Hi...
I've read a ton of messages regarding barking on this board, and I know that my dog is bred to protect... sheep, mostly. The thing is, I have no sheep and I don't really need protection. Can anyone out there give me breed-specific advice on her? She barks at all dogs, all humans, any sudden movement, noises, etc... and viciously. And now that I'm living on a well traveled street, things have gotten excruciating. I've tried a spray collar... I've tried telling her I understand and it's a boring stimulus... I've even put her on puppy prozac. No avail and she's driving me nuts. Any hope?
Thanks.
Chris
I've read a ton of messages regarding barking on this board, and I know that my dog is bred to protect... sheep, mostly.

BCs and Aussies aren't livestock guardian dogs, though many are known for barking.
The thing is, I have no sheep and I don't really need protection. Can anyone out there give me breed-specific advice on her?

Herding breeds tend to bond very closely to their primary handler. Early and plenty of socialisation can mitigate this somewhat, though learned behaviour can present some difficulties. How old is your dog? What do you do with her for exercise and training?
Your dog needs some well supervised socialisation. Experiments with aversives and drugs are time and money better spent with a competent trainer.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Thanks for the note, Matt. My bad thinking an Australian sheepdog watched sheep and a border collie watched borders. She's 3. She has a pal in the house, a golden mix, who's mellow as can be... but he's starting to get antsy now because of her. We've tried walking her around other people, cars, bikes,etc. but she doesn't seem to be relaxing at all. It seems like, as I read in another post, she "needs" to bark, and might explode if she can't. I throw a ball for her and walk her... and that seems to help a bit. It appears you're saying more would be better. Suggestions?
My bad thinking an Australian sheepdog watched sheep and a border collie watched borders.

I don't understand the above.
She's 3. She has a pal in the house, a golden mix, who's mellow as can be... but he's starting to get antsy now because of her. We've tried walking her around other people, cars, bikes,etc. but she doesn't seem to be relaxing at all.

That's a good start. What are you doing when she does or, more importantly, doesn't respond to what normally makes her uncomfortable?
It seems like, as I read in another post, she "needs" to bark, and might explode if she can't.

I disagree with that.
I throw a ball for her and walk her... and that seems to help a bit. It appears you're saying more would be better. Suggestions?

It's really good that exercise seems to take the edge off your dog. In one sense, more is better, but not always. Border Collies, for example, can become fixated on ball retrieval to the point of obsession when that's their only activity.

You need to tire out both muscle and mind. With my herding breed dogs, I do a lot of off-leash stuff swimming and running and ball throwing as well as agility, which combines mental with physical exercise. Herding, obedience (and its variants), and tracking are a few more examples of activities which'll keep your dog mentally occupied and provide socialisation.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
As well as Matt's excellent advice, I would restrict her access/view to the trigger stimulation (i.e. what triggers her to bark). I have a smooth collie, Lucy, who came to me at 22 months with a terrible problem with barking at bikes, strollers, kids, walkers, joggers, mowers, etc. We especially disliked her fence & window charging (rushing at the fence/window with a roar). In Lucy's situation, I controlled her access to the stimulation. IMHO, every time she engages in that obnoxious barking behavior without us there to correct/redirect, the more engrained the barking habit becomes and the harder it will be to stop.
Our living room has a big picture window overlooking a heavily traveled street. Early on when she was a real bozo, I kept her gated in the kitchen (back of the house) when I was out. I only let her out in our fenced back yard when I'm there to redirect. If she barks, she has to come in. If she's so wound up that she can't hear me, I go out and get her. The other key thing about controlling her access to stimulation is to remember that people tease dogs.

That's why Lucy came with her barking behavior: where she used to live, the owners backyard was against a field where kids would ride their ATV & motorcross bikes. Running ATVs & motorcross bikes would trigger many dogs but these kids would do things to make the dogs crazy (rushing at the fence and braking hard, yelling at the dogs then revving, spinning around and take off with the dirt spraying the dog back yard.). And even though I have a backyard that is well set back from the street, I once heard Lucy go nuts and went out to find a girl (guessimate about 9-10ish) throwing rocks at her.We've had Lucy now for 2 years and she's much better. When I'm near her in the house or yard and she sees one of her nemesis (An Evil Bike!), she'll talk (soft woof along with a muttering "wa-wa-wa" sound) about the situation ("Look! it's an Evil Bike. Why don't you understand? Bikes are Evil. And it's on My Street. This is SO wrong."). If she's in the backyard and I'm in the house, she will still sometime bark at passing bikes but it's less anxious/urgent/panicked like before.

But even though she's better, I would never let her in the backyard or, now that the windows are open for fresh air, in the living room when I'm not home. A week ago, I came home from work by bus instead of car, Lucy didn't recognize me and started up a furious alarm when she saw some lady Emotion: it wasnt me dare walk on the street in front of her house. Well, that's not acceptable so back in the kitchen she goes when I'm at work. I must say the expression on her face when she realized it was me was funny ("Oh *** - it's the boss.

Ahhh hi Chris - no I wasn't barking at You - there was an monster - yes a Monster- right behind you but I scared it away. Really.").
Chris and her smoothies,
Pablo the Good and Lucy the Goose