As enjoyable as long walks with your dog are, random barks at kids, bystanders or cars might ruin the whole day. No matter the size, breed or age of your doggo, it is possible to teach how not to bark at strangers not only during walks outside but also when someone new enters the home. Try these 5 simple tips and see the results as good behaviour!
Before moving onto the teaching part, you should get more insight about what might be causing this behaviour of your dog. The possible reasons include getting too excited over new faces usually with a wagging tail, being territorial and protective of you, having some lack of socialization or just being afraid of new people or animals.
2.Ignore and do not reward the barks
You should always make the distinction between rewardable behaviour and bad behaviour. Thus, not showing interest and not welcoming barking at a stranger should be the first step in your teaching. You can also tell your friends and the people you meet during the walks not to reach positively during the first encounter but just avoid eye contact and wait until your doggo calms down. If your dog is too persistent with the barks, you should turn around and walk away to show that this kind of behaviour will cut the chances of interaction.
As your dog starts to learn to meet strangers calmly and respectfully, just the opposite of the previous tip works this time! Whenever a calm and polite first encounter occurs, make sure to reward your dog for good behaviour whether it is some treats or fun play time. You can try to increase the reward as your doggo learns more and more.
4.Teach sitting down instead
As your dog stops with the aggressive behaviour and barking, it is time to move a step further and teach the ideal welcoming method when meeting with strangers. You can practice with a friend of yours to exemplify the polite and acceptable behaviour as remaining calms and sitting down with commands. Practice makes it perfect, so try as many times as your fluff ball needs and don’t forget to reward the achievement!
If your dog starts barking the moment you are approaching a stranger on your way, you can try shifting your doggo’s focus to something else to stop this kind of behaviour. One of the easiest ways to distract is by making noises with your fingers, keys or clicker. Once your dog is distracted, you can try the newly learned calm down and sit commands to showcase the polite welcome towards strangers.