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 Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do

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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:39 pm

Hi All,
I am at loath to bring this topic up because I know that it is hotly contested here but I am honestly out of ideas so I am posting my scenario in hopes there will be other options.
Orion since the day he came home has been a terror at night. I expected it as a puppy so that was fine. He never did settle into his crate and at his breeders suggestion I changed his night time place to the laundry so he was not so enclosed.
He knows the bedtime command and he gets a kong stuffed with kibble, stopped up with peanut butter as his night time snack ever night. Most of the time he is ok, he will go to bed without fuss and while we hear him shuffling round at night playing with toys etc I generally won't hear him bark until it is time to get up in the morning.
The issue is that this scenario is not consistent every night. He seems to go through phases where he goes to bed fine, munches his treat then instead of going to sleep he makes a ruckus. He will dig at the door, howl, bark and scream for literally hours. We have never let him out for doing this.  Last night he decided at just after 1am to go off his rocker and he just barked and barked and barked. It is so incredibly frustrating. He does this every few weeks.
I have been working on the quiet command with him, however in this scenario it is of no use because if he knows you are up or if you make the mistake of talking to him his tantrums get louder and go on for longer.
So far I have tried exercising him harder for longer, I have tried exercising him closer to bed so he was tired out, I have tried various chewy things in the hopes he will chew until sleepy, I have tried puzzle toys to occupy him, I have tried making his sleeping place as cold as possible, I have tried rescue remedy before bedtime so he is calm. He has not been reinforced for this behaviour, it gets him nowhere. He is not allowed water too close to bedtime, he is taken out for a toilet stop before bed every night (and he is definitely old enough to hold it) he is given his last meal at about 7.30-8ish and with his kong snack I doubt it is because he is hungry.
Currently he is getting a good hour of walking a day at about 9pm (It is the middle of summer here so I’m trying not to overheat him) we play chase in the backyard as well most days, plus he is in 3 classes a week – Rally-o, Agility & Obedience. I feel like for the time of year and his age that should be enough for him but maybe not?
I am considering the e collar/bark collar for night time simply because I don’t know how else to get him to stop barking since I cannot spend the night putting him in timeout repeatedly as a correction, and a dog making horrendous noise in the small hours of the morning is really not fair on my partner, my neighbours and frankly even I am running out of patience.
It is not feasible for me to leave him out at night; he is simply not trustworthy and too destructive.
At over a year old I think this naughtiness is really becoming a bit past acceptable and I really need to solve the issue. Does anyone have any ideas or methods they could suggest that I could try? Or has anyone had any success with an e collar? I am open to any methods to stop the madness
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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:33 pm

Loki at 5 months or so was let out of his crate at night. Until that point he was crated in our room with us, my 2 cats and one of our dogs. Now he gets freedom at night with us and our female dog (cats not in bedroom). We found if he is not crated he sleeps until 7-8 am unless we get up earlier. In his crate he always was waking up 4-6am.

Is it possible for him to sleep in same room as you? I quickly realized when I got Loki he had to sleep with us. So his crate was put in our room.
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AnyaLuv
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:38 pm

If you go the ecollar route, work with a trainer who really knows what they're doing. We used one with my dog for a bunch of issues with great success, but only because we had an amazing trainer to guide us.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:58 pm

Why not get him debarked? I think that's more humane than an e collar. But that's just me. Smile
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Rigbyjek
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:32 pm

I wouldn't recommend the ecollar for this situation. Have you heard of a citronella collar? When he barks it will spray citronell near his face, they dont like the smell and this usually stops the behavior. I would also recommend keeping a daily journal for say, a month- write down what his activities are that day, what he gets fed-extras, etc, and then record his behavior at night... yoi may find on days he doesnt have classes hes more restless, or days someone isnt home hes uncomfortable at night, etc. Hang in there and KEEP EXERCISING Smile haha he's young, you will get through this!!!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:13 pm

Have you tried taking a pair of your old socks, unwashed that you've worn, tie them in a knot, put that in his bedding - or an old shirt, sweater that his your body odor and laying that on his bedding (Ami has both in his crate). Also, what about leaving a radio, tv on or getting a wind-up tick-tock alarm clock?

I'm so glad to hear I am not the only one with the kong midnight snack Wink  I thought I was just a worry-wort, overprotective mama.

If your boy is anything like mine (smart as a whip!) - you get up once with him and he will LEARN, not necessarily what you want him to learn.

I wish you luck - I had a child like that - I didn't sleep for 3 years!!!
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:08 am

Have you tried crating in your room? Or tethering him to the bed in your room?

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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:56 am

Thanks everyone,
I get the feeling that he would be happier if he was with us during sleeping hours however the bedroom is off limits to him. We have the house sectioned so the cat has a safe zone to be in and for that reason we just cant let Orion in with us. I use tethering as time out so I don't think he would understand if I tethered him in the bedroom and we never persevered with crate training once we transitioned him to the laundry since he is outside during the day.
What do you look for in an e collar trainer? If I was to look into the citronell collar instead do they require the same trainers as e collars?
Debarking hadn't even crossed my mind I have never come across a debarked dog before, it sounds quite extreme though. Jen I noticed in another thread that you considered an e collar for Dizzy but decided against it, do you mind me asking why? What is it that makes you consider debarking as more humane? please excuse my ignorance I haven't met anyone who uses an e collar for a pet dog, the only users I have met are those with hunting dogs.
I have tried the clothing trick he really didn't seem to care, and I left a radio with him once but he broke it so I don't think that did it for him either but I will certainly try both again.
Keeping a diary is a great idea I will definitely try that :)I'm definitely willing to up his exercise as well I'm just wary of the heat at the mo hopefully I'm just being over cautious.
I sincerely hope I get through this with both my dog and my partner  Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:20 am

Valerian is a natural calming sleepy time herbal supplement that may help encourage him to sleep. You could maybe give the crate a try in the bedroom just to see.

Personally I think surgical intervention (debarking) is far worse than an E collar.

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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:24 am

Can you adjust the cat "safe zone" at night so maybe the dog is in the bedroom with you with the door closed and the cat has the rest of the house? That's what we do since we have a small house and it seems to work fine.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:51 am

Well, I had considered an e collar for some other issues (mostly recall training) not the bark collar. I really don't like the bark collars and would never use one, but no judgement if you decide it's best for your situation. I just would never leave one on him unsupervised. I've known show people who have debarked their dogs and it's literally a 5 min procedure that they recover from faster than a neuter. From my understanding its very common in the show world here in the US. Essentially they just punch a hole in some aspect of the anatomy (not familiar enough to know the correct terms) so that pressure can't build up to make a real bark. They kind of whisper bark.

It might be worth discussing it with your breeder, I think you mentioned she shows, but I don't know if it's a common practice where you are.

Also, e collar trainers are more geared toward sport training as you mentioned. There is a difference between a barking e collar and a training e collar. With a training e collar, a human is always present and is in control of the stim duration, intensity, and timing. With a barking collar, it shocks them whenever they make a sound, I'm not sure you could find an e collar trainer that works with bark collars.

For other solutions, I would actually recommend leaving water out if he's house broken. He should be old enough to hold it at this point. I know many times I wake up in the middle of the night to hear Dizzy helping himself to some water or chewing a bone. He gets really annoying and anxious/upset if he's thirsty and can't relieve that need. He has water available 24/7 and I've never had an issue with him needing to go out in the middle of the night or accidents once his initial potty training was complete. He goes out for his LCP (last chance pee) around 10/11 pm and then not again until 6/7 am the next morning, sometimes later. Another thing to try might sound a bit odd, but is your laundry big enough to put a small table in? It seems like huskies like to sleep and lay under things, so adding a table might make it feel more den like, but without the restriction of a crate. Maybe add a little fan for him to lay in front of as well.

I think the diary is a great idea. I would never have thought of that. I wonder if something happens outside that he can hear/smell that might be triggering it.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:54 am

I know someone that had it done, I can ask them to PM you.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:41 am

We crated Gus in our bed at first. Waited until he was calm and asleep before we turned our lights off and went to bed ourselves. As he got more and more comfortable with sleeping in his crate at night, we slowly moved his crate out every night. Just a couple inches a night (but our place is small). He now sleeps in his crate in the living room, and we close our doors so he can't see us anymore. He will, once in awhile, whine in the morning though.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:59 pm

I'm gonna take heat for this. I have a debarked dog. In my city, the government can legally come in and take your dog out of your house and seize them if they are nuisance barking. After getting multiple complaints, getting kicked out of a dog show (yes, a dog show), getting kicked out of a hotel and multiple other issues, I got it done.

I tried the bark collar. Every time I shocked Cato he would scream and run and hide - and that was at the lowest setting. After that, I contacted multiple breeders and asked what to do - they told me to do a partial debark. Cato can make noise, they didn't cut out his vocal chords - they did one tiny little punch on one vocal chord and hardly took anything. There was no recovery time and he was put under for a matter of two minutes.
I did feel bad about shocking him. Now he barks all the time - as much as he wants and he is incredibly happy.

I don't usually tell people I have it done, but I don't find it monstrous or hurtful. It was what I had to do to protect my dog and I would do it again if I had to.

Sorry if that makes people dislike me, but I always put my dogs best interest first and in this case, Cato is a much happier dog. Most of the show people you know - those big kennels - the ethical kennels - they have it done. Almost every sing kennel. Those dogs at Westminster? Almost all of them have it done.
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:15 pm

I see I've gotten a negative treat for that - I'm sure I will get many more negative treats for it. I'm giving you advice based on my experience and the experience of many, many, breed enthusiasts. I'm not saying it is for everyone. In fact, most pet parents probably never need to consider it. However, there are situations when I think it is an acceptable choice.

What I don't understand is why it is deemed acceptable to spay/neuter a dog, but it is not acceptable to take a microscopic piece of tissue away from their vocal chord? My dog does not suffer. He can bark his head off as much as he wants.

Many of you can think I'm a bad person if you want, but as I said before - I would never ever jeopardize my dog or do something to hurt him. I feed raw because I feel it's the best thing for my dog. I don't use chemicals on my dog. I follow a holistic veterinary care practice. I am not a bad owner and I am not a bad person. I want to make that clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:24 pm

I see your point Megan. As dog owners we constantly change and modify our dogs to meet our needs and adapt them to the lives we give them. It's kind of a slippery slope situation, where do we draw the line?

To be fair Megan never suggested anyone doing this. She basically gave her experience and insights. Not really Bad Advice worthy.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:28 pm

Yes, I really don't understand the negative treat on that one. It's not factually incorrect, or bad advice. It's not abusive. It's also not saying that it's the best or only solution. Megan was sharing what worked for her. I think taking treats away because someone disagrees with advice has been happening far too often lately.
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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:38 pm

I will give crate training another attempt and see if my partner is open to the idea of having Orion in our room at night, if he’s not then I may be sleeping in the spare room with the dog for a few nights Razz
With the Valerian is there a specific pet brand that I need to search for or do I just go to the health store and grab a bottle?
I had a quick search on debarking in nz last night and all the info I can find states that they cut the vocal cords? There was no mention of punching a hole or anything so I might have to talk to my vet and see if I can find anyone who has had it done here to find some more information. I did notice that it is a listed as a controlled procedure though and many vet sites stated they only perform it at their discretion after working with the owners to exhaust other options. Apparently there have been a few campaigns in the last few years here to ban the procedure.
I will definitely talk to my breeder and see I she has any information for me, she has been involved in showing and judging here for over 40 years so I’m sure she would have come across it in show dogs at some stage. Although I know none of her dogs are debarked, she has the luxury of living in a rural area and her dogs are remarkable with the quiet command – it is quite something to hear a full kennel of sibes go from all out howl to silent at one word from her! It honestly is chilling.
I understand the concern about leaving him with a collar unsupervised , it does worry me - I’m not sure if a remote e collar would transmit through a closed door though, it is definitely something I need to bring up with an experienced user. The idea of the collar was a slightly desperate one I have to admit – it was the small hours of the morning, Orion had been barking for over an hour, I was very upset, my partner was very angry, it was literally all I could think of as a potential solution.  I did some online research last night in regards to trainers and I haven’t had any luck yet so I will keep looking.
The  idea of leaving him water is a good one, the first thing he does in the morning after toileting is have a big drink so maybe that will help placate him if he can drink at night.  The laundry is big enough to pop a table in there for hiding purposes, I never even considered something like that. His favourite spot in the dining room is under the table, he snoozes there quite often so he is definitely a fan of den like spaces.

Megan I want to thank you for sharing your experience with Cato and your reasoning as to why you did what you did.  I certainly do not think any less of you for doing whatever necessary for your dog, your information was factual and it is valid to my plea of options I don’t see why you should have a negative treat.  Nuisance barking dogs can also be legally removed where I am as well and like you I have no desire to have my dog taken away from me – especially when dogs taken by animal control only have seven days for a remedy to be applied before they are euthanized.  It has definitely given me something to think about.

Has anyone ever used the ultrasonic bark deterrent devices? I know they are for outside but I was considering perhaps mounting one on the fence outside the window and leaving the window open. They emit a high pitched (Inaudible to humans) noise that disrupts the barking of the dog. As an added bonus it would work for during the day as well in case he ever decided to bark while I am at work, according to my neighbours he is fine during the day though.

On a positive note I kept a first journal entry last night – It was cold and raining here (he was so relived after the recent heat) so he went for a good walk, he spent a lot of time zooming round the yard and I did some training for good measure. He went to be quite relaxed and I gave him a nice new frozen marrow bone to munch on which he was chuffed about. He was quiet right through to 6am I was so relieved! I’ll continue to keep track and see if I can pinpoint any noise making factors whenever he does complain.
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:53 am

So it has been a good month and a bit since I posted my issue here and I thought I would do a quick update just in case there are ever others having this issue Smile

First things first, Orion has improved - although it is still a work in progress.

I found out the reason Orion had all of a sudden decided to start barking in the middle of the night, unfortunately it turns out there were people wandering round mine and a neighboring property and my neighbor actually ended up having their house broken into.

In regards to the barking/general complaining he does after he has finished his bedtime treat I have managed to reduce the frequency.
I ended up keeping a diary as suggested and it really has helped me I would recommend it to anyone having issues!

I tried the Valerian root, unfortunately it is a "hot" herb and had the opposite effect on Orion - it hyped him up ridiculously. It is not guaranteed to have this effect but it just ended up that way for my boy. I have actually ended up taking it myself though Smile

I looked further into e collars, due the fact that I could not find a reputable trainer I decided not to pursue it. Jen was also right in saying that trainers do not generally work with collars for this purpose. I don't have anything against people who use these collars and if I had a situation where it was appropriate I would consider it with the proper guidance.

I attempted to give him water - he thought it was a hell of a game and made a terrible mess! Orion is of the opinion that water needs to be rolled in :)I may try it again in the middle of next summer though when it is very very hot no doubt he will appreciate it.

I tried a fan, what I didn't think of was the fact he had never seen one before lol. Didn't work out too good...

I did considerable research into debarking - it is not common here in nz although my vet agrees that it can be done as a last resort and is more humane than having a dog euthanized if that's what it came down to (which essentially is what having a barking dog removed from your property ends up as here).

I didn't get the opportunity to try him in our room, my partner wasn't open to the idea and I had to respect that.

Here's what I did do;

Increase his exercise - I have added regular dog park romps as well as his walks and as the weather cools I am gradually increasing it to two walks a day rather than one.

I have set a strict bedtime time and rise and shine time - before it was kind of whenever I wanted to sleep which could be 9pm or 2am so now it is the same time every night. I think this has really helped in the sense he has a very clear routine and it is easier for him to settle.

I have upped his training, and slightly changed the style so he is more interested and actively engaged rather than just going through the motions. I'm now doing lots of tug of war, chasing games with shoulder taps etc so he is having more fun and he seems more fulfilled also the more physical activity the better. I've also gone back to calming training which has gone a long way with helping him settle.

I have slightly altered his diet - he is already on raw but I have changed his primary protein from chicken to beef with a low fat content. He did ok with chicken but he is just a touch calmer with beef. Perhaps it is the beef bones require more chewing and gnawing away seems to relax him lol

Last but not least I helped myself. This may be too much info for others but I genuinely think it has made a difference so I'm going to share. I myself am prone to anxiety and I have always noted that if I am having a hard time Orion is very edgy. Well I was back to the point of regular panic attacks so I decided to sort that out. As I have got a handle on myself I have found that Orion is more centered as well. I know it sounds ridiculous but as a house dog who is round me constantly I can't help but feel he was picking up on my issues and kind of acting out because he felt unstable.

All in all it hasn't taken any massive changes for me to see a change in him, it is more a few small changes and creating a good routine for him that has helped the most. It is still a work in progress but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel!
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a E Collar/Bark Collar - I don't know what else to do   Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:09 am

Wow, Thank you so much for the update!

I love the water story, I can just imagine waking up to find him with a big smile on his face all soaking wet. Silly boy!

I agree with you about the anxiety thing. I have anxiety as well, but thankfully have only had one panic attack that was related to medication I was taking for something else. But, I totally agree, if I am anxious, Dizzy's behavior is much worse and more unpredictable. I actually started meditating on my way home from work so I'm in a better headspace when I get home. So, I don't think you sound ridiculous at all. Smile

Well it's interesting that he was barking at strangers in the neighborhood. Looks like you have a good husky watch dog on your hands. Smile

Glad to hear things are improving!
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