How do you break a dog of barking? He is well mannered and has been easy to train and minds well except for the barking?
By Sonja S. from Hemphill, TX
When I first heard this solution to barking, I thought they were crazy, but it really helps. Put barking on command. Work with your dog by rewarding a bark (or speak) with a tiny treat. Do this over and over until the dog knows what you're asking for when you say "Speak!" When you put any behavior on "command", you make the behavior less fun without the reward.
Of course, as someone else commented, barking will be done for a multitude of reasons, but this takes barking for the heck of it down a notch.
I trained mine to stop barking by telling him "no bark" and then giving him a tiny treat when he stopped. Now after enough times of this, he automatically stops when I say "no bark" and comes to me for his tiny treat. I'm weaning him off of the tiny treat now and just giving him praise instead. I've been alternating between the treat and the praise until I can just give him the praise. Maybe this will work for you.
On the poster who mentioned the Barking Dog CD: buyer beware; we Googled this and found a few "rip-off report" complaints on that company. It also claims that the "ultrasonic" method it uses sounds like a "jet plane coming in for a landing" , can only be heard by dogs and only runs when the dog barks. Also says it's humane.
How humane can it be when it blasts the dog's ears--and as for it "only working" when the dog barks--this has to be BS. It is a CD, pre-programmed to produce sound at precise intervals. Have a hard time believing that this one automatically stops and starts when the dog barks; it would be like playing a kids' CD and having it pause itself when the kids clap, or laugh.
Makes no sense.
That said, we have a barker, too. Does your dog bark only when specific things happen? Ours goes nuts when the mail carrier, garbage man or any delivery truck goes by.
As you said your dog is, ours is well-behaved and trained otherwise.
What we started doing--and what's been working for her-- is to "catch her in the act"--that is, when I hear the mail carrier's truck coming, I sit by the dog by the window where she perches and waits and begin whispering "Enough, good girl" and petting the sides of her face ( which is an automatic calmer for her). That sort of puts her into a different zone, for lack of a better description--we're basically trying to put on the brakes before she gets worked up and in full bark mode.
It took about a week to get her to the point at which, when I see her beginning to get antsy and ready for a barkfest, I just calmly say "Enough."
We thought of the treat thing and a lot of other people have said this works; our dog has a tendency to put on weight, though, and for us the calming down through affection rather than food works a little better.
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