Training Tips to Get a Little Pompapoo to Stop Barking at Guests

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: June 22, 2018

In this Denver dog training session we worked with Preston, a six-year-old Pomapoo who was having issues barking at guests and his guardians wanted him to stop barking when people came over.

After I arrived I sat down to chat with Preston’s guardians about their main dog behavior concerns. I learned that Preston didn’t have a lot of rules in the home, which was contributing to his anxiety in the home, such as pacing. Often times when dogs don’t have rules and structure they tend to pick up a job of their own, even if it’s not something that we agree with! Preston decided that it was his job to bark at guests when they came over. To help them get Preston to stop barking at guests I showed them how to use a version of counterconditioning by using the “Look” exercise:

As you can see in the video, Preston was still barking occasionally at the guest. However, what I want to remind the guardian is to think of this exercise as a work in progress and moving towards the target of not barking at all. So at this point if Preston barks a little but then can stop himself and go back for a treat that is progress. As he gets better and better at the exercise we will increase our criteria for how hard he has to work, meaning he can’t bark at all anymore to get the treat reward. Essentially, we will slowly phase out all of the barking over time. Eventually Preston shouldn’t bark at all in order to get a treat reward. This may take several weeks to months of practice.

By the end of the session Preston was relaxing and looking to his guardian for leadership and direction. To keep up with this good behavior the guardians will want ot be consistent with this training and use our Petting with a Purpose technique to reward him for good behavior. We wrapped up this dog behavior session with Preston’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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