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Old February 8th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado
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Thanks for the referral, BenMax!

Small dogs can be yappy. They tend to have a bit of a Napoleon complex - they feel the need to make their presence known to everyone who enters their territory.

We are not big fans of calling these kinds of behaviors 'dominant'. It is more a matter of the dogs thinks that they are in charge of the house and that it is their job to alert the pack and the intruder of their presence. The dog is claiming the house as theirs. This is due to lack of structure, rules, boundaries and leadership in the dogs life.

Out of respect for you he should be quiet when you ask, not because he is afraid of a shock collar or spray bottle. This is about reclaiming your home and teaching your dog how to behave.

The first thing we talk about is recess. How much time is this little guy being engaged by you and how much time is he doing his own thing? The more time he spends in recess the more he believes he is in charge of his world and the more his brain is in the habit of being reactive. This kind of behavior is very reactive, often insecure and very adrenalin based. He doesn't even think about what he is doing - its just a knee-jerk reaction.

But if he is in the habit of listening to you because you are engaging his mind frequently throughout the day, then he will listen better when you ask him to stop barking. He will also start to look to you for advice when he is thinking about barking instead of impulsively barking without consideration for you. The more you act like a leader/teacher the more he becomes a student/follower.

Little dogs tend to be higher energy dogs, and each time they impulsively start on a barking rage the more adrenalin enters the brain and the more excited they become. But the more you engage their mind by asking the dog to do lots of things throughout the day the more calming chemicals like Seritonin are released into the brain and the calmer your dog becomes naturally.

We have to run to a training now and will check the board later. Let know us what questions you have.
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