

Prairie Rose

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Oh, it would be possible to pound in posts, but my post-pounding person and his tractor are still doing farming stuff 7 days a week. I decided not to worry about that part...it will happen, just not in the original timeline. I continue to tuck money into the fence jar every paycheck....by the time the fencing actually happens I should have enough in there to do a bigger section of yard than originally planned, or to set up my chicken run fencing at the same time.

We have finally had Boone for a full three months now, and he is finally settling in. The pointless barking is really tapering off, and I can tap on the window to get him to tone it down when I need to. He barks for maybe five minutes at a time, three or four times a night now instead of hours like he was in my original post. He has just about figured out that the big trucks aren't worth barking at, but there's a dip in the road that makes them rattle every time, and that gets him.

Getting rid of him has never been an option, I just had to learn the best way to manage him so he could do what his instincts are telling him to do but we can still sleep.
 

baymule

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This is good news. Tapping the window lets him know you are there. I had to get up, go outside, pet and praise our male Trip, when he was a youngster. That let him know that I supported him and it calmed him down. Sometimes he was close enough the hear the window tap, sometimes not. LOL
 

Prairie Rose

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When I first started I had to go outside with him, but usually just opening the door and telling him I heard him warning me there was something there and thanking him worked. After a couple of weeks I could tap the glass or just open the door (that always gets his attention, no matter how focused he is) and he pauses, looks at me, and usually wags his tail. If he goes back to barking after that, I know that there's something out there that isn't supposed to be and I should be looking myself...

We have a fireplace with an electric blower to supplement our heat in the winter...I built the first fire we have had this fall in it today and Boone didn't even blink at it. After he discovered it was warm, he laid in front of it and didn't move for hours. I st have the only pyr who doesn't like snow.

Edit: After a restless evening with the dog, I put him out before bed. Just in time for a pair of coyotes run through the edge of the field. If Boone could have grabbed them there would be no more coyotes. He is still out there pacing in the snow, barking in the direction they ran off in. He definitely would have gone up and over a fence to get to them. I am so glad he was tied. I think he knew they were there fifteen minutes ago.
 
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