How to Train Your Collie Dog to Not Bark

How to Train Your Collie Dog to Not Bark
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-6 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Collies make wonderful farm dogs, herding dogs, and family pets. But like all dogs, they have a tendency to bark and not always for a good reason. Sometimes, it can seem as though your pup is simply barking to hear his own voice. Collies are active dogs with an easygoing temperament. They are highly intelligent and learn most new behaviors very quickly. However, you may find that when it comes to vocalizing their feelings, teaching your pup to be quiet can be more than a little challenging.

Collies can be taught just about anything, but they tend to be a bit on the stubborn side. If you want your pup to stop barking, you have to decide which method you are going to use and stick with it. You'll need to work with him every day in several short sessions for as long as it takes for him to finally figure out that barking when he feels like it is simply not acceptable behavior. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Defining Tasks

The first thing you need to do when you get ready to train your pup to not bark is to realize that there are times when do you want your dog to bark. These include when someone is at the door, if someone is trying to break in, or if there is a fire in your home. But of course, no one wants a dog that is going to bark like a madman for seemingly no reason. Most trainers believe the best way to teach a dog to not bark is to first teach him when it is okay for him to bark.

There is one thing about training your pup to be quiet that has to be taken care of first. Your pup needs to have mastered the four basic commands of 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. This accomplishes two things: first, it establishes who is in charge and second, it gives you an idea of how quickly your pup can learn new things. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Getting Started

Unlike many tricks that require a long list of supplies like toys, leashes, dummies, etc. teaching your dog not to bark requires very little in the way of supplies. In fact, the only things you really need are plenty of patience, time for training, and a healthy supply of his favorite treats.

The rest is all about having plenty of time and patience to keep working with your pup teaching him when it's okay to bark and that he should be quiet the rest of the time. Ideally, you should have already taught your pup to speak on command.

arrow-up-icon

Top

The Catch Him in the Act Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Grab those treats

Pick up a bag of your pup's favorite chewy treats to use as rewards when he gets things right.

2

When next he barks

The next time he barks at the wrong time, keep an eye on him until he gets tired of hearing his own voice and stops barking.

3

The moment he stops

The moment he stops barking, be standing by his side so you can praise him and give him one of those treats. Do this several times to reinforce how when he stopped barking, he was praised and received a treat.

4

Add the command

The next time he barks, wait until he stops, introduce the command word "Quiet!" and then give him the treat. Repeat a few times to give him time to associate the command word with the action and the treat.

5

Stretch it out

At this point, you should start extending the time between when your dog stops barking, and you reward him. The more you work with him, the sooner he will learn not to bark when you say "Quiet!" and in time will only bark when he has a good reason.

The Speak to Me Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

On the leash

Call your pup over and clip him on his leash. This lets him know who the boss is. It also helps you maintain control of him.

2

Introduce the 'speak' command

Give your pup's 'speak' command, but the moment he starts to bark, tell him to be "Quiet!" in a firm, no-nonsense tone.

3

Patience, my friend

Patiently wait for your pup to stop barking. The moment he finally stops, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this to help your pup associate the command with the action and the reward.

4

It's all about the timing

So, you've taught your pup to stop barking on command with an immediate reward. Now you need to teach him to hold his tongue for a longer period of time. The way to do this is to start stretching out the time between his stopping his barking and when he gets his treat.

5

Make it stick

The rest is up to you, you need to spend as much time as possible working with your pup. In time, he will learn that he should only bark at the appropriate times and the rest of the time you and your family can finally enjoy a little peace and quiet.

The Turn Away Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Pop some treats

Pop a handful of treats in your pocket that you can use to reward your pup when he gets things right.

2

Out to train

Take your dog to one of the areas that cause him to bark incessantly and spend a little time with him playing around.

3

When he barks

Each time he starts barking, simply turn away from him and completely ignore him. The idea here is for your dog to put 2 and 2 together or, in this case, the fact that when he barks you turn away from him.

4

When all is quiet

The moment your dog stops barking, give him your "Quiet" command and give him a treat.

5

And further on

Keep repeating this training, choosing different locations, with distractions and without them, and every time he gets it right, give him a treat. This method can take a little while, but your pup will eventually learn that there are no rewards to his crazy non-stop barking at everything.

By PB Getz

Published: 01/05/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

Have a question?

Training Questions and Answers

Dog nametag icon

Teddie

Dog breed icon

Bearded Collie

Dog age icon

9 Months

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

User generated photo

Excessive barking and biting in the evenings.. We have lots of toys and play with him to stimulate him but every evening for about 3 hours he doesn’t stop barking and biting

July 7, 2022

Teddie's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello David, I would start by desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle so you can train and interact without being bitten throughout. The muzzle won't stop the barking or do the training for you though, it's just to give the opportunity for you to work through this. Use a basket muzzle in this case so it will be more comfortable and pup can still open their mouth and take treats through the muzzle's holes in this case. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XzwUmSHyIc I would work on teaching pup what Quiet means also. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark As well as Leave It and Out and Place for the biting -especially Leave It: Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s When you play with pup, I would work on bringing pup's arousal down by practicing commands and games that challenge pup mentally and are more structured than rough - like practicing Watch Me, Heel, Sit-Stay, Down-Sit-Stand, and staying with you during tight turns and changes in speed throughout your walk - keeping pup working and thinking to help wear them out not just physically but also mentally, so they are calmer once they get home. Some dogs get more aroused and rough after playing or exercising, instead of being tired and calm - those dogs tend to benefit from a lot of structure and some mental work - like cramming for a test where you have to concentrate or solving a tough problem, opposed to running after a soccer ball - it's a different type of tired. Finally, reward calmness, obedience to your commands, and quietness in the evenings. If you catch pup lying quietly on place chewing a chew toy nicely - give a treat between their paws without saying much and then walk away - keeping the energy and your rewarding calm still. If pup tries to rough house and bite (with the basket muzzle on ahead of time preventatively) and isn't responding to your commands such as Leave It, then I would correct with something like a low level remote training collar on vibration of working level stimulation, or another interrupter as long as that interrupter isn't super harsh or arousing. The remote collar is less connected to you and easier to be calmer and more consistent with that some other options, but it's not the only option. Avoid citronella sprays though. The citronella scent lingers for a long time, continuing to correct a dog after they stop the unwanted behavior so it can be confusing and unexpectedly harsh because of how sensitive a dog's nose is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdXrHTs3axk Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

July 8, 2022

Dog nametag icon

Atlas

Dog breed icon

Bearded Collie Border Collie mix

Dog age icon

7 Months

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

He is good at come and sit and down, but barks and can bite a lot. We'v tried trainers and training but nothing seems to help?

Oct. 16, 2021

Atlas's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, First, for the barking, I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with him so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - which will be a form of punishment - neither too harsh nor ineffective. An e-collar or Pet Convincer are two of the most effective types of interrupter for most dogs. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). An e-collar, aka remote training collar, uses stimulation to interrupt the dog. Only use a high quality e-collar for this, such as E-collar technologies mini educator, Dogtra, SportDog, or Gamin. A good collar should have at least 40 levels, the more levels the more accurately you can train - finding the lowest level your dog will respond to, called a "Working level" so the training is less adverse. In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Most bark training only gives part of that equation. Fitting an e-collar - it should be put on while he is calm, just standing around - Ideally have him wear the collar around for a while before starting any training so he won't associate the training with the collar but just with his barking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Finding the level to use for him (sometimes you will have to go 1 or 2 levels higher during training while the dog is aroused but once he improves you can usually decrease back to his normal level again) - this training level is called a dog's "Working level": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T bark around something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. For the biting, I would work on things that increase pup's impulse control. The following are good commands to help increase impulse control. Leave It and Out and Place can specifically be used with the biting. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Check out James Penrith from taketheleaddogtraining on youtube. If pup is easily aroused, higher energy, and higher drive, he works with a lot of dogs who fit that description. Sean O'Shea is a trainer online who you may also find helpful. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Oct. 18, 2021


Wag! Specialist
Need training help?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.