How to Train a Poodle to Not Bark

Medium
2-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Poodles and other small dogs often get a bad rap for barking. Sometimes this is due to truly excessive barking from a high strung, anxious personality, or it may be that the Poodle is confined to a small house or apartment, has excess energy to burn off, and is lacking in exercise and play opportunities. Sometimes your Poodle may legitimately be barking for the same reason that any other dog would bark. A dog may bark because something triggers him, like a strange noise or sensation, thunderstorms, other dogs or vehicle sounds, or because he is trying to protect you. Although he may be small in size, he has the same instinct as any other dog. Sometimes your Poodle may be excited about a guest or play, or may be anxious or bored because he has been left without exercise, play or attention for too long. A Poodle will bark, much the same as most dogs in these circumstances will bark. You can train your Poodle to not bark, especially if barking is inappropriate, for your peace and everyone else in your household and neighborhood! However, first make sure you address your Poodle's needs for exercise and recognize legitimate reasons for barking.

Defining Tasks

When your Ppoodle is barking, it is tempting to yell “No!” However, your vocalization may sound to your dog like you are just joining in with him in barking!  It also escalates your dog’s mood and excitement, which seldom is effective at counteracting barking, so avoid yelling at your dog to deter barking behavior. Ignoring barking and not rewarding it is more effective to extinguish barking. Alternatively, you can put barking on command, which may sound counterintuitive. But in teaching your dog to bark for a reward, you are also teaching your clever Poodle not to bother barking if a reward is not offered. Remember that Poodles are very social dogs,that need positive interaction, attention, and exercise. Meeting your Poodle’s needs will be helpful in preventing unwanted barking behavior. Don’t forget to investigate possible causes for barking. Your Poodle may seem overly excitable sometimes, but he may legitimately be warning you of a perceived danger, or alerting you to something that has his attention.

Getting Started

Use treats to reward and reinforce responses to commands to bark and stop barking. Be prepared to be patient and consistent when extinguishing barking, which will involve ignoring and not responding to barking. This will require some self-discipline, as it is tempting to correct a dog that is persistently barking. You will also need to be sure you meet your Poodle’s needs for attention and exercise, in order to decrease boredom and anxiety barking. Take some time to investigate possible legitimate causes of barking; is your dog trying to alert and protect you? Is he hearing or seeing something you are not, like an approaching storm or a high pitched sound? It may be that your Poodle is onto something. Be sure not to correct legitimate behavior as it can be confusing for your dog.

The Extinguish Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Ignore barking
When your Poodle starts to bark, ignore him, turn away from him, or walk into another room.
Step
2
Attend to quiet
When your Poodle stops barking, give him attention or start playing a favorite game or with a toy and your dog. Give him a treat.
Step
3
Do not punish barking
Do not yell or respond when your Poodle barks, always ignore barking and continue to respond to your dog when he is quiet.
Step
4
Repeat
Repeat, ensure everyone in household is consistent with ignoring barking and reinforcing quiet.
Step
5
Establish
Eventually your Poodle will recognize that barking gets no results, while being quiet results in play, food, affection and attention. This will result in reduced barking behavior.
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The Set Up for Success Method

Effective
2 Votes
Step
1
Check for legitimate barking triggers
Investigate the initial causes and triggers of barking, is there a legitimate reason your dog is barking? Is he hearing a far off siren, or sensing an approaching thunderstorm? If this is the case, redirecting or comforting him may be appropriate.
Step
2
Burn off energy
Exercise and play with your Poodle. Poodles are high energy dogs and need to burn off energy to relax. If your Poodle may be barking from anxiety or elevated mood, make sure he has the opportunity to burn that energy off.
Step
3
Socialize
Socialize your Poodle. Small dogs may have learned to be intimidated by large dogs or strange people. If owners hold small dogs like Poodles in their arms and tense up when approached, they can inadvertently be causing their Poodle to bark. Be sure to expose your Poodle to lots of situations in a calm, assertive manner, so your dog is comfortable with others and new situations to decrease triggers and anxiety.
Step
4
Provide entertainment
Provide toys and chew items when you cannot give your Poodle attention to give him an alternative focus and prevent anxiety and boredom.
Step
5
Desensitize
Desensitize your Poodle to triggers by gradually exposing him to them and creating a different association. For example, if the approach of a delivery person triggers your Poodle to bark, train your Poodle to be calm around delivery people by reinforcing him positively when delivery people approach, or meeting delivery people outside and walking alongside them. Whatever works to change your dog's response to the trigger.
Recommend training method?

The On Command Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Allow trigger
Wait for something to trigger your Poodle to bark.
Step
2
Pair command
When your Poodle starts barking, say “speak,” and provide a treat. Repeat several times.
Step
3
Command bark without trigger
Now use the command to speak without a trigger present. When your dog barks, provide a reward. Repeat.
Step
4
Add 'quiet' command
Now ask your Poodle to 'speak', then say “quiet”. When your dog stops barking provide the reward.
Step
5
Do not reinforce undirected barking
If your dog barks when not commanded to speak, do not reward him. Continue commanding “speak”, and “quiet” and giving rewards. Eventually you will be able to use “quiet” to stop un-triggered barking. Your Poodle will be less likely to bark when not commanded to, as no reward is forthcoming.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 04/11/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Milo
Poodle
6 Years
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Milo
Poodle
6 Years

I like to walk our poodle (Milo) in the park. Whenever he sees another dog (regardless of its size), he barks with tail wagging. Same thing happens when he sees small children. How can I prevent his barking?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ven, I suggest working on conditioning calmness and desensitizing pup to other dogs and kids - a lot of this is simply repetition involving structured obedience, so that pup gets into a calmer mindset because they are focused on the training exercise, and repeats passing others so often while working that they start to notice the distractions less and less, and can then be rewarded for calmness once they get to the point where they are ignoring the distractions and focusing on you. An intermediate obedience class can also be a good way to practice these things if you find the right class and they are aware of pup's needs ahead of time. First, work on a structured heel with pup when others aren't around. Practicing lots of turns and changes of pace until pup can stay tuned in with you while working on a heel. Turns method for heeling: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Require pup to walk slightly behind you on walks or heeling will be very hard, turning 90 degrees in front of pup as soon as their nose begins to move past your knee. If you wait until pup is too far past you it can be hard to do this. That behind position will also help pup stay calmer in general around distractions. Once pup has improved at heeling, recruit friends with well behaved dogs. Practice having the dogs pass each other on opposite sides of the park or neighborhood sidewalks over and over again until the dogs can ignore each other and stay focused on you. When you finally get focus on you and ignoring the other dog - reward calmness. Do not reward the hyper state. As the dog's improve, you will gradually decrease the distance between them until they are walking without becoming overly aroused closer to each other. When pup does well with that friend's dog, practice with another friend and new dog. Repeat this with lots of different dogs to help pup generalize it to strange dogs and build their focus on you. Passing Approach Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Milo
Maltese
2 Months
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Milo
Maltese
2 Months

How to stop it from barking at night

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ayden, First, know that pup is young and still adjusting to time alone. Most puppies will also need to potty 1-2 times during the night at this age while their bladder capacity is small. When they wake after it's been at least 2 hours since they last went potty, take them potty on a leash. Keep the trip on leash and as boring and quiet as possible, then return pup straight back to the crate after, so pup won't think that's a time to play and will begin to sleep through those wake-ups too as their bladder capacity increases. During the day, practice the Surprise method from the article linked below to help pup learn how to handle time alone. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate When pup cries when you know they don't have to pee, as hard as it is, ignore the crying so long as pup is safe. Most puppies protest the adjustment for a couple of weeks, practicing the Surprise method during the day and being consistent with expectations at night can help pup adjust the quickest. The first three nights are generally the hardest. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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love
miniature poodle
7 Months
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love
miniature poodle
7 Months

we recently received a dog from our cousin who could not handle a dog and i don’t know where to start with traning, nor do i really have experience. he is also not really trained

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Raya, I suggest focusing on the basic commands first: Sit Down Stay Come Heel Watch Me Name Recognition Leave It Okay Quiet Check out Wag!'s training resources page and look for articles that teach each command step by step. You can also find YouTube videos from trainers with videos showing how. I also strongly recommend a basic obedience class. Next, he needs to practice the commands in gradually more and more distracting locations to gain the skills to be able to perform them in those environments. The training builds on itself gradually as you practice it and ease into distractions as he improves. Check out www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads to download a free PDF puppy e-book. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Minnie
Toy or Miniature Poodle
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Minnie
Toy or Miniature Poodle
1 Year

Barks when I open window vacuum dust with duster wash floor hears car door or someone talking doorbell rings..in car is someone walks by us....she can be inback room with hubby and my water bottle makes a noise she will wake out of a deep sleep.......barking......

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sandra, I suggest working on desensitizing her to noises and also teaching the Quiet command. Quiet method for teaching Quiet command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Barking at Noises video 1: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Barking at Scary Objects video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5BjvNScFPs&list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a&index=2 Barking on a walk video 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY7JrteQBOQ&list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a&index=3 Barking at strangers video 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXCELHDT2fs&list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a&index=4 Barking at dogs video 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_fPKPLA2g&list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a&index=5 Barking at the door/guests video 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA&list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a&index=6 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Meeko
Poodle toy
6 Months
0 found helpful
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Meeko
Poodle toy
6 Months

I have had my dog for about 3 months. He barks at any and everyone when we walk in and out of the house. Also If people walk in and out of rooms. I’ve tried ignoring him, I also tried the pet corrector. Nothing seems to be working. Any recommendations on how to train him to stop barking

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cortney, Pup may be hyper sensitive to certain triggers like the sound of shoes on floors - which is associated with a person entering, and the barking has become habit due to the chemicals released in pup's brain when they detect their triggers - like shoes walking. Check out the youtube channel liked below and the series on barking and desensitizing pup to triggers - the goal here is not just to modify the behavior outwardly but also change the mindset and chemical response in pup's brain, so that pup no longer gets that initial excitement and flood of emotions when they hear the triggers they are barking at now. The video on barking at guests is a good example of desensitizing pup to whatever they have become overly sensitive to. Barking at guests/door: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Barking series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Quinn
miniature poodle
2 Years
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Quinn
miniature poodle
2 Years

My dog will sit at the sliding glass door and just wait for movement. Once he sees any kind of movement, be it a bird, squirrel, person walking by or neighbors dogs he will start to bark. Then he will do several turns on his hind legs and keep barking. We initially thought this was his cry to go potty so we would let him out (we have a fenced in yard but its not a high fence so he can see anyone through it)but he would go out bark and run back and forth and then just want to come right back in. And, then twenty minutes later do this again. We throw the bone or ball in the house to keep him active and emgaged amd take him on walks but at night this keeps happening and I concerned its becoming a bad behavior. How can i break the cycle?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. There are a few things you can try and there are great suggestions here such as the Chewy Toy and Desensitize Methods https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark. You are right, the behavior may become a habit if it continues - but small dogs do like to bark and be heard. However, I understand when a little vocalization becomes a lot. As the Stop Rewarding Method mentions here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-barking, my first thought was to put a frosted adhesive over the glass at Quinn's level to make him forget about the excitement outside until this barking phase has passed. Since he is two, I assume this is a new behavior? As mentioned in the What Not to Do Method, do not raise your voice when Quinn barks because he may think that you are vocalizing along with him https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-barking-3. I am sure one of these methods will help. Good luck!

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Sky
Mini Poodle
1 Year
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Sky
Mini Poodle
1 Year

My dog keeps barking when we both sleep over at my boyfriends house and when I put him in a crate he won’t keep quiet until I give him attention. He also always barks at the most random noises at night.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it is most likely that Sky is not comfortable sleeping there and chances are he will be better-behaved once he is used to it. However, there is always the chance that he will not settle there. Try white noise in the room (a fan for noise, but not pointed at him). Make sure you take him for a walk before bed (a lengthy one if possible) and do not put him to bed until you go as well. Keep him busy at night with toys and mentally stimulating activities. Work on teaching Sky the Quiet command as described here in the Quiet Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark. Practice 10-20 minutes a day and use the command consistently at night (and at other times of the day) and try not to give in to him - ignore the barking, it may take a few weeks for Sky to give up the habit. But with the Quiet command, things may go more smoothly. Good luck!

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Teddy
toy poodle
6 Years
0 found helpful
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Teddy
toy poodle
6 Years

Teddy is our 6-year-old poodle who we have had since he was 9 weeks old. He was our first dog, and we now also have 3 English bulldogs (two males and one female). Teddy is a wonderful dog and a total sweetheart. However, he has developed major barking issues when we are on walks in the neighborhood and in public (at the vet, groomer, pet store, etc). When Teddy sees other dogs, adults or kids, he starts barking obsessively. It seems to be in a kind manner as he wags his tail. Yesterday we took Teddy to a dog event at a local arboretum, and he was so stressed and would not stop barking at other dogs and people. This went on for hours and his fatigue from the excitement didn't lessen the behaviour one bit. It was embarrassing for us, and we were all stressed. After doing research, I definitely do not think we have handled this appropriately as we get stressed/anxious when this happens, so it is likely amplifying Teddy's behavior. Teddy also seems to have gotten more protective over me. If we are on the couch or in bed, and he hears my husband or our kids walking around the house, he starts to growl/bark. I would appreciate any advice on how to lessen the stress both for us and Teddy when this behavior starts, and how to make it decrease over time. Thank you!

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

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. You can use the tips below and apply them to humans/dogs/anything else that may trigger your dog. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Benji
toy poodle
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Benji
toy poodle
7 Months

Hi Benji barks very often when he sees people dogs and squirrels. He also barks when i come home after leaving him in playpen for few hours. I sometimes feel guilty leaving him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, For the barking at people and animals, I suggest working on teaching pup Quiet and using the Desensitization method from the article linked below. Quiet method and Desensitization method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark For the attention seeking barking, teach pup Quiet, then when pup barks, tell her Quiet. If she gets quiet and remains quiet for at least five minutes - gradually increase how long pup has to stay quiet for as they improve, then reward with a treat. Don't reward for barking and just immediately stopping after she knows the command already, because you don't want pup learning to bark and stop to get a treat. Reward for staying quiet for a length of time. If pup doesn't stop barking when told Quiet or stops but starts again, calmly tell pup "AhAh" or "No" while spraying a small puff of air from a Pet Convincer at pups chest or side briefly. Avoid spraying in the face! And only use the unscented air ones. Don't use citronella- it's too harsh and lingers too long so can be confusing. Ignore pup after correcting until they have stayed quiet for at least five minutes. Give pup attention when they are not being demanding. Since pup is being demanding, I also recommending practicing the Working method from the article linked below for a month or two. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tedi
miniature poodle
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Tedi
miniature poodle
3 Months

Hi, my puppy bites alot and quite frequent he will bites me. Sometimes he bites very aggressively and when I try to stop him, he will get angry and bite even harder. and even bark very loud and sharp (sharp maybe because he is still young?). He came back home for 1 month and most of the time he stays inside the crate because we have not potty train him yet. The reason because he bites alot too. I have been training him "No" with treats until he sit down infront of me but it doesn't work when he get aggressive. Please help!

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

Hello. Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Ted
MINITURE POODLE
8 Months
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Ted
MINITURE POODLE
8 Months

I noticed that recently my dog started barking more than before - sometimes he even barks in the middle of the night because of the wind which is very annoying ! I take him out twice a day and he is a very active dog ! How can I stop him from barking especially at night ? Thanks

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Ted looks like an energetic pup! I think he may need more than twice a day - he's pretty young and no doubt has tons of energy to spare. So when you can, on weekends and nice days for example, take Ted for another lengthy walk or to the beach again. He'll also excel at activities like flyball and agility. Look for opportunities in the area to enroll him in a club or class. Dog park excursions are good, to. Tiring him out should help with the barking in the middle of the night. He'll be too tired! Buy him mentally stimulating toys as well such as puzzle toys and interactive feeders that offer reward after he uses his brain. You can even feed him some of his meal in a feeder to give him something to occupy his mind. At night, set up a fan as white noise (not pointed at Ted, though) to block out sounds like the wind. If possible, take him out for exercise before bed, or play fetch inside to tire him out. He's at a great age for obedience training - enroll him in classes and that will use up his energy, too. To start training at home: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-whippet. Good luck and all the best to Ted!

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Barouch
Poodle
4 Years
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Barouch
Poodle
4 Years

Pee and poo

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

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. This information is written for puppies, but the procedure is exactly the same for training an adult dog who doesn't quite know where to go potty. 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
Coco
Poodle
10 Weeks
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Question
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Coco
Poodle
10 Weeks

Just tips on what I should be training at 10 weeks.

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

Hello! You can start with basic commands. Sit and stay are good starting points. You can introduce one new command per week as you're going along. Sit, stay, lay down, and leave it seem to be the best commands to have learned to make life a little easier as your puppy is growing.

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Rho
Standard Poodle
8 Weeks
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Question
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Rho
Standard Poodle
8 Weeks

Barking and Excited Biting! Help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello, If pup's biting is playful and not aggressive, what's known as mouthing, I recommend teaching the Leave It command and working on self-control through obedience. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite What types of things is pup barking at? Check out the Quiet method and the Desensitize method from this article also: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Training Success Stories

Success
Kyrie
miniature poodle
1 Year

My dog Kyrie would bark when I first got him. Just little yips here and there, but I would just lightly hold his snout with my thumb and pointer finger then calmly say "No Kyrie." I would repeat this every time he barked. Just a light touch to his snout and say "No." Now, Kyrie is a year old and he never barks. I bring him in purses with me to stores and he's silent. Even when people pet him or talk to him! He's just a little cuddle bug. He's a perfect pup! (This is just what worked for me :) )

1 year, 6 months ago
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