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How to Train a Miniature Schnauzer to Stop Barking

How to Train a Miniature Schnauzer to Stop Barking
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-6 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Like most dogs, your Miniature Schnauzer likes to put his voice to good work telling anyone who will listen to him all about everything. This is quite normal for your pup, and unless you take the time to show him the error of his ways, he is going to keep barking, driving everyone in the neighborhood crazy.

Barking is, of course, one of your pup's only ways of communicating and there are going to be times when there is a perfectly good reason for him to bark. At the same time, there are many times when he is barking for absolutely no good reason; these are the times when you need to be able to tell your furry friend not to bark. 

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Defining Tasks

Your job as a responsible dog owner is to observe your pup and try to determine why he is barking. You need to be able to identify both those times when he should be barking (i.e., Intruders or a fire in your home) and there are times when his shrill barking is not appreciated. Keep in mind you are the one who is supposed to be training your dog not to bark, not your dog training you to accept his idea of when are the right times to bark. 

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Getting Started

Your first job is to assert your position as alpha in your pack (family) by teaching him the four basic commands before moving on to any other type of advanced training. He needs to know 'sit', 'stay', 'come', and 'down'. To make this training go more easily, you should also train your dog to bark on command, which--believe it or not--makes it easier to teach 'quiet' on command. To train your pup to be quiet, the only supplies you need are plenty of his favorite treats. 

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The Observe and Reward Method

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1

You need plenty of treats

You need a large supply of treats to reward your pup when he gets it right. If you are running low, you might want to consider buying more.

2

Bark, bark

At some point, your pooch is going to let loose and go off on a barking fit. When he does, pay him absolutely no attention whatsoever. Keep watching him. After a short period of time he will stop.

3

Treat time

Keep a close eye your pup and the moment he stops barking, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this over the course of several days to get your pooch used to the idea that he gets a treat when he stops barking.

4

Add your cue word

The next time you go through a training session, wait for him to stop barking. When he does, give him the cue word "Quiet", wait for him to stop barking and give him praise and a treat. Repeat this over several days to help him associate the cue word with the action and the resulting treat.

5

Beyond the command

Keep working on training your Miniature Schnauzer this way, slowly adding more time between when he stops barking and when he gets the treat. After a while, your pup will learn that he should only bark when it is appropriate.

The Something to Say? Method

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1

Leash him up

Tell your pup to "Come" and when he does go ahead and put him on his leash. This helps him to see who is in control.

2

He needs to speak

For this method, your pup should already know the 'speak' command.

3

When he barks

When he barks, let him go until he wears himself out and stops. At this point, go ahead and praise him and give him a treat. Rinse and repeat this over several days to cement the concept firmly in his mind.

4

Teach endurance

Time to start adding endurance to the training by stretching out the time between when he stops barking and when you give him the treat.

5

Keep up the good work

The rest is all about continuing the training until your pup simply stops barking unless there is a very good reason for it.

The I Can't Hear You Method

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1

Treats please

Be sure you have an ample supply of your pup's favorite treats on hand.

2

Where he is set off

Keep an eye on your pup to see where he is when he sets off on his next barking fit. Spend some time with him in this spot, play with him and get him a little excited.

3

My turn to speak

At some point your pup is going to take off on another barking fit. When he does, you goal is to pretend you can't hear him. In fact, you should turn your body away from him so that he can see you are ignoring him.

4

Ah, so you want me to be quiet

Sooner or later your pup is going to figure out no one wants to hear him. When he stops barking, say "Quiet", praise him, and give him a treat.

5

And ever on

The rest is all about working with your Miniature Schnauzer in other areas and by extending the time between silence and treats until he will simply stay quiet unless he has something very important to say or you give him the 'speak' command.

By PB Getz

Published: 03/16/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Hugo

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Miniature Schnauzer

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5 Years

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Question

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When he has a barking fit he doesn't stop his barking fit for quite a while He's smart but very stubborn if the methods listed on your 'How to Train a Miniature Schnauzer to Stop Barking' does not work what would you recommend

May 1, 2022

Hugo's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jasmin, If traditional methods don't work, then often an interrupter is needed in addition to rewarding quietness. First, for the barking, 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. While you are not home, confine him in a crate or room that doesn't look out the windows right now - barking at things out the window lets him 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 he is naturally encouraged to continue it and stays in that state of mind if you aren't there to interrupt. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

May 3, 2022

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Benji

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Miniature Schnauzer

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2 Years

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Question

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Constant barking at other dogs and people on walks

Aug. 10, 2021

Benji's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julie, 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 - 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 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. 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, to help the training transfer to a long term good habit of being calm around people and animals. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Aug. 11, 2021


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