Most dog owners are overwhelmed by a dog’s barking behavior. An incessantly barking dog after all can be a nuisance. A dog that barks non-stop will surely be a problem especially in a close-knit community. Seldom do we hear dog owners being troubled by the pet’s inability to bark. Dogs though apart from being wonderful companions are proven to be wonderful protectors as well. A barking dog intimidates burglars and alerts the owners to the presence of intruders. This is the reason why not all dog owners would want to curb the barking behavior of the dog. What they would want is to control the barking of the pet. So how would you teach the dog when not to bark and when to bark?
Just like any other behavioral training, consistency and positive training methods are the essential keys to train the dog. The objective of the training is to teach the dog to bark when the presence of a stranger is noticed. Be consistent with the command that you are going to use. So it would be either bark or speak. It would also help if the same tone of voice is used. Tie the dog’s leash near the fence or near the gate. Stay a few feet away from the dog and give the command when a stranger passes by. It would help if you would have a treat or a toy as it will serve as a positive reinforcement that will entice the dog to follow your command. At the first bark, praise the dog and reward the deed with a treat. Dogs are natural barkers. The tricky part in the training is making the dog understand and act on your command to bark.
Once the dog is consistently barking at passersby, you can now change location. Take the dog to the backyard and do the same process again. The training is expected to be easier this time. You may gradually lessen the giving of treats though it is recommended to be lavish with the praise. Generally, dogs want to please the master thus praise from the master would serve as an incentive to obey.
On to the next level of the training… Create a situation that will make the dog bark. Say a noise outside the door or ask someone to ring the doorbell or to knock on the door. When the sound is heard, give the bark or speak command in a clear voice. The dog is expected to bark and when it does immediately praise the dog or reward the dog with a treat. The positive reinforcement has to be associated by the dog to the performance of the given command. Training must also be conducted at night. After all, it is during night times that the dog’s watchfulness is most needed.