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Help Please! Random Barking

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Donna Johnston, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Donna Johnston

    Donna Johnston New Member Registered

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    Hi everyone. Hoping you can help me work out why and how to stop our aged springer spaniel's strange barking habit. It started around 10 months ago but is getting worse and worse.
    She is 16 now but still pretty mobile and goes out 3 times a day for 15 minute walks - is even seen trotting sometimes!
    The issue started in the evenings but is now getting to be an all day thing. We sit in our living room in the evening with both our dogs - the other is a 12 year old springer/cocker cross boy. Molly will now stay outside in the conservatory rather than join us. That's OK the door is open and she can join if she wishes. BUT .... she will then start barking - one bark every 30 seconds or so. We go out and invite her in and she doesn't want to come. We drag her into the living room and after a few minutes she goes back out and starts with the bark again.
    We try seeing if she needs to go out - nope. Do you want us to fetch the water over to you - nope.
    We have tried ignoring her completely but after 3 hours were worried that the neighbours would contacting the local council! The bark got more and more frequent the longer we ignored her.
    Any ideas to help her muchly appreciated!
     
  2. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi Donna,
    Welcome.
    Does your "Molly" hear you when you speak to her or does she react to body language, maybe without you noticing. Could she have lost her hearing?:eek: This can sometimes happen with old dogs!
    I would make an appointment to see your vet.
     
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  3. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Active Member Registered

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    I was thinking the same regarding her hearing , does she bark at night when you’re in bed?
     
    merlina likes this.
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It also is possible she has developed a canine cognitive disfunction - doggy dementia. There are medications that can help, so another vote here for seeing her vet.
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree with all the above. As my elderly neighbours keep telling me whenever I ask how they are, 'Age doesn't come alone';)

    I also just wanted to add it could be worth apologising to your nearest neighbours, explaining that it's probably an 'age thing' but that you're getting it investigated. If you get the impression they've been affected by it, a bunch of flowers or box of chocolates might help!
     
  6. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Firstly hi and well done you for getting this lovely girl to 16 years old! I think both the suggestions made are excellent possibilities. It could be a sort of generalised anxiety disorder (seen in elderly people too) so do get vet's advice. Maybe anti-anxiety meds could be tried. Have you tried distracting her with a strong scent? It's a powerful input especially for spaniels! (I'm now frantically trying to think of an example...er how about chicken feathers is a bag?:confused:)
     
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    What a good idea - I would never have thought of that!
     
  8. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Active Member Registered

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    I have a Molly Springer too :rolleyes: and like most Springers is food obsessed! Not sure if your Molly is but something really strongly scented may work , good idea Merlina !
    She’s certainly reached an amazing age, bless her. I’ve had 4 Springers through the years but my oldest was 13 when we lost him . Hopefully you can tempt Molly with something to help you and your neighbours ;)
     
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  9. dtca

    dtca New Member Registered

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    Hey! I think all the suggestions on here are absolutely fab and maybe it's time for a trip to the vet? Also is there anything that's happened recently (even just a new animal who visits your garden frequently) or a strange visitor who she wasn't sure of? Could be she's just protecting her home and 'pack' even though she's not top dog of the pack?
     
  10. Donna Johnston

    Donna Johnston New Member Registered

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    WOW thank you everyone! Lots of food for thought!
    No she doesn't bark at night - unless she needs to go out which is pretty decent of her and we like that bark!!
    Her hearing is not as good as it was - she can still hear the fridge door opening ... although of course she may feel that more as a vibration I suppose ...
    I'd love to try the strong scent idea but need to work how the how ... she rips any toy apart (even those tightly knitted ropes don't last more than an hour with her!) but yes a comforter is a good idea ... as is a visit to the vet!
     
  11. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    @JoanneF
    doggy "Dementia" was a word that I was looking for, but I never found it:rolleyes:.
    That is probably old age too:eek:
     
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  12. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's a word I sadly have to use far too often :(
     
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  13. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    I hate the thought if it!
     
  14. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    I walk a golden retriever who just barks for no apparent reason at all.
    If we’re at his house house he will just bark, bark, bark and nothing will stop him. If he’s at my house he will also just bark out of nowhere and nothing I say can stop him.

    I have heard this could be due to doggy dementia :-(
     
  15. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    I, too, suspect the OP's dog may have k9 Cognitive Dysfunction AKA K9 senility. :(

    Several of my clients had elderly dogs who got stuck in corners, reversed their normal activity from day to after-dark, forgot their housetraining, etc, & they improved enormously on medication - they could recognize family members again, would go to the door to indicate they needed to void, weren't trapped in corners away from water when home solo, & so on.
    It doesn't last forever, but apropos Rx-meds can give months, & possibly many months, of relatively-normal life quality to owner & dog.


    QUOTE, Josie:

    I walk a Golden Retriever who just barks for no apparent reason... at his house, he'll just bark, bark, bark, & nothing will stop him; at my house, he will also just bark out of nowhere, & nothing I say can stop him.
    I have heard this could be due to doggy dementia.
    :(
    _______________________________
    .

    How old is the Golden, @Josie ? If he's not at least 10-YO, dementia is possible, but unlikely. K9 Dementia usually develops only in advanced age, not merely senior.
    Can he be redirected with a leash, or will he resist, stand braced, & bark? - Can he / will he eat a tidbit during these barking marathons?

    If it is dementia, the medication is better begun as soon as U get a Dx from the vet - that can delay the severe symptoms, such as being unable to navigate the house, switching to nocturnal activity, loss of housetraining or complete incontinence, & so on.

    Hope it's fixable or can be reduced,
    -- terry

    .
     
  16. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi, sorry to hear about your dog barking. It sounds to me like dog dementia, this could be stunted by the vets with medication. The dog also could have hearing loss, the vets can do multiple tests for this.
     
  17. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Agree with all of the above possibilities, my old boy gets stuck in a bit of a behavioural loop now,he'll go out round to the front garden, come back in to kitchen,stand for a mo then repeat...several times... we guide him to his bed or distract him with a treat then he goes back to his loop. Obviously we can close the back door but then he will do the loop from room to room for a while. The joys of old age! Had a sad moment yesterday with him where he pooped in the van on our way out for a walk,(it was only a 10min drive), he seems to forget to go now while we're out or he's in the garden, and is going just when he feels the need to, about 5am seems to be a new time on his body clock, I hear him walk out of the bedroom so I trundle after him and let him out:(
     
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  18. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Flobo , have U considered teaching him cues to pee & poop? - prompting him might help prevent 'accidents'.
    Poor boy. :(

    - terry

    .
     
  19. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    I don't feel he's able to pick up or learn new cues now,(sight and hearing not great either!) I keep things regular for him and with the same kind of routine he has always had, but I think with the pain meds he's on , we are kind of swapping one prob for another and I would rather have him a bit out of sync and 'pain free' than the alternative which would either be pain,distracted and worn out(which isn't an option) or it's game over.. so it's a case of working with what we have. We all know what's round the corner but not yet, as my daughter says(like a mantra)every time I mention his walking getting a bit worse and the other accidents and I want her to be prepared, she says 'we will love him and hug him and tell him he's our best boy', then she walks away rather quickly!. But, saying all that we still go out every day and he may not walk far but he still enjoys the time so that's good enough for me...;) one day at a time...
     
  20. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    maybe he'd wear britches in the car, & not be fussed by them. :)

    .
     

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