Thread: Barkbusters
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 08:45 AM
we3beagles's Avatar
we3beagles we3beagles is offline
Beagle Rescue / CDT
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 280
I'm picturing a situation in your house where your dog is growling or barking at a visitor. A positive reinforcement method would be what to get the dog to stop? Offer a treat? That would enforce what the dog is doing. In a bark buster senario, I would stand between the visitor and the dog and stand tall. I would use the bah or the link pouches to get the dog's attention on me (the master) so he would see me not approving of his actions. Then you keep standing tall until the dog sits down and puts his head down, licks his lips. As soon as that happens you can ignore the dog or call it over to meet the stranger (if possible, baby steps right?)

In your scenario the dog learns to mask his natural desire to bark and will still do so whenever you aren't around to "bah" him or throw something. Licking his lips is a sure sign of stress in a dog.

Obviously you don't know what positive reinforcement entails if you think you would offer a treat to a barking dog. You would redirect and offer positive reinforcement for the opposing behavior. Having studied BOTH methods it is my opinion that positive reinforcement benefits you with a dog that is still allowed to be a healthy, happy dog, but one that willfully offers up the behaviors you desire.