A dog should be allowed to bark. After all, that is one reason we have dogs, to alert us. We would just like to control the “on and off switch.” It’s the rare human who hasn’t yelled at their dog, “Quiet" or "Shut Up!” when the dog is barking at the doorbell, a noise, or at you to get your attention. We think that if we raise the volume of our voice, this ...read more
A dog should be allowed to bark. After all, that is one reason we have dogs, to alert us. We would just like to control the “on and off switch.” It’s the rare human who hasn’t yelled at their dog, “Quiet" or "Shut Up!” when the dog is barking at the doorbell, a noise, or at you to get your attention. We think that if we raise the volume of our voice, this will create the energy needed to get our dogs to respond. An explanation of why we yell comes from our closest relative, the chimp, who moves up the social ladder by making the most noise with screams and throwing things about. But dogs don’t respond as primates do. Dogs view our loud vocalizations as a lack of control and a sign of fear. While a loud noise can get the dogs attention, it doesn’t get their respect.
There are several reasons a dog barks. Watchdog barking tells an intruder to watch out, I see you. A fearful dog barks excessively. The louder the dog gets, the more panicked they become. Barking signals a call for help to the pack. Ask any multi-dog household, if one dog barks, they all come barking.
It’s pointless to try and stop barking by getting louder.
Instead, get up and move toward your dog with really yummy treat. (Not kibble or a biscuit, use chicken, hot dogs, whatever your dog is crazy for).
Have this treat quickly accessible. Walk toward your dog saying “Enough”, put the treat within an inch of his nose so he gets a good whiff. He’ll stop barking to smell the treat. Don’t give it to him yet.
Lure him away from what he is barking at saying “Good Boy”. Give him the treat. Practice this when your dog is not overly excited. Have a spouse or friend knock at the front door or ring the bell. Follow the steps in the above paragraph.
Set up this and other situations and practice over and over. When your dog is getting good at turning away from the door, wait for longer and longer silences before giving the treat.
This is not an easy thing to train. Barking is linked to physiological arousal and instinct, as some breeds are breed to bark. Be patient. It might take a few months of brief training sessions, about 5-10 times a week. But, it will be rewarding when you say “Enough” and your dog turns to you in silence, looking for a treat. Once it is learned, you can treat randomly.
Silly as it may seem, teaching your dog to bark on command gives you control to stop the barking by saying “enough” as stated above. Pick a stimulus that makes your dog bark, such as the doorbell. Have someone outside the door ready to ring the bell. You say “Speak”, the person outside rings the bell, which makes your dog bark. After several repetitions, the command Speak will be enough to make your dog bark. Continue with the steps above to accomplish the “enough or quiet” command. At other times, when your dog has no reason to bark, get his attention, command “Speak”, after he barks, say “Enough”, wait for several seconds of quiet, then give a treat and praise “Good Dog”.
Behavioral Terminology: What are they talking about?
You hear dog trainers tossing around training terms that don’t make sense to you? Here’s a look into decoding the lingo.
The definitions are generally accepted among behaviorists (which is where this terminology is standardized): Whether a given act is reinforcement or punishment is defined by what the dog does in the future. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it, it's the dog ...read more
The title might sound political but it isn't. Rather, this is written from the dogs point of view for owners who don't seem to "get it" despite their best intentions, and the advice of a qualified professional.
Dear owner, your dog would like you to know:
- Despite you giving us human names, we are in fact dogs that react to you and our environment.
- What is most important to us is not who ...
Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children.
'Seizure Alert' dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure. There are dogs that can detect cancer before medical tests can. With these incredible capabilities, it is hard to deny the effect that our own energy can have on our dogs. The idea of sharing "good energy" is not just a “woo-woo” concept reserved ...read more