The miniature schnauzer's howl-like bark is his way of saying hello, making commands and telling you he's happy or angry. If the schnauzer rules your household, you'll hear this sound most hours of the day. Stop being verbally abused by this little cutie and take charge of his annoying bark.
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Become your mini schnauzer's pack leader. Excessive barking is one way the schnauzer gets his way and tells you what to do. Mini schnauzers often resist training techniques if you fail to display leadership in your household. Do not allow your pooch special privileges if he ignores functional commands, such as down, stay, come, sit and heel. Another way to become pack leader is to always eat before your schnauzer, and only allow him to eat once you've given him permission.
Ignore the barking. If your schnauzer is barking to get your attention, ignore him completely by turning your back and walking away. Once he stops barking, give him a treat and calmly pet him. If he starts barking again, turn your back and walk away. The schnauzer will quickly learn barking does not get your attention. Repeat these steps several times per day.
Teach your schnauzer to bark on command. Have someone perform the stimuli that triggers your schnauzer's barking, such as knocking on the door, opening the mailbox or walking past the window. Immediately before your dog barks, say “Speak!” As he starts barking at the stimuli, stick a treat in front of his nose and say “Speak!” Give the treat when he bark and continue to practice these steps until your schnauzer barks on command without the stimuli.
Teach your schnauzer to be quiet. Give the “Speak!” command, and once your dog barks, say “Be quiet!” in a calm, but confident tone while immediately placing a treat under his nose. Praise him enthusiastically for stopping barking and give him the treat.
Give your schnauzer time for daily exercise. Problematic barking can be a sign of pent-up energy caused by a lack of exercise. The schnauzer is an energetic breed that needs a daily walk. In some cases, increasing your schnauzer's amount of exercise can greatly reduce the amount of barking that occurs in your home.
- Enroll your schnauzer in obedience class. These classes teach you methods to control barking while also socializing your schnauzer.
- Choose extra tasty, soft and juicy treats to stop problematic barking. Liver, pieces of cooked chicken and hot dogs are great for training.
- Do not physically punish your schnauzer for barking because it causes your dog not to trust you and possibly develop aggressive behaviors.
- Do not yell at your dog for barking. Your schnauzer is going to bark more since he thinks you're barking with him. Plus, you can't ignore the barking while you're yelling. Your dog considers negative attention to be better than no attention.
- miniature schnauzer image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com