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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18950
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My service dog has been acting up. She's been barking at

Customer Question

Hey. My service dog has been acting up. She's been barking at people randomly. Not everyone just once in a while when someone walks by my desk she'll let out a bark. And not everyone that walks by just sometimes.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

How much obedience training has she had?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She's got her CGC and she's done a Public access test. I usually do agility training with her but not lately.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm worried that she won't be allowed to come with me to work if she continues this behavior.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It sounds like she is becoming a little territorial to me. Usually continuing obedience training on a daily basis and instituting the nothing in life is free program will help correct this problem. In additon, you can start some additional training with her by finding a person she does this to and each time she does it, give a short tug on an attached leash and give a firm low toned NO to show her it is unacceptable. When she lets the person pass with no alert (bark) reward her with a tasty hot dog sliver. Dogs love hot dog slivers.

As crazy as this sounds you may wish to teach her the speak command and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after the dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.
http://www.dogskool.com/web/news/summer2002/page3.html

You also have the option of getting a bark collar such as citronella spray collar or shock bark collar. They are quite effective and start wiith a tone before the correction so after a few corrections, the tone alone stops the barking. No collar will stop a single bark though. So training is necessary to stop all barks. You can also have the person toss her a tiny treat when she doesn't bar, as well.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What should I do in the mean time with my job? This is the third time she's barked at work and disrupted people. I feel like I can't afford to not have her, and I can't afford to lose my job over her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Third time she's barked in 2 weeks after being here for 6 months.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry for the delay, I had an emergency to deal with. I would probably get the bark collar to stop the behavior immediately and work with her on "off hours" using a helper if possible without the collar on.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I've been told that you need to not use a bark collar if at all possible. You do need to redirect the dog to another cue and have her attention on you. It was suggested that you have the person the dog is barking at you give you a warning they are coming via phone so you can redirect the dog's attention onto you or another command. Of course, reinforce the desired behavior when it occurs.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I forgot to check the box to be rated. Let me know if it does not show up.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Megan,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler