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Thread: How to stop your dog from barking at children

  1. #1
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    Question How to stop your dog from barking at children

    I've read one of the dog trainer suggestion about distraction technique and wondering what everyone else thinks.

    The solution is offering your dog with some yummy treats, something your furry friend not normally gets.

    For example, when your dog spots a kid, immediately distract her with the treat and retreat your furry friend when encountering in closer distance.

    She said from dog's point of view, there is a connection between kids and cheese (see kids = get reward). This will decrease the motivation to bark.

    Do you think this is the best way to stop your dog from barking at kids?

  2. #2
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    I think it's not so much distracting them but more teaching them that staying calm around kids is going to be beneficial to them. I used a clicker and the 'look at that' cue to teach my dog the same thing, though her crime was excited jumping up on kids. Do a search on 'look at that' our LAT to find more posts on this. It's a very useful technique for reactive or excitable dogs.

  3. #3
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    Yes

  4. #4
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    Yes I do, but as with everything it takes time, patience and practice. We don't expect our kids to learn their times table in a day or so, yet we want instant results with our dog training.

    Yes it's a form of bribery in the first instance, but they also learn to relax and good things come to them and that these funny, excitable little people aren't so bad.

  5. #5

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    I would modify it slightly so that you are instructing the dog not to bark, then rewarding it when it doesn't bark. You could say "no barking" or just "no". This will teach the dog that a specific behavior (not barking at kids) is what you want him to do.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosh View Post
    I would modify it slightly so that you are instructing the dog not to bark, then rewarding it when it doesn't bark. You could say "no barking" or just "no". This will teach the dog that a specific behavior (not barking at kids) is what you want him to do.
    I think the key is to teach the dog what he should be doing as opposed to what he should not be doing though. So I personally do not use terms like "no barking" but instead might use a cue that indicates what I DO want her to do instead. That is what "look at that" does too. I want her to look in a calm and quiet manner at the distraction and that is what she gets rewarded for. It isn't necessary for the dog to understand that I do NOT want her to jump up on people with that technique. All she needs to know is that good things will come to her if she stands calmly when the distraction is there. It's probably just semantics, but it helped me get things clear in my head when I was training Banjo.

  7. #7
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    It depends why the dog is barking at children. It could be from excitement, in which offering a treat can up the excitement, or it could be because the dog wants them to go away. I think get the dog properly assessed with a trainer before doing anything else particularly because children are involved.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the replies, a lot of things to think about. She is definitely scared of children

    At the moment we have a citronella barking collar which really calms her down, she just ignores or moves away from children.

    I know this is just a temporary fix so I have been trying to train her to get use to children by distracting her with treats and rewarding when she sits calmly.

    I have been doing this for a couple of months now, and have seen some improvement and just wondering if we are on the right track.

    I suppose it may take time as she isn't exposed to children every day.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    I think the key is to teach the dog what he should be doing as opposed to what he should not be doing though. So I personally do not use terms like "no barking" but instead might use a cue that indicates what I DO want her to do instead. That is what "look at that" does too. I want her to look in a calm and quiet manner at the distraction and that is what she gets rewarded for. It isn't necessary for the dog to understand that I do NOT want her to jump up on people with that technique. All she needs to know is that good things will come to her if she stands calmly when the distraction is there. It's probably just semantics, but it helped me get things clear in my head when I was training Banjo.

    Yep, you word it in a simpler more easy to understand way. I always thought of it in my head as just rewarding the dog for taking a neutral position (ie sitting and not doing anything).

  10. #10
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    I used to take my dog to places where there were lots of kids for training. Start at a fair distance and move closer. No need to make her sit either. Just reward for staying calm. I personally find making a dog sit in such situations distracting.

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