Training Dogs to Stop Barking

Giovannas Dog Training

Contact Us: 831-359-6926

Training Dogs to stop Barking

  Attempts to control dogs from excessive Barking can seem futile to dog owners. It’s not only annoying to neighbors but nerve-racking to the owners. It’s a behavior that owners will finally stop trying to control out of frustration. It then becomes a matter of how much the owner can tolerate before attempting to move the dog.  In the dogs world barking has become a natural behavior. Some dog experts believe Domesticated canines bark for more reasons than their ancestors the wolf ever have. 

  Potential adoption dog owners should screen for this behavior  thoroughly before bringing a dog home.  However, assessing this behavior from a shelter or rescue dog sometimes is difficult. Dogs in these facilities become highly stressed and will vocalize  their discomfort. Once out of the facility and relaxed the need to bark can subside.  If owners have a brand new puppy controlling this behavior at the outset sometimes is easier. The real problem is with dogs that have a low-threshold for the slightest changes or sounds in the environment. 

  Some dog breeds or individuals predisposition  to bark  varies.  Watchdog breeds such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers are excellent at barking  when something looks suspicious and out-of-place.  Beagles and Coonhounds  bark  when picking up smells during hunting. The fact is dogs communicate through barking. Out-of-control barking is the main focus for this discussion. Owners priority is training on/off cues for any type of barking. There are many reasons dogs bark

  Here are a few reasons:Howl

  • Barking Out of boredom
  • Spooky Barking
  • Watchdog Barking
  • Attention Barking

    Barking out of boredom usually means the dog is under-stimulated. Dogs are social and some dogs are more sensitive to loneliness more than others. Dogs can only entertain themselves to a certain point before negative behavior develops. Barking is one of many negatives that can develop early on.  If a dog is alone in the backyard all day this situation needs to change. It’s recommended the dog gets more exercise, playtime, walks, more toys to stimulate the mind, and more interaction with dogs and people. Some owners hire dog walkers and will allow dogs to stay in the house when alone. Dogs when allowed in the house will get a sense of closeness to their owners.

  Spooky Barking is another case of under-socialization as a puppy. A dog uncomfortable with strangers needs slow introductions to new people, new sights and sounds. In essence the dog needs to accept the environment it lives in without being scared. One technique is to Desensitize the dog of the scary objects. This consumes time but the effort can rehabilitate a spooky dog into a confident dog.  Dogs are hand-fed their daily meals from here-on. Give dry food when meeting strangers, when standing on street and watching traffic go by, when near joggers, skateboarders, bicyclists, or noisy objects.  Start off in areas less busy and work  up to busier streets once your dog looks more and more comfortable.

  Watchdog Barking  is easy to understand. The barking  warns the  family of danger or to scare away the danger. Some barking of this type will be appreciated and encouraged by owners. It’s always a matter of the owners having an on/off switch to control the barking.  A common training technique teaches dogs “Bark” andQuiet”  cues.

Bad-Barking-dog Training method to control Watchdog Barking

  With the help of an assistant you’ll train your dog with something that will elicit barking. In this case a doorbell. With the assistant outside and ringing the doorbell you’ll be inside working with your dog. You may use something else if you know it will elicit barking. The sequence will look like this:

  Owner says “Bark

  Doorbell rings or other prompt sounds

  Dog barks

  Owner praises saying “Good” with happy tone

  Say “Quiet”

  Prompt the Quiet with showing a treat.

  Dog distracted by treat and stops Barking.

  Owner waits 3-5 seconds says “Good”

  Owner rewards with treat after complete silence for the 3-5 seconds.

  Repeat sequence but each time show less and less of the treat to prompt. Still reward after the 3-5 seconds of silence.  

  Repeat but the time of silence will extend longer. From 3-5 seconds to 5-7 seconds and so forth. Praise & Reward.

  After using a helper a couple of times you can use imaginary guests to elicit barking

  Many training repetitions in Watchdog Barking  is  recommended to assure dog is competent. When dog begins to Bark on first cue without the doorbell and Quiets on first cue without the sight of a treat the process is working. Reinforcing with treat is still encouraged at the beginning stages. If  dog barks during a quiet moment give a “No Reward Mark” by saying “To Bad ” and turning your back to dog. Repeat Bark and Quiet sequence again until perfect.  Practice at home under different circumstances. When you’re confident with progress of dog it’s time to practice out in public. Anytime dog barks in public practice your techniques. In the beginning dogs will  fail but if owners persevere the results will shortly follow. Failure is part of the training process so hang in there. Although, the less failures the better. So it’s always encouraged to set your dog up to succeed and not fail.

  Attention Barking usually means dogs want something. If a dog can control an owner this is the situation. Owners typically and inadvertently train dogs to become demanding with this type of barking. This is a case of conditioning the humans. It’s a matter of dog barks owners jump. Until owners stop reinforcing this behavior it will continue.

 Owners must take back control by reinforcing proper behavior and ignore barking behavior. The owner starts and ends everything that involves the dog. The owner controls Walk times, Feeding times, playtime, Bed times, Petting times, Elimination times, in essence EVERYTHING !barking dog

  An owner can start a “Barking and Quiet” protocol such as the one described for Watchdog Barking. Reinforcing quiet and calm behavior is also advised. Expecting good obedience is useful to slow your dog down. At feeding time ask for a calm and quiet sit. Immediately put food bowl down when dog complies. When going on walks ask for a calm and quiet sit. You may ask this when dog sees or hears the leash. If dog complies exit out. If dog resists say “To Bad” put leash away. Give dog a couple of minutes to think about it and try again.

  The change in the routine between owner and dog can disturb the dog. Once the pattern changes sometimes dogs amp up their demanding ways. They may amp up the barking. Barking has always worked for them. When owners response to dogs barking stops their solution is to bark harder with more force. Owners must not give in to that behavior. Eventually dogs will submit when they receive nothing for their attempts. Remember dogs only repeat behaviors that work for them.

  With positive reinforcement you can change dogs behavior in a firm but fair way.  Owners should persevere through the first stage of changing the dogs perception of their relationship. Once the dog understands his/her role in the relationship they can relax and the owner will be the leader once again.   Happy Training.

  Giovannas Dog Training provides Private Dog Training, Private Puppy Training, Dog Group Training, and Puppy Group Training.  

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply