Dogs love barking, it’s in their nature to bark to convey their feelings or just simply because they want to bark. For some dog owners it can be annoying when their dogs bark all the time, at everything and everyone they see. It’s also part of their territorial instinct but not always appropriate
If you feel the same way you may want to train your dog on how to bark at strangers effectively. The training that you will give your dog is similar to the one people give their dog to be a guard dog.
So here are effective methods to train your dog bark at strangers :
1. Know the reason why your dog won’t stop barking
Dogs can get bored, it isn’t common for a dog to bark nonstop and only stop when their owner is home. This may result in your neighbor to complain and clearly you don’t want this. This problem may be caused by boredom. Dogs need physical activities, a 15 minutes exercise a day is enough for a dog. 15 minutes exercise can stop dogs from barking all day long.
On guidebooks of how dogs behave and think, Stanley Coren says that you can convey the meaning of dogs’ bark from how long it is. A repeated bark, frequent and with a high intensity, shows a sign of urgency.
Spend more time with your dogs, show them affection and accompany them with their activities. Create a schedule to spend your time exercising with your dog. Do it every day and with routine and your dog will stop barking and be more friendly. A happy dog is easier to train and will stop your neighbor from complaining.
Confusion can be also the cause of dogs barking nonstop. When a dog likes to hide under a table whenever a stranger is coming, then there is definitely something wrong. If you adopt your dog from somewhere else, there could be something bad happened in the past that traumatized them. This also leads to your dog barking all the time, because they are scared of something. You need to find out exactly what is causing them to be scared, strangers, items, or noise. The solution is you need be the leader of your dog, a strong and confident leader will make your dog feel safe. Remember that dogs can feel fear from other living beings. If the owner feels frustrated or scared then the dogs will feel it too.
Speaking about fear, it can be tough to handle. There are so many things that can make your dogs scared, children, loud noises, strangers, items or a combination of multiple things. When your dog is scared they may bark to handle with their fear. If your dog is scared of children for example, then they might bark at children nonstop. So if your dog keep barking at the same things over and over again, it is a sign that your dog is scared.
The solution to this is ‘desensitization’. This method require time and patient. The trick is to expose your dog to the things they hate, but don’t over expose them. If they are scared of strangers, ask a stranger to stand far away from your dog. Tell them to stand closer until you get a reaction from your dog. You have to be there for your dog, calm them down and end the session with a treat. 10-15 minutes per session is enough. Keep doing this until they are not afraid anymore.
Second method is a fun physical activities. This training will also teach your dog to be agile and make them healthies. Look for a park for dogs to play around, one with attractions for dogs to play around. This training is aimed to increase your dog’s confident and make them brave to face their surroundings.
The third method is not for the dogs but for the owners. Dog owners have to be confident. Dog is a pack animal, they live as their owner live. As the owner you’re the leader of the pack, you have to be strong and confident to protect your family members. Dogs can feel your fear, they also can hear your heartbeat and know how you feel.
2. Train your dog to do ‘Alert bark’
You have to choose a trigger word, you will use this word to command your dog to bark. This will train your dog to bark at strangers who stand in front of your door or in your property. You can use ‘bark’ or ‘say’, you can choose whatever you like. You have to say the trigger word with the same intensity all the time, only use the trigger word when you want your dog to bark.
Dogs love barking so you have to train them to bark only when you command them or when it’s necessary. You can start by tying your dog to a fence or table, look at your dog while walking backward and holding a treat. If your dog is barking praise them and give them a treat. After repeating this a few times your dog will associate barking with treats. After they are used to bark in the same place, you can move to a new location. Use the trigger word when you’re walking or playing with them in public places.
Training and consistency are the keys. Keep testing your dog at random times, when you’re out walking, stop walking and look at your dog and say the trigger word with such enthusiasm. If your dog is confused, do it again but try to hold a treat this time. Also if your dog won’t stop barking after you have the command, don’t give them the treat. Give them another command after they stop barking, and only give them a treat only when they bark once.
Next step is to create a scenario for your dog. Make sure your dog is inside your house and you go out from the front door. When you’re outside, press the doorbell and say the trigger word. Give your dog a treat when they bark only once. Next knock on the door say the trigger word. Give your dog a treat when they bark only once.
If it’s possible do this training at night when it’s dark outside. You have to train your dog to bark in order to give you a warning that a stranger is in front of your door at night. So it’s important for your dog to obey the trigger word. During the day and night. Do this training on short period of time. After repeating this training three to four times. Give time for your dog to get some rest. You can let them do other things for 45 minutes. Don’t over train your dog and make them bored or frustrated in the middle of training.
With these methods to train your dog bark at strangers, now hopefully when the training is finished your dog not only stop barking all the time at anything but also bark at stranger efficiently