Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi there, it could well be that this has also become a habit, and if you are giving attention in the way of talking to the dog while it is barking, you are, inadvertantly awarding more attention.What I would suggest you try is a number of things:-
1. Management - stop the dogs access to the normal barking place by the door while you are bringing in the changes.
2. Every single day have varied chew toys for the dog that it can really get its teeth into. Try hooves with a bit of peanut butter smeared at the bottom and a piece of biltong squashed into that, or large sized rawhide bones, with the peanute butter and biltong squashed into the gaps as above. There are now great Kongs and toys you can stuff food into that keep dogs busy, so do try them and keep on varying them.
3. If the dog does start barking at the door, get to it as quickly as possible and loudly clap your hands together, at the same time say a loud 'ENOUGH!!!'. As the dog stops, IMMEDIATELY praise the dog with 'good dog, good silence' and then lead it away from the door and offer a good chew toy or bone. The dog is now being rewarded for the behaviour you DO want, silence. If the dog does not stop barking, without talking to it or interacting with it in any way at all, bend down take it by the collar and storm away with dog and put in bathroom for 30 seconds. This is called a time-out and dogs respond very well to this. The only time the dog should remain in the bathroom longer than 30 seconds is if it is barking, whining, scratching to get out. If this occurs, then leave the dog there (with you standing outside the door) and the SECOND there is silence, open the door and let the dog out. Ideally you should now go back to the situation that caused the Time out and repeat the stages if necessary.
Good luck and do let me know how you do, thanks Scotty
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