|Barked: Wed Jul 20, '11 9:22pm PST |
|You don't need to argue with you father, you just need to give him facts. Spraying a barking dog with a spray bottle does NOT fix the problem's underlying issue. It merely masks it for the time being and makes him feel better when she quiets up. Sure, it might shut her up NOW, but she'll still bark in the future. It's never going to teach Pearl not to bark. It's going to create a negative bond between Pearl and your father, and likely teach Pearl to fear and never trust him or anyone with a spray bottle in their hand if she dislikes being sprayed. And ultimately Pearl is going to keep barking because she's only being punished, not taugh when it's appropriate to bark, and when to quiet down.
Desensitization to the noises or situations that are making her bark and positive reinforcement are your best bet, and you're already on the right track. You want to keep up with what you're doing in the case of the doorbell. Just take it gradually and try not to push her over the threshold where she's in a situation where she's barking so much that she can't focus on you. Baby steps. In addition to "Stop barking", you could also use a positive interrupter, like a whistle or purse your lips to make a kissy noise to distract her from barking and treat her when she complies. She doesn't even have to be barking when you do it. Just train it like a recall to catch her attention. Then whenever you whistle or make the kissy noise, she will come to you with her full attention and stop what she was previously doing.
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