How to Train a Miniature Schnauzer to Stop Barking

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

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. 

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. 

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. 

The Observe and Reward Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

The Something to Say? Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
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.
Step
2
He needs to speak
For this method, your pup should already know the 'speak' command.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

The I Can't Hear You Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Treats please
Be sure you have an ample supply of your pup's favorite treats on hand.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Flo
AnimalBreed object
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Flo
AnimalBreed object
5 Years

The last week she has started to bark at 6am until my partner gets out of bed, this is a new thing and is waking the whole household
HELP!!!
she is a mini schnauzer

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
92 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Without being able to ask follow up questions, this is tricky as I don't want to give you tips on anything you have already tried or looked into. My first step with this type of stuff (new behaviors that come out of nowhere) is to rule out any medical issues. If she is barking and is let outside to go potty, she may have some urinary tract issues going on. It is not uncommon for female dogs to develop UTI's. If that has been ruled out, you may want to consider white noise in the area she sleeps. A fan or white noise machine will block out everything, and hopefully create a more sleep inducing environment. All it takes is some birds chirping for a few days in a row at the same time, and now you have a new alarm clock. Dogs are creatures of habit. With that being said, it might take you a few days, or a week to break her new habit.

Add a comment to Flo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Winston
AnimalBreed object
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Winston
AnimalBreed object
8 Months

Winston does not signal or go to the door when he needs to go out to relieve himself. He was originally supposedly puppy pad trained when he was younger but he isn’t now and we don’t use puppy pads because it only encourages him to go in the house. Also, he is a very aggressive barker when neighbors dogs come out. They are Rottweilers. On the other side we have another dog he aggressively barks at as well. If they don’t engage him, he stops. If they do engage him, it fires him up even more. I’m trying commands but he is super stubborn. He is crate trained but we only have him walk in it at night time for bed or if we leave the house. Any suggestions as no neighbor likes an aggressive next door dog. Should he be in crate until potty trained? We have another dog a beagle who is 5 and trained. We also have a bengal kitty who is getting acquainted with Winston. Winston does know sit, stay, and night night so he is teachable. It is at the point we can’t let the dogs out at the same time.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
673 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pamela, First, I would teach him to ring a bell when he needs to go out. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Once he knows to ring the bell when you tell him to, command him to ring it before you open the door each time - until he starts to ring it automatically on his own with time. Second, if he is having accidents due to not alerting he does need more management. I would either crate him when it's been more than 2 hours since he last went potty outside - but it's not time to take him yet or he won't go potty yet, or attach him to yourself with a 6-to-8 eight foot hands free leash, until accidents are no longer happening as the norm. When you do take him potty, tell him to "Go Potty" and give him a treat after he goes to help motivate him to want to go potty outside, and to teach him that command so that he will go quicker when you do take him. Be sure to walk him around again after he pees if he may need to poop. Movement and sniffing can help a dog poop. For the barking, work on teaching pup the Quiet command. With pup on a long leash - so that you can redirect attention as needed, work on desensitizing pup to the other dogs from areas in the yard that are further away from the fence. Quiet command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-to-not-bark Desensitizing: When pup is outside with you, if pup stays quiet in the presence of the dogs on the other side of the fence, praise and reward calmly. Work on things like heel to keep pup in a calmer mindset. When pup barks or starts to get aroused, command Quiet calmly. If pup refocuses on you, reward. If pup keeps getting aroused or starts barking, spray a small puff of air from a pet convincer at their side to interrupt, while calmly saying "Ah Ah". After doing so, practice more heeling in your yard, reward quietness, focus on you, obedience, and general calmness while the other dogs are out there. Practice on the far side of the yard from the other dogs at first - to make this easier for pup. As pup improves at ignoring the other dogs and staying more focused on you, gradually decrease the distance between pup and the dog fence so long as they can ignore the other dogs most of the time. Only decrease distance when pup is doing well at the current distance. When pup can handle being close to the fence with you there and stay calm, give pup more slack in the long leash, so that you are further away while giving commands and tossing rewards, and pup is having to cope with staying calm and quiet around the other dogs without your presence as close. Use a 20-30 foot leash for this and only give one more foot of slack at a time - gradually working up to being further from pup as they improve. In general, manage the situation so that pup doesn't have other opportunities to just practice barking outside of training. Barking is a self-rewarding behavior so allowing that when you aren't ready to manage it with training can undo or slow down training efforts. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Winston's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd