Annoying barking - the “Quiet!” command and other training tips

Narrated from: Dog Training

Excessive barking is a common problem in dogs. It could be triggered by many things. Commonly, it is simply a behavior problem, so don’t debark your dog just yet – there are easier solutions than surgery!

The first thing you have to do is to find out if something is causing the barking. Something might be irritating your dog. Try to remove the irritating object or do not allow the dog near it.

On the other hand, in some cases you would want your dog to bark – if someone is breaking into your house for instance! If the dog barks every time someone passes near your home though, that would not do – so the dog must be taught to understand the “Quiet!” command.

This is accomplished best by a positive training method. Holding a treat in front of a barking dog generally works – it has to stop barking in order to smell the treat. You must not give the treat to the dog while it barks, and you must repeat the “Quiet!” command in a stern voice. When the dog stops barking, you give it the treat. You need to repeat this session several times. Of course, you can choose a different word – sometimes dogs react more to your tone than to the actual command.

If the dog doesn’t get the idea and still ignores your command, you should try leash training.

Keep the training leash and collar on your dog even when it is indoors. If it starts barking when you don’t want it to, give the “Quiet!” command then snap the leash to engage the collar. Repeat that until the dog learns to recognize the command without the leash on.

You could also try ignoring the dog. A dog often barks if it thinks it will get attention and treats that way. Yelling will do you no good in that case – if the dog is bored, it might consider your frustrated screams a bark of your own! So, simply ignore the dog until it stops barking – and then show some affection and reward it with some treats.
Sometimes your dog barks when you are not at home. This usually means it is lonely or bored. That is a serious problem, since it leads to a lot of trouble with the neighbors – even lawsuits!  Try to provide some entertainment for the dog – if it likes to watch television, leave the TV on; position some dog toys around the house or yard. Another good idea is to play with the dog before you leave the house – in this way you will tire the dog out. Feeding also works – a well fed dog will usually take a nap.

If those techniques don’t work, you might want to consider “radio training”, though it could look a little weird to bystanders. Buy a two-way radio, or two walkie-talkies. Leave one radio in a place where the dog usually hangs out – and barks. If the dog starts barking, yell “Quiet!” into your radio. The dog will be perplexed, and eventually should shut up. Of course, this could backfire if you do that at work and your boss decides you are yelling at him…

If nothing works, you might want to consider finding professional help, as excessive barking is quite frustrating. Another alternative could be bark collars – they are not cruel, and are actually considered a training technique.

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