Sunday, November 28, 2010

Working On Stopping A Dog From Barking

I have spent months doing what I thought was the right way to train my dog to stop barking. By ignoring the behavior and not rewarding it the behavior should be come extinct. I guess if every dog did everything the same way that would work. But Kota is not really what I would call an ordinary dog. He is slow at learning things through the methods I use with the other dogs. But every now and then he picks up something quickly. Apparently I'm not keen enough to figure out the best training method for him but after months of doing things the same way I decided to change my approach.

Kota and Daisy like to bark first thing in the morning when I go to take them outside or coming home from work. I tried waiting until they stopped barking. This could take 10 minutes or more and every time I went back to the door they would start again. I don't have enough patience to always do that and it was taking too much time with no results.

I decided to break out the treats and enter the laundry room. But none of the dogs get to leave until they have sat down to  receive a treat. Then they must wait for my command to leave the laundry room which is a treat of its own. This has been working much better. The barking will never completely cease because they are dogs but it doesn't become excessive and frantic.

I am requiring Kota to sit and wait before he goes out the door and I make sure I go first. His other barking problem also consisted of being let out of the house. Now with requiring him to remain calm before he goes out that has curtailed that barking also.

My son walks the dogs every day and has always had a huge problem with the excitement. It would start long before he even got the leashes out because of the routine he has established that the dogs quickly recognize. Today Kota never let out a peep when he was getting ready to walk. He is now learning that his quiet behavior will get him what he wants and not the barking. So the moral of the story is that sometimes you will have to think outside of the box when training dogs.

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