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How to teach quiet command

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by sunshine80, Apr 26, 2011.


  1. sunshine80

    sunshine80 PetForums VIP

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    Sonny will bark at things on the TV and will now also bark at things he sees outside. For some reason he also barks when Dad puts the recliner bit of his chair in (not sure think he associates it with someone coming to the door as Dad gets up :confused5:). I am going to try and tackle Sonny's barking this long weekend so I have 4 days to concentrate on him and then continue training in the evenings when back at work.

    I am not sure how to go about teaching him the quiet command though. I know it is advised to teach speak/bark first but not sure how to get him to bark on que in order to then teach him quiet so any advice on this would be appreciated. I usually just use treats for training as do not think that I mastered the clicker very well - all Sonny learned was when it clicked he got a treat so his behaviour would get worse as he would sit and bark at the clicker to try and get me to click it :nono: or he would do something bad as he know he would get a treat for behaving after it (tries this one without a clicker as well). I had to give him two time outs yesterday (shut him in the hall for about 5 minutes) because off his barking at something outside - think the cats around the corner have caught on as well and walk on our path past the window to set him off so I really could do with him mastering the quiet command.
     
  2. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    McKenzie has started to be a bit of a barker lately too. I don't want to stop her barking all together as she is a terrier and it's what they do, and also it's a good safety thing.

    Usually if Kenzie barks I go and check out what she is barking at and then tell her 'enough' in a firm voice. I go and look even if I know what she is barking at to show her that I am listening to her, as what she is really doing is alerting me. She usually stops, or barks softly a bit more and then stops. But I didn't really 'teach' this as such, so probably not much help sorry!
     
  3. London Dogwalker

    London Dogwalker PetForums Senior

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    Yes...the easiest way is to put the barking on cue. You need to begin by teaching him speak so as soon as he barks you say good and chuck him a treat. When he barks again say good, treat, and so on, he is MEANT to bark for the click, because that's what you're teaching him :)

    I say to keep pots of treats around the house (or constantly wear a bait pouch with treats in as you never know when you might want it :D) so you're always nearby them to reward good behaviour. Doesn't need to be 'treats' it can be normal food, you could use a whole days food in training throughout the day if you wanted too. I'd use treats firstly though as you're teaching something new. :)

    Keep the reinforcement rate really high so as soon as he barks he gets a treat, just for one bark, almost like you're stuffing them down his neck, you want him to learn and you need to keep the amount you're rewarding him high in order for him to 'get it' and find it interesting. Also remember to WAIT, dogs like humans need a bit of thinking time and we rush them too much, allowing them 10 or 15 seconds to work something out rather than repeating the cue over and over (thus rendering it useless) or getting frustrated is very common.

    There are loads of youtube vids on this have a look. :cool: Once you've taught speak you can then teach quiet by clicking and treating for 'quiet' time - between barks :eek: :D

    If you shout at them when they're barking what you're doing is giving them attention, better to ignore it. Any kind of attention even a shout is an exciting thing for a dog and they're getting what they wanted by brking - you're attention.

    5 minute time outs are also far too long! I'd do maximum of a minute with a dog and then as soon as I bring them back in I want to do something positive with then, if you leave them 5 minutes they will forget what they've done.

    You can distract with a toy or get his brain engaged in training something else to distract him from the barking, but putting the bark on cue is the most reliable IME.
     
  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    That was a great post which helped me too :)

    Just a question about this bit. My dog barks when someone comes to the door or she hears a strange noise. To my mind she is alerting me to something, albeit still trying to get my attention. If I ignore her, she'll keep barking because she is really trying to tell me something. In this situation is my current method useful - give her my attention by checking to see what she is barking at and then telling her quiet?

    I understand what you have said would work perfectly for a dog barking for an attention-seeking reason.

    Thanks :)
     
  5. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Just to add to London DogWalker's post...

    I would only use praise to reward barking when teaching 'Speak' and then use food (hold it on the dog's nose and say and repeat 'quiet' a few times whilst the dogs sniffs and licks the treat) to reward 'Quiet'. This way, the dog learns that, although you like it when she barks when you say so, she loves it even more when you say 'Quiet'.

    For barking at the door, you can use it to alert you that someone's around and then when you've noticed this, say 'Quiet' and reward when the dog stopped barking. Practise getting someone to knock on the door, say 'Speak' just before the dog begins barking, praise, then reward heavily for 'Quiet'.
     
  6. sunshine80

    sunshine80 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks thats really helpful I will try that. Just to clarify I was not actually teaching the bark on command cue with the clicker when he started barking at it (although it may have been a good way to teach him this looking back) - I was using the clicker for different training at the time which is why I stopped using it as it made his training worse.

    I have tried squeeky toys etc to distract him but he does not listen to me at all when he starts really barking at something he just focusses on what ever has started him barking so this was not really working which was why he was put away - I only leave him a few minutes at a time but I forgot to shut Dad's door and he went in there and barked when looking out the window which was why it was longer and barked at the door just after going through the second time again was longer than usual.

    I think where I go wrong is with the treats really. I need to have them dotted about more or in the treat bag with me at all times. Sonny realises when I go and get treats that we have started training so he starts misbehaving to get attention and then treats for behaving - think this is where I went wrong with the clicker.
     
  7. London Dogwalker

    London Dogwalker PetForums Senior

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    Yeh sure! You can thank her for bringing it to your attention :D and now she needs to know you will deal with the situation and trust that you will deal with it, no further input needed from Miss Barkychops.

    Some people will say 'ok thankyou' to their dog in that situation.

    Teaching an alternative like a go to bed or go to mat is also an idea as that means the dog can lie down and relax.
     
  8. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Great, just making sure I was on the right track. I like your use of the word 'trust' - that's the 2nd time I've come across this word today in relation to dogs and I think it's really important that our dogs can trust us.

    Thanks from me and Miss Barkychops :D
     
  9. Gopher

    Gopher PetForums Senior

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    I'm also finding this thread very useful in trying to stop Bingo "problem" barking - he barks a lot and no amount of re-assurance (from me) seems to make any difference.

    Today I'm going to try responding to every bark then telling him "enough" when I've checked what he's barking at.

    What should I do if he continues to bark though? Should I then walk away?
     
  10. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I'm not sure if this is 'right' but if Kenzie keeps barking after I've told her to stop I put her in time out (shut her in the bedroom) for a minute. I only do this if she's really barking lots after I've told her to stop - the odd little bark I ignore.
     
  11. sunshine80

    sunshine80 PetForums VIP

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    Thats what I do with Sonny if he does not stop barking. Obviously not working very well for me but it does stop him barking for a little while. I am going to try the quiet command as I also have problems with him barking when excited as well so hopefully it will help in both situations.
     
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