Barking around the property
The pack leader will take care of any danger around the property! The solution to barking around the property is covered off in detail in Rule No.2. However here I shall go into more detail about some of the other tricks that you can use to get control of the most persistent barkers!
Summary of the solution
- At the first set of barks – Say “Thank You” in a calm but clear voice and look over in the direction of the danger. There is no need to move unless your dog is barking in the garden, in which case stand in a position that your dog can hear you and say it.
- At the second set of barks – Stand up, slowly walk over to the danger, stand in front of your dog, take a look and then say “Thank You” while looking at the risk. Then turn and walk away and carry on doing what you were doing.
- If your dog makes one more sound – Isolate immediately without a word.
How to get the message across clearly:
Make sure; you give your dog the same calm, consistent set of actions.
Never let your dog make a single grumble after the second “Thank You”, this is a case of zero tolerance!
You need to be on duty 100% when you are around the house. Otherwise, you are not consistent.
At the second set of barks:
- Ignore your dog – Do not look at your dog the whole time, do not make eye contact, no touching and no speaking (except for the words”Thank You”)
- Stay very calm – remember your dog is not going to believe there is no danger if you are stomping around the room, huffing and puffing under your breath, stressed and then blast out “THANK YOU!!!!”
- Speak gently and calmly – the energy you use is vital. Dogs are far better at picking up on our energy than we are, imagine that they can read your mind. If you are stressed, they know it and will assume it is because of the danger!
- Move slowly – walking slowly is a fantastic way to show your dog there is no danger
- Make it believable – take your time when looking at the risk, look for a few seconds
- Be decisive – after looking turn and walk away without even glancing at your dog. Don’t dither and look to see what your dog is going to do! Avoid any eye contact as this will ask your dog the question…”What do you think?”
- Carry on with what you were doing – show your dog that there is no danger by acting normal
…and then if your dog makes one more sound:
- Use a short line – leave the short line on in the house so that you can catch your dog quickly
- Never make a game of picking your dog – use the short line, stand on the line and isolate. Remember, never call your dog to you if you are going to isolate
Useful tricks to assist you in gaining control:
- Remember the step by step approach – Take control of one area of your house first and then look to take control over your entire property step by step. To do this, you may need to keep some doors closed initially, etc.
- Start with the lowest intensity that you can – this is not always in your control but if you can look to simply get your dog used to a low energy before testing out the highest!
- First master the barking inside the house before letting your dog bark around the garden. Again, close the doors until you are ready to let your dog outside or are willing to follow through with the method.
- Use a baby gate – if necessary use a baby gate to separate the inside of your house initially. This will allow you to keep your dog away from certain areas where he barks the most until things are under control.
- Isolation – make sure that the isolation is suitable. Your dog should be in a room that is preferably annoying, small, without toys and a view and a fully closing door, not a crate or baby gate. Never isolate your dog with the danger, i.e. if your dog is barking at birds then you can’t isolate your dog outside!
- Duration of time out – For little puppies you want them in and out in 1-3 minutes, however, if older dogs insist on barking when they come out then you can increase the time out from 5 to 10 or 20 minutes.
Barking outside in the garden
- Use a long line – you need to be able to take control of your dog, the long line will allow you to do this
- If you have a huge property and your dog runs all the way to the bottom then look to first set up a system where your dog is secured in a position that you can easily get to isolate. Again this is only temporary until you have control
- If possible look to break up the area of your garden. For example, a simple temporary wire mesh fence that separates the front garden and back garden can save you an awful lot of running around!
- Consider putting a visual screen up if it is appropriate. Sometimes a simple board across a gate that your dog sits at and barks at will halve the time needed to get your dog under control