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Thread: Puppy barking advice

  1. #1

    Default Puppy barking advice

    Just wondering if anyone has any advice on what to do when your puppy barks when you take her out. She's 4 months old and constantly barks when we go out. It's more of an excited bark but I'm just not sure how to stop it. We want to take her everywhere and not annoy people. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Weekesy

    Possibly the easiest thing to do would be to teach bark on cue at home and then quiet on cue (ie when she takes a breath between barks say "yes" and give her a treat... when she works out that she gets a treat when she's quiet - you give it a "cue".

    And then try that training routine in places where she is more likely to bark.

    Are you talking barking when she goes out the door, or in the car, or at the park or at friends places?

    My dog was in the habit of blasting out the front door barking her head off, especially if the neighbours were out the front, and I realised that this might not be a good thing - it didn't really matter at first because we'd be leaving but it lead to trouble where she decided she owned the whole street and had to guard it.

    So now she has to sit at the front door, quietly before I open it. I have to be able to open it while she stays sitting. If she lifts her butt up or starts barking or hackles up - I shut the door again and wait. It's tedious the first few times but well worth it if you're consistent on this.

    In the car barking - my dog tried this as we'd get close to the beach - so exciting. But I just pulled over and waited for her to stop. She soon worked out that she would get to the beach quicker if she was quiet. It is a pain the first couple of times, depending how smart your dog is but it's well worth it.

    Otheriwise - because barking is fun (self rewarding)... it only gets worse.

  3. #3


    Thanks so much for your help. I'll give that a try. She barks when we go to the shops, park, soccer. So really want to get on top of it now. Will let u know how I go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    think of things your dog can do and NOT bark at same time:
    carrying something prevents barking
    eating something prevents barking
    licking something prevents barking

    all great starters for the training game of shut up please!

  5. #5


    Thanks for the advice. Will give it a try and also try and distract her while we are out.

  6. #6


    Your pup is only 4 months old – so – When did the barking start ? Is it only in the car ?

    Sometimes we inadvertently encourage barking by doing it ourselves:

    Yelling at your dog.jpg

    Some reading for you:

    search | Karen Pryor Clicker Training

    Search Results | McConnell Publishing Inc.

    Don’t worry if you don’t have a clicker – just use a cue word instead like - ‘yes’.

  7. #7


    Love it. No it started when we went to the park, went for a walk. She barks at people in their front yard, walking past etc. She just gets so excited. We went to training on the weekend and she barked the whole time. I was so embarrassed. The instructor didn't offer any advice and just ignored us. I'll just keep trying the distraction, and fingers crossed.
    I'm also after advice on when there's food around. If anyone can help. Whenever we are eating she is jumping, barking again or jumps up at the table after we're finished. I tell her to get on her bed or put her outside but it's not really fixing anything. Once again thanks for your input.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    The instructor didn't offer any advice and just ignored us.
    That's funny - pretty much how to deal with the dogs behaviour - except for one thing... barking is fun so if you don't do anything - because it's fun by itself it's the same as if you fed treats for barking as doing nothing... so you gotta do something else.

    If she gets so excited she can't hear you any more - just loses the ability to pay attention at all - you're too close to the distraction or there's too much distraction and she can't learn anything in that state. So it would help to get some distance until she can pay attention and then do training drills on the edge of that circle of overwhelmed ie just past the edge where she can pay attention, gets some success, then try a bit closer - if that works - great, try again a bit further away ie zig zag or ping pong how close you are - don't always go closer but - provided she's calming down - get closer on average.

    Might help to have a discussion with your instructor up front about what your plan is and the best direction to retreat to... ie where there will be less distraction and not in the way of the next class arriving (more distraction).

    Food - its yer choice. Practice before dinner and maybe put her away or tie her up during dinner... and I was going to say give her treats for being calm on her mat during dinner - but that doesn't work so well with my dog. Best to give her treats after dinner and praise during dinner but if she's calm, just say nothing at all. Do time how long she can behave nicely before she forgets what her job is.

    And beware of the naughty nice thing... ie what my dog does, is act naughty (eg off bed, harass diners) then I tell her to go back on the bed (ooh attention love it) and she goes back and she gets a treat for that... so she knows - if she gets up - she will get attention and a treat... but not if she doesn't get up... catch 22 there.

    I was going to point you at Susan Garrett's brilliant recalls program cos the first module or critical core which includes collar grab and its yer choice is there for free and IYC is what you need for the dinner time manners...

    Don't tell your dog to get back on the mat, quietly get up, go grab her collar, and put her on the mat, let go, see what her choice is, if it's to leave the mat, go put her back again... no scolding, no commanding, no praise... just see what her choice is. If she chooses to stay on her mat after you put her back - give her a big pat (and maybe a cow hoof) and go wash your hands and return to your dinner.

    Depending how smart she is - my dog would have this in two goes. yours might take two or three nights or get it the first time.

    PS she is a puppy so there's a good chance she's going to forget if she doesn't have something else to do like chew a big rawhide.

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