Puppies bark for a reason. If you want to control your puppy?s barking, you need to understand why he barks. He may be barking at anyone walking by the house, or he may bark to alert you to someone approaching the front door. Or he may need to go to the bathroom.
Barking is also the puppy?s way of expressing distress. Consider whether his environment is calm or frantic. Does he get enough exercise? If these are a problem, excessive barking is the effect and not the cause of the problem. If he barks excitedly when you come home, what he?s communicating is loneliness after spending hours alone. Consider if there are factors in the dog?s environment that need to be changed. Having a sitter take him for a walk and play with him during the day could alleviate some of his frustrations.
The odds are you don?t want to stop your puppy?s barking entirely. You certainly want him to alert you to danger, and maybe you appreciate being warned when someone is at the door. What you want to stop is barking for no reason. The better you know your dog, the better you will understand him.
One way to stop your puppy from barking is to teach him a command to bark when you want him to bark. This allows you to control when he barks and when he stops barking.
First, get him to bark while he?s on a leash. If the doorbell sets him off, have someone ring it. The leash will allow you to distract him when you want to. Teach him that he can bark when the doorbell rings, but must remain quiet while you open the door.
- When the doorbell rings, give your puppy the command to ?speak.? This lets him know it?s okay to bark.
- Before opening the door, show him a treat and say, ?quiet.? He does not get the treat until he stops barking.
- When he stops barking, praise and treat him and open the door.
- You should add the ?sit? or ?down? command so your puppy knows what he should do instead of barking.
If your puppy is barking due to pent-up energy, find ways to distract him. Usually, simply slamming something down will create enough noise to make him forget why he barked in the first place. You can also drop something, like a book, in front of him. Just make sure you don?t hit the puppy.
There are bark collars that set off a noise when your puppy barks. The drawback, however, is that the collar will inhibit reasonable barking that you want, so take that into consideration.
Behavior training for puppies might seem overwhelming, but if you follow these tips, you’ll have a well-behaved dog in no time.