What to do about dog barking

Barking dogsA question comes in on problem barking:

Q: Any suggestion as to how we can work with our dog when she is sitting in our yard, and barking at others who walk pass our house?

A: Barking is self-reinforcing. That means you don’t have to do anything for the behavior to become a habit. That is why bark collars (the citronella and static shock kind) work – they give a negative correction when the bark happens, breaking the habit. But, before deciding on one of those, I like to try to train the dog to “quiet” on command. To do so, you have find a way to encourage them to bark, and name it a command name (like “speak” or “defend”). When you say that command word, knock on the wall or do what it takes to get the dog to bark. Then, after they bark 3 or 4 times, say, “QUIET” and “Watch!” As they turn toward you, give a treat. So you begin to associate “quiet” with a treat. The other thing you can try is to tell her to “leave it” as she is barking and call her to “come“. Once she is next to you, treat her and bring her inside.

Really, most dogs will bark and that is ok – it just becomes a problem when we have no off switch or if the barking becomes excessive – as can be the case for a dog who isn’t getting enough exercise or stimulation. You have to assess the situation and see what applies to you.

March 20, 2010 • Tags: , , , , , , • Posted in: advice, behavior, recommended products, training

One Response to “What to do about dog barking”

  1. What to do about dog barking | CanineFostering.com | Stop Dog Barking Problems - March 21st, 2010

    […] here: What to do about dog barking | CanineFostering.com Category: Stop Dog Barking  Tags: barking, our-yard, problem, question-comes, result, […]

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