Barking comes naturally to dogs, and training them over how to bark isn’t really all that difficult or necessary.
It is in training them to bark on command or when told to so that’s tricky, as well as training them to clam up when a command is issued.
If you happen to be setting the concept of “on-command barks” into your dog, here’s a quick step method hailed to work for most “on-command barks” training sessions. Practice dedication and patience when putting these training steps in action, and in time, your dog will get to bark and shush down when told to do so.
1. Picking Commands – pick a command word for “bark” and “stop barking” first, before anything else. Use these words consistently during the training process, so as not to confuse your dog. Alternatively, you can reinforce voice commands with hand gestures, but world commands alone are often enough.
2. Quiet/Shush Routine – in heading on with your dog’s training, a “shushing” routine will be necessary. Every time your dog barks at something, acknowledge it by addressing what he/she is barking at, then get his/her attention by clapping your hands or snapping your fingers. Once your dog stops barking, issue the “stop barking” command (say it well, clearly and audibly) as you give your dog a treat.
The idea is to reinforce the command as a good thing, reinforcing your dog’s silence with a reward.
3. “Speak Up” Routine – once your dog gets the hang of shushing when told, you can now train him/her to bark when told to do so. You’ll have to utilize “distractions” for this step, like getting a family member or friend to ring the door bell or rap at windows. Once a “distraction” is up, say your bark command following or flowing with your dog’s barks.
Do this routine regularly, and as with the quiet/shush routine, give your dog a treat every time he/she responds to your issued bark command.
Once your dog gets the difference between your commands, you can then put him/her training to the test, consequently issuing a bark then silence command. Ensure that the treats you give to your dog as rewards are tasty treats, in making the whole training process faster and more instilled.
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