Does your dog constantly bark at the post man, neighbours or at anyone s/he sees within a 10ft radius? Then this article by Humane Society is for you.
Here's a list of six techniques that can help stop your dog from barking. While all of them can be very successful, you shouldn't expect miraculous results overnight. The longer your dog has been practicing the barking behaviour, the longer it will take for him to change his ways.
Some of these training techniques require you to have an idea as to why your dog barks.
Always remember to keep these tips in mind while training:
- Don't yell at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you're barking along with him.
- Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat.
- Be consistent so you don't confuse your dog. Everyone in your family must apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. You can't let your dog get away with inappropriate barking some times and not others.
Remove the Motivation
Your dog gets some kind of reward when he barks. Otherwise, he wouldn't do it. Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don't give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behaviour.
Example: Barking at passersby
- If he barks at people or animals passing by the living room window, manage his behaviour by closing the curtains or putting your dog in another room.
- If he barks at passersby when he's in the yard, bring him into the house. Never leave your dog outside unsupervised all day and night.
Ignore the Barking
Ignore your dog's barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don't give him any attention at all while he's barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don't talk to him, don't touch him, and don't even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat.
To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. If he barks for an hour and you finally get so frustrated that you yell at him to be quiet, the next time he'll probably bark for an hour and a half. He learns that if he just barks long enough you'll give him attention.
Example: Barking when confined
- When you put your dog in his crate or in a gated room, turn your back and ignore him.
- Once he stops barking, turn around, praise him, and give him a treat.
- As he catches on that being quiet gets him a treat, lengthen the amount of time he must remain quiet before being rewarded.
- Remember to start small by rewarding him for being quiet for just a few seconds, then working up to longer periods of quiet.
- Keep it fun by varying the amount of time. Sometimes reward him after 5 seconds, then 12 seconds, then 3 seconds, then 20 seconds, and so on.
Continue reading the post over on HumaneSociety.org
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