The doorbell rings and the barking begins. A family is walking past your house, and the barking begins. A neighborhood cat walks by the front window, and the barking begins. Sound familiar?
A common problem that many dog owners live with is excessive or inappropriate barking from their beloved canine companion. Not only can this type of behavior quickly become a habit, but it can disrupt and interfere with your daily life, your neighbors’ peace of mind, and your dog’s mental health.
While it is entirely natural for dogs to bark, frequent barking often signals underlying issues with a dog. How can you put an end to unnecessary barking quickly? Try using a whistle!
Ideally, you want to determine what is triggering your dog to bark frequently. Patience and careful observation may be needed to find the sources of a dog’s desire to bark loudly and consistently.
Sometimes the dog’s focus on the object of his frustration needs to be broken. For some dogs, a new squeaky toy or treat puzzle may be enough to interrupt the barking cycle. But other dogs may require a more intensely directed audible noise to create an associative distraction.
That’s where using a whistle can assist you in diverting your dog’s attention to promote healthier --- and less noisy --- behaviors. Whistles emit sounds between 23 and 46 kHz, making the high-pitched sound unpleasant to your dog's ears, and making whistles a potentially ideal way to manage your dog's barking habits.
Identify and choose a source of your dog’s barking, such as a doorbell ringing or a person walking in front of the house. Have a whistle ready; a silent “dog whistle” that only canines can hear or a regular whistle will work equally well for these training exercises. Be sure to have plenty of treats on hand so you can teach your dog to associate not barking with a tasty goodie.
Does not listen. When we walk he is always tugging me down the street. I've tried choke collars spiked collars he will just let them stab and choke him they dont work.
Hello Tiffany, First, work on teaching him what position he is supposed to be in by following this video below. First video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtgrUwkAy8E If he is still pulling after that, then check out the second video that I have linked at the bottom of this message and follow the instructions there. You said you have tried a prong collar before. Many people use the prong collars incorrectly or too loosely and they are ineffective. It sounds like your dog needs to learn to focus on you also. There are a lot of ways to train a dog to heel but it sounds like yours needs a lot of structure to learn. The method from the second video will add in more structure. In addition to following the instructions from the video I linked, when you put on the prong collar, fit the collar high on his neck, behind his ears. The collar needs to give even pressure, not bang into the front of the throat during a correction. To accomplish that the collar needs to fit tightly enough for all of the prongs to lightly touch the neck, with the collar up high so that it cannot slide up and down. You do not want any of the prongs digging into his neck while the leash is loose though. Tight might seem harsher than loose, but loose can actually damage the front of a dog's throat because it causes the prong collar to hit the throat forcefully, which is not what it's designed to do, and that bumping will encourage more pulling for some dogs. A tighter collar causes the collar to apply even pressure all the way around and it lets you use far less force to communicate with him. Pay attention to your body language, your movement, tone of voice, and general attitude during the walk. The video demonstrates how to do that. Also, for extra security you can connect your dog's prong collar to a regular collar with a carabiner to give it more strength Second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzfzVl2dwWA Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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LOVES to chase a ball, but barks like crazy at it when she returns it. Sometimes lunges at us when we go to pick it up, and doesn’t stop barking at is until we throw it then barks while she’s running after it, too! I can ask her to sit which she will do for a couple of seconds and I try to throw only when she stops barking for a couple of seconds, but can’t seem to make any further progress. Would maybe a whistle help?
Hello Tammy, If you spend time teaching Libby that a whistle means quiet first. Work on that training until she is very good at that command when not playing fetch and will get quiet in anticipation of a treat. Once she is very good at becoming quiet when she hears the whistle by following one of the methods from the article you commented on, then practice it during fetch. https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-barking-with-a-whistle When she barks and you blow the whistle also put the ball behind your back and freeze. Removing what she is demanding and making the game more boring until she becomes can also help her learn that being quiet is what gets the ball thrown. The whistle helps by distracting a dog long enough that it breaks their cycle of barking, helping them choose another behavior instead. Teaching her that being quiet gets her rewards - treats or balls thrown, will teach her that the other behavior that she should do is be quiet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Guido barks incessantly and now has our other dog (yorkie) barking! They go crazy when someone comes to our door....when someone goes by or when they see a squirrel in our yard. The barking has escalated in the last couple years and it’s keeping us from enjoying them as much :(
Hello Debbi, I suggest combining a few things in your case. First, 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 an important part of the puzzle for the overall strategy I will suggest below. 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. You can also try a whistle but if the barking is as bad as it sounds like it is, you may need to use a pet convincer or e-collar instead. You could always try the whistle first. 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 them. 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 she is calm, just standing around - Ideally have her wear the collar around for a while before starting any training so she won't associate the training with the collar but just with her barking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Finding the level to use for her (sometimes you will have to go 1 or 2 levels higher during training while the dog is aroused but once she improves you can usually decrease back to her 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 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 to continue the desensitization process. An automatic bark collar can also be used during times when she likes to bark while you aren't there after the initial training is done - so she understands that the correction is for her barking at that point in the training. While you are not home, confine the dogs in a crate or room(s) that don't look out the windows right now - barking at things out the window lets them practice the bad behavior over and over again and barking is a self-rewarding behavior because of the arousing chemicals released in a dog's brain - so once a dog starts she is encouraged naturally to continue it and stay in that state of mind if you aren't there to interrupt. You can also try using the whistle in place of the e-collar or pet convincer, but you may need a harder-to-ignore interrupter than the whistle - such as the Pet Convincer or e-collar stimulation collar. You can always try the whistle first. Finally, make sure you don't skip the rewarding aspect of the training. The interrupter helps stop the initial barking so that you can teach quietness instead, but the rewarding is what will help with long term results, so both are important together, used correctly. If you aren't sure how to proceed on your own, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues, comes well recommended, and uses multiple methods to tailor the training to you and find what you need. Finally, whichever interrupter you use, do NOT use citronella. It is harsher than anything I have suggested above actually because of how sensitive a dog's nose is. The scent can also linger for up to an hour - meaning that the dog continues being corrected long after their bad behavior stops, which makes it not only unfair but also super confusing for the dog. Stimulation based called when high quality brands with at least 40 different levels, can be adjusted down to the minimum level the dog needs to feel the collar and the correction is instant, then over, so it can actually be a gentler tool IF it's used correctly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Excessive barking in car. Especially when he sees other dogs
Hello Dean, I suggest using the Whistle Stop method but instead of using a whistle (due to the dangers of that distraction while driving) use a stimulation or vibration collar. At first, practice this in your driveway and have a volunteer walk their dog down the street past your car, as a distraction. Have the car in park and practice the training. Once your dog is showing improvement while the car is stationary, have an assistant drive you around while you practice the training from the passenger seat of your car. Finally, use an automatic collar that will vibrate or give stimulation in response to the bark - at this point your dog should understand that they are supposed to be quiet - because of the rewards for staying quiet while riding, and the corrections given before, so the collar will be a reminder while you transition to being the one who is driving by yourself with your dog in the car. Also work on teaching your dog to lie down while in the car - this prevents a lot of car issues to begin with. Use a car dog seat belt tether and riding harness to keep your dog stationary, sitting or lying on the ground or seat, and practice down in the car while the car is not moving. Once your dog can stay down in a stationary car, have a friend drive you around. Sit in the back with your dog if your car is safe to do so, and work on their down while driving places like side streets as well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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