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Newbie wanted to get ideas for some problems with my dog

I don't see much discussion on problems, but with the world of knowledge in here, hopefully you have ideas for me. Dublin is a fantastic dog, I got so lucky again. BUT....(always a but) I have a daily issue that is causing me a great deal of stress. Setters are talkers. Big talkers and he is very vocal about everything. We go daily for his run to the dog park which is about a 15 minute drive. His excitement every day results in whining, singing and then full out barking the whole way. I have to say that at times I am at my wits end and it is almost hard to concentrate on the road during this. He is tethered to the rear of my hatch so he can only stay directly behind me. I drive a VW GTI, so he has tons of room with my seats down but not enough room for that kind of crazy barking in my right ear. How do you teach a dog to quiet down. HE will for a cookie of course, but I can't drive and do training at the same time! Going home is settled and calm because he is beat. It is just the ride to the park that is the problem. Its odd because he doesn't do it on the way to petsmart, and he loves it there also. It is the anticipation of the RUN that does it. He is very stimulated to the other cars around us zipping by and to anyone on the street for that matter. He is quite territorial about our property and car. Looks almost vicious but he is really a sweetheart. Ideas? Or is it a lost cause that I have to live with?

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I have never had a problem with vocal setters (in fact I dont regard them as being vocal as a breed). Neither have I had a territorial setter...
But what he is doing is trying to train you.
Like faster..get going etc.
(And making a pretty good job of it I think)
Some dogs get like that when it comes to going for a walk.
All excited, jumping and barking.
My advice would be to uncondition the situation.

When it comes to the wildness before a walk, I would get dressed, get the lead etc. As long as the dog goes wild, I would just get back to what I was doing. Sit down again and read a newspaper etc. This is repeated until the dog realises that the barking and jumping does not work anymore.
I would in a case like that never respond to the dog.
Which you do if you follow through...

The training I would use when it comes to your case, would be to go to the park in the car and dont get out, drive back home and take him for a walk on the lead.
I would do this repeatedly until I had a quiet dog in the car. Constant driving without getting anywhere (for the dog).
It will take plenty of time, but compared to a dog that goes mad everytime he gets to go to the park for the next 10 years or so, I would consider it worth while.

Consistency is the key in all training I feel...
quote "It is the anticipation of the RUN" unquote

Quite right! You have spotted the problem and I can only agree with the excellent advice given by Ursula: break this anticipation by not giving him whatever causes the excitement.

Dogs like Dublin who have a tendency to get extremely excited (and I have experienced similar...) need to learn very basic 'self control'. They can be taught this in all situations where they tend to get a bit excited. Just as Ursula say: nothing goes if the dog winds himself up. He will very quickly realize that to get whathe wants he must remain calm.

Consistency, and not letting him drive you mad;-)) The more excited HE gets, the more bored and inactive YOU become. OK, takes some self-control for yourself also, not just the dog;-))

And don't despair, it takes time but you will get there!
A Stop-barking-collar would only solve a small part of the problem...training is a far better solution.
Especially if you are planning on solving the WHOLE problem.
I think that by pushing the right "buttons" you can teach a dog just about anything.

Now you are talking about using an electric collar I think (at least that is how I read "e-collar")
To me it would only show that the human har a) run out of ideas b) can not be bothered.

But I know that there are different views on this...
I agree with Ursula on this one!! My Megan is a barker when it comes to walks or a run and collars dont work(although I use a citronella one) I did try a mild electric one once and still no good!! But by bringing her back to the house or garden or the car(she doesnt actually bark until she gets out of the car!) where she doesnt get what she wants works much faster(she is very clever and strong minded!) My other setters dont have the same bad habit!!
Using e-collar is possible only for a very very experienced trainers, I can't imagine that every owner could use it!
I agree with Ursula, it takes some time, but I'm sure it works.
I can say one more idea - stop the car every time your dog starts to bark (of course you could try this only on the not bustling roads :) )
My dog pulls on the lead, I think because he wants to get to the meadow as soon as possible and only one thing could stop it - when I sharply stop, then he jumps back to my leg, he knows this is the only one remedy to make me still walking.
keeping my fingers crossed for you and your Dublin!
Good suggestions. Thank you. A citronella collar in the car might not be a good idea. I would be the one breathing that also! I have thought that maybe if he starts his dancing and barking (always a quarter of the way there on the same exact street in fact) that I should pull over. Just sit there. And when he settles down again I drive. Start up and again we stop andf wait it out. Might spend a long time going, but he might figure it out. Barking STOPS the car. I have to do something because that same excitement is starting now when we eat dinner. He sits near us and if the phone rings or I get up for something he freaks and starts jumping and barking. Like saying, Sit back down and eat so I might beg please. Oddly enough he is the mellowest setter we have owned. Other than the dog park ride or dinner, he basically is very quiet and a couch potato. I had read that they are in the top five for barkiest breeds. And top five for least likely to protect your property. I didn't get him for protection, he is my companion. But he is extremely difficult about anyone coming to the door that he doesn't know. I need to work on this with a brave soul, because he is quite intimidating when he lunges and growls and snarls at whoever comes in. We have had to just lock him in the bedroom. Which isn't anything I ever had with other dogs before. They loved company. He is skiddish and fearful and I believe this is all fear based in nature. Very leach reactive also. I have taken to practicing by standing outside on the driveway while cars zip by, because he usually lunges and wants to chase the cars. I treat him if he settles down and relaxes. Despite all his flaws and mine I guess, I just adore this crazy dog. For all the bad, there is so much good. Watching him run through the field doing figure eights with that gleam in his eyes is heaven for me.
I find the "top five for barkiest breed" interesting.
Personally I can think of LOADS of breeds that are far better known for their barking...and I wonder if other setter-owners feel the same?

As for protecting the property...yes I agree there!
All setters I have come across are totally useless as far as guard-dogs are concerned.
But then yours is quite the oposite Susan...and yes I think his behaviour IS based on fear.
Conner is a very calm dog, Tara (my previous irish setters) was also very calm, I had no idea that irish setters are in the "top five for barkiest breed"... sometimes I would prefer they more loud :)
Of course not all barking and protecting is based on fear!
But if you read what Susan is writing, i do believe it is when it comes to her particular dog.

And yes mine bark when people walk along "my" road. Its a very small road and there may be 2 - 3 people walking past a day. But as it leads to the beach, the walking-traffic increases during summer. So does the barking (when the dogs are in the garden).
Mind you, its the pug that sets them off.
But as far as anyone opening the gate and stepping into the garden...well no more barking and no barking if anyone comes in to the house either.
Mine certainly could not protect an egg! :-)
Mine can be quite vocal at times but its more communication with me(not nuisance barking) Except Megan who barks while playing and if she wants another dog's toy!! They also have a special grumbling voice used to tell me something(like they need to go out to empty out or the cat is up on the countertop!) They are not good for protection(I have Luka-GSD for that) but will tell me if someone is at the door(not agressively!!) They would invite all in for a cup of tea!;o)) And they have no interest in passing cars or bicycles!! Just birds!
I DID use a bark collar for an identical problem - with great success. (electronic, not citronella). Dog figured it out on the first trip, end of problem. I continued putting it on him for another week, incase he needed a reminder, but he never did. Not alone did the frantic barking stop, but once it stopped he became able to relax and enjoy the ride! I DO believe in 'training'... but sometimes help, in the form of a correction with perfect timing, is quicker and clearer to the dog than months of trying other things while he reinforces his behaviour! Good luck! /// Joan




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