Some Simple Steps to Stop Barking
How was I going to stop my dog barking?
There is only one thing more annoying to me than a dog barking persistently at what seems to be anything that moves, breaths, speaks, tweets or bangs.
That is a dog that does not stop barking when told too.
The picture in this intro is of my dog Fluffy, at 14 weeks old. He is a Bichon cross Pomeranian, very fluffy and very clever.
He is now 4 years old, still as fluffy.
3 months ago he was driving me up the wall with his barking.
The neighbors never said anything even though I am so sure Fluffy's barking and my continual shouting must of irritated them.
I decided I needed to change my tactics, and like any modern women my first stop for information was Google.
There was lots of advice and helpful tips.
After speaking with my local vet to make sure the internet info was correct, I stocked up on treats and started my war on my barking fluff ball.
Stop Barking with your Dog
When Fluffy barks, I would leave him to it for a while hoping that he would lose interest. When he did not stop I would then storm outside and tell him in a loud authoritative voice to stop barking, which he would do for as long as it took me to shout. As soon as I finished he continued barking. So clearly that was not working.
One way that was a sure fire way to get him inside was to rattle the treat packet. Also not the right way to get him to stop barking.
I have found out that shouting at your dog, makes him think that you are joining in the fun. Which makes him bark more as it is great fun to have a barking mate.
The best thing to do is totally ignore your dog, when he stops barking praise him and give a treat.
By giving a treat as I was doing when he was barking, I was rewarding him for barking.
Discover the Cause of the Barking
Dogs do not bark for no reason, they usually have seen or heard something that they feel their family needs protecting from.
Some examples: A person that has walked to close to the property.
The postman touching the families post box.
A car back firing, giving your dog a fright.
Another dog sniffing close to the fence.
So what should one do to reduce these triggers?
Remove your dog from the cause. If it is people walking on the road, bring him inside, keep him on the side of the house facing away from the road, close the curtain of the window facing the road.
If it is the children next door playing ball bring him inside.
Try not to leave your dog unattended outside for long periods of time as this can cause him to bark more as a form of entertainment.
Stop your dog Barking
To teach your dog to stop barking on command, it is suggested that you teach him to bark(speak) on command.
To get Fluffy to bark, I got my son to ring the door bell. My son was 5 years old so he thought this was great fun. I then said in a firm voice, 'quiet' bringing my hand to my mouth at the same time.
When he stopped barking for the count of 10seconds I'd give him a treat.
I got my whole family to carry treats in their pockets so that they could also contribute to the training.
It took Fluffy a month to master this, if I was not working full time I am sure it would have been quicker.
Unfortunately, the same command did not work when people came to visit.
Some Yummy Treats
Distraction Tactics to Stop Barking
When the 'quiet' command did not work as effectively when people came to visit, I tried removing Fluffy to another room and closing the door.
All this did was make him bark more and scratch the paint of my bedroom door.
I asked my friends to just ignore him. He would quieten down after a while but would start up again as soon as they moved.
I decided to buy a dog whistle which I used as soon as he started barking, this worked for me. When he stopped barking I gave it to the the count of ten, then gave him his treat with lots of praise.
If the whistle does not work try distracting him, make a sudden noise such as banging a door or clapping, but the trick here is to make sure your dog does not know where the sound comes from. When he stops barking for 10 seconds give him a treat.
You can also throw a toy towards him but be careful not to hit him or let him see you do it.
It is Natural For a Dog to Bark
With the consistent training I gave Fluffy I have not stopped him barking completely, but have managed to teach him to stop on command.
It was not a quick process and even now he sometimes does not listen.
This usually happens when he is out in the yard and the neighbors children are skating or playing outside our house. He barks at this time because he loves children and has the most fun when my son is playing with him. I feel he just wants to go play. Picking him up and taking him inside solves the problem.
No matter what works for you and your dog, always remember to be firm, loving and give him lots of praise when he gets it right.
After all, he lives to love and please you. You are his world.