My own dog Jack is the pointless, incessant barking type. He's a Sheltie, so it's really not his fault. His brain is wacked somewhere deep inside and he can't control himself. It's genetic - like ADHD. He can go from a dead sleep on the couch to a flying, full-tilt, barking mania in 2 seconds. It's really quite amazing.
We've tried everything to curtail this charming behavior. Here are a few of the things recommended and tried:
- Treats for good behavior (it happens so rarely...).
- Teaching him to "Bark" on command and then teaching him the "No Bark" command (yeah, like that's really going to work....he gets the BARK part, but can't grasp the NO BARK part. The theory is better than the practice).
- Ignoring and turning your back on him (he couldn't care less).
- Teaching the "Watch Me" command, so he pays attention to me and miraculously forgets about the squirrel/bird/cat/leaf/dog/plastic bag (hahahaha) .
- The "Leave It" command (this works in some non-barking instances, such as "Get your head out of the litter box and leave the cat poop alone", but it's useless on a speeding dog)
- The water squirt bottle (doesn't faze him).