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Bark - No Bark

by Jean Guarr

Basically, you have to teach the dog to bark on command before you can teach him not to bark. To do that, just go to him and bark at him in a happy, higher-pitched-than-your-usual voice and then say "Bark" to him. When he barks, give him a treat. Do that for at least 4 days, practicing it at least 20 times a day.When you can say "Bark" to him without having to bark first, practice that for another 3 days or so - remembering to give treats when he barks on command.

barking dogAfter 3 days in which you've given the Bark command at least 15 times a day and he's barked in response every time, you're ready for No Bark. Go to him and give the Bark command; when he barks give him a treat. Then say No Bark in a lower-pitched-than-usual voice and - if he doesn't bark within 5 seconds, say "Good no bark" and give him a treat for that. Don't wait longer than 5 seconds at first. If he barks, say "Oops" and say No Bark again. If he'll let you do it without getting hyperactive or nervous, you can gently close his mouth for a couple of seconds with your fingers. If it makes him nervous, you'll just have to wait for your opportunity to reward him for No Barking. If he's having trouble getting the idea, reward him for just 2 or 3 seconds of not barking in response to your No Bark command. You can go to a longer wait for the reward in a couple of days - once he's getting the idea of what you want - but always remember to say Good No Bark.

If you need to get him to stop barking when he's really wound up, get his attention first by speaking to him in a happy high-pitched voice and have him walk with you a few steps away from whatever's causing the barking. Does he fetch? If he does, throw something and tell him to fetch it. If not, you might want to start teaching him to fetch.

 

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