Written by: Laura Christiansen, National Dog Trainer of the Year
Dogs bark and barking is okay as long as it is not excessive.
If your dog is territorial barking or barking out of excitement, frustration or boredom the following suggestions will help!
Teach your dog the command “Enough”!
Just as your dog begins to vocalize step in front of them, say “Enough” Use a hand signal (cross your hands in front of your dogs’ field of vision) and redirect your dog away from what they are focused on. You may use a high value treat placed at their nose to lure them away or gently take their collar and guide them away. Now you will need to get your dogs’ mind on something else. You can say “Where’s your chew toy”? or, “Go to your bed”. You may have to repeat this many times but don’t give up! Praise your dog calmly for compliance.
Be clear and consistent in your message. You should see a difference soon!
Dogs thrive on routine!
Create a consistent daily schedule to let your dog know when it’s time to eat, train, exercise and chill.
Provide the daily exercise your dog needs (a tired dog is a happy dog) and be sure to include interactive games such as fetch, tug and find it! When the game is over calmly tell your dog “All Done” put the toys away and ignore your dog, use the “Step on the Leash exercise” or put your dog in the crate. This will teach your dog to settle down.
If you allow your dog free access to the yard or front window where they can charge and bark at outside activities it is pretty much a guarantee your dogs barking will increase!
When you cannot be there to train your dog use a good management and prevention system
Blocking off rooms with baby gates or drawing the blinds can help. It may also be appropriate to crate your dog for short periods of time. Limiting the dogs’ space will encourage your dog to chill while you are away. Providing some safe chew toys may also be a good idea.
Bark collars and other gadgets
There are a plethora of items on the market that claim they will help reduce your dogs barking.
Depending on the situation certain gadgets could be helpful but also could be counterproductive.
Nothing compensates for patient and consistent training!
Check out our website www.k9lrng.com click under video library or our Instagram account for helpful videos and articles.
Please note: Dogs that bark from fear, anxiety, overprotectiveness and reactivity require specialized training! For additional assistance please contact us!!
Caring Paws Therapy dogs
Laura Christiansen, CPDT