Barking while playing

Posted by caridc
Sep 16, 2007
I have a 9month old Queensland Heeler that LOVES to run through the sprinklers. It is fun to watch and she has such a good time. The problem though is that she barks the whole time and since we have 2 sets of sprinklers that go off that is 20 two times a day. We live in a very hot area and she is an outside only area so I hate to make her go in the side yard every time they come on. Plus is it a great way for her to get some of her energy out without me I have tried a high pitch alarm thing that you push when they bark but she is having so much fun she completely ignores me and the noise. Does anyone have ANY ideas on how I can break this behavior before the neighbors start complaining?

Posted by eyeluvdogs
Sep 24, 2007
How cute! Your dog obviously loves playing in the sprinklers! However, I am sure that all that barking can be a little stressful for you.
You could try teaching your dog the quiet command? If you can get your dog to respond to the command, this might be a better option than punishing the barking (e.g. with the ultrasonic whistle), because you still want the dog to enjoy the sprinklers, but without the loud barking. My concern is that if you reprimand the barking behavior, the dog will start to associate the reprimands with the sprinkler game and not the barking alone.

The Quiet Command:

Do something that you know will make her bark.
Then say "Quiet", and hold a treat in front of her nose.
When she stops barking to sniff the treat, feed it to her, and praise her.
Do this a number of times, and gradually make your dog wait longer for the treat.
Soon she will begin to understand the command, and you will not have to give her treats - though give her a treat once in a while to keep her motivated.

Good luck!