Training Little Dogs to Stop Barking at the Door in an Apartment Building

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: August 27, 2017

Carl (left) is a three-year-old French Bulldog who lives in Omaha with one-year-old French Bulldog, Birdie (right). Their guardians set up a dog behavior training session to help them stop barking at other dogs in the apartment building and fix separation anxiety.

After the dogs greeted me at the door I sat down to chat with their guardians about their main dog behavior concerns. They had moved into a new location and their sliding glass door gave Carl the ability to see all of the neighborhood dogs. He started barking at them, which eventually taught their younger dog to start barking at them through social learning.

Since the outdoor patio area didn’t have any dogs at the time I decided to teach the guardians our Claiming the Door exercise, which they can use as a method for keeping Carl away from the sliding glass door. They will be using the Escalating Consequences to disagree with him when he is crossing the invisible boundary that we set for when guests walk through the front door or dogs are visible through the sliding glass door. You can see how we accomplished this in the video below.

As you can see in the video it is a little trickier working with two dogs instead of just one, but Carl was respecting the boundaries more than Birdie. This is because we started off the training session with our Leadership Exercise, changing the home dynamics to Carl looking to his guardians as the leaders and him adopting the follower’s mindset. The guardians will want to work on this exercise with Birdie to help her adopt this mindset.

By the end of the session both dogs were calmly laying down and relaxing. The dogs were learning how to respect the boundaries around both doors and looking to their guardians for direction. To keep up with this good behavior the guardians will want to continue to use our Petting with a Purpose technique, to reward them for good behavior. We wrapped up this session with Carl and Birdie’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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