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

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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.
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The Something to Say? Method

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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

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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

Question
Winston
Miniature Schnauzer
8 Months
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Question
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Winston
Miniature Schnauzer
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
817 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

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Question
Flo
schnauzer
5 Years
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Question
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Flo
schnauzer
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
219 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.

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Maggie
mini schnauzer
1 Year
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Question
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Maggie
mini schnauzer
1 Year

She has always been vocal. Very sweet but very territorial.- we know thats part of her breed. She is a very good watch dog which is great! But the barking late at night is a big problem because there is nothing that will get her to come in! We have tried everything from several online devices to treats. She just looks at you and then continues to bark.We have had 3 Schnauzers prior and we never had an issue. My husband and I are almost 70 and are unable due to health issues to walk her. We know that would help her because of her high energy.And of course we had kids at home with the other dogs and had 3 Schnauzers at one time. We thought maybe we should get her a partner but that might even be more difficult for us.We love her to death and more than likely spoiled her rotten. We need help before our neighbors turn us in!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
817 Dog owners recommended

Hello Debi, I recommend working on a long leash Come, so that pup learns that when you say come they have to do it. Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Once pup knows that command, I would practice letting pup out in the yard with a long training leash, such as 30 feet attached while you are there to supervise from a window or other part of the yard - in case it get caught on anything. When it's time for pup to come in, calmly walk over to the end of the training leash - 30 feet away from pup most likely so pup doesn't run off because you aren't that close, and pick up the end of the leash. Once you have the leash ready, tell pup to Come. If they obey, reward with a treat when they get to you and once you are back inside so that they look forward to going back inside. If they don't come (which it sounds like they won't) reel them in with the leash calmly and go inside without a treat, so that they see that coming is still required even when they aren't willing. Practice letting them outside with the leash while supervising often so that they start to learn that coming is something they need to consistently obey. Do all of this calmly with a lot of consistency. If pup acts aggressive toward you while barking, you need to hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to help you in person with this and their overall attitude. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
2 dogs Mikah and Lucah
Miniature Schnauzer
5 Months
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Question
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2 dogs Mikah and Lucah
Miniature Schnauzer
5 Months

Boy is house trained , girl will do her business inside even though she has been outside, she gets praised and treats when she does her business outside. But we still having to clean her smelly pees. They are dependent on us we can't even leave them for a few hours alone they wake up the whole neighborhood with their continious barking.We can't leave them alone when we go out for supper or anywhere. Please Help

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

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
jackson
mini schnauzer
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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jackson
mini schnauzer
3 Years

stop yaping or barking

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
817 Dog owners recommended

Hello Linda, 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 - 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!). If pup will respond to your quiet command alone in scenarios where they bark once that's taught, then you may not need an interrupter at all. For dogs who are too fixated to respond even after you add distance into the training scenario between them and what they are barking at, you may need to interrupt first, before doing the below. 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. 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. Another good resource is Kikopup on Youtube. She has several videos on desensitizing a dog to things they bark at, without the use of the interrupter. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Obi
Schnoodle
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Obi
Schnoodle
7 Months

Hi, our pup gets extremely excited when it comes to going out for walks and starts the high pitched yapping. This can continue with no stimulus but then immensely increases if he comes across another dog. It’s got to the point where other dogs don’t want to meet him as he’s too loud and just too much for them. We’ve tried clicker training but he’s yapping that much he can’t hear it or just ignores it, using the command stop and rewarding when he’s silent, fussing him to calm him down, he won’t carry anything in his mouth.....please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
817 Dog owners recommended

Hello Helen, It sounds like you may need to interrupt pup's barking first, to get pup to be quiet and calm enough to then reward that calm response. 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 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. 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. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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