This is the third episode in the series of Barking. In this episode I will show you the beginning exercises on how to teach your dog not to bark on a walk. Stay tuned and Subscribe to see other exercises that are very useful for reactive dogs and dogs that are hyperactive.
All these exercises benefit ANY dog, not just fearful, reactive or aroused dogs. These same exercises are GREAT for dogs with little impulse control, the kind of dog that wants to pull towards everything on a walk.
When a dog becomes aroused or reactive, it is due to chemicals being released by the brain, effecting the dogs behavior. Not only does a dogs behavior change because of these chemicals and stress hormones, but their heart beat, respiration, and blood flow will change too. Jerking a dogs neck will not reduce these chemicals, instead it will INCREASE them.
Barking can be reinforcing, so the more a dog is allowed to bark the more likely they will continue barking in the future. When you and your dog are surprised on a walk and your dog starts to bark, simply say “Let’s Go” and move briskly in the opposite direction. You can use this cue whenever you change direction unexpectedly or need to move from an area that is causing your dog to be over their threshold.
Here are some tips:
1-when on a walk cross the street to set your dog up for success
2-If you have a very fearful or reactive dog, simply change the direction of your walk when you see something your dog wont be able to handle at this point in their training
3-Never feed the dog for looking at your treats
4-Use real meat or cheese for these exercises, the higher value the reinforcement the faster your dog will learn. If you use low level treats, your dog might not make any progress
5-You can use calming signals to help calm your dog on a walk. Yawning or sighing loudly when you see the distraction. You can also walk in an arc around the distraction rather than head on which is very unnatural for a dog to do.
6-If you are getting frustrated, better turn and go home immediately than take it out on the dog.
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