How to Train a Lhasa Apso to Not Bark

How to Train a Lhasa Apso to Not Bark
Hard difficulty iconHard
Time icon3-8 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

You love your Lhasa Apso. He is a precious member of your family. But he barks. He barks when the doorbell rings. He barks when the mail carrier walks by. He barks when he hears a noise at night. To make matters worse, he barks when you leave the house as well. Your neighbors are fed up and you don't know what to do.

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Defining Tasks

Lhasa Apso are strong-willed dogs with strong defensive tendencies. It can be difficult to convince a Lhasa Apso that they don't need to protect the house against attacks at all times.

Training a Lhasa Apso not to bark all the time requires patience and assertiveness, but it can be done. Be prepared to set consistent boundaries for your dog. You can't let him bark at the delivery man and then scold him when he barks at your friends. He doesn't know how to tell the difference. Keep in mind that dogs bark to communicate and you shouldn't expect your furry friend to stop communicating altogether. However, you can take control of excessive barking and minimize the disturbance to you and your neighbors.

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Getting Started

Identifying when your Lhasa Apso is most likely to bark is helpful for the training process. The best method for your dog will depend on whether he barks on walks, at visitors, or when left alone. You should also try to limit your dog's access to things that encourage him to bark when you are not around. Pulling the blinds shut and making it so your dog can't get to the windows are good ways to minimize stimulus. You will need a good reward for your dog during training, such as his favorite toy or some yummy treats.

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The Treats for Quiet Method

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1

Settle on a limited number of barks

Trying to stop your dog from barking altogether when someone rings the doorbell can quickly drive you crazy. Decide on the number of barks you are okay with, usually about three to four, before you want your Lhasa Apso to settle down.

2

Give the command

Ring the doorbell or ask a friend to approach your house to encourage your dog to start barking. After he barks three or four times, give the command "quiet."

3

Help your dog settle down

Go over to your dog and gently hold his muzzle while repeating the 'quiet' command in a calm, firm voice. You don't want to shout at your pup as this will just sound like you are are barking too and encourage him. Instead, you want to use a low tone, which tells him you mean business.

4

Divert his attention

Release your Lhasa Apso's muzzle and ask him to sit. If he sits down and stays quiet, give him a treat. If he doesn't, repeat the steps of grasping his muzzle and giving the 'quiet' command.

5

Continue the rewards as long as he stays quiet

Keep giving him treats periodically as he stays quiet. In the beginning, you want to continuously reward the behavior of staying quiet until the supposed "threat" has passed. If you do this whenever there is someone in your yard, you can convince your dog that staying quiet is the right move, while barking doesn't get him anywhere.

The Walk Well Method

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Gather some high value treats

If your pup barks on walks, giving them treats for behaving while out in the world can help them learn to walk better. For this method, cut up some extra special treats your Lhasa Apso doesn't usually get into small pieces that are easy to swallow

2

Make sure your dog knows you have treats

Hold treats in one hand and your dog's leash in the other. The goal is to make sure your dog focuses on you and not other distractions. Let him see the treats and sniff at your hand every once in a while to make sure he knows they're there.

3

Give treats often

In the beginning, you want to give your Lhasa Apso treats fairly often during the walk, but don't give him anything if he was just barking. Only reward good, calm walking on the leash.

4

Use the 'sit' and 'stay' commands

Another good idea is to train your dog to sit and stay while other people pass. You can let him say 'hi' to people if they want to pet him, but you want to encourage your Lhasa Apso to sit quietly rather than barking at passersby.

5

Wean your dog off the treats

As your pup starts to get the hang of going on walks without barking at others, you can space out the treats more. Eventually, the goal is to not need any treats at all for your Lhasa Apso to act properly while on walks.

The Be the Boss Method

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Identify if the social structure of your house is out of whack

Dogs instinctively think of their owners as the pack leaders. Dogs are pack animals and they rely on a clear social structure to tell them where they stand in life. If your dog barks all the time when you are out of the house, he may think he is the alpha and therefore in charge of your safety. When you leave, he sees it as a member of his pack wandering off and he is calling you to come back.

2

Show your dog who is in charge

Establishing your place as the leader of the pack can help your dog understand he isn't responsible for your safety and calm his barking. Stand tall and straight around your dog and speak to him in a low, firm voice. These are all qualities of an alpha.

3

Make your pup earn his place

Show your dog that nothing is a free ride. Have your Lhasa Apso sit before giving him food, toys, or affection. This way, your dog earns his treats, which reinforces your position as the leader.

4

Set clear boundries

Never let your dog run out of a doorway before you or pull you down the street during walks. Have your Lhasa Apso wait at the door so you can go first. You should also keep your dog at your side or slightly behind you on walks. These clear boundaries help your dog understand his position in your family.

5

Don't baby your dog

This step is difficult for many dog owners. If your Lhasa Apso is barking at something out of fear, confidently show him there is nothing to worry about rather than cooing over him. Your confidence shows that you have a handle over the pack's safety and he doesn't need to worry about barking all the time.

By Christina Gunning

Published: 03/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Patches and Pippin

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Lasa Apso

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6 Months

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Question

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House training 2 dogs . Little socialize when we brought them home.

Jan. 8, 2022

Patches and Pippin's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, Are you wanting to teach pups to go potty outside? If so, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that each crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dogs are a little older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking each dog potty every 2-3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) orffreedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 2-3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past 3-5 days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. If neither dog is aggressive, check out this article on shy dogs to catch up on some socialization. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ Kikopup on youtube also has a lot of great videos on counter conditioning, desensitization, reactivity, and barking that can help a dog needing more socialization also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Jan. 10, 2022

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Gizmo

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Lhasa Apso

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2 Years

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Gizmo never takes treats when out for a walk. What can I do to stop him from barking at passers-by people and cars?

Feb. 22, 2021

Gizmo's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Many dogs won't take food when highly aroused or stressed. Sometimes putting more space between you and the things pup is upset about can help pup relax enough to give treats, sometimes using toys instead can motivate toy driven dogs better, or even just verbal praise and acting very happy and fun yourself to help pup take their cues from you, then as pup improves, decrease the distance between them and the other people and dogs very gradually. Some dogs need to be interrupted before they can be calm enough to be in the position to learn. The interruption is only half of the training, structured obedience and positive reinforcement also need to be used once pup is calm enough to be rewarded for good responses and calmer body language, to help pup ultimately retain the training. Check out the video linked below for an example of an interruption. https://dogtrainingamerica.com/the-good-dog-minute-6-4-13-severe-leash-aggression-with-biting-turned-around-in-minutes/ If the aggression is rooted in anxiety, the "Jolly routine" can help. Check out the article below. https://www.themoderndogtrainer.net/6-lessons-learned-ian-dunbar-dog-dog-aggression/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Feb. 23, 2021


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