|Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 3:54pm PST |
|There are a few things you can do. If it's just barking at people walking by on a constant basis and you don't want to be alerted to that, you can desensitize her to people walking by the house so it becomes quite boring for her.
Basically, you'd ask some volunteers to walk by your house over and over again and wait for Mikal to stop barking, even if it's only to take a break. Then you use your marker and reward her. It'll take a few times for her to understand that you want her to not bark at people. When she does realize this, if you've done it properly (good timing, consistent, good reward), not barking at people passing by will become much more reinforcing to her than barking at them. Then you just practice to cement and proof the behavior. You don't even need corrections to proof a behavior.
You can also put barking on cue and also teach a stop cue. That way, the dog can do their job and alert you to strangers near your home (if that's what you want) and after they bark say, two to three times to let you know, you can thank them and let them know that you got the message and there's no more reason to bark.
You can also ask for an incompatible behavior. For example, it's hard to bark if her mouth is busy. So you can ask her to fetch something when she barks or even just distract her by asking for a series of other behaviors.
There are many options as you can see. Positive reinforcement isn't only one method. There are MANY methods that make up this kind of training. It's true, no two dogs are alike and different dogs need different methods. That's why force free training is great. You have so many methods to try and if you do mess up, there's not much harm that can be done. You're not likely to hurt your dog or cause aggression or fear.
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