Tips to Help a Dog Who Barks at People Who Talk to Him

By: David Codr

Published Date: August 20, 2021

For this West LA dog training session, we worked with Boba, a one year-old Black Lab puppy who gets upset when people talk to him or his guardian on walks.

Bubba’s guardian had reached out to me last year to help her settle him into her home with her cat. Because he was adopted during the corona era, he was under socialized and as a result, he now barks whenever people approach and talk to him or his guardian when they are out and about or on walks.

I decided to use a counterconditioning exercise to stop the dog from barking at people who talk to him. Stopping a dog who barks at people who try to talk or pet it is all about building up the dog’s confidence and creating positive experiences and associations.

If you have a dog that does not like it when people talk to them, check out the free positive dog training video below.

The most challenging part of this secret to stopping a dog from barking at people who talk to it is going to be to find helpers. Boba‘s guardian does not have many friends who live in the area. I recommended that she look for help at places where dog friendly people can be found like at dog parks or public recreation areas.

It will be important for the guardian to work on this dog barking problem as much as possible. Boba is still a young dog and so this behavior pattern can still be adjusted. The longer it continues, the more of a practiced behavior it becomes. An additional factor is large breed dogs typically solidify their personalities around two years of age. So if the guardian doesn’t remedy the situation in the next 8 to 12 months, it’s possible to behavior will continue to some extent for the rest of the dog’s life.

If you have a young dog, make sure that you get it exposed to all of the common scenarios and situations that it will experience as an adult dog. These early exposures, if done in a positive way, can have a profound impact on your dog’s behavior. Failure to expose your dog to the sort of types of experiences it may result in your dog barking at people who try to talk to it or other similar problems.

Fortunately for Boba, his guardian is determined and dedicated to his well-being. I am confident that she’s going to find scenarios and situations where she can enlist the help of some other people to help Boba practice being talked to without barking back at them.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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