How to teach your dog to stop barking when on a walk

This is a common problem many of us have when walking our dogs on a leash.

First, you need to identify your dog’s “triggers” – other animals, children, skateboarders, bikes etc – and be on the lookout for them before your dog notices them. You will need to carry lots of your dog’s super favorite treats with you & have them readily available as you walk.

As soon as your dog “alerts” (ears up, staring, body tenses), but BEFORE it barks or pulls on leash, start feeding your dog treats one by one, making sure the dog is looking at you. Don’t say anything to the dog – just let the treats do the “talking”. If the dog starts barking, turn around immediately, and walk away from the “trigger”. When the dog calms down, turn around & slowly walk back towards the “trigger” and try again to give your dog treats as soon as it alerts but before it barks.

The object of this training exercise is to have the dog associate the “trigger” with something positive (lots of favorite treats), rather that something negative. Dogs bark usually because of fear or aggressiveness.

Gradually, when your dog has stopped reacting to the triggers, you can decrease the number (&/or quality) of the treats.

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