So I've been trying to teach NO BARK for, hmm, 3 1/2 years.
You know how schools of fish just suddenly change direction all at once? If the dogs want to bark, they all jump up at once and run in the same direction. It can happen from a dead sleep. They usually do this when I'm in the shower or still getting ready in the bathroom because they know I can't come and correct them. (I don't ever give a command that I'm not prepared to enforce, and from the bathroom, I'm not prepared to enforce; so whatever happens, I have to let it go). If I can catch them (or even one) still in the room and not barking all ready, I reward with praise and sometimes a cookie. Nessie has always gotten way more cookies for this than the twins.
Then McKenzie started to realize that Nessie was still in there getting cookies. "Hey! What's up with that" ? So she started jumping up and running into the bathroom instead of to the front room window. :0) I thought Malcolm was a lost cause though. He has always continued to bark at the window, but he's been doing it alone for a while now. No one joins him. He was left there to finally figure out that he wasn't attracting too much attention from his sisters. That couldn't have been very rewarding for him.
About a month or two ago, he began to realize that he wasn't getting the girls riled up. So he sauntered into the bathroom to find them both getting cookies. All he got was my finger shaking at him and the command NO BARK. And as much as he drooled, he never got a cookie.
The past two weeks have been hilarious! I now have a pack that jumps up from a sound sleep, runs in a panic in one direction (toward the front room), stops, turns, and runs in the same panic in the opposite direction (toward the bathroom). They do not make a sound with their vocal chords--just the sound of a herd of elephants running through the hallway. I see them all sitting in the bathroom, some drooling, some inching closer to the cookie jar until I give them a cookie and praise. :0)))))))))))))) My next step has already begun. I don't give cookies every single time. Sometimes they have to wait a long long time to get one and sometimes they don't get one at all. But they always get the praise for doing the right thing. It's so funny to see the 're-programming' that is going on. Jump up and run into the bathroom. HA!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :0)