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

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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

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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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Milo
Poodle
6 Years
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Question
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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
706 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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Question
Milo
Maltese
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Maltese
2 Months

How to stop it from barking at night

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 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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Question
love
miniature poodle
7 Months
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Question
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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
706 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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Question
Minnie
Toy or Miniature Poodle
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
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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
706 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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Question
Meeko
Poodle toy
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
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
706 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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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, 1 month ago
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