Jeff Tinsley is the owner and behavior therapist at Sound Animals Dog Training. He specializes in rescue/shelter dogs, and behavior modification. His nearly 20 years of experience working with anxiety, fear, and aggression issues.
How to allow some barking from my dog?
I teach all my dogs a “leave it” command, but it is a little different in how I teach the “leave it” command. When I tell my dog “leave it”, he is supposed to redirect his attention back to me. So, they are not still focusing on the object that they are distracted by or barking at. For instance, if my dogs are out in the yard, I would tell them “leave it”. That way they turn away from the distraction. Which helps them learn “Okay fine, you told me that they are there, now you can move away from the fence.”
I want my dog to bark but stop when I command it, is that possible?
Barking doesn’t have to be an all or nothing behavior. Dogs bark for a lot of different reasons, one of them being territorial barking. This kind of barking is usually just your dog or puppy telling you that someone is around your home. Most people allow their dog to bark to let them know this but want them to stop, kind of like a notification on your phone that stops after the first beep. This technique is perfect for people who are okay with the announcement. This can teach your dog to bark when someone is around but to stop when you acknowledge the presence of the “intruder.”
For the first steps to training the “leave it” command click here. This command teaches your dog to ignore the distraction and refocus his attention on you.
You can also teach your dog a “quiet” command to have them stop barking when you ask.