How to Stop a Dog From Barking When People Stand Up

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 18, 2023

How to Stop a Dog From Barking

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with (from left) Reggie, Charles and Winston; going over how to stop a dog from barking when people stand up.

It was good to see Winston and Bindi again as I worked with them a few years ago on some other issues. When his guardians added buddies Reggie and Charles to the pack, the group of dogs developed a habit of jumping on guests. There were also some inner dog pack disagreements they wanted to address.

Stopping Dog Barking and Jumping

We worked on a number of things in the course of three sessions. We started with some marker words, hand targeting and a lesson on dog consent and cut off signals.

After the first session, the dog’s guardians were excited to put what they learned into use. They noted that sometimes dogs were giving cut off signals that weren’t being honored. But now that they recognized the conversation going on between the dogs, they were able to intercede when needed.

When the guardian told me after our first session that the dogs seemed more comfortable, it made me smile. When the guardian said that they felt more confident due to understanding what was going on, it turned my smile into a big ole grin.

One of the most rewarding parts of this job is seeing the light come on for dogs or people. I strive to help people recognize the WHY of their dog’s behavior. Many people see the unwanted behaviors as a nuisance, instead of a reaction or form of communication. Knowing that I helped the people and dogs better understand each other was a significant first step.

In our second session, we worked on the door jumping. I demonstrated our secret method to stop jumping with Reggie, then coached the guardians up until they were able to get the same results. I reminded hem they will need to practice this replacement behavior with each dog separately until they have it down pat. Once that is the case, then they should bring the best 2 dogs together and start at the beginning and work back up to the final step.

How to Stop a Dog from Barking When People Stand Up

For our last session, the guardians wanted to work on Reggie’s relationship with a male friend who also walks the dogs when their humans travel. Reggie usually barked when he arrived but would settle down after a while. But Reggie started barking anytime the friend stood up.

Some dogs get upset when they are uncomfortable and someone they aren’t familiar with moves in a way that startles them or makes them think something may happen. The guest is just standing up we think, why does my dog bark when people stand up?

To dogs, standing is a more authoritative position. It’s likely that when Reggie barks at the guest for standing up, it’s his way of saying “whoow, what do you think you are doing in my house?” To Reggie, a human standing up is something to be concerned about.

I wasn’t sure at first if Reggie was scared or territorial. I spoke to the guardians and their friend about their previous interactions before we went inside to start the third session.

I discovered that after a few unsuccessful attempts, the friend had the guardian put Reggie on the leash and hand it to him so he could take the dog for a walk. It seemed to work well as Reggie stopped barking and did walk with him. But afterwards, Reggie started barking when their guest stood up.

While taking a dog for a walk this way seems logical to humans, the dog is being (gently and non aggressively ) forced to go for that walk.

The problem with that approach is that if the dog doesn’t want to get close to the human or go for the walk, we are forcing them to do so against their will. Again we look at this and think “but I’m going to take you for a walk and you love walks.”

But if the dog doesn’t want to do something and you trick or force them, you are communicating to the dog that you sometimes won’t listen or can’t always be trusted. Many dogs are ok and will keep following along. But Reggie, and many other dogs, resist.

We do the same thing. If someone wants to convince us to do something, they need to do so in a way where we agree. Otherwise we don’t go unless we are kidnapped. Now I’m not comparing taking a dog on a walk with kidnapping, but there are similarities; being made to do something you don’t want to do.

As Omaha’s Dog Behavior Expert, I have learned that people forcing or tricking dogs to do things can easily cause other behavior problems.

I recreated the greeting by leaving a trail of treats down the driveway to where the friend was sitting. Reggie walked right up to him because of the treats. But once we go there, the human started giving him treats and asking if Reggie was comfortable doing things. Once we determined that was the case, we went on a walk together, with everyone on board.

When we returned, I asked the friend to sit down on the couch so I could show him an easy way to stop a dog from barking when people stand up. It worked immediately so we repped it a few time. To help everyone remember, I pulled out my camera and filmed this trick to stop dogs from barking when people stand up. If you have a dog who barks when strangers stand up, you should defiantly check out the free positive dog training video below.

As seen in the video above, Reggie’s barking wasn’t aggressive; it stemmed from nervousness around someone he didn’t trust standing up suddenly. Through our training approach, Reggie became more interested in treats and grew more at ease with strangers moving about.

Tips to Stop Dog Barking

By changing the introduction and using this method to stop a dog from barking when people stand up, the guest was able to stand up and walk around with only minimal disagreement (one small grumble but not barks) from Reggie.

Stopping dog barking doesn’t happen over night. It will be important to practice this way to stop dogs from barking when people stand – in stages. The key is to first wam the dog up and rep things successfully (no barking) a few times with the treat at his mouth.

But quickly we can flip it so that we are holding up a treat, standing, then treating. Eventually the friend will be able to get up and walk all the way to the fridge or door before treating Reggie. This is the best way to stop a dog from barking when people stand up. We are changing their emotional response from a negative to a positive.

You can say this is training a dog to not bark when people stand up, but really, we’re just creating a positive association and building up the dog’s trust through that new greeting outside.

I’d like to see the guardians recreate this treat trail meeting for the next 2 visits and on the third visit, have the friend take Reggie for the walk without his human tagging along. That should really set things up for success.

Combined with the training video on how to stop dogs from barking at people who stand, Reggie should stop barking and start wagging his tail when he sees the dog walking in the future.

Need Help to Stop a Dog From Barking? Click Here to Stop it Today
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This post was written by: David Codr