Training the new dog owner – Part 4
A yapping dog, guilty of excessive barking, can be a nuisance to everyone in your neighborhood. If this bad habit is not abated, Buddy could become the target of an irate neighbor-turned-poisoner.
You could likewise become the target of a civil suit. If you truly love Buddy, give him just four days of your time with proper schooling. In cases of excessive barking, rarely does it take the full four days for Buddy to “get the message.”
Your investment into a cheap toy water gun can actually be instrumental in saving your dog’s life. Fill it with water and keep it handy. There is a distinct difference in a dog’s bark when he warms off an intruder and when he is simply barking for the sheer joy of it it all.
Some will bark simply because they hear a canine relative barking in the distance, and some will bark simply because they’ve learned that it gets them some attention. If you go to your dog to quiet him down lovingly, you simply compound the problem.
Bringing you on the scene with his bark will have then resulted in a pleasant experience and you can be sure that it will be repeated over and over again. If you rush to your dog and beat him to quiet him down, again you compound the problem. Buddy will quickly learn to keep a safe distance between you and him… but he will still have accomplished his purpose, bringing you out to keep him company.
Here is what you do
When your dog is guilty of non-stop barking, put a smile on your face, calmly grab your water gun, and go to Buddy and give him a shot of water directly in between his eyes, accompanied by the verbal command “OUT!” and without another word, repeat the performance again.
Remember… one squirt, one verbal command. The key here is consistency. Adopt the attitude that whenever your dog barks he is asking you, in his own language, to come out and give him a squirt.
Within four days, your dog will interpret your actions in his own dog mind: “That dumb clown sure don’t dig dog talk. Everything I bark, he thinks I’m asking to be squirted.”
Within four days Buddy will learn to bark in a whisper. He will have come to the conclusion that you’re not hip to dog talk and rather than continue participation in your silly little game, he’d be much better off to keep his mouth shut.
Keeping in mind that dogs learn by association will go a long way toward helping you bring Buddy into the family fold. Don’t rely on cookies and dog treats as the “rewarding experience.” You can’t break a dog from excessive barking by stuffing his mouth full of goodies.
If discontinuance of a bad habit is desired, the pursuance of that habit by the dog must be accompanied by an unpleasant result. Beating your dog is not the answer, and will only create more problems.