How to Train Your Barking Dog

September 26, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

 

Barking Dog

My house is noisy. That might not be the right word. It is loud, definitely loud. Barking dog, baby, pots and pans, TV…everything seems like it is on high volume from 7:30am-7:30pm.

Barking Dog- family in action

Life was much quieter prior to the arrival of baby Sebastian and the dedicated barking dog….Chico. He barks at whoever passes by our front window. He barks when we are walking and sees another dog. He barks at  tv canines and sometimes at a fly on our wall.

 

Examples of Operant Conditioning (behavior is modified through it’s consequences) that are working for Chico:

Barking Dog- pack of hounds

1.  On our walks– I bring a stash of positively smelly treats in my pocket or in the cup holder of the stroller. When I see a dog approaching, we keep our distance (key to success) and I start giving him treats. Distracting him from the pint sized or horse-like dog approaching. He receives treats until the dog passes.  This technique is giving him the signal that dogs = a jackpot of treats. This is a huge win for Chico as he is extremely treat motivated!

2.  In the house– When Chico begins to bark at the evil object outside the window, I say the word “quiet” in a calm voice.  If he stops for one second after hearing this word, I praise him and give him a treat.  When he begins barking again, I again repeat the word “quiet” until he pauses, then treat again.  This is working as well.

Barking dog- training treats

3.  Diet– If you want to try this, you must modify your dog’s diet during the day since he will receive far more treats than ever before.  Reduce breakfast and dinner or reduce other regular treats throughout the day.  Purchase low calorie treats as well.  My favorite is Mini Naturals by Zukes.  If you have a finicky dog, you may have to resort to boiling chicken and using small pieces to entice your dog to learn.  Take heart, overtime, the # of treats needed should reduce.

I am using this technique on my son too.  He is having mommy separation anxiety and starts screaming when the babysitter arrives.  Now, when I see her car pull up, I give him animal crackers.  When she comes in, I let her give him animal crackers as I make my exit.  It is helping!  Dogs and toddlers are very similar 🙂

Here’s to a bark (and tear) free household!

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Category: Training

About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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