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No Barking

July 13, 2011

Our dog is quiet. I have been worried he will develop into a true barker because he will be living with a dog with a barking problem this fall. This has been stressing me out.

Presently he only seems to bark, if there is truly something specific.

  1. He barks one bark occasionally when he hears my husband at the door, but never for other people.
  2. He whimper barks a hello to all dogs that he sees on our walks. o
  3. A couple times something set him off on a walk. Both times I shushed him by holding his muzzle. When he calmed, we walked in the direction of his bark to figure it out. I can’t tell you what it might have been, but he was looking at something. Ghosts?
  4. If there are two dogs wrestling and they don’t include him he lets out a single yip of frustration after a few minutes.

People say schnauzers are real barkers and I have heard this enough that I started to worry. Clearly urbanism has made some dogs weird (wolves don’t spend their days barking). Then I remembered that the breed matters less than the animal’s natural temperament. We picked a mild tempered dog and I think he will stay quiet in isolation, but I don’t know if bark behavior will rub off, stress him out, or be ignored.

Experts say barking can be territorial, fear, or habit. Ultimately, I say that their bark is working for them, more than alternative rewarding behaviors. You are likely reacting to the bark in the dog’s own eyes. Or if habitual, their barking helped them rid themselves of energy when they are not getting high-energy play twice a daily. Dog parks, challenging reward-based training, and curbing your response helps in any case.

If you keep your pup hungry or your pup is strongly food oriented, treats can help with behavior hurdles. First thing to try is holding a treat and saying quiet. Then wait for the dog to quiet for a longer and longer time before treating. Eventually the dog will understand the meaning of quiet This command can help with doors and particular people who set them off.  Anyone should be able to give this command, so practice this with everyone you know.

Attached are a training videos that I found helpful:


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