Dog Barking

Woof, woof! Ruff, ruff! Arf, arf! Yelp, yelp!

Barking,  ab-so-dog-ly adorable in print, but not so enjoyed by neighbours at 5am or while you’re away at work.

Of course, our harry homies bark for a variety of reasons, not just to annoy others. They could be bored, anxious, or feeling a strong urge to protect your home from that big crow. The good news is, you can curb your Otterhound’s outbursts – as well as noise complaints – with the right training. Read on for a simple strategy that roolly works.

Hey Rover, can you pass on the passers-by bark?

Here’s how to stop your dog from barking at anything that passes by your front gate – otherwise known as ‘gatecrashers’, har, har.

Step 1

Be at home and ready to train. Arm yourself with some drool-worthy doggy treats. He’ll roolly dig ’em.

Step 2

When your dog starts barking, grab the treats and say, “Quiet”. Follow this with a hand gesture different from what you’re using for ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘down’. If he needs a bit more distraction, bring the treat close to his nose. As soon as ‘arf’ is an afterthought, repeat, “Quiet”. Then, reward your good boy with the goodie.

Step 3

Repeat the instructions above, and keep practicing until your vocal Vizsla remembers the command. Slowly increase how long you say the ‘quiet’ command before treating your pet – the same way you do with ‘stay’. And if waiting around for the universe to send someone past your window gets a bit tedious, no worries. Simply have a two-legged friend trigger the barking by ringing your doorbell or walking by your gate. Yip, yip!

Keep in mind that for the training to work, it’s important to not let your dog voice his entire setlist while you’re away. If he barks unsupervised and is inadvertently rewarded for it – such as Mr. Postman leaving – Barkley will repeat that behaviour. And the more he does, the more difficult it will become to stop him from barking. That’s ruff, indeed!

If you can’t be home until he’s fully trained, consider doggie daycare or hiring a pet-sitter. They can help shield your Sheepdog from his barking triggers by keeping him busy with other activities. See. Spot. Silent.

(Note: If you’re dealing with two beloved barkers in your home, it works better to train one at a time. So, either put one dog in another room, or get a training partner to coach your Samoyed’s sibling.)