My Pomeranian barks a lot, it's driving us crazy. What can we do to get it to not bark so much?
He is afraid. There is a television show on, called, "IT'S ME OR THE DOG" On Animal Planet and/or Discovery Channel, maybe research it on the web. This lady host from England knows her stuff! But from watching most of the shows, your baby is afraid. Of everything. Get on your belly and view the world the way he does. Everything he hears and sees is BIG!
Won't try to educate you on the way to correct it though, as I am not positive I recall her methods. Good Luck! Most of the shows guests are able to cure the bad behavior in a week if they stick to it.
I have a lab-shepherd mix who is a fabulous dog, but a "big mouth". She is definitely not afraid, she just feels the need to share her opinions on everything.
We use a squirt bottle with plain water. For a dog who will swim year round, drink from a hose or sprinkler, etc., she knows what it means, and gives you a look like, "oh, all right." I would never hit her, or punish her aversively; but I won't think twice about giving her a squirt in the face!
(Understand that I am talking about instances where we know she is not in distress, etc.)
Poms are barkers, no way around it. My mom uses the spray bottle also, but she loves to catch it in her mouth, so no help there (at least she isn't barking). She isn't as bad as her first male pom was tho. It does work with the chi tho. If you see any poms on TV that's all you hear is barking. Small dogs are yippers. Maybe keep it busy with a chew toy....?
Our Pom barks a lot too, but the key is understanding why he/she is barking. Ours feels her job is to tell us of anything new in the neighborhood. We've discovered that when she barks, if we go out and look out the window and say, "Thank you Nellie." she shuts up because she's done her job. Eventually, we were able to yell "Thank you Nellie" and she'd shut up.
The other thing we've done is that when she barks at the back door to go out, we play dumb. She wants to go out, right? So, when she comes back in and barks, she gets to go out again. It makes for a night of taking her out constantly, but Poms are very smart dogs and they'll get the hint very, very soon.
Our pom/chi mix barks more than any of the other of our dogs. I have her and 3 chis. But, she is also the "alpha" dog. So, I think she feels she has to lead, and be the boss, and lookout too. I know some of my family trys to scold her, and put her up, and punish her. But, I tend to tell her in a soft even tone, "It's alright Minnie, it's alright", and a lot of times, she will sooth down. She barks at everything, and I don't want to scold her into not being a good watchdog.
So, the thing is to praise or sooth her on Logical things that she barks at, and try to be more negative when she won't shut up from just barking at anything that moves, including dust. I will put her up when she can't be praised or soothed for logical barking that is for something that needs to be. But, I will not spray her, Not only is a pom SMART, they are stubborn. But, also extremely loving dogs. Show your pom love, understanding, and training. A pom is easy to train. But, they will buck abuse, as any dog will. I've only used a spray bottle when my dogs were attacking my cats. An extreme.
If you've given up on your pom, and not willing to work with her or him, then the battle is lost, and a spray bottle is just a drop out way of handling a situation that won't go away. Train this dog, let it bark , but, at only certain situations. A visitor at the door, a noise outside, never scold a dog for being a watchdog.
When dogs bark to the extent it drives you crazy; you know you've failed to train the dog in basic manners and behaviour.
If you scurry around trying to figure out what the dog wants you to do when she barks; she is training you. If you wish to be obedient to your dog for the rest of it's life,by all means follow your dog around and praise the dog for doing the exact opposite of the behaviour you desire. Crazy way to live by my thinking.
You need to start with the basics...TONS of exercise and that means running. Your dog does NOT get exercise in your home or from just being let out to sit in a yard. Long, hard walks/jogs at least 30-45 mins every day will help a lot.
You MUST be the leader. Discipline can not be a debate or a negotiation in your home. That does not mean you are a tyrant. It means you are in command and the dog must respond to you. You have to go back to basic training on a routine basis and praise the dog well and treat for everything they do right AND all the times they are quiet and displaying the behaviour you want.
Correction should used very sparingly because negative attention is better than no attention at all. Leave the water bottles and horrid bark collars in the trash where they belong.
Take note of what triggers her to bark and try diversion just before she goes off...use treats and praise just before she opens her mouth. It takes careful attention from you but it works spectacularly well. This will take time and patience on your part but it always works when the owner keeps up with good training and proper exercise. Don't give up!
If you wouldn't do it with your 2 year old child; DON'T try to do it to your dog. You want your 2 year old to get plenty of exercise and fresh air. You don't ignore them for hours on end or refuse to play with them daily. You are patient and praise your 2 year old like they reinvented the wheel for every tiny thing they do right. You scold ONLY when necessary.
You wouldn't fail your 2 year old by letting them decide what you do and when you'll do it. You wouldn't follow your 2 year old around trying to figure out what they're training you to do...you teach them to use their words, enjoy playtime and exercise, spend time daily learning new things...etc.
Small dogs are usually more difficult to train than larger ones becuase of the RAMPANT puppymilling if them from high demand from women who want accessories and affection on demand. Shops only get puppies from one kind of place. Puppymills are the only places that care so little for the animals they sell they will ship them sight unseen to purchasers. Backyard home breeders are only slightly better but they will breed problems as long as they make a profit.
Dogs are all the same basic animal and they need LOTS of daily work but it's a fantastic joy when you've done it right. Prepare to exercise and good luck.
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