There are three ways to deal with your noisy dog. First, you can do nothing. In this case, the dog will keep barking whenever he feels like it and you may end up enemies with your neighbors, evicted or a victim of chronic headaches. Second, you can correct your dog whenever he goes on his noise-making marathons. You can even pretend to leave and sneak back to the house. Then, when the concert begins, you can break in on him, yelling “No, No, No, No”, while shaking him by the collar.
The third possibility is that you can teach the dog to do what he is doing on command, therefore gaining control of the activity. This is because when you issue a command, the dog focuses on you, and you will readily be able to stop what you have started. Thus the dog who speaks on command shuts up on command as well. The command ‘Speak’ is what turns him on while the command ‘Enough’ will turn him off.
Once your dog looks at you and whines with you, you can add a word to your madness, the word ‘Speak’ Now, after your dog will ‘Speak’ on command, with and without you, begin to intrude on this activity, whether you have started it or not, with the magic word ‘Enough’. If your dog continues to sing, grasp the collar, command ‘Enough’ once more and then gently shake him, adding harsh eye contact to your correction.
Of course, you may have unintentionally trained your dog to whine, cry and bark by reinforcing this annoying behavior. To find out, make a checklist of what makes your dog whine and bark and how you respond when he does:
1. Your dog barks. You give him a treat to quiet him.
2. Your dog barks when you’re on the phone. You lean over and pet him to quiet him.
3. Your dog whines while you’re in bed reading a book. You let him up on the bed to quiet him.
Follow the methods above, teaching your dog to bark on command and then stopping him with ‘Enough’, a harsh eye contact and a shake. Never give your dog anything, including the time of day, when he’s barking, whining or crying for it. Use the long down once a day, tighten up your training and make sure the dog is quiet before you feed him, walk him, and pet him. If the dog bothers you while you are watching TV, reading, or dining, squirt him in the mouth with water or lemon juice and go on about your business.
Noise making may seem a lesser crime than biting or destructiveness, but it can have serious consequences. In fact, it may be a sign of escalation. To stop that, as well as for its pure annoyance, it should be put under control as soon as possible.