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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you've read any other of my posts, you'll know that my own personal paranoia as a prospective dog owner is barking. We're moving into a row house and I can just see us getting kicked out because of a barking dog. Or telling my son that we're rehoming his beloved pet because the landlord is threatening to kick us out. Or spending all my money to send the dog to daycare all day every day.

So, when researching breeds I keep looking for the ones that say "rarely barks".

But if I leave out the barking the perfect dog for us seems to be a beagle -- loyal, yet independent. Small yet sturdy, Loves children but not clingy. And really really cute. And the rescues around here are full of beagles -- we're close to West Virgina where there are lots of hunting beagles and the ones that aren't good at hunting are often looking for new homes. Plus I just like beagles -- I think the look cute and their personality is cute. Another dog I really like is Shelties. But Beagles and Shelties both have reputations as big barkers.

My question is -- how hard is the barking to train away? Should I be that worried about it? I read that you should squirt the dog or shake a can of money or tap them on the nose -- but doesn't that teach the dog not to bark when you're around? I'm much more worried about barking when I'm at work. I heard that bark collars work well, but that sounds cruel. Is it?

What if I shut the dog in the basement when I'm not home, the basement has no windows to the front of the house so he wouldn't see/hear cars so much -- would that work for barking?

If I couldn't fix the barking is de-barking a dog surgically a really awful thing to do?
 

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You are talking about nuisance barking, and not all dogs do it.

Most dogs develop the habit because they are lonely or bored. Sometimes more exercise or another dog will help the problem. Sometimes it's a separation problem, and there are other treatments for that as well. Sometimes dogs will bark if left in the yard but not if you leave them in the crate, so that's an easy solution as well.

Besides electrical no-bark collars there are also the kind that spray, which works for a lot of dogs.

Some dogs just don't bark much. Dusti was a good 8 months old before we found out she even had a voice, she mostly whines if she wants something. She's almost 2 years old and I just found out about 2 weeks ago that she can howl like a hound dog. We always knew she was part hound but she's never done that before!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, should I stop worrying and just figure we'll figure it out, and assume that some cool toys, a midday dog walk, a crate, a dog collar, or something will work. Or should I still stay away from beagles?
 

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IMO if a dog is a barker, you can't really train them not to bark. You can remove stimuli or increase exercise but you can't change the dog's desire to bark (which is somewhat self-rewarding). I would again go by the individual rather than the breed. A foster home should be able to tell you about the dog's barking, esp. if you express concern about needing to return a persistent barker. At a shelter most dogs bark because the other dogs bark, so you can sometimes watch them and judge from that.
 

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I think I said before that I've had two beagles and neither of them were big barkers so don't rule out the breed. Kenneling when they have to be alone, works for a lot of dogs. There is less stimulation and they are more likely to sleep. The citronella spray callers work for a lot of dogs too. I think the biggest thing is just being consistent with not tolerating barking. Sort of like with a toddler, redirection is key. If they start barking, say quiet and then call them over to you and ask them to sit or start some other activity with them.
 

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My two can be a bit loud if they're left to their own devices, but if they're kept inside, and given lots of walks, and attention then they're lovely and quiet. We've been training "whisper" since the beginning, and it does work, but I prefer to prevent the situation when I can.
 

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It was my biggest fear when we decided on a mini dachshund - every one I know has been a yipper and it's something I really can't stand in a dog. I was fully prepared to buy a citrus spray collar if necessary.
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But he's not a barker, at all. Acutally the only time he barks is if the doorbell rings or when I vacume, which is actually hilarous. (He chases it barking and biting it
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I think crate training him has helped, as well as giving him a nice, long afternoon walk when we get home each day. While some dogs are just more prone to barking, I do think being left alone uncrated for long periods of time can feed into it.
 
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