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Brie's avatar

How to make dogs stop barking if they only listen to my parents?

Asked by Brie (283points) April 25th, 2011

My parents work all day so I have to take care of the 3 Jack Russells who will not stop barking.
They bark at everything, the neighbors, the neighbor’s dogs, ambulances, birds, bugs, grass moving in the wind. You name it, they’ll bark at it.
It’s REALLY annoying. I say they only listen to my parents, but the truth is that they don’t listen to anybody! They are untrained and wild.
I’ve tried to train them but they won’t listen to me and think that I’m trying to play with them. So I told my parents that I thought they needed to be trained and they said “Oh, yeah, we’ll get to it later. I don’t have time right now”. They are full grown dogs, they’ve already lost the time to train them. Why even buy dogs if you don’t have time for them?
They aren’t my dogs and I didn’t ask for them.
The neighbors have complained about their barking but my parents only took offense to it and still refuse to train their dogs.

I told them to do something about the barking and they said “I bought dogs so that they would bark” and they also said that the dogs don’t need training.
But they do. They urinate on everything in the house, they bark, they nip, they don’t listen, they whine, they jump all over you, they’re just untrained dogs!

My dad said he wants to give them away but that it would look bad on the family and my stepmom wouldn’t agree with it because she “loves” the dogs. Yet she doesn’t take care of them.

I’ve tried to train them but they don’t care and I’ve tried to entertain them but they just jump on me and bite me and don’t bring back whatever toy I was throwing them. I’m also not allowed to walk around my block so I couldn’t do that, the dogs also aren’t leash trained. My stepmom thinks dogs come pre-trained if they are AKC registered.

I asked this on Yahoo!Answers (home of the idiots) and they said “Move out???!!” even though I clearly stated that I was a teenager, not old enough to get a job. They also said that I was an unfit dog owner and that my dogs should be taken away from me, even I also clearly stated that I try to get them exercise and train them but they are too obnoxious to do anything with. And lastly they reported me for “ranting”.

So please, help me instead of telling me what I do wrong and not giving any advice at all.

The questions (again) are: How to get them to stop barking if they don’t listen to me? And how can I convince my parents to hire them a trainer if they refuse to train them themselves? They don’t think the dogs are bad and think that it’s okay for them to bark at the neighbors and have the neighbors complain and have the dogs urinate and poop on the floor.

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5 Answers

derekfnord's avatar

You probably can’t do anything effective on your own to train the dogs. It sounds like they’re out of control, and they know you aren’t the pack leader. Besides, the dogs aren’t really the problem… the dogs are just doing what untrained dogs do.

The problem is your parents.

I don’t know your parents, so I don’t know specifically what will work to make them change their approach to dealing with the dogs. But that’s what I think you need to do. Stop looking at it as “How can I change the dogs’ behavior?” and start looking at it as “How can I change my parents’ behavior?” Not only are they the only ones likely to be able to affect the dogs, but you also undoubtedly have more influence over your parents than you’ll ever have over the dogs. :-)

klutzaroo's avatar

Train your parents. Find out if there’s a noise ordinance in the community. Call the police and report the house for a noise violation. Ask the complaining neighbor to do it if you don’t want to. Repeat, every couple of days, until they get a ticket. Negative reinforcement for not training the dogs. The ticket, which they will have to pay or go to court over, will get them thinking about what to do next. If they think they’ll get another ticket without training the dogs or getting rid of them (the costs go up), they’ll be even more inclined to do something. Good luck.

crisw's avatar


Good answer, but something that’s actually a very common misunderstanding (and relevant to dog training!) – it’s actually positive punishment, not negative reinforcement.

Reinforcement is anything that strengthens a behavior. Punishment is anything that decreases a behavior.

Negative= removing something from the environment.,
Positive= adding something to the environment.

So, in this case, ticketing the parents because they are ignoring the dogs is adding something- a ticket- to the environment that will hopefully decrease the behavior of ignoring the dogs- a punishment. So it’s positive punishment.

Negative reinforcement, by definition, is not punishment, but the popular vernacular confuses the two constantly.

As to the OP- I agree- the parents are the real problem here. BTW- why are you home all day, if you’re a teen- are you not in school?

FutureMemory's avatar

Buy a couple of muzzles.

heartmindspace's avatar

The last answer is a good one but try this. Get a metal coffee can or any sort of tin can and put a handful of screws or bolts and washers. It’s a noise-maker. When the dogs start barking, rattle the can nearby. Do it several times and check it out. Dogs hate a loud, rattling sound.

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