Adrena Wilhelm from Canine Companions for Independence shows you how you can teach your dog to speak and be quiet on command. She also provides effective techniques for teaching your dog to not bark when the doorbell rings and when other dogs are near.
Hi. I'm Adrena Wilhelm from Canine Companions for Independence on behalf of IAMS. Today, we're going to learn how to teach your dog to stop barking. It may sound nonsensical. But to stop your dog from barking, first, teach him to bark on command. Give your dog the command to speak. Have someone immediately make a noise, such as knocking on the door that is sure to make your dog bark. Let him bark two or three times. Then, stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say speak. Once your dog can reliably bark on command, move on to the quiet command. Teach your dog that barking is OK until told to be quiet. Simultaneously, hold a treat in front of your dog's nose. Most dogs get quiet immediately because they can't sniff and lick the treat while barking at the same time. Praise your dog continuously during his quiet time with petting and words of encouragement. When your dog makes a mistake and barks, and he will, reprimand him immediately. Never strike your dog, but do something that will catch his attention, such as clapping loudly. As soon as your dog stops barking, you must instantly reward him. If you're still having trouble, then you may need to spend some time working with your dog on specific barking situations. Here are a few of the more common ones. If your dog is in his crate or confined to a room behind a baby gate or other barrier, he may bark because he wants to be with you. But if that's not always possible, then you'll need to train him to stay quiet. Next time, he's barking uncontrollably in his more confined space, try this. Start by turning your back and ignoring him. Whenever he stops barking, turn and praise him. Give him a treat and make a game of it. As he catches on that being quiet gets him a treat, lengthen the amount of time that he must remain quiet before being rewarded. Dogs that are afraid of other dogs will often bark at them. Have a friend with a dog stand out of sight far enough away that you know your dog won't bark at the other dog. As soon as the friend and dog come into view, start feeding your dog lots of treats. Keep feeding treats until the friend and dog are out of sight. Ask your friend and her dog to gradually walk closer. Don't try to progress too quickly. It may take days or weeks before your dog can pay attention to you and the treats without barking at the other dog. When the doorbell rings, your dog alerts you to the presence of an intruder by barking wildly. Once you've taught your dog the quiet command in a calm environment, practice in increasingly distracting situations. Teach your dog to react to the doorbell by going to a special place and laying quietly while the intruder comes into the house. Start by tossing a treat on his mat and telling him go to your place. Have him go to his place before you give him the treat. When he's reliably going to his mat to earn a treat, up the ante by opening the door while he's on his mat. If he gets up, close the door immediately. Repeat until he stays on the mat while the door is open. Then, increase the difficulty by having someone ring the doorbell while your dog is on his mat. Reward him if he stays in his place. Try these techniques to stop your dog from barking. All of them can be successful, but don't expect miracles overnight. The longer your dog has been practicing the barking behavior, the longer it will take for him to change his ways. Let's recap. First, teach your dog to speak or bark on command. Once he has that down, teach him to be quiet on command. Use treats and praise to help get the desired outcome. And lastly, be patient and consistent in training. Don't expect overnight changes. I'm Adrena Wilhelm on behalf of IAMS. To join the IAMS community for more information and offers, check out the website.
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Switching your dog to a new food takes some planning. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they tend to prefer their current food to a new food. Like us, they become accustomed to a food and might not be thrilled about a new routine. These useful dog-feeding tips will help you keep your dog satisfied.
4 Tips to Successfully Transition Your Dog to a New Food
1. Introduce the new food gradually.
When easing your dog into a change in diet, think “slow and steady.” Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. Here’s a sample feeding schedule:
- Day 1: 25% new food, 75% current food
- Day 2: 50% new food, 50% current food
- Day 3: 75% new food, 25% current food
At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Don’t worry — a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.
2. Watch your body language.
Bringing a new food into your home, pouring it into your dog’s bowl and declaring that he should eat it might cause your dog to go on a hunger strike. This is not the time to show who’s boss. It’s better to introduce the new food by using a pleasant tone of voice and gently encouraging him to try the new food.
3. Don't give in to demands.
Persistence is key! For the first two days of the food transition, don’t give your dog treats or table scraps. Dogs train us as much as we train them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more difficult to make a nutritious dietary change.
4. Be patient when switching from wet food to dry food.
Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from a moist food to a dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix in a little warm water. You might even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you mix the food with water, be sure to throw away the uneaten portion after 20 minutes to prevent spoilage. The same rule applies for canned and pouch food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean him onto completely dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions outlined above.
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