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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Twice!

Hello everyone from a new board member. I promise all my posts won't be looking for advice... hopefully I'll be able to give some once in awhile!

Anyway - I have a serious problem with my beautiful 1 year old female beagle named Boone. The problem is, she howls. And I mean HOWLS.

We have a fenced in yard (that she can't see through) and she loves to play out there off leash. However - heaven forbid a neighbor be out in their yard making the slightest bit of noise. So much as a door shutting from another house and it sets Boone off. She'll get into a howling frenzy - only possible way to get her to stop is to somehow steal her attention and get her to run inside.

Now - we only recently moved into the neighborhood and most neighbors have been very friendly, but for whatever reason we haven't yet met the folks immediately next door. I can't explain why they would chose to call animal control instead of just knocking on our door, but, I guess that's just how it is.

In any case, I actually do feel bad for them. It is, admittedly, an extremely loud and extremely piercing howl. Much more so than a typical dog bark.

So - do I have any recourse here? Is there any way to train my girl not to howl when she hears neighbors across the fence?

Note she doesn't howl otherwise...
 

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I would be getting a trainer in.

It might be a case of the dog being bored and under stimulated, how much training do you do with her? You could teach her a good recall so that you can easily call her inside.

It might be a case of needing to get a good quality anti-bark collar so she no longer sees it rewarding to howl at the neighbours (if it's a case of her trying to 'guard').

In any case it's important to know why she's doing it so it can be addressed properly.
 

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We had some neighbors (don't know exactly who) call animal control on us as well as several of our other neighbors. Apparently there were dogs causing a disturbance and instead of the neighbor determining who's dogs were actually causing the problem, they called animal control on everyone they knew had a dog. Needless to say, I was peeved because it wasn't actually our dogs causing the problem. People seem to want to complain instead of just trying to talk it out and figure out what could be done.

Having said all that, we have had to deal with our pups howling some. We started training the pups to respond to a dog whistle. As soon as they got on a scent, etc. and started howling we would blow the dog whistle and as soon as they came inside they would get a treat. We still use that technique, although the pups have gotten a bit rusty. But when we're consistent they do really well. You can see that they're torn between wanting to howl outside and wanting to come inside for a treat. But alas, food always wins out! LOL
At least with our two it does.
 

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WE have a leash law in our city, as do most places, I imagine. But it seems that the dogs find their way to our house from all corners of the world. Thus barking, and howling and whimpering are noises we hear often. Add to that the fact that I have a maternity ward in my garage for stray cats every winter...and I got to know my Animal Control officer very well.
And my boys got to know him as well. My boys are barkers....and to be honest, we have only had one complaint about the barking from our neighbors...and that was because they barked at 4:30 AM...I complained about that one to my dh who lets them out before going to work for 10 minutes...and walks away from them.
In a two block area with about 20 houses there are over 27 dogs, it is rare to have a house without at least two dogs. So there is much barking, howling and yapping going on...a burgler or intruder isn't likely to get by without being seen by some Fido. But I agree finding out WHY your pooch is howling is the first step, talking to the neighbor might be an answer, if you feel it might help. Not in a confrontational way, but telling him/her what you are doing to help remedy the problem, and asking for their patience. It can't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi everyone and thanks for the responses! Is nice to hear other stories...

Most seem to be asking why she is howling. I promise it's not for lack of exercise or stimulation! In fact, aside from a couple times randomly at night, the only time she is let outside in the yard is immediately *after* a walk.

I cannot explain why she howls. All I know is the situation that sets it off:
- outside in a fenced in yard, off leash
- hears neighbors
- starts howling

Also - something I didn't mention earlier - I believe she is definitely tense when this happens. The hair on her back stands up, she gets frantic running around, etc. She is most certainly on full alert.

The good recall idea is a good one, though my Boone is a stubborn one! We do have a good bit of luck with our recall but it's not fail proof.

Ideally, I'd love to get her to be calm when she hears noise outside and not howl so she can enjoy herself off leash sniffing around the back there. But I am at a complete loss on how to make that happen. Is it even possible?

Here she is as a pup by the way!

www.youtube.com/whatsair

For reference - the video titled 'Tough Girl' is her as a puppy exhibiting this exact behavior (albeit at a different house). I had no idea then what an issue it would turn out to be!

Thanks everyone
 

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Sorry to see your situation.

Your Girl can't see the neighbours nor knows their scent from being in contact with them.

I would somehow manage for them to meet her, I would also tell them that your dog is a Beagle if they don't know already, this helps if they know anything about beagles. After they meet her, when they hear her howl they should Say her name with a hello to her is a big help.
Also Lift her up and show her the neighbours so she can see it's all ok, I have done this, and it takes a few times BUT works.

P.S For anything you are bothered with her howling not just neighbours, go into the yard with her and check it out, I find our canines want to share and show us what all the fuss is about, this helps too.

hope all works out.
 

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Ya, that's a tough situation. On one hand you're not obligated to quiet your dog unless the barking is constant. Yet on the other hand you want to be a good neighbor.

Bodie is a beagler, and about half the time he'll immediately start beagling when let outside. He only beagles when locking in on a scent from a cat or squirrel. The other half of the time, he'll just roams around the yard sniffing quietly. Depending on the time of day I'll either let him beagle for up to 30 minutes or bring him back inside. So I try and be conscious of my neighbors knowing how loud he can be. But at the same time I also let Bodie do what he was bred to do, but within reason. I know if I was in their shoes I wouldn't want to hear it.

In your situation she's being set off by the neighbors themselves. Aside from managing her exposure outside and her barking you might want to try talking to your neighbors and see if they would be interested in helping you. Which if they're smart and not stubborn they will.

I would try by taking her over their and see if they'll let her roam around in their backyard and while you visit your neighbors. Give her an opportunity to sniff around and get that curiosity out of her system while being on that side of the fence.

Then bring her back over to your yard and do some training with her. Depending on how she responds you may want to use a clicker and treat reward system when telling her to stop barking. If she complies she gets a treat. This will only reinforce her listening to you tell her to stop, but not necessarily prevent her from doing it to begin with.

The other method you can do which would make her think twice about barking is to use a squirt bottle with 4:1 ratio of vinegar and water. Adjust the nozzle to stream and when she barks at the fence you nail her. Depending on how well your dog listens and complies will dictate how effective this technique is. This is what we do when Bodie barks at say a delivery truck or something other then beagling that sets him off. The beagling, being instinctive is handled in a different way. It's important for you to know the difference and understand what's setting your dog off.

At this point, most of the time all he needs to do is see the bottle and he'll stop whatever negative behavior he's engaged in.
 

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maybe there is a cat or other animal on the other side or maybe they let there dog out when you take youres for a walk then he smells them through the fence and wants to see them he was breed for hunting
 

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Could it be that he can't actually see what is going on on the other side of the fence and maybe this gets him upset? I don't know, just a thought
 

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Interesting topic. I have an opposite issue with Molly, she barks and whines wildly at the front window and is obsessed with it. Sometimes she lays in her bed growling at the window. Outside though in our yard there is rarely a sound. I am always out with her though. We have been trying correction with a clicker. If she barks/growls at the window, we click, say stop and have her come to us and sit. When she calms down we tell her she is a good girl etc. It helps for the most part. Needless to say our front windows are never open!
 

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Tucker isn't much of a barker, but Niko and Yuki are. I went to all our neighbors and asked them that if the barking ever bothered them to let us know. Their response was,you have dogs barking? Evidently the barking isn't bothering them.

From discussions, I've heard on BW, it is a good idea to develop a good relationship with your neighbors just in case barking ever becomes an issue. I can't remember who it is or even if it was on this site, but someone mentioned their neighbor has a bunny running aound in their back yard that is driving their beagle crazy. Short of not letting the dog outside, the only thing I can think to do is develop the relationship so you can talk about it when and if barking becomes a problem.
 

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My Beagle runs to the end farthest corner of the backyard, and howls his butt off!! I have to walk out there, and scratch his back to get him to hush up! He then follows me back inside without a second thought. Its a very strange process that him and I go through on a nightly basis.

No one has ever complained though, fortunatly.
 

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Our neighbors with whom we share a chain length fence have two bassets that do their fair share of baying, so they don't mind Willie (the neighbors, that is...the bassets definitely do seem to mind him...we're new to the neighborhood, and it's clearly THEIRS, hah).

He really doesn't bay too much, he is a beagle mix, and while he's retained most beagle characteristics, he doesn't seem to have inherited the typical beagle howl. He does bark territorially at certain dogs (not all), and he does bark if a rabbit is anywhere in his field of vision, either out in the yard, on a walk, or through a window. He also barks when initially crated when I leave for work. I don't know how long he barks, but I assume my neighbors would tell me if it went on all day, so he must settle down at some point.
 

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sometimes EB would howl at night while running in the yard and his howl was very piercing and unpleasant, it has gotten better sounding with age. he responded well to an anti-bark collar. which we would put on him at night. eventually he discovered where we keep it during the day and chewed it up.
our old house had a wooden privacy fence and we had some success with framing out small windows so he could see what was happening on the other side. of course that only works if the fence is yours. neighbors might complain if you cut windows in their fence.
 
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