How to Stop Dog Barking If You Have a Trio of Dachshunds

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 15, 2022

For this Santa Monica dog training session we worked with a trio of Dachshunds; Mickey, Nala and Simba, sharing tips on how to stop dog barking when people pass by your home.

Simba and especially Nala are anxious dogs which can certainly contribute to a dog barking problem. Nala was so fearful I focused on her to start the session by leaving her alone. I observed her, and after she settled down a bit I started using a few Dog Behaviorist tricks to get her moving around instead of fixating on me. After a bit I took her out for a short sniff walk which really helped her relax around me.

When Nala and I returned from the walk, we went over some foundational things like marker words, enrichment, creative forms of exercise, how to use a positive interrupter, and a hand targeting exercise. These are all things that can help reduce confusion and frustration, key elements when engaging in dog behavior modification.

Tips to stop dogs from barking at people

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If you want to stop dog barking, it’s important to understand first why the dogs are barking in the first place, lol. For this pack of dogs, they were barking to make people go away. And because they can see what they are barking at, every time the barking happens, its the perfect sceario to train dogs to bark at people.

This dog barking problem is partially genetic, partially insufficient early socialization and partially due to a move from a small town and big house in the midwest to a cozy home in a busy part of Santa Monica.

Because the home is near a busy area, there is a steady stream of people passing by. When the dogs hear someone outside their home, they rush to a window or the fence and bark until the person goes away. In the dog’s mind, this means that their barking was successful which reinforces the behavior. Every. Single. Time. I can’t think of a better way to condition dogs to bark at people.

I noticed that the guardian had covered the bottom third of some of the windows that faced the front of the home. I complimented her on her strategy as this is exactly the same technique that I’ve used to help hundreds of dogs learn to stop barking at people passing their home.

The guardian mentioned that another guardian who lives there enjoyed the view and was reluctant to cover up the bottom of the rest of the windows. Although I can understand that the guardian may want to look outside, this technique only requires covering the bottom portion of the window, just enough so that the dogs cannot see outside. This is crucially important so the barking doesnt constantly reinforce itself.

This barking problem is also compounded because Dachshunds are a very barky breed and there are three of them. Additionally, two of the dogs are all on the anxious side making them more likely to bark.

To help the guardian stop these dogs from barking at people outside their home, I set up my camera so that we could record a positive dog training video on how to stop dog barking. If you have a dog that likes to bark at people outside your home, you should check out the free video below.

By recording the sounds that the dogs are triggered by, the guardians can use this counter conditioning technique to stop dogs barking. It will be important for them to go slow and at the dog‘s pace. Preferably practicing with one dog at a time. It’s almost impossible to train dogs to stop barking in a group because one dog can very easily set the rest off. Hopefully the guardian can get a family member to take two of the dogs out so she can work on this counterconditioning trick to stop barking with one dog at a time.

Increasing the dogs exercise and mental stimulation can help the dogs feel less anxious if done on a regular basis. I also recommended that the guardian practice some self-control exercises like the bucket game or it’s yer choice as these can also help the dogs develop and practice a little bit of impulse control.

While it is possible to stop dogs from barking without covering up the windows, it will take an incredibly valiant effort and hours and hours of practice every single day for a few months. Since the guardians cannot predict when people are going to be passing their home, they would have to be literally sitting there all day long waiting for a person to pass so that they can do the counter conditioning. This is just not a reasonable request.

I know it can be incredibly frustrating to have dogs bark at sounds outside of the home over and over. But it’s important to remember that the dogs are not doing this intentionally to try to upset us. Every time I say this to a client, they always nod their head, but we’re only human. There’s only so much barking we can take before we reach our breaking points as well. The problem is, yelling for dogs to be quiet is often confused by the dogs as us agreeing with their barking or validating the behavior because all attention is ultimately rewarding to dogs.

I also discussed the possibility of introducing medication. Because of the intensity of the dogs fears and the amount of practice they have had it barking at things outside of the home, its possible fluoxetine, aka doggy Prozac, could help dim the lights on their anxiety. This wil make it easier for the humans topractice the techniques that we went over in the session. I suggested the guardian speaks to their vet about this possibility.

One of the best parts of this session was how dedicated the guardian is to the well-being of her dogs. I have no doubt that she is going to implement the exercises we went over in this in-home Santa Monica dog training session. It will be incredibly important for her family members that live with her to also practice the exercises or at least be willing to adjust the living environment to take away a lot of the dog’s motivation to bark.

To help the guardian remember all of the positive dog training tips we covered in this session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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