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Barking Puppies

Turn your puppy from defensive to passive:


Puppy barking and the calm freeze:

Puppy Barking and the calm freeze

Important Points:

  • Puppies – like dogs – can bark for several reasons.
  • Any attention given is exactly that, so think about what you are doing even before communicating with your puppy.
  • Recognize that everything you do will either serve to increase that behavior or decrease it.
  • Learn to ask yourself, why is my puppy barking before you respond.
  • If your puppy is barking at people and thinks they are danger take a look at Aggression Towards People

Barking when they are left alone

When puppies are young they may make a noise when they are first left alone. This is normal but so long as they are safe and you follow the 5 Golden Rules they will grow out of it. When you leave them make no fuss, if you need to say goodbye with a kiss and cuddle then you can do this 10 minutes before you leave the house. Leave the puppy in a small safe place where it can’t roam around and get lost. The key to everything is to make sure that you follow Golden Rule No.3 when you return. It is good to build up to a long stay by first practising lots of small ones. Leave the house for 2 minutes and then 5, then 15 then 30 and so on.

Barking at danger

When puppies are very young they will most likely not worry too much about things happening around their den. However at some stage as they grow older they will start to tell you about things that they have noticed that they are not too sure about! Often it will be simple things such as your neighbor who’s been working in his garden and has been most afternoons for the past 5 years but your puppy has never noticed, or a dog barking in the distance.

Danger to a puppy could be any strange noise, smell or sight.

When this happens respond exactly as described in Golden Rule No.2.

Barking to get attention

First check that your puppy doesn’t need water or a toilet stop. If your puppy wants attention then just ignore the barking and yapping. Don’t touch, look or speak. If it continues then you can turn your back on your puppy and walk away or even leave the room. It is very easy to give in but in the long run you will regret it! It is perfectly fine to walk out the room as a consequence of its action for barking at you – she will get the message: barking at me doesn’t work!

Telling the dog off will mean that you gave your puppy attention – not recommended. Remember your puppy is an attention seeking machine! Any attention is better than nothing so simply ignore.

This is the same if you puppy is barking at you because it wants you to throw the ball or do something else…NOW! Things should happen on your terms not your puppies.

If your puppy refuses to stop barking then isolate it for a few minutes.

Barking at night when left alone

Barking at night when left alone is a perfectly normal thing. For your puppy it can be quite an unsettling experience as it doesn’t know that there are locks on the doors, and nothing to fear inside. Your puppy also doesn’t realise that you are only next door and shall return in the morning for another new day. With time she will learn but for now the best thing is just to ignore. Going in to comfort your puppy shall only make it worse so just ride the storm and your puppy will give up. Often just at the point where you can’t take it any longer they are actually about to give up so hold on and before you know it you will have won through and your puppy will drop off to sleep!

If you want to take the more gentle route with your puppy then you could put them in a box, crate or bed in your bedroom for the first few nights. However you will still have to face the music and place them in their own room eventually. Alternatively you could leave your puppy in its crate or bed and sleep in the same room on the couch for a night or two but do not make a habit of it. Again, eventually you will have to face the music – however your puppy will be more settled in then.

If you are planning to keep them in your room always then that is your choice. However it is always a powerful message to show your dog Golden Rule No.3 in the morning when you re-unite. This is now not possible as you have not been separated.

Barking to get out of the crate or room in the morning

The best way to train your puppy not to bark before letting it out of the crate is to make sure that it is quiet before you open the door to the crate. I know this sounds simple, and it is if you do this from the beginning. When your puppy cries in the morning don’t go rushing in, instead wait until it has been quiet for a couple of minutes and then let it out. The other thing to try is to wake up earlier than your puppy and let her out even though she has not started barking yet. These two actions will show her that there is no connection between barking and getting let out. With time she will get the message and learn to wait quietly before she gets let out of her crate or room.

Additional tips

  1. Make sure that your puppy is not bored and that it has toys to play with.
  2. Check that it doesn’t want to go out to the toilet and doesn’t need water.
  3. Just like children it is always best to put them to bed when they have been to the toilet and are calm and relaxed!

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