Teaching a Downtown MinPin to Focus to Stop His Barking on Walks

By: David Codr

Published Date: August 21, 2018

For this downtown Omaha dog training session we helped a fearful 9 year-old Min Pin / Terrier mix named Rocky; teaching him to focus to stop him from barking at people and dogs on walks.

Rocky’s guardian was taking them out for a potty break when I arrived for the session. This was unplanned but also very desirable.

Dogs that are reactive to people or other dogs often do so out of insecurities. When we are inside, everything is amplified to a dog as there are far fewer distractions and the confined space can lead some docs to feeling somewhat cornered.

Towards the end of the session I suggested that the guardian try to meet new people outside in a similar fashion to help Rocky develop more positive associations with them.

When I met him I adopted a number of dog behaviorist tricks that helps him relax:

  • I stopped several feet away from him and turned sideways.
  • After he stopped barking I tossed a treat near him.
  • After he came to take that treat, I squatted down and then held my hand out to my side with a treat.

For dogs, front facing as confrontational. It also has a correlation to authority and status. By crouching down, offering him my side and waiting for him to come to me, I was communicated to Rocky that I was not a threat. Because of this approach, Rocky warmed up to me right away.

Once we returned to his home, we started the Miniature Pinscher training. I discussed a number of things with his guardian including the importance of rules and structure, how important it is to reward dogs for desired actions and behaviors as well as how to teach him some basic commands.

To stop Rocky from barking at people and dogs on walks, it’s going to be important for his guardian to boost his self-esteem and help him see her as being an authority figure. Ive found this is a common issue when training Min Pins.

But I also wanted to give the guardian a way to get Rocky out of trouble before he started to react. I have found a great way to get a dog to stop barking at people and dogs is to teach them to focus on command.

After demonstrating how to train a dog to focus, I handed the guardian some treats so that she could practice it her self.

If the guardian practices the focus exercise as detailed in the above free dog training video, she will have a powerful tool to stop him from barking at people before he gets a chance to start.

We wrapped up this in-home dog training session by shooting a roadmap to success video where I highlighted all the dog behavior secrets I shared with the guardian during the session.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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