How to Train Your Cairn Terrier Dog to Not Bark

Medium
1-3 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Cairn Terriers are loyal, lively, and intelligent, which should make them easy to train. But because these dogs seem like they need to be on the move constantly, training certain behaviors such as not barking can be challenging. Many say Cairn Terriers are untrainable because they are so stubborn, but the reality is that with the proper training techniques you would be amazed at the many things you can train your terrier to do.

One of the most important things about training a Cairn Terrier is that they need lots of consistency in the training program. You simply can't go about training your pup not to bark on a willy-nilly basis. You have to work at it every day, preferably in several short sessions each day if you want the training to be successful. Anything less will only lead to failure and a much harder time the next time you try to train your pup to be quiet. 

Defining Tasks

There are, of course, going to be times when you want your pup to bark, such as when a stranger comes to the door or he sees someone lurking around outside. But even then, you want your pup to bark in a controlled manner, not going off on a barking jag. The best way to teach your terrier to be quiet is to first teach him to bark on command and while you are doing so, teach him to be quiet on command as well.

Before you start working on training your dog to be quiet, he should have mastered the four command basic commands of 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. Not only does this show his ability to master commands, but it will help you while you work to break your pup of his barking habit. By the time you are done, your pup will only bark either when you ask him to or when the situation demands it. 

Getting Started

Since this training is all about breaking a bad habit, you really don't need much in the way of supplies. Instead, it will take plenty of time and patience to get the point where your pup learns when it's okay to bark and when it's not. However, you will need a healthy supply of his favorite treats, and a place to train him where you won't be bothering the rest of the house. 

The Capture Quiet Method

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Step
1
It all starts with treats
Pick up a bag of your terrier's favorite treats, go for some nice smelly, chewy ones.
Step
2
Catch him in the act
Catch your pup in the act of barking and wait him out. Eventually, he is going to tire himself out and stop barking.
Step
3
When he stops
The moment your pup stops barking, be right there to tell him what a good dog he is and to give him a treat. The idea here is that your dog learns to associate the fact he stopped barking with being rewarded.
Step
4
Add the cue word
Repeat the above, but this time add in the cue word "Quiet!" when he stops and before you give him his treat for being a good boy.
Step
5
Add duration
Once your pup has the basic concept, it's time to start adding more time between when he stops barking and when you give him the treat. If he starts barking before you give him the treat, cut back a little on the time and start working your way up again.
Step
6
Keep on rollin'
Keep working with your pup to stretch out the time between when he stops barking and when you give him a treat until you reach the point at which he will stop barking when you tell him to be quiet without the need for a treat. In time, your pup will only bark when it's appropriate.
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The Talk to Me Method

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Step
1
Leash time
Put your pup on his leash, as this sets the tone for the rest of the training. It also lets your pup know who is in charge.
Step
2
Give the 'speak' command
Give your dog the command you use to make him speak, it can be "Speak", "Talk to me" or anything, just stick with the one you choose. The minute he starts to bark, tell your pup to be "Quiet!" using a firm voice without yelling.
Step
3
Wait for it
It may take a few seconds for your pup to stop barking, but be patient and the moment he finally stops, give him a treat and praise him.
Step
4
Add time to the task
Now that you have your pup learning to be quiet on command, you need to start spacing out the time between when he stops barking and when you give him a treat. This helps him to learn that you expect him to be quiet for long periods of time. It also teaches him that the faster he stops barking, the sooner he gets his treat.
Step
5
Keep working it
Keep working with your dog on this task until he will consistently stop barking the moment you give him the command. With this, he should be able to be left home alone without your having to worry about him getting in trouble for barking incessantly.
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The Ignorance is Bliss Method

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Step
1
Create a treat stash
Put together a healthy stash of your pup's favorite treats and put them in your pocket. You will be using them to reward your dog for good behavior.
Step
2
Enjoy each other's company
Start spending time with your pup in the environment that seems to set your Cairn Terrier off on a barking jag.
Step
3
Ignorance is a wonderful thing
When it comes to training your pup to stop barking, ignorance can be a truly wonderful thing. Each time he barks, simply ignore him by turning away from him. The idea here is that your pup needs to put the fact that you are ignoring him together with the fact he is barking.
Step
4
When he stops
When your crazy pooch finally stops barking, catch him at the exact moment he stops and introduce the cue word, "Quiet!" to him. Then give him a treat.
Step
5
Keep repeating the training
Repeat this training in various situations and locations, making sure to praise him and give him a treat each time he gets it right. It may take a while, but in time your pup will finally realize that his crazy barking is never going to earn him any treats.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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