Problem Dog Barking

Our toy poodle would never ask to go out to go potty. We would regularly let her out and hope for the best. Out of the blue, she started barking when she needed to go. We thought that was great and foolishly encouraged her. Now she barks whenever she wants anything (treats, to go outside, to go to bed) and our schnauzer has joined in. We have told them no, ignored them and tried to do the things they want when they are not barking. No luck. any advise on how to fix our problem would be appreciated.

Problem barking can be difficult to curb and ignoring them can be an exercise in futility. Sometimes though, ignoring them has its place in the training process.   One of the first things to try is ignoring the barking, immediately distracting them and rewarding them for not barking (and doing something else).  A good exercise includes: Call them over to you when they are barking (not giving in to what they want) and give a small treat. I like to have a handful of Cheerios oat cereal in my pocket for these times. Cheerios are perfect treats – small, crunchy and won’t pack on the pounds.  

You will have to repeat this process many, many times before the dogs will start to get it. Over time, you will find that you only have to call their names when they bark and they will stop, perhaps even without coming to you for a treat.