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how to stop a little 7 year old dog from barking?

asked 2016-02-01 16:01:56 -0500

how to stop a 7 year old small dog from barking out in public?

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answered 2016-02-01 21:48:00 -0500

That will depend a lot on the reason s/he is barking. Barking is often a symptom of inadequate exercise/stimulation, so if your dog isn't getting the regular outlet s/he needs on a regular basis, s/he may just be overexcited when you do go out, manifesting as barking. If it just seems to be general excitement to be out in the world, try increasing the amount and types of exercise you're providing, giving him/her opportunities to walk, run, fetch, play.. whatever gets him/her going. Be sure to exercise the mind, too. Using treat dispensing toys instead of regular food dishes and providing regular training sessions (especially focusing on impulse control) can help a ton.

If s/he seems to be reacting to a certain type of trigger, like people, bikes, dogs, etc, you may need to work on desensitization and counter-conditioning to help him/her respond more appropriately when confronted with whatever is causing the reaction. Whether the barking is friendly, frustrated, or fearful, as you're aware, it's not the best reaction. At the very least it's annoying to you, and quite possibly to whatever s/he's barking at, and at worst it's a symptom of a greater underlying problem. The goal is to find a distance where s/he notices whatever is triggering the barking, but doesn't start barking, and reward for the desired behavior. At first this might be very far away, but that's ok. If you use high value treats and progress slowly, avoiding pushing him/her too fast, you should gradually be able to decrease the distance s/he can be from the trigger without reacting until you are able to comfortably walk near the trigger and s/he looks happily to you for reward rather than barking.

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answered 2017-03-01 05:49:36 -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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