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How to stop my dog from barking at other dogs?

asked 2017-02-23 14:30:56 -0500

This is a question that we often get from sitter and owners who work with Rover. Help the community out by answering them in our forum!

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Dogs bark to communicate whether it's to other dogs or their owners. However, some dogs bark excessively which can become annoying for people and even terrifying for other dogs. The behavior should immediately be corrected by telling the dog no and tugging on the leash. Reward good behavior only.

Alanna V.'s profile image Alanna V.  ( 2017-02-23 15:21:44 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2017-02-23 15:29:13 -0500

I find the best training method to be reinforcement with treats. Before the dog barks, point out the other dog and when he looks at the other dog, give your pup a training treat. Each time he looks st the other dog without barking, give a little training treat.

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answered 2017-02-23 14:42:36 -0500

This is a tough question, and I understand how frustrating it is for you!

My main recommendation for you is going to be lots of patience and positive reinforcement. If your dog is barking while on walks, make sure to take lots of your pups favorite treats and begin practicing. Come up with a key word to get your dog to focus on you and nothing else, and every time you pass a dog, use this command. If it works and your pup pays attention to you and does not bark, reward them with a treat. If not, redirect them away from the situation in a calm manner and try again. Again, this will require a lot of patience on both of your ends!

Another thing you can try, that I personally don't have any experience with, are bark collars. They make specific collars that will squirt water or citronella (or any other safe, bad smelling product) in your pups face every time they bark. They will soon see barking as something that is followed by a bad experience.

Last, I know this is not going to be very popular, but it is up to you to do it responsibly, is a shock collar. If your dog is getting to the point where you can't enjoy going out and both you and your pup are miserable and scaring those around you, you can try a properly used shock collar, that surprise, doesn't just shock your pup. It can work hand in hand with my first method, but when your pup starts barking a light shock/buzz can deter them from doing so. Most shock collars come with different settings - a beep, a vibration, and a shock. You should start with the beep overtime they bark. If they do not stop, move to the buzz, and if no change, then do a light shock depending on the size of your dog. Soon, they'll start remembering that a beep leads to a buzz and then a shock, and shortly you will only need to beep for them to know their behavior needs to be changed. This, along with tons of positive reinforcement when they are doing well is a great plan - as long as you are responsible and use the collar well.

Best of luck!

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answered 2017-02-23 15:34:24 -0500

When training your pup there is a method that has worked for many of the dogs in the past. Take an empty can, fill it with pennies/ coins, and duck tape over so none fall out. When your dog begins barking shake the can once or twice with a firm "no" or "no barking" and they begin to learn very quickly not to bark. My dogs used to bark when visitors arrived so we kept one right near the front door just in case.

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answered 2017-02-23 15:34:30 -0500

The easiest and most immediate help is to use management techniques. When you see another dog, even if your dog hasn’t noticed, turn and go the other way, cross the street, or move behind a car. You get the idea. Don’t wait until your dog starts reacting. You are trying to avoid the problem and prevent your dog from practicing the reactive behavior. The more your dog is able to bark and lunge, the more likely that he’ll do it next time. After all, it does keep other dogs away.

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answered 2017-02-23 15:13:17 -0500

There's several options to get your dog to stop barking: invest in a bark collar that buzzes or shocks the dog every time it barks, de-vocalize the dog through surgery (which can be extreme option for many dog owners), but if you have the time and patience I would recommend training the dog to stop barking yourself. To correct the dog problem behavior, you should communicate to your dog to stop barking with a sound, look, or even a physical correction like a yank on the leash when he/she encounters another dog on a walk. Often times, the dog understood the correction because he/she will pause, but will then go back to barking. It is important to make sure your dog stops barking completely before you reward the dog with a treat. That way, he/she fully understands that the treat will only be given when he/she has stopped barking.

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answered 2017-02-23 14:48:39 -0500

As much as many people hate to hear it, you may need to invest in a bark collar. Dogs like to bark, it is often how they establish their relationship with other dogs and it is how they alert their owners of a "weird" or "dangerous" situation, like encountering an unfamiliar dog. A good bark collar (look for reviews when buying, probably not going to be the cheapest one on the market) will reduce and even eliminate your dog's barking quickly and effectively. It worked on my Pit Mix in 2 days! She no longer even has to wear it.

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answered 2017-02-23 15:34:04 -0500

This is a hard thing to correct, but I found that if I notice the other dog before my dog does, I can have him sit/stay and reward him for that. I have trained him that if he sits and stays without barking, he gets to meet the dog. It takes a lot of time and patience and one very helpful thing I've found is taking him to the dog park and walking around the perimeter. Once he stops pulling and barking, he gets to go in. You can also train him in this way by having a friend meet you with another dog. Make sure its one hour dig won't recognize so you can start training him to react differently once he meets new dogs.

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