Teaching a Dog to Focus on Her Guardians to Prevent her from Barking at Strangers

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 26, 2020

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with a couple of big dogs; 3 year-old Pitbull Lab mix Cora and her roomie 1 year-old Rottweiler Bane, teaching them some control and to focus on their humans instead of barking at other dogs or people.

Because Cora was unpredictable when it came to meeting new people and Bane often fed off of her energy, I used a special way of greeting dogs in a very passive and positive way that I have developed over the years. Each dog came out separately and within minutes were taking treats from my hand and walking nicely next to me on a short walk.

With the Corona Virus epidemic, we spent most of this session in the back yard so we could practice appropriate social distancing and limit contact.

I started off by suggesting some creative ways of exercising the dogs. This is a often overlooked factor when it comes to rehabilitating unwanted behavior out of dogs. But any Dog Behavior expert will tell you that proper exercise sets dogs up for success.

I had given the dogs bully sticks so that they would be preoccupied while I discussed the dog behavior problems with the humans, but Bane would drop his and go stand next to Cora in an attempt to get hers. I immediately disagreed by moving between then then walking towards Bane until he was farther than 6 feet away.

When a dog has a high value item and another dog gets close, its that’s dog’s way of trying to obtain that item. If the humans don’t intercede, the dogs feel they need to handle this on their own and this can lead to dog fights or confrontations. On the other hand, if the humans monitor and police this interaction as I did, they will get credit for acting like leaders in the dog’s eyes.

Bane was just expressing he wanted something as he is really still a puppy. But at over 100 lbs, its important he develop good doggy manners. The more the humans interrupt and disagree with this unwanted dog behavior, the less Bane will try to get Cora’s bones.

Since Cora and Bane like to bark at people passing by the yard and often didnt listen as well as the humans would like, I shared some tips to help the dogs see and respect the humans as the leaders. Introducing and enforcing rules consistently, petting with a purpose, rewarding desired behaviors and practicing control based exercises will help stop the dogs from acting out and barking when people come near the house.

Focus

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This post was written by: David Codr

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