Training Tips to Help a Toy Dog Stop Barking at Guests

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: April 19, 2018

In this Omaha dog training session we worked with Fran, a five-year-old Toy Poodle, who needed help to stop barking at guests using counterconditioning.

I chatted with Fran’s guardians about their main dog behavior concerns and I learned that Fran likes to bark at guests and one of the guardians when he walks around the home. To help Fran stop barking I taught the guardians how to use the counterconditioning method. When use the counterconditioning method you only want to give the dog a treat when someone is standing up or moving around, essentially when Fran would be more likely to bark. When the guest is being still and Fran would otherwise be quiet, you don’t want to give a treat. In other words, only give Fran a treat when she would be most likely to bark to make a positive association between Fran receiving a treat for being quiet. To see how we did this watch the video below.

As you can see in the video above, Fran quickly caught on to this technique. Over time the guardians can start to give less treats to Fran as she becomes more and more comfortable with guests moving around in her home. Remember to not pet Fran if she does bark, because that will reinforce the barking behavior.

By the end of the session Fran was successfully learning how to stay calm and quiet when I moved around in the home. We were able to transfer this to her guardian that she barks at by having him drop treats as he walked around the home. We wrapped up this behavior session with Fran’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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