Eva Knott 11:30 a.m., Dec. 12
Acme K9 Services: Teaching Your Dog to Be Quite!
Andy S. contacted us with the following question recently. “Hey Dogslife I am sure you are a good dog and don’t bark all the time but my dog Sally does! Is there anything I can do to put a stop to this?”
Andy, what a great question and it is one that we often hear. Dogs bark. That is how they communicate. They bark to let each other, and you, know about things going on around them. It is how they let each other know what is going on in the neighborhood and spread the news. That said I always get a chuckle out of this question. Barking is what dogs do. Birds sing, cows go moo and cats meow. What did you think your dog would do?
There are several gadgets out on the market that claim to stop barking and if you are considering one of these do your research before purchasing one. They are some good ones but there are some that only work at taking money out of your pocket and putting it in theirs.
If you are considering an electronic “no-bark” collar do not go cheap. In this case you really do get what you pay for. We have seen serious damage done to dogs that were wearing collars that malfunctioned. The cheaper the collar the more likely it is to malfunction.
If you are one of those who are considering surgery to remove your dogs “voice box” do your dog a favor and find her a good home. Then go out and buy yourself a nice stuffed doggie.
The best thing you can do is teach your dog when, and when not to, bark. In order to teach your dog not to bark you have to catch her when she is barking. Start by teaching her to bark, or speak, on cue. After you have done that you can start working on teaching her not to bark. Get someone to help you and ask them to ring your doorbell or knock on the door. When they are in position ask Sally to bark, or speak. After your accomplice hears you ask Sally to speak have your friend ring the doorbell or knock on the door. When Sally is barking tell her, “Good girl!” Do this for several (6-10) repetitions. Now Sally should be anticipating the cue at the door. Now when you say “Sally, speak.” she should bark on cue. If she does proceed with training. If she does not speak go back to the beginning and work on it. Now you can begin to give Sally the quite command. Start by giving the speak command. When she starts barking tell her, “Sally, quite!” As soon as you tell her to be quite show her a very delicious treat and put it in front of her nose. She will stop barking so that she can sniff the treat. (She can’t bark and sniff at the same time.) When she stops barking tell her, “Good quite!” Do not give her the treat at this time however. The longer you hold the treat the longer she will be quite. Repeat the sequence several times until you can tell her to be quite and she stops barking. As soon as she gets to the point when she will stop barking when you give the command you can then start giving her the treat. Good luck.