How do I get my Coton to stop barking?
This question has been asked dozens of times over the years. I’ve offered dog barking solutions in various ways:
I thought it would be valuable and fun to see what advice the world’s top dog trainers give to this common problem. I’ve only selected well known professionals who believe in humane, cruelty-free dog barking solutions.
Some of these trainers use similar training methods, and some have unique techniques
for dog barking training. But they all agree that positive, loving, consistent training is essential for a happy well
behaved dog. Many people just give up too soon.
These trainers also agree that it’s important to understand why your dog barks and if there’s any breed specific traits that come into play.
The Coton de Tulear is a sweet and gentle dog, but they are
also known to be territorial and will bark to protect and guard what’s
perceived to be their domain. This barking can become a nuisance if you and your dog aren't communicating properly.
Barking to let you know that someone's at the door is a good thing. UNLESS it becomes excessive and a nuisance. So for this dog trainer comparison, we're going to see how these top 5 trainers suggest dealing with extreme barking when someone is at the door.
Dog Barking Solutions from the Pros:
Control – Train - Treat
Brandon, like Victoria Stilwell, trains a dog to stop barking by first teaching them to bark on command.
1. Have small healthy treats available
2. Put your dog on a leash
3. Teach your dog to bark on command. How?
4. Once your dog can bark on command, give your dog the “speak” command as soon as he starts barking. Then give a “Quiet” command in a soft voice.
5. Repeat this several times a day for about 10 minutes at a time.
6. Slowly wean your dog away from the treats.
Zak’s dog barking training is reward based. Like the other trainers, he believes that understanding why your dog barks is necessary before trying to change the behavior.
It's a good idea to set up training scenarios for short periods throughout the day. Start small and gradually increase the difficulty. This builds good communication with your dog.
1. First, provide appropriate exercise – especially if barking is due to too much energy, boredom, or frustration. The best time to correct unwanted barking is right before it occurs. Success comes with lots of practice.
2. Have someone knock on the door or ring the bell.
3. Shift your dog’s attention from whatever’s causing the barking to you instead. Have your dog look at you.
4. Use powerful rewards to capture your dog’s attention. For most dog’s, food or play are strong motivators.
5. When you get your dog’s attention, ask him to sit and then reward him with a small treat (turkey, carrot, etc.).
6. Give your full attention to these training sessions.
In a nutshell, you stop nuisance dog barking when you:
Get your dog’s attention fully on you, stop the barking before it occurs, reward heavily, and be patient and consistent.
1. Use the calm freeze technique to relax your dog. Like Cesar Millan, Doggy Dan is a big proponent of using our human energy to communicate effectively with our dogs. Put 2-3 fingers underhanded through your dog’s collar underneath his chin. Don’t speak too much and just breathe calmly and deeply so your energy will calm your dog.
2. Stand between the door and your dog, so you are keeping him out of the path of the perceived danger on the other side of the door.
3. No cuddling or yelling – this only enforces the unwanted barking behavior.
4. If your dog continues to bark, put him in time out so he learns that barking equals being banned from you.
Excessive dog barking is all about YOUR energy. Be calm, or your frustration will transfer to your dog. Use a look, sound, or physical correction to stop the barking.
Cesar says that we should provide affection only after exercise and discipline.
Practice training session:
1. Get your dog to sit
2. Ring the doorbell
3. If your dog doesn’t react, she gets a treat. If she barks, redirect her with a small treat without giving it to her yet. Get her to sit calmly and wait.
4. When she stops barking for a few seconds, give her the treat.
6. Gradually reduce the treats.
Your dog will learn that the doorbell equals a treat, but only if she’s calm and not barking.
Set up training scenarios. Have someone ring the bell.
1. Check your dog’s body language to determine if she’s anxious, excited, or bored.
2. Have someone ring the bell or knock on the door.
3. When your dog barks, give a vocal command like “Speak”.
4. Then give your dog the “Quiet” command and show her a treat. When she stops barking for a few seconds, you can give her the treat.
5. Repeat several times a day until she’s quiet for longer periods of time.
6. Start weaning her away from the treats, but continue praising her good behavior.
Of course, there are hundreds of dog trainers available to help you learn dog barking solutions and to help with other unwanted behavior issues.
It's a good idea to find the training method that resonates with you and then stick with it consistently. But, you can also pick and choose the best ideas from all of these trainers and use the ones that work for you and your dog. After all, that’s what they did. These trainers researched dozens of training methods and then incorporated the best ones to make it their own. You can do the same thing.
Regardless of which training method you choose, you can’t go wrong if you follow these simple rules:
Need help with other Coton behavior issues? Learn more here.
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