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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19829
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have 2 Cocker spaniels both brother and sister they continually

Customer Question

I have 2 Cocker spaniels both brother and sister they continually bark first thing in the morning and also howl when we goout and come in how can we stop this
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years 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.
You can train them not to bark. If you haven't done obedience training, you should probably do that as well as make some other changes. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html
The training to stop barking and even howling is easier to teach once the dog learns to bark or howl on command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.
http://www.dogskool.com/web/news/summer2002/page3.html
If this doesn't work, you may have to try a citronella bark collar or even shock bark collars. The ultrasonic collars you will see are not as effective as the citronella or shock collars. They are a quick fast solution to the problem.
Now it may partially be due to separation anxiety. Using a low-key approach to leaving the house can help. Ignore your dogs before you leave and after you come home for at least 5 minutes or more. If your house is like mine in the morning everyone is running around getting ready to leave. This has the dog in an excited mood and then suddenly they are alone. If this is the case, put them away from everyone, say in a bathroom until the frenzy is over.
Don't punish or shout at your dogs when you come home and find they have barked or howled the whole time. When you do, you increase the stress level rather than reduce it.
Sometimes leaving a TV or radio on can help a dog with this problem as well. Also remember to not reward a dog's excitement to you with petting and affection or even eye contact. You want to show them nice calm praise when he is being calm.
Another thing that might help is a DAP collar. These use a pheromone to calm a dog. See one here:
vetmedicine.about.com/od/behaviortraining/gr/DAP-Dog-Collar.htm
Practice leaving the house, opening the door immediately and rewarding them with a hot dog treat if they did not carry on. This teaches them that you leave but come back quickly. Once they seems to not do anything when you initially leave, lengthen the time they must be quiet for you to come back in. Change the time as well. Make it 2 minutes one time and 10 minutes another, so they never knows if you are gone for an hour or gone for 2 minutes. It helps them stay calm for longer periods of time, just be sure you reward them when they are gone.
Another thing that helps is to do things that might make the dogs feel you are leaving and then don't such as putting on your coat or picking up your keys. Or leave without doing those things. This helps remove things that might trigger the dog to become anxious.
These should help with the situations and stop your dog's vocalization. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.