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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so last Sunday I purchased a citronella collar for Jasper, my wheaten terrier, as he had developed a terrible barking habit several weeks back when we had some weekend guests who apparently unnerved him. So. The citronella spray not only INSTANTLY stopped his problem barking but seems to have rid him of all his other problem behaviors. He no longer jumps up on people, he no longer bites my son (remember my thread last week?). He is calm and quiet, very out of character for him yet appreciated by all of us. He is receiving so much positive attention, my son is no longer afraid of him, and we are all doing great. But the question is, why? If the citronella spray acts as a bark deterrent because it is activated by his bark, why have all the other undesireable behaviors also disappeared? This has been for a full week (I got the collar last Sunday). I am so curious...ideas?
 

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I don't have experience with the citronella collar, but my guess would be that when you purchased it and put it on him, you set a clear limit. By limiting the amount of noise he could make ("no bark") you let him know that he did not have to be the sentry and chief intelligence officer for the pack, and that, in fact, he could not be.<br><br>
Keep up the good work, and keep going with your nothing-in-life-is-free program.<br><br>
That dog of yours sounds like a real smarty. Perhaps he'd like to do some agility or flyball?
 

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My guess is that the barking was a symptom, not the root issue. So when he was consistently corrected for the barking, it actually lessened whatever the root issue was as well. I am thrilled for you, though--so nice when these things happen! Take advantage of it to REALLY train him, and to get into regular habits of exercise and discipline, so you can wean him off the collar as he begins to understand things on his own.
 

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Great that it worked. We tried the citronella on our dog - she emptied the chamber in an hour & the whole house REEKED of citronella. We had to go with the shock collar (please don't be horrified). It worked Instantly.<br><br>
I'm glad to know the citronella does work for some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
lifeguard, I am sorry you did not have the same success as I with the citronella.<br><br>
It's truly amazing. For 10 days straight now, I have had the DREAM dog! He is exactly the pet I had hoped for before we got him. I am still in complete disbelief. And...we are only doing the citronella collar very sporadically at this point. Maybe a total of 4 hours a day, but not 4 hours straight. I am totally in shock about its effect on him. In shock, and delighted at the same time.
 

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That is such a positive and uplifting story. Makes me think I am definitely getting one for both of my american eskimos!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just wanted to add a quick update because I am so, so happy with Jasper. It has been since Father's Day that he exhibited unreasonable barking and nipping at my son. The citronella collar really broke him of the bad habits. We are all really enjoying him for the sweet member of our family that we hoped he would be. It feels like a miracle to me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Excellent! Keep going with the training for this dog, because remember that adolescent dogs can become more obnoxious as they move toward social maturity at age 2.<br><br>
I'm so glad that you're truly ENJOYING your lovely dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bird Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11643011"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Excellent! Keep going with the training for this dog, because remember that adolescent dogs can become more obnoxious as they move toward social maturity at age 2.<br><br>
I'm so glad that you're truly ENJOYING your lovely dog.</div>
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The training, also, is much more fun now that the whole family likes to spend time interacting with Jasper. My husband played 15 minutes of fetch with him last night, for the first time ever (I usually do it every night). Even ds, who rightfully was afraid before, now works with him on the simple commands like sit, down, and stay.
 

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Oh man, I'm going to get one of those collars for my mom's Wheaton, he's obnoxious.
 

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What a wonderful success story! The citronella was the perfect tool to break the viscious cycle, and now you've started a rewarding cycle of good behavior -> positive attention -> more training opportunities with more people -> more good behavior!<br><br>
I'm especially pleased to hear that your son is practicing simple commands with Jasper. This is exactly what he needs to do to show Jasper who's boss, and that, in turn, will help Jasper treat him like a "top dog" - someone he will not bite.<br><br>
Hooray for Jasper and your whole family!<br><br>
Edited to add More play/exercise to the rewarding cycle - a tired dog is a good dog!
 
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