View Full Version : Training your puppy not to bark - tips?
1st December 2007, 11:53 PM
Our little girl will be coming home in about a month and I'm doing my best to prepare with a 'training plan'. We live in townhouses with a shift-worker one side and a stay-at-home pregnant lady the other, so noise needs to be minimised. I've done what I can to minmise the time the pup will be on her own - and the maximum she will be left is 4 hours (in the morning), 3 days a week.
But in saying that - I would hate for those 4 hours to be miserable ones for her and my neighbours. So I'm wanting to start early by training her not to bark and to be relaxed when on her own. We have about 3 weeks off (partner and I combined) with her to settle her in.
I have a PETSAFE STATIONARY BARK DEVICE (emits a loud noise only the dog can hear) - I have also been told that squirts of water and ignoring barking from an early stage can he helpful...
Please let me know your thoughts!
2nd December 2007, 12:14 AM
Hi and welcome! :) At the risk of making you feel like you wasted some money :lol: I'd dump the devices -- most of those 'noises only an animal can hear' devices are junk, they simply don't work (like those devices that are supposed to supersonically keep rodents away) and most other anti bark devices are cruel and some are dangerous. And never squirt a dog! All you get is a dog that learns not to bark when you are around and is afraid of water bottles and may end up more reactive because of being startled by this form of punishment. :thmbsup:
As you rightly indicate what you want is a relaxed and confident dog that can be left alone and you've clearly made a lot of careful plans to prepare for your new puppy. :) If you go to the Library section in Caring for you Cavalier you will find some documents on separation anxiety -- that's one thing to train your cavalier against and will go a long way towards producing a dog that doesn;t get overexcited and bark a lot. A bored dog is also more likely to bark, so look into toys that will keep a dog busy, like stuffed Kongs, nylabones for chewing, etc. Also leave a radio on -- talk radio or classical music are good options.
I do have some techniques for teaching a dog not to bark but these involve teaching a 'no bark' or 'quiet' command and are really only useful if someone is actually there. Also a young puppy simply is not going to learn much about not barking -- she will be way too young to learn much of anything at the moment regarding a no bark command! Also most puppies don;t bark -- they tend to start barking around 6 months plus -- many only really find their voice around a year or so! So you cannot do much anyway except work to get a confident happy dog and hope you don't have a barky individual. Some dogs are just barkers, pure and simple.
However: if the situation is serious regarding barking (I'd regard it as serious any time a device has to be considered), and any barking could cause real problems, I'd carefully consider whether a dog is the right choice of pet at this time. Dogs WILL bark, even quiet dogs can be set off by a noise, seeing something outside the window, hearing your neighbours through the walls, a funny noise on the radio, etc. A crying baby is almost always a cue to bark, bark, bark as well so this may really be a serious consideration for you. Cavaliers do not tend to be very yappy, but even my quietest dog does go into a barking session a few times a day. When someone isn't home, this is very hard to control or train away from -- someone really needs to be there all the time for training IF the dog turns out to be a barker. In places with shared walls and noise ordinances, a cat is a better option as the most reasonable assumption is that a dog is going to bark.
It sounds like you are not in quite this serious a situation but just in case you are, it is better to consider this now than to have a puppy you have come to adore and must rehome. Barking in a place with shared walls is a reason many dogs are surrendered to pounds or rescue so it is a real issue to consider -- the 'what ifs' eg 'what if she turns out to be a barky dog'.
2nd December 2007, 12:52 AM
My two dogs are older (about 16 months old) and I am not sure that this would work with a young puppy but something that works GREAT for my two is that we have a scheduled daily nap-time where the pups go into their night time kennel that is located in my bedroom and sleep, even when I am home. I try to schedule my appointments during that daily nap, so that they are in their kennel anyway and I don't even think that they know I am not home. Only once have I heard any barking coming from them in their sleeping kennel when I have been home, and that was due to a dog that they could hear barking outside the house.
I was just wondering if you put the puppy on a schedule where naptime is always during those 4 hours that you will be gone if that would help. ?????
Best of luck!!!
4th December 2007, 03:55 AM
Thanks very much for the tips!
I will have about 3 weeks off with her start with and will try to implement some of these shedule techniques, so that she is used to having a morning sleep after breakfast.
I feel like I'm bringing home a baby with all the prep I'm doing!
I will write up a puppy schedule this afternoon (sleeping/eating/playing/walking) and put it on the fridge so that it is clear and she can get in a routine before I have to leave her on her own.
I have also heard that building up to leaving her alone can help. So start with 10 minutes, then half an hour, than an hour.
Hopefully she will either (for those 4 hours) sleep, play with her toys, suck on her kong or listen to the radio....I will keep you posted!
4th December 2007, 05:13 PM
Guess what the subject of the new Whole Dog Journal newsletter is today? Nuisance barking!
4th December 2007, 06:35 PM
I made the mistake of trying the squirt trick with my first cav. He now thinks that it is great fun to sit at my feet and bark! He wants to be squirted!!! That one backfired on me and he has a new sport. Everytime he sees a squirt bottle the bark comes on!! :cool:
Lexie in CA
4th December 2007, 08:46 PM
Smoky, your dog sounds too funny and cute.
4th December 2007, 09:31 PM
Hahaha I might skip the water sqiurting then! I just remember when my grandma had a compeltely untrained dog given to her, and the only way she could get it not to jump and knock her over was to squirt it (or threaten to).
I'm really not worried about barking here and there - but more the nuisance barking (for several minutes or more at a time).
Hopefully with all my precautions and new "nap" inclusive routine it will work out!
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