By Sonja S. from Hemphill, TX
I have 2 Chihuahuas and a terrier. I say "no barks" and spray them with a squirt bottle. This has seemed to work. Treats do not. They are picky and treats are not an option.
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.
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.
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 have a suggestion for those of you with house dogs that won't stop barking. We have two Silky Terriers and one of them loves to bark. She watches TV and every time an animal is on she goes crazy. I took a 1lb coffee can and put some loose change in it and put the plastic lid back on. When she barks and won't stop I tell her "No!" and if she won't stop I shake the can hard one time. Now if my "no" won't work all I have to do is to pick up the can. Hope this helps someone.
Also, you need to learn why your dog is barking. Is it play barking, alert barking, etc. Any constant barking is certainly annoying, but it can be stopped if the proper techniques are used. My German Shepherd likes to bark at people walking by our house on the sidewalk. These are the same people he sees every day and he knows they aren't threatening to us or him. When he starts barking, I will distract him away from the window by calling him into another room or even out to the back yard. Because dogs live in the moment, he forgets about the people and now is interested in what I have for him. A treat, a toy, or just going outside.
For Suziehomemaker's dog I would take some time to train him to sit-stay several feet from the door where people come in. You can put a little mat down and that will be his "spot" to go to when guests arrive. If you must leash him to that area then do it just so he isn't jumping on anyone. Important! Praise your dog when he isn't barking. If you are consistent with this he will soon get the idea that he will be petted and praised for being quiet and ignored for barking. Remember that any attention from you for barking is welcomed by a dog even if it's negative. They don't care. If you work on this constantly and diligently, your dog will stop barking. If you are not consistent about this, he will quickly learn that you aren't serious.
Barking, jumping, digging and chewing are all perfectly acceptable in a dog's world. This is what dogs do. When people "humanize" dogs, we change the things that come natural to them and it's hard for them to understand, but if we show them that we are the leaders and we behave as leaders, dogs respect us and will submit. Be a leader, not a follower. (03/12/2006)
I work very long hours and try to get as much sleep as possible but I am constantly awakened by the barking dog many times during the night. You cannot imagine how frustrating this is unless you have been in this situation.
I finally ended up going on the internet to research my problem and I am so glad that I did. I ended up buying a compact disc from a website. You play the disc and it actually stops the dogs from barking. I put the disc in, pointed the speakers towards the dogs, and nearly fell out of my chair when it actually worked! Somehow, the dogs can hear the sound but humans can't. This was the best money that I have ever spent and I am so happy.
I have not had a problem in 4 weeks. The dogs kind of acted up about 2 weeks ago but I just repeated the above process and it worked like a charm. I am so glad that the freaking dogs have stopped barking. If you want to check it out, it might be worth a try. The website is http://www.TheBarkingDogCD.com Good luck, I hope this helps. (09/01/2008)
By Ron BO
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