Friday, 18 October 2013

Bark, bark, bark,bark Ahhhhhhhhhh!

The one thing I can't accept with our four rescued Turkish dogs is their constant barking at the slightest noise. It really doesn't take much to set them off. If three are asleep the fourth will wake the others up and off they will all go. Someone in the field opposite our house, our neighbour in her garden, a passing cat, chickens, goats, even a bird daring to land in the garden or doing a low flypast is enough to kick them into vocal mode.

I actually do not have a problem with them barking when there is a reason i.e. a stranger is wandering about, or someone at the door or gate - that's a good thing. What I do have a big problem with is that they won't stop when told. I have kept dogs all of my life and up to now I have never had a dog that barks incessantly before. The trouble is that one starts it off and then all the others rush out and join in. I have had up to five dogs before, but still never had this problem. Maybe Turkish dogs are more vocal, or more insecure or just more downright difficult who knows!

Shouting doesn't work. It just makes more of an irritant for the neighbours and the dogs probably just think I'm joining in. Long term I intend teaching them to bark on command and then to stop barking on command. But with four that will take time.

Left to right Kizi,, Big Red, Bebek, Little-E
In the meantime I have settled on a distraction and reward routine. When they rush out barking at whatever, I go out and rattle their 'tit bits' container and call them nicely (when actually I want to ring their necks). As soon as they return which they do, they each get a tit bit for which they have to sit first, as they do for all their food. This works beautifully, but it's very time consuming given the amount of barking they do. Plus as this happens numerous times a day I have had to reduce the quantity of food they have at mealtimes or they would all be like barrels.

Red getting attitude because Bebek has moved closer to me!
In other respects the dogs are all great. Little-E is back to normal having been neutered recently. The pups are due to be neutered in the next few weeks as they are fast approaching 6 months old. We still have to watch Big Red carefully as she can be totally over the top with the cats and the other dogs, As I prepare their food she watches Little-E and dares her to come near and she still steals my tea towel several times a day, but she does respond to 'no' better now. Bebek of course remains eager to please as ever. If any of the others are told off she removes herself and watches as if to say "Huh how naughty, I wouldn't do that" We call her Miss Goodliness when she does that. It's Kizi's busy time of year at the moment because there are lots of flies about which she hates and has to chase away. They do have battles from time to time and funnily enough it normally involves Little-E and one of the pups. She may be 'little' but she doesn't give in.

Little-E guarding the marrow I've just brought in from the garden
They all have there own very individual personalities and we love them all dearly. We wouldn't be without any of them for the world!


  1. Oh tell me about it! My 5 never stop barking and it drives me mad. They are definitely more vocal than any dogs I've had before. I just spent two weeks in England, the only chance of a complete night's sleep for months! Of course I love them to bits too, and would never be without them. If you ever find a way of controlling the barking...please let me know!!

  2. Whilst feeling sorry for you, I'm glad you have this problem too. It must be Turkish dog mentality. My distraction and tit bit technique is having an effect all be it slowly. They are starting to come quickly now, which stops the barking. But unless I stay with them they then rush off to do it again! It's incredibly time consuming. I have to keep stopping what I am doing to call them in. Hopefully the penny will drop soon because it nearly drives me mad!

  3. My dog barks in the country and I think it's because he can hear or smell wild boar as he is as good as gold in the centre of Bodrum, where there are plenty of dogs barking all night that could set him off.

    1. That's a bit more acceptable, I could handle that.