Dog Training: Here’s A Quick Way To Stop Your Dog From Barking
It was five in the morning and Timmy wouldn’t stop barking. Timmy is a Jack Russell Terrier and belongs to my mother-in-law. We were watching him over the weekend and his barking was already driving me crazy.
I rolled over in bed and informed my wife that Timmy would learn the word “Hush” today.
Barking is a normal and natural behavior for dogs. Barking becomes a problem when it becomes excessive. You can control your dog’s barking. The easiest way to do this is to teach your dog the word “Hush.”
If your dog is barking and you start yelling “Hush”, “Shut up”, “Stop barking”, all you are doing is paying attention to the barking that can reinforce the behavior.
Training comes down to applying a consequence to any word or command you give your dog. The general rule of thumb is that when you want your dog to behave for you, i.e. sit, sit, stay, etc., you apply a positive consequence. When you want your dog to stop performing a behavior, that is, stealing, begging, jumping, or barking, apply a negative consequence.
Let me tell you that when you decide to apply a negative consequence you must be careful. Applying positive consequences has no side effects. Apply negative consequences yes.
Back to the barking. Your dog is doing a behavior that you want to stop, so let’s apply a negative consequence. The easiest negative consequence to apply in this situation is the breath spray.
Go to your local pharmacy and buy some binaca breath spray or Listerine breath spray. Now you can pair the word “Silence” with the negative consequence of the breath spray.
You see, your dog won’t like the sound, smell, or taste of the breath spray. It is a simple negative consequence that will not harm your dog. Now when your dog starts barking, you can firmly say the word “Hush” and then reach down and spray into your dog’s mouth.
Repeat if your dog starts barking again. It is important to remember that we want your dog to learn the word “Silence”. This is done by pairing the word with the spray. “Hush”, spray, “Hush”, spray. After a few times, your dog will notice.
Once your dog learns the word “Quiet” and you don’t need to use the spray, your dog will have learned the word. Once this happens, you can start rewarding your dog for not barking. So if you say “Hush” and you don’t need to use the spray, you can reward your dog by saying “Nice quiet” and give your dog a reward.
Needles to say, little Timmy learned the word “Hush” and we had a much more enjoyable visit with him.