You’re lying in bed at night when you hear a faint and peculiar sound coming from downstairs. You quickly wake up your partner and beg them to go downstairs and check. Thankfully, they return two minutes later holding the bedside lamp. All is clear, you can sleep easy again. There is a quick and easy solution to fears about intruders though, and that’s to train your dog to bark at them. If he barks when intruders approach the door, you will always be quickly alerted and it will also act as a pretty effective deterrent.
If you have children, valuable possessions, and cars then a barking dog can come in very handy. Studies have found dogs are the biggest burglary deterrents, so if you can train him to bark at any intruder, you can sleep peacefully every night.
The good news is training your dog to bark at intruders is surprisingly straightforward. It is achieved by teaching him obedience commands so he barks on cue, but also so that certain situations will trigger a bark too. You will need to manage their environment so they can notice intruders swiftly and respond appropriately. If your dog is a puppy, he will respond to training in as little as a few days. If your dog is older and spent many years without using his voice, then he may need a little while longer to catch on.
Getting this training right could be essential for keeping your home and family safe and sound. Every year, homes are successfully protected by dogs and nothing puts the fear of God into intruders more than a chilling bark.
Before you bring the roof down with your barking dog, you will need to get together a few bits and pieces. His favorite food or a selection of treats will play an important role in training, as they will be used to incentivize and reward him.
You will also need a quiet place, free from distractions to train and probably somewhere that isn’t going to make you your neighbors’ arch enemy. You will also need some brave volunteers who are unknown to your dog to test the efficacy of the training.
Once you have all of that, just set aside 10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks and come with a can-do attitude.
My room mate untrained my dog to bark at any noise including the gate and chain link fence sounds and also knocks on doors or house. How can I undo what he did? I want her to bark at every noise. I live in a bad neighborhood and need her to bark at everything even when she is inside.
Hello Shannon, Find something that she will bark at, like a recording of other dogs, the doorbell, a siren, a cat, or anything else. Use that thing to trigger her barking. While she is barking, excitedly tell her to "Speak!" or a similar word you would like to use when she sees people later, such as "Alert!". As she is barking, praise her and reward her with a treat. Practice triggering the barking while telling her to "Speak!" and rewarding and praising her until she will bark when you say "Speak" without the trigger, like the doorbell, present. When she has learned to "Speak!", then whenever she sees people somewhere that you would like for her to bark at, like out your window or at your door, command "Speak!" and reward with a treat. Recruit people to be in that area frequently so that you can practice this often, if you don't have enough people present to practice this very often. Practice this so often that she begins to bark before you give the "Speak!" command. When she does so, reward her with five treats, one treat a time. At that point, wait until she barks on her own before you reward her. If she doesn't bark within seven seconds of seeing a person, give her a hint though and tell her to "Speak!", then reward with one treat. Eventually if you practice this and reward her barking at people automatically she should offer the behavior and bark at people on her own in hopes of getting a treat. Once she is doing that you can give less and less treats overtime and use praise and other rewards like a toy, instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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