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.
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.
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.
Maggie seems to bark at random dogs and people. She is a wonderful dog apart from this behaviour
Hello, when you have Maggie out on walks, be constantly working on her heel command. This will have her focusing on you as you walk, and less likely to bark at people and dogs. Try the Stop and Go Method and the Turns Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Also work on the Quiet Method as described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark. This command will come in handy in any instance, whether inside the home or outside. Be consistent and practice 20 minutes a day. Border Collies are very smart, so she'll pick up on it quickly. Make sure that Maggie gets tons of exercise and she'll continue to be a wonderful dog. Take her to dog training to ensure that she is getting socialized with other dogs. If she is not, she may tend to bark at them. Good luck!
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At 11 weeks. (We just got him 2 days ago from a breeder) Is it to early to start training. Or is it the earlier the better?
Hello! The earlier the better. You can start teaching 1-2 new commands per week, and practicing them daily in 10 minute blocks of time. You can extend the time up to about 20 minutes as your puppy gets older.
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Callie barks constantly, and I mean constantly, at everything. She also jumps on people and things, often scratching us and sometimes biting us (not in an aggressive way, just when she’s playing). We have 3 cats, and she is always chasing them, no matter how many times we correct her. We’ve tried everything. If we ignore her, she barks even louder. If we try to scold her, it startles her for a second and then she goes back to barking. The only thing that even sort of works is when we constantly throw her toys, but even then she gets easily distracted by the cats or our other dog. I don’t want to be convinced that she’ll grow out of this, only to figure out when she’s an adult that it won’t go away. What should we do?
Hello Kate, First, for the barking, I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with her 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 - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. 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!). 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. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing her a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever she DOESN'T bark around something that she normally would have, calmly praise and reward her throughout the day to continue the desensitization process. By doing this you are conditioning pup to stay calm more often automatically on her own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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