So your 7-month-old canine pal barks all the time, and you need her to stop before she gets laryngitis or sets off the neighborhood all-dog choir. If you've consulted with your veterinarian to rule out health problems, apply a little psychology to teach your pup the value of silence.
Barking Gains Nothing
Ignore your barking little pal entirely until she quiets, especially if she barks because you are holding or standing near something she wants. This lesson requires patience and consistency, so keep reading material handy, and take it easy while you wait her out. Ear protectors are good to have on hand. They can greatly aid your determination to be patient.
Demonstrate strong leadership. This reassures your pal that you can take care of her and the family "pack." This means being consistent in commands and in the giving or withholding of rewards or corrections. If it isn't OK to bark at a family member today, it can't be OK or funny if the same behavior occurs tomorrow.
Ask visitors to your home to ignore your dog until she stops barking and is calm. Give treats and praise for good behavior.
Disrupt Your Dog's Focus
Put 10 pennies in an empty soda can, and tape it shut.
Command "quiet!" and shake the can when your pal starts barking. You will feel better immediately.
Stop your noise as soon as the barking stops. Reward your canine friend with a treat and praise, such as "good girl," or better still, "good quiet."
- When you react to barking, you teach your dog that barking is a way of getting what she wants, whether it's your attention, treats or a toy.
- Keep treats and a shaker can nearby to discourage barking wherever you are in the house. The handiest thing is to carry them in a pocket or pouch during this training.
- If simple, gentle methods to stop excessive barking do not work, consult with your veterinarian and find a reputable dog trainer or behaviorist for professional help.
- When you are first teaching your dog to quit barking, the tape may come in handy to place over your own mouth at those times when the temptation to yell "quiet!" overpowers your best intentions.
- Keep your shaker can and treats out of your dog's reach. Some dogs, especially youngsters, may eat anything with your scent on it, including your shaker can's pennies!
- Do not shake the can next to your pup's ear -- you will startle her, and may cause her to bark more. Just shaking the can to make the noise is sufficient.