Instilling fear- is cowardice; be- brave!
|Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 2:54pm PST |
|Megatron has given you many good ideas, as have others who've answered.
Telling a dog "No" when they're barking MAY work for some, but I've never met a dog who "shut up" immediately after being told "No" so I don't recommend it at all. Besides that, they don't really KNOW you're talking to them. Many of them actually think you're barking WITH them, hence why they continue. Some even develop a "habit" of continuing to growl/huff/chatter afterward - as you said, like they're talking back. In conclusion, it just... doesn't really work in this case.
With Poppy, we've worked on counterconditioning, and working on his triggers - that is, what makes him bark. Poppy, like your small dog, barks at EVERYTHING. So we've had a lot to work on, but life is definitely easier.
For the doors, we basically brought Poppy to the backdoor(this was one of his triggers), opened it, and while it was being opened, clicked and treated(or you can just say "Yes" and treat, or just treat). You'll DEFINITELY be doing this kind of training, so I highly recommend you measure out treats, and then take that from her meals. For example, if I were to, say, use an entire chicken breast for Poppy, that's an entire day's worth of food for him, separated throughout the day. So he would basically get no "mealtime" that day - which is okay, because he had all the food he needed during training. Get it? This is to make sure they don't get fat.
Giving them a sport/job is another AWESOME idea. We do low-impact agility stuff in our backyard, and I'm looking for some earthdog things to do with Poppy. We also do some nosework, but we don't go to classes or anything like that. There have also been small breeds who do weight pulling and seem to enjoy it - same with carting/drafting. Poppy, however, isn't in either.
There are some videos on YouTube by Kikopup that talk about eliminating barking in dogs, if you wanna look those up.
I also love the advice of teaching a "Speak" cue as well as a "Quiet" cue. I taught those to Lobo. It's actually pretty easy, surprisingly enough, and it works!
Your "quiet" cue could be something like "Thank you" too - you know, thanking them for alerting you to whatever.
Something that helps to keep Poppy quiet, too, is when he barks, we ask, "What's wrong?" and then follow him to wherever he's barking. For Poppy, it's helped him to sort of depend on us, as well as learn that sometimes, those little sounds aren't a big deal. He barked a lot less, and it's good for us to move around throughout the day, anyways.
And, of course, you always have the option of finding a trainer. The only thing is, this would likely be a private session, and private sessions are usually quite expensive.
Woo, okay! Hopefully everything turns out okay! Best of luck to you!
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