5 WORSE Ways
Stop Your Dog
So you think yelling STOP BARKING FLUFFY at the top of your voice is going to work? Fluffy can bark way louder than you can shout and now you have rewarded Fluffy with a barking game. Chances are Fluffy can move faster than you too so if you give him the shout/chase combo Fluffy’s barking behaviour is being doubly rewarded. GO FLUFFY!
Whilst this one does work – Fluffy will stop barking – but only for as long as the treat lasts. Then it’s BARK BARK BARK because you have taught Fluffy that barking equals treats. Who says bad behaviour is not rewarding? Fluffy wouldn’t agree as he chomps his doggy sausage before setting himself up for another round of barking.
Grabbing Fluffy by the collar and marching him out of the room to the tune of BARK BARK BARK sounds as if it might work especially of you give Fluffy a good telling off as you go. ‘Right Fluffy enough of this noise. I’ve told you before and you just will not learn. What have I to do with you? I really don’t want to do this you know…’ Trouble is Fluffy is a dog and he doesn’t speak human. Fluffy speaks dog. BARK BARK BARK…
- Spraying Water/Rattling Cans/Bonking on the Head
Regardless of what any canine professional might tell you (and I am including vets here too because YES! I have heard tell of veterinarian professionals who should know better recommend such unkind methods of ‘training’ to clients with barking dogs). Spraying water in Fluffy’s face WILL NOT STOP HIM FROM BARKING! Fluffy is a dog. He cannot equate pebbles in a can being rattled loudly in his ear to the act of barking and Fluffy cannot make a connection with random objects being thrown at his head (even if they are soft missiles like cushions) to barking. Sure, these things will distract a dog for a second or two and interrupt the flow of barking but because Fluffy does not understand his behaviour is unwanted FLUFFY WILL CONTINUE TO BARK
- Bark Collars AKA Electric or Shock Collars (illegal in UK and most of Europe, unfortunately still available online)
Unethical, cruel and completely ineffective; these devices do nothing but cause stress and anxiety, causing a repression of natural function in dogs of all sizes and breeds, often making the behaviour worse. There are many ways to train Fluffy away from barking quickly and safely using POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT techniques.