I have an English Cocker that reacts every time I go swimming. He runs round the pool at high speed and barks constantly. I have a cross cocker/poodle that does the same but aslo jumps into the pool and swims after me. How can I stop them from barking?
This kind of problem generally comes about from the dog getting too much affection in his life at the wrong time and moment. When you get home or go to the pool and the dog barks or wines you must not give attention to him and instead claim the space of the pool and ensure that he backs away. The dog needs to understand the rules, boundaries and limitations. Below are some links with summaries of what you should read up on to try help correct the negative behaviors.
Your dog needs to be challenged physically everyday, this would generally be a walk for a min of 45 minutes a day depending on the breed and energy level type of the dog. At the moment his way of releasing pent up energy, is his barking when at the pool. I recommend trying to take your dog for an hour or more long walk. I also recommend you read the section Mastering the Walk, by walking your dog you will release his pent up energy. Once this is done, then take repeat the pool swim like you did before. If you walked him he should be more calm and relaxed around the pool. Remember, even if you have an enormous back garden, your dog still needs to be walked every single day for a minimum of 45 min.
If step 1 wasn’t 100% successful, then complete step one and when around the pool if the dog barks, get out the pool and stand in front of him with your hands on your hips, chest out, chin up and focus on claiming your space. The dog must back away first, when he does move more into his space until he backs away more. Don’t worry if you have to repeat this 50-100 times. A good pack leader is one who shows consistency and patience. This is causing to give up the pool to you. Also you may may give a quick firm jab to the neck mimicking a dog bite to the neck. Remember we are not hitting the dog, just giving a quick corrective bite or nip.
The whole time make sure you maintain a calm assertive energy. If you try to claim your space or do a correction and your energy level is angry, frustrated, impatient or worried, then the dog will ignore and not listen to what you are communicating.