Toronto-pet-photographer-dog-barking-tipsHave you ever been annoyed because your dog barks — and barks and barks and barks? It’s a question most pet parents would answer ‘yes’ to (including myself!) No matter how much we train a dog not to bark there will always be those occasions when they yip and yap away. However, I’ve discovered a new way to approach this matter…

Instead of scolding your furry friend when they bark at the mailman, the garbage truck or someone at the door, tell your dog “Thank you.” Actually say thank you out loud and then redirect your little minions to their bed for a cookie.

The reason is this; if you raise your voice at a dog who is barking, the dog picks up on that energy and interprets that extra sound as ‘Well everyone is on alert now! Yay!’ By saying thank you instead, you keep your energy calm and composed which translates better to redirecting a dog’s attention.

Remember a dog barks to raise awareness of what they perceive to be a danger to the group. So acknowledge their bark as a positive thing and literally thank them for their safety tip. I’ve been doing this lately with Rory and Lucy and it is proving to be a great training tactic!

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  1. Kylw says:

    I like this strategy, especially because it forces me to calm down when I’m feeling super annoyed!

    We’ve tried a lot of methods when it comes to behaviour issues, and for some reason after a couple of days of the same one, our guy doesn’t respond to it. We tried to the coins-in-a-can trick, which worked for a few days (he barks, we startle/distract him with a noise, he forgets what he was barking at). But then he just ignored the rattling can and kept on barking. Yelling didn’t get him to work.

    Our latest strategy is along the same lines as this one. We allow him 2 barks, and then calmly call him over to us and offer him a treat if he stays quiet. We figured he’s just doing what he’s born to do, but he also tends to bark at anything (the furnace kicks in, for example) and will bark fro 30 minutes if left unchecked! Anyway, it seems to be working. He’s barking a lot less than he was a couple weeks ago.

    Anyway, I think we’ll incorporate your Thank Yous into our strategy too! It’s good for us too!

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