Creating and Peaceful and Quiet House Dog - By Johanna Teresi, APDT, ABC Mentor Trainer & Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC
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Angela Peña, Director of Media and Public Relations
Updated Thursday, August 18, 2011 : 9:55:36 AM
|Do you work at home?
Does your dog constantly bark throughout the day?
Having trouble completing tasks due to your barking dog?
Below are some tips to create a more peaceful and quiet household.
These tips are directed to dogs that bark at numerous stimulus outside of your house.
It can be noises or sights (people, other dogs, etc.).
These are directed toward dogs that are nonaggressive.
Also these techniques are specifically directed to working and herding breeds such as Border Collies, Heelers, Shetland
Sheepdogs, Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherds, etc.
You may find them to be helpful for other breeds as well :)
First and foremost is to keep your dog indoors. Keeping them outside unsupervised will encourage them to bark more.
Cover your windows with blinds and or drapes. This reduces the amount of stimuli that they will see.
Frequently exercise your dog. If your dog is not exercised then it is difficult for them to be quiet. Their energy level is high and they are on high alert. I recommend exercising your dog at least 2-3 times a day. If you work at home shoot for 3 times a day. Most dogs need to run not walk.
During the exercise routine have your dog perform commands so they get use to switching from their primitive part of their brain to their cortex.
When you have tasks that require quiet time do them immediately after exercising your dog such as talking on the phone.
Bach Flowers can be helpful. Check out www.blumesfarm.com/animals.html. I recommend discussing the best remedy with Christina Blume. However, the "Calming Blend" can help reduce barking.
Crate train your dog. Give him a Kong or something for him to do in the crate that is food oriented and healthy. Put your dog in the crate when you are busy and want quiet time. If you use a Kong put almond butter, canned food, or peanut butter in it and freeze it.
Train your dog LAT (look at that). When your dog barks call him to you. Then have him look at the stimulus that he wants to bark at. As soon as he alerts and is quiet say "Look At That" and C/T (click and treat). Do not C/T if your dog is barking this will reward the barking.
Keep your dog busy throughout the day. Pick up all of his toys and only give him some of his toys. Give him different toys everyday so that you are switching his toys around. Now they have more value.
Have plenty of objects for your dog to chew on and switch these daily as well: Kongs, Bully Sticks, Raw Beef Soup Bones, Cow Hooves, Pig Earz (with a "z"), etc.
Have your dog participate in fun games: Kibble Toss (toss his food in the yard or in the entire house and have him go and find it to eat it), put his food in a muffin tin and cover with tennis balls (your dog has to remove the balls to eat his food), buy a buster cube (put food in this cube and your dog has to push it around to get treats out), hide his food / treats around the house and have him go find it, etc.
Buy a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) plug in. The mother gives this pheromone off to her young and it calms the puppies. It works great on adult dogs as well :)
Most importantly train your dog. Train him obedience commands and train him tricks. Do this in a positive fashion by motivating through love rather than through fear. With love as a motivator your dog will be more calm.
Meditate yourself and meditate with your dog :)
Join a dog sport. Sometimes this increases barking and sometimes not. If you have a barking issue teach your dog to be quiet during the sport if possible for best results. LAT works great :)
For best results use a combination of many of the above methods.