Are you struggling with a dog that barks? We know how annoying this can be, and we understand. Let’s help create a quieter life for both you and your dog.
Recently, I met Carrie Firth in Rootstown. Dog Training was a commonality for both of us. Carrie is part of the Portage County Dog Committee which advocates dog 4-H.
When I was a child, I was in dog 4-H. I remember learning about dog training from clinics and from my advisors. I loved it.
I wanted to share my dog training knowledge, so I offered to do a clinic for one of the Portage County Dog Training 4-H Clubs.
Carrie arranged it, and she wanted me to talk about reactive (barking) dogs. Needless to say the talk was a success and was so much fun.
There was a good turnout, and we talked about many situations where dogs bark. Sometimes dog bark for attention and sometimes they bark at outside stimuli such as other dogs, people, noises, etc.
For attention barking we talked about ignoring the dog and giving the dog attention only when he is quiet.
Of course to have success you have to be consistent with your dog training. Rootstown children need to learn about this consistency because many times dogs will go through an extinction burst.
This means the barking will get worse and more intense before it gets better. This is because the barking was rewarded in the past. Once the dog is quiet then attention can be giving by throwing a ball, petting, giving a treat, etc.
For barking at a stimuli that is away from the dog, we discussed training incompatible commands.
This means when the dog does this alternate behavior they will not be able to bark at the stimulus. These commands can involve watch, leave it, LAT (discovered by Leslie McDevitt), and down.
It is important for the dog to be far away from the stimulus to learn an alternate behavior. If the dog is up close to the stimulus the dog will be too stressed and will not able to think about performing another behavior.
The same goes for the children of Rootstown. Dog training is hard to practice if the children are stressed. So it is important for the trainer which is the children in this case to be as relaxed as possible. Once the dog learns to be more quiet the distance can be gradually decreased.
We were so happy to spend this time in Rootstown. Dog training is my passion, and I enjoyed helping.
Thank you Carrie Firth for having Four Legged Scholars LLC. We are looking forward to doing a clinic again in the near future.
Carrie has also mentioned that the numbers for the dog 4-H have decreased because less people know about it.
Please spread the word and contact Carrie to join: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johanna Teresi, Rootstown Dog Trainer, Four Legged Scholars LLC, Rootstown, Dog Training