• Teresa Stanczak

    May 26, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Hi David,

    Lets troubleshoot:

    Barking can have a restless spirit component. Shiba Inus have a high prey drive due to the fact that they originated as a hunting dog. Chasing and barking at squirrels is a natural instinct for him. Shibas are a pretty active breed and need a good outlet for their energy. This should be some kind of organized exercise with you, playing a proper game of tug, playing fetch, going for a run, etc.
    Also giving Sai something to do out in the yard when he is alone, like a kong or bully stick to chew on can give him something else to direct his attention to.
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    Most dogs, even when given a nice yard to romp in, wont exercise effectively alone.

    Barking in the crate and the yard should both be helped through working on restless spirit issues. In addition, giving him a kong or chew item in his crate may help as well.
    Has he always barked in the crate? It could have an anxiety component. How is your pack structure as far as petting and furniture? Is your crate located in an area where you are sleeping or in a different room? How is he if crated during the day?

    I wouldn’t reprimand the barking in the crate. If anxiety and restless spirit are addressed then I would try completely ignoring the barking, they will sometimes stop if they realize no one comes when they bark.
    It is possible that you have inadvertently reinforced his barking by telling him quiet and then praising. Some dogs will dog things like this to get attention even if it is negative attention (such as saying quiet or No).

    Once you troubleshoot restless spirit and anxiety, then you can try using a remote E collar to correct the barking in the yard if only associated with prey drive and other animals. You can teach a leave it command and reinforce with an E collar correction. I don’t like using the automatic anti bark collar because barking is a way for a dog to express themselves. Not all barking should be corrected, just prolonged nuisance barking, this is not possible with an automated bark collar.

    If you can provide some history on his barking behavior we can help troubleshoot the issue further.

    Happy Training!