First of all, let me say this: barking is okay. Your dog has every right to bark – dogs bark period.
We need to dissect when ”barking becomes a problem” from ”just barking” as a part of your dog’s ethogram.
In what situations do you find barking disturbing? Under what conditions barking is not desired.
Is it when you walk by another dog? Or maybe when guests come to the house, or when you live your dog alone in the house?

 

Training your dog not to bark
Dog

 

When barking is the problem?

Identifying when barking is a problem is the first step to the behavior modification program. Please always have in mind what we said at the beginning of this article: barking is okay. Dogs bark. Only when barking starts to be excessive and by that I mean daily, ongoing barking. I addition, dog presents other ”behaviors” like panting, repetitive movement, chasing one’s tail, biting, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, shaking – it’s not only advisable but crucial to help your dog. Make sure you check out our online dog training classes to find professionals who can help you and your dog.

In this article, we will address barking around the front doors

How to train your dog not to bark? If your dog barks when you approach front doors, we can do a few things to modify his behavior. I will focus on one of them more precisely and only mention the other options you have.

1. Put barking behavior on stimulus control.

In other words: barking happens around the front door only on cue you give. If you don’t give the cue – default behavior will be ”silence.” You will need to capture barking. Every time your dog barks – click and treat. Yea, I haven’t gotten crazy. I want you to reinforce this behavior heavily. We want it to happen very often. If the behavior is predictable, make sure you add a cue to it. Arrange a situation when you are certain your dog will bark. Just before it happens – say the new cue:

– arrange the situation

– say the new bark cue

– your dog barks

– click and treat

– as your dog finishes eating: say the new bark cue

– your dog barks

– click and treat

You can repeat that multiple times.
The next step is to reinforce the break between barks. So right now we are clicking and delivering a treat for your dog staying quiet between

repetitions:

– arrange the situation

– say the bark cue

– your dog barks

– click and treat

– WHEN YOUR DOG finishes his treat, you should click and deliver another one. Do it very quickly. We want to do it BEFORE your dog has a chance to bark again.

– then say the bark cue

– click and treat

– click and treat again for silence

Your goal here is to extend the time between barks. We want barking to happen ONLY when you say the bark cue.
That’s why we are reinforcing quiet moments between barks. The result we are looking for is BARK cue = your dog is barking. No BARK cue – your dog is silent. When you have that behavior on cue – you just don’t give the cue around the front doors anymore!

2. The dog is barking – change the meaning of your behavior

Change the meaning of your behavior. Right now, your behavior (walking towards the door) functions as a cue for barking. Instead, we can teach you that this is a cue for different behavior: go to the mat, sit, or just follow you silently.

3. How to get your dog busy when you walk to the door

Change the antecedent arrangement. Simply change what happens when you approach doors. If typically your dog follows you barking – prepare different activities for him instead. The easiest way would be to offer a sniffing mat immediately before you stand up and go the doors. Your dog will engage with it while you go to the front doors.

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There are more ways in which you can address the issue. Remember to always look at the broader context – excessive barking around front doors can be a result of your dog having too little exercise, medical problems. Make sure you seek help from professionals if you are unsure of what is the underlying cause.