Not only does the barking disturb your karma, but the neighbors are getting angsty about it. They have a young baby, and it seems each time they've just got the little one off to sleep, your barking dog rudely awakes her. They have a point really, because you don't like the barking either, but what can you do about it?
You've been told that breed is a barker and nothing will stop him once the habit starts. You're inclined to agree as no matter how loud you shout at the dog, he ignores you and carries on woofing.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then don't worry because you can do something to stop it. Yes, it does take time, and no, it isn't easy, but you will get there in the end when you know what to do.
However, what's even better is if the dog never gets into bad habits in the first place. This means not leaving the dog outside in the yard as a means of exercising himself, as he'll only get up to mischief and you guessed it...bark!
Artemi likes to bark at the neighbors walking by our house especially the children which has resulted in my family getting nasty letters from neighbors.
Hello Nicole, 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. An automatic bark collar can also be used during times when he likes to bark while you aren't there after the initial training is done - so he understands that the correction is for his barking at that point in the training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello, my dogs have been barking a lot lately at my neighbor and I just want then to not bark at them anymore. I’ve tried walking them more and telling them to quiet down calmly. My dogs are Leo (lab/chow) 8 years, Sam( lab/husky) 7 years, Po and Luna (dachshund/ border collie) 4 years. It works on Po and Luna, but Leo and Sam still bark. Also, Leo’s mane comes up whenever my neighbor happens to walk by. They’re only outside when it’s time to potty, otherwise they’re fairly quiet. Is it too late to train them?
Hello Jane, It's not too late but it will take a bit more work on your end and how hard it will be depends on their level of socialization around people - are they fearful of strangers or aggressive toward them? Or just reacting due to excitement or the person being close to their territory? There are two routes to take here. The first is to desensitize pups to your neighbor. This will be considerably easier if your neighbor likes dogs and is willing to help. If not, you will just have to be vigilant to work on this whenever the opportunity is present, and recruit a friend the dogs don't know to be a stand-in neighbor at a different part of the fence (obviously not in your neighbor's yard), but still outside the fence, so that you can set up training sessions often. The second option is to use a bark collar so that pup is interrupted for their barking, then reward for a calm response instead barking once pup gets quiet - including both types of training. Check out the article linked below on desensitizing pup to something behind a fence. The article is about a dog barking at another dog behind the fence but the basic method is the same whether it's a person or dog behind the fence. If your neighbor is willing to help, they can toss treats over the fence instead of you handing them to pup when pup reacts calmly and quietly. Do not reward the reactivity or barking though - only calmness and quietness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_fPKPLA2g&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=11&t=51s I suggest practicing this with each dog one at a time, then when all are doing well separately, practice with two dogs together, then finally all three. You may need to take pups potty on leash in the front yard for a bit to prevent poor reactions during potty trips at times when you aren't prepared to train - so that you don't undo your training efforts. Keeping treats on hand for all potty breaks (by having a small ziplock by the door that you can grab quickly), will help you be prepared to train in real life scenarios that come up whenever you take them potty and the neighbor happens to come out though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My parents have a very bratty dog they just can't say no to. This has led to things like whining and barking at the cupboard to demand treats whenever someone comes home, because they tend to give her a treat to say hello. The current major issue is that she likes to go outside at night and bark. She is a bit of a nervous dog, so it's possible that she's spooked or protecting her territory from the squirrels. The issue is that she cannot be convinced to come back into the house. She has been deeply conditioned to believe that if she goes out and makes a nuisance of herself, she will eventually get a fat bribe to come back in. It really become a nightmare, and she'll go out several times a night, always resulting in the same outcome.
Please help! How can we possibly break this habit?
Hello Christie, I recommend attaching a fifty foot leash to pup onto a padded back clip harness while you can practice and supervise (don't leave it on pup unattended in case it gets caught though). Let pup outside to go potty and watch from the window. When you are ready for pup to come in, pick up the end of the long leash and call pup using a consistent word, like "Inside" in a happy tone of voice. If pup comes willingly, give a treat (but don't show pup the treat until they come and pup has to come first). If they don't come, quietly reel pup in with the long leash and don't give a treat. Practice this often, so that pup learns that coming is not optional, but if they will do it willingly the first time, something good will happen at least part of the time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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