It's been a couple weeks since I've been working on restoring peace and quiet....back into our yard...
I thought I'd share a couple of things that have made a huge difference in turning their triggers, into "white noise". All the people, baby, toddler, crazy adolescent screaming teenagers and dog noise that we hear ....I'm happy to report that we're less than 5% of that !
What's helped a TON...
1- first taught George that one bark...is all I need to hear...which was easy as I just rewarded one bark and associated the cue "thank you" with coming running for treats, throwing treats out the window, or his favourite ball, or playing with him...so 1 bark and he'll actually look back from a distance when I yell 'thank you" or "quiet" from inside the home :P We make eye contact so that's my chance to do something fun...so his barking has cut down dramatically from the machine gun bark! Every now and then he'll do it but it's easy to call him away now with "thank you!".
Here's a clip where George barks twice and I say 'quiet" and he is ;) It really does work. There are steps involved, but if George can learn to curb his "enthusiasm" then I have high hope for other dogs! He LOVES the sound of his own voice.
2- they do their business on the perimeter of the yard which I pick up as soon as it happens (seeing as though I race around doing agility with them...don't want to step in anything)
3-after business, I make Kongs for them. Their breakfast peanut butter, toast n banana kongs are served outside.
4-then we'll play reorient games and their reward is a kibble treasure hunt.....buys me another 20 or so mins...background noise goes unnoticed
5- I go inside and they'll just start to play or relax (full bellies)...then every so often, I'll open a window and tell them they're superstars then recall them inside just so I can send them outside :)for another game but this time with toys!
Sometimes I give George his favourite ball and he just chews it before we play the game...He's the one who normally starts the barking...so if I keep him busy...then all remains peaceful :)
Or I'll do some passive attention work between yoga stretches.....
6-then I'll go out and play ball with them for a bit, then inside and I get ready for work, they hang out inside
7-after that it's time for their morning walk around the neighborhood to check their peemail, then I'm off to work.
Evenings are a bit different because after they do their business, then we go out on a hike. Then back to race around the yard and do some agility or something then inside to eat , clean up and chill out.