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I have a 5 year old standard poodle. When ever someone rings…

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I have a 5 year...
I have a 5 year old standard poodle. When ever someone rings the bell or enters my home she gose nuts . Once they come in the house she calms down. She sounds and acts like a killer, people are dont even want to come in. I had a trainer but it dident help. glittergal136 @optonline.net
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/16/2010
Dog Specialist: Lisa, Certified Vet Tech replied 8 years ago
Lisa
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16,579
Experience: AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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HiCustomer

 

Unfortunately as you are finding out, some dogs are born barkers. Factor in the fact that your dog is pretty young and is a poodle (who are known to be tenacious when they begin something) and you have a pretty good combination of a marathon barker.

 

Of course, yelling at the dog to be quiet is futile, because barking dogs interpret our loud vocalizations as our attempt to join in the conversation they're having (ie: if the dog is barking at someone outside they're saying, "Come quick! Check it out! Friend or foe? What do you want me to do now? Oh, now you're yelling too, so I'd better keep barking!!"). Your yelling can unintentionally served to reinforce her yapping. You will need to re-train your girl so that she develops new behaviors.

 

When the dog barks, ignore her. Patiently wait for her to stop. After a few seconds of silence, introduce a cue by saying 'hush' and then rewarding her. Timing is critical!! Do not reward her until she has been quiet for several seconds. Think like a dog for a moment: If given the options, which would you choose: keep barking or hush and get a treat?

 

Conduct these training sessions several times a day until your new dog figures out that 'hush' means to be quiet and that being quiet brings the treats, while barking brings nothing. Make the pauses between her silence and your 'hush' cue longer and longer. Then start saying 'hush' when she is actually barking and reward her when she stops. Remember not to keep repeating that phrase though, because it will only reinforce her to keep barking.

 

I also tend to use a back-up strategy: diversion. Instead of yelling at the pup when she barks, call her to you and reward her for performing a desired behavior, like sitting in front of you for a moment or fetching her favorite toy. For safety reasons, you don't want this pup to behave like a canine mime if someone should be bothering your house. It's good that she alerts you, but by trying a diversion tactic and rewarding her silence rather than her noise, you will benefit everyone by having a better behaved dog who no longer irritates your ears and scares your visitors with her non-stop barking.

 

And please, please, PLEASE remember that this behavior didn't start overnight, and as such, you won't be able to break her of this habit in a day or two. Patience (and maybe a pair of ear-plugs) here is the key!

 

I hope this helps.

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