Great Tips to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking at Vehicles

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: September 15, 2017

Eddie is a three-year-old German Shepherd/ Hound mix who lives in Omaha. His guardians set up a dog behavior training session to help him stop reacting to trucks and buses and stop dog reactivity.

After I arrived I sat down to chat with Eddie’s guardians about their main dog behavior concern. They wanted Eddie to stop barking at dogs, trucks and buses when going for walks. Every time Eddie barked at a truck or a dog when going for a walk he thought he was causing those things to move away from him. He didn’t understand that the truck and dogs would move away from him on their own.

To teach Eddie how to stop reacting to trucks and stop barking, we took him for a walk around town. When we ran into something that he would react to or bark at, we would ask him to sit and take a treat reward while looking at the thing he wanted to bark at. This way we could reward him for gaining self control and not barking at trucks and dogs. When you first start using this counterconditioning method distance is your friend. The further you are away from whatever your dog wants to bark at the easier it will be for them to gain self control. Over time you can slowly decrease the distance between your dog and whatever they are reacting to.

To see how we accomplished training Eddie to stop barking at vehicles, you can watch the video below.

As you can see in the video above, Eddie was wearing a harness. I noticed that while we were on our walk Eddie would want to pull ahead of his guardians. When you are on a walk, whoever is in front is taking the leadership position. Because harnesses teach dogs to pull, I taught Eddie’s guardians how to use our structured walk technique to help Eddie stop pulling on the leash and gain leadership while going for a walk. When the guardians take the leadership position on walks it will help Eddie relax and not react to vehicles and other dogs because he can trust his guardians to keep him safe.

By the end of the session Eddie was calmly walking next to his guardians while going for a walk and looking to his guardians for leadership and direction. To keep up with this good behavior I want to remind his guardians to use the Escalating Consequences to disagree with Eddie and use our Petting with a Purpose method to reward him for good behavior. We wrapped up this session with Eddie’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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