Unstoppable barking of your dog can put you in dire straits. Indeed, if your dog all of a sudden starts loudly barking the third time a night, you may want to toss a pillow at him. However, according so specialists’ opinion, throwing bedding at your dog is not a good way to solve the problem.
However, a proper way to stop unreasonable yapping does exist. This is the instruction to follow:
Step 1: The earlier you start to train the puppy, the better. It’s preferable if you begin to do it just after he crosses your house doorstep. If he barks or growls just close his muzzle with your hand, come up with a simple command like, “stop barking” or “be quiet” and say it. Take the hand off and praise the pet if he doesn’t start barking again.
Step 2: Teach the “speak” command. This how the drill should go: you command “speak”, someone knocks at the front door and then your dog barks. Hold a treat by his nose and, while he is silently sniffing the food, say “speak.” Give the dog a treat when he barks, otherwise do the routine with the knocking again.
Step 3: After that, train the dog to understand both of the commands. It’s prerequisite to repeat teaching of “quiet” after “speak”. Ask the dog to bark by the “speak” command and then say “quiet”. Give him a treat once he stops barking.
Step 4: Prevent your dog from facing things and situations that lead to excessive barking. Of course, it’s impossible to remove all the stimuli, but sometimes you can take your beloved pet away from the place where things are too irritating, e.g from places with a lot of noise or other naughty dogs.
Step 5: Stop paying any attention to your Shih Tzu until he stops barking. You can just turn away from him until he stops. Never praise a dog unless it’s behaving quietly. Don’t reinforce its barking by giving it attention.
- Refrain from shouting at the dog. When you do, the dog thinks that you just bark along with him and starts doing it even more thoroughly because of the stress caused by the yelling.
- Don’t ignore your dog all the time. If you regularly miss walks, playtime and petting, it causes behavioral problems.
- Try not to overuse treats, i.e. apply other ways to reward compliance as well: toys, petting and praise.
A Few Tips
- You can spray water from a bottle to distract Shih Tzu and hereby interrupt his barking so that you can praise or give him a treat for being quiet.
- Because Shih Tzus are generally stubborn, it usually takes much effort to make them do what you desire. However, as you don’t have all time in the world to train him, you can hire a specialist to babysit with your dog while you’re out so that the dog doesn’t feel uncomfortable, otherwise his bad mood may trigger barking.
- It may sound obvious enough to say it explicitly, but if you fail in independent training, you should consider hiring a professional.