This video explains how the pack leader will always take care of risk around the house, property or in the wild the den. The pack leader would decide how to react, and as humans, we need to show our dog that there is nothing to anxiety about.
Taking care of danger in practice:
This video is an example of showing a dog that there is no need to worry about the three dogs in the back of my car.
(Please note: I always leave my dogs with plenty of ventilation and water in the car, and on hot days leave the air con running for them. To see how dangerous it is to leave a pet inside a car watch this video)
Always remain calm, relaxed and use low energy
- At the first set of bark – say “Thank You, ” but there is no need to move.
- At the second set of bark – go and look, stand in front of your dog, say “Thank You” and walk away (do not look at your dog).
- If your dog makes one more noise then isolate immediately.
- Let your dog out of isolation when they are calm and then repeat from step one.
Some Burning’s Q&A
Q: What do we do if we do not know what our dog was barking at?
A: Just follow the same three steps. Often you will not hear things that your dog can, they have a slightly different range than humans and can also smell things that we cannot. You need to show your dog that whatever it is that they heard, saw or smelt you will make a decision as to whether or not it is dangerous and respond accordingly. Your dogs will not be impressed if you are only on duty some of the time. You need to display your dog that you are always on duty and are always going to make the decision regarding danger. Think of yourself as a security guard; your dogs will not be impressed if you are only sometimes on alert and responsive!
Q: Will we have to do this forever?
A: No. Once your dog sees that the thing she barked at is no danger at all she will stop barking at it; she will get the message and stop. If you are 100% consistent, dogs can get the message quickly. The change will be gradual; she will change from being isolated all the time to barking only two sets of barks to only alerting you and then being quiet.
Q: Is it ok to call the dog to us to stop it barking?
A: not! You must follow this to the letter, and all you say is 2x “Thank You’s” one sitting down and then one after you have gone and had a look. If your dog continues barking after the second Thank You then you must calmly go and take them into isolation…If your dog runs away, then read the next question!
Q: What should we do if after the second thank you our dog runs away and plays a game of chase!
A: In this case, you need to attach a long or short line depending on how hard it is to catch your dog and put a stop to the game. This way your dog is not being rewarded with a game of chase for continuing to bark. With a line on your dog, there is no need to say another word, and you can calmly walk up to your dog and isolate them
Q: Should we praise our dog when he comes to us after he has barked?
A: No. It is greatest not to since you are trying to show him that there was no need to bark. Thanking him will reinforce the behavior as if it something that you want him to do.
Q: Is it ok if we change the word to something else?
A: Yes, You can say whatever word you like, but it is best to choose a very calm phrase like “Thank You” rather than something like “That is enough” which can easily sound aggressive. Avoid calling your dog.
Q: Is it ok to recall our dog when he is barking?
A: No, absolutely not. This is not a time to practice the recall!
Q: After the second Thank You our dog likes to do one gruffer but then follows us inside, my question is, do we have to isolate him for this?
Q: We still want a guard dog, how will this work?
A: The way it works is that anything that you tell your dog regularly is not a problem (such as people walking along the footpath on the other side of the fence) then your dog will learn that is okay. However, if anything strange happens that is out of the ordinary she will say “What about that?” and alert you to the danger, such as somebody climbing over the fence! That way she will still tell you if something strange is going on but not if it is all life as normal. For most people, the dog itself is the deterrent, and people know that a quiet dog does not mean that it will not just spring into action if they enter the property.