Oh – this one is easy! I’ve read the How to train your dog books! THEY say just never let them out when they bark and they will figure it out and quit barking! Never bark again! Easy-peasy!
THEIR dogs don’t pee in their crate either! WHERE do they get these magic dogs??? We all need one!
Deep breath, and then there is the real world where you really have to go to work in the morning and your dog really will bark for eight straight hours without ceasing. I think sometimes they don’t even take Breaths. Just barkbarkbark! And your neighbors complain! Not to mention your spouse.
Okay – number one. Whenever you are home, that dog is in and out of his crate all the time. ALL the time. This is TRAINING. No more relaxing, sitting in your chair watching your tv show. You have business to do! You are getting up every commercial and putting the dog in his crate. In and out. You are Naming it something. “Kennel up!” or “Bedtime” Or “Outta my sight!” Don’t care – just call it something. This is a command like ‘sit’.
So – you are putting the dog into its crate with a yummy. You are shutting the door, taking one step away, and then coming back and opening the door without fanfare. No “Here I AM come to RESCUE you from the Dire Cage!” Just open the door and walk away. Your goal for this is to let the dog out While he’s still chewing on that yummy. So he’s NOT barking when you open the door.
Dogs remember, and do what works. If you let them out when they bark, they think, “but barking worked last time, so Obviously she can’t hear me. I must bark LOUDER and LONGER and MORE and oh, maybe LOUDER! until she can hear me and let me out.” I don’t want mine thinking that. Really. I don’t.
So – your goal over the next couple weeks is to make your dog realize that crate means good stuff, I’m not always in there forever, and barking doesn’t get me out. In and out in and out in and out all the time you are home. Sometimes its one step away, sometimes its three, sometimes its two minutes, sometimes its five seconds. Vary and slowly lengthen.
You will have the dog for ten or fifteen years. The next few weeks will just be a blip on that time.
So – while you are doing that – you are also doing the stuff I talked about yesterday – scroll down – re read. I’ll wait.
Back? Okay – now – I need you to do a Focus command. “Watch me” “Look!” And you are going to practice this when your dog is NOT in the crate.
Take a treat, let them sniff it, move it between your eyes – their eyes will follow it – and say ‘watch me!’ pretty soon you will only have to put your finger by your nose and say ‘watch me!’ and their eyes will zap to you. THAT is your goal.
So NOW when your dog is barking in the crate – you have a way to shut them up “watch me!” and yeah, if you have to lay down on the floor to be eye level, you do. People pay personal trainers big money to get them up and down and flexible! So – once they are quiet, you let them out.
Now – once you start the in and out – and the watch me – they Never get out when they are barking.
Okay – more on barking tomorrow.