You’re lying in bed at night when you hear a faint and peculiar sound coming from downstairs. You quickly wake up your partner and beg them to go downstairs and check. Thankfully, they return two minutes later holding the bedside lamp. All is clear, you can sleep easy again. There is a quick and easy solution to fears about intruders though, and that’s to train your dog to bark at them. If he barks when intruders approach the door, you will always be quickly alerted and it will also act as a pretty effective deterrent.
If you have children, valuable possessions, and cars then a barking dog can come in very handy. Studies have found dogs are the biggest burglary deterrents, so if you can train him to bark at any intruder, you can sleep peacefully every night.
The good news is training your dog to bark at intruders is surprisingly straightforward. It is achieved by teaching him obedience commands so he barks on cue, but also so that certain situations will trigger a bark too. You will need to manage their environment so they can notice intruders swiftly and respond appropriately. If your dog is a puppy, he will respond to training in as little as a few days. If your dog is older and spent many years without using his voice, then he may need a little while longer to catch on.
Getting this training right could be essential for keeping your home and family safe and sound. Every year, homes are successfully protected by dogs and nothing puts the fear of God into intruders more than a chilling bark.
Before you bring the roof down with your barking dog, you will need to get together a few bits and pieces. His favorite food or a selection of treats will play an important role in training, as they will be used to incentivize and reward him.
You will also need a quiet place, free from distractions to train and probably somewhere that isn’t going to make you your neighbors’ arch enemy. You will also need some brave volunteers who are unknown to your dog to test the efficacy of the training.
Once you have all of that, just set aside 10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks and come with a can-do attitude.
My parents get really irritated when my dog barks at the neighbors and they constantly tell him "no speak". I would like for my dog to bark, but he needs to bark only when it is necessary to do so and not whenever he wants to. Is there anything I could do to limit who my dog can bark at?
Hello Sean, I would work on desensitizing pup to barking at people in general. Just practice desensitizing pup to everything except what you actually want pup to bark at - like someone coming up to your door or window, but not barking at those just outside your building. Check out this channel with examples of desensitizing. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a And this article and the Desensitize method. The Quiet method would also be useful. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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This happened today
at 12 AM 2 people came outside our main door and they were roaming around, they also stood near our main gate
my GSD didnt bark at them and was just watching them
how can i train her
Hello Muhammad, You can either hire a professional protection trainer to train pup formally, or you can work on teaching pup to bark when someone comes onto the property and generally be more alert of surroundings, on your own. For any bite work, you will need to hire professional help though. To teach pup to bark and be more alert, first, teach pup the Speak command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-speak Once pup knows the speak command, recruit friends pup doesn't know to step onto the property while pup watches from a window or fence. Command speak and reward with a treat when they do. Practice with telling pup to speak each time the person is on the property, until pup barks on their own when the person enters without saying speak. At that point, have the person step onto the property, wait seven seconds to see if pup will bark on their own, reward if they do, and command speak if they don't - then reward but give a smaller reward when you tell pup opposed to when pup does it on their own. Practice until pup will bark each time someone enters the property. Practice with different people you can recruit, that pup doesn't know so that pup will learn to do this with anyone who enters the property and not just that one person. Draw pup's attention to people outside or people on your property, and reward pup when you see them watching someone in general - so that pup will begin watching people and staying more alert as a habit. Pup doesn't have to bark to reward this one - just reward when pup is watching someone and you notice that. I also recommend teaching the Quiet command, so that you can tell pup when to stop barking after they alert. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Sierra barks crazy at everyone that passes by or comes to the door. with quarantine there is much more activity between the mailman, deliveries and neighbors walking their dogs. I do want her to protect our home and alert us when there is an intruder but it is scary for anyone approaching the door. as they are not aware she is harmless. The mailman has flagged her as an aggressive dog. Do I try to stop this behavior? will she stop alerting us when there is an intruder? my boyfriend and I cannot agree on this as he feels she is doing her job and gets upset that people think she is aggressive
Hello, I think if you train Sierra to perform an action such as Wait on Mat or Place when you want her to wait quietly as you answer the door, she'll still alert you to an intruder. Every type of dog, whether companion or helpmate needs obedience first and an understanding that listening to you first and foremost is essential. The Wait on Mat Method is described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-visitors-calmly. General obedience is also very important, so that Sierra obeys you in every situation, which keeps her and others safe. Consider dog training classes to keep her well socialized with people. There are great tips here: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. This site also has excellent videos and the chance to consult a trainer. https://robertcabral.com/ Good luck and enjoy the training!
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How can I train my dog to speak if he very rarely barks at all so we can't mark the behavior? He will bark at the door if someone knocks once in a while, but not every time. I do reward him when he does it, but it doesn't seem to happen often enough for the reinforcement to click for him. He's a very quiet dog, and very rarely barks or whines at all.
Hello Laura, Check out the article linked below. I would utilize all three methods to speed up the training as much as possible - knowing that this will take pup longer in general since he is quieter, but using all three methods will help the process go faster than using just one method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-speak If pup play growls while doing tug of war, you can also teach pup to growl on command using tugs to initiate the growls - then rewarding. If your goal is for pup to intimidate, or alerting in a more subtle way is acceptable, then a growl could be a substitute for barking in those situations. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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So my dog recently went into two other dogs yard and was bitten but he is okay now but I want to teach him to respect other dogs territory and to protect his because a couple days ago we had an unwanted guest that just walked into our house and I wasn’t here to protect so I figured he would but my mom told me that he didn’t even bother to bark when they entered. And also when we are in the yard playing he likes to run out in the road at joggers and walking neighbors which is okay with them but I do not want him doing so because it will look like an attack when he gets bigger. I mean who wants a giant dog running at them full speed? So if I could train him to do those things and to stop digging up our garden and our neighbor’s then he would be the perfect companion. Thanks for your time and I hope you write back!
Hello, I sounds like pup is being given too much freedom right now, before they have been trained to handle it and it not cause behavior issues. At this age, pup either needs to be with you on a 6 foot leash, on a long 20'-50' training leash with you, in a fence, or inside. Pup needs boundary training and off leash obedience before they can be given off leash privileges Check out the Recruit Friends method from the article linked below, and begin by teaching pup to stay inside your property boundaries. https://wagwalking.com/training/stay-in-an-unfenced-yard Start working on a reliable Come. Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall You can also practice walking around places like your yard or a field and changing directions frequently without saying anything with pup on a 20'40'non-retractable training leash. Whenever he takes notice (at first because the leash finally tugs, but later just because you moved), then toss a treat at him for looking your way or coming over to you - without calling him; this encourages him to choose to pay attention to where you are and associate your presence with good things on his own, so he will want to be with you. For the protection, spend a lot of time socializing pup around people - it may sound counter-intuitive but you want pup to learn what is normal human behavior and body language to better help them recognize what is aggressive or suspicious behavior in people too. At 18 weeks very few puppies would have shown any protection instinct. Any natural instinct of that natural typically develops between 1-2 years as mental maturity and certain hormones change (even in neutered dogs). You may find yourself never needing to teach pup anything other than good obedience and socialization, and pup may protect naturally when its needed. If you do find that pup is too accepting, then once they have obedience and socialization in place, you can begin formal protection training once pup is a bit older - which is based on pup having great obedience and great socialization, and learning through positive reinforcement via bite work how to handle aggressors. This type of training should only be done under the supervision and direction of a professional trainer because if it's done wrong it can be a huge liability and lead to fear biting, not just intruders but guests, family, and friends. To be accepted for this type of training, pup generally needs to be well socialized so that they can tell when someone is acting normal and safe vs. not though - so be sure to expose pup to a lot of people in a positive way while young. For the garden digging, pup needs more supervision, to learn the Leave It and Out commands, and if it's one specific area, look into outdoor pet barrier devices, designed to be set up in areas you want to deter pup from. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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