March 13th, 2006, 08:56 PM
For the last 7 months Dale has been the quietest guy ever, I even thought it was odd how little he barked. Recently however he has discovered his inner voice and sometime he barks out the window like mad. I tell him to stop and usually he does but sometimes he just keeps going. He doesn't do this often, maybe a few times a week but I would rather come up with a solution before it becomes a regular occurence. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to get him to be quiet when he needs to be.
March 13th, 2006, 09:38 PM
This kind of alarm barking is genetic and it's difficult to stop it completely. But you can control it and teach your dog how and when it's okay to bark.
Here's one way, from perfectpaws.com:
It's no wonder people have barking problems with their dogs. Most dogs have no clue as to whether barking is something good or something bad. Sometimes when the dog barks, he is ignored (owner in a jolly mood). Other times, the dog is encouraged (owner sees suspicious stranger outside the house). And yet other times, the dog is yelled at (owner has a headache). Humans are consistently inconsistent.
In order to help your dog know your rules, teach him what they are. Here is a good rule to start with: Barking is OK until the dog is told to "Stop Barking." Think of "Stop Barking" as an obedience command rather that simply an unpredictable reprimand.
Each time your dog barks, after two or three woofs, praise her for sounding the alarm. Then tell her, "Stop Barking." Simultaneously, waggle an especially tasty food treat in front of her nose. Most dogs instantly stop barking because they can't sniff and lick the treat while barking. During this quiet time praise her continuously - - "Good girl, stop barking, what a good quiet dog you are, good dog . . ." After 3 seconds of no barking, let her have the treat. The next time she barks, require her to stop barking for 5 seconds before she gets the treat. Each time she is told to stop barking and succeeds, she will be rewarded.
If she barks even one little wooflet after you've given the command, scold her immediately. Timing is everything. As training proceeds, the required period of silence is increased gradually; at first "Stop Barking" means: No barking for the next 3 seconds, then 5 seconds, then 10 seconds and so on.
Within a single training session, you can teach your dog to stop barking for up to 1 or 2 minutes. This is major progress, because whatever set off her barking in the first place is history, and she is likely to be quiet until the next disturbance.