How do you train a dog NOT to do something?
May 28, 2012 9:08 AM Subscribe
How do you train a dog NOT to do something? I understand the basics of training a dog to perform a positive behavior: repetition, treats, encouraging words and body language, etc. I've even been somewhat successful in training my dogs to sit, stay, give paw, etc. But one of my dogs barks at my husband whenever he walks by, and he (the husband) is getting pretty darn tired of it.
posted by SuperSquirrel to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Just as background: We have four dogs and two cats, and all except one of the dogs came to live with us as a result of me volunteering with animal rescue groups. I think my husband is a teensy bit resentful of the havoc that having multiple pets can cause. However, he does treat them nicely and plays with them and helps out with their care.
One of the dogs (Dino) is an adult male Pomeranian who came to us several years ago after living with an elderly lady. Dino has always been suspicious of my husband (and any male), and it doesn't help that my husband can be a noisy clomp-y kind of guy around the house. (If I weighed 8 pounds and was thisclose to the floor, I'd be suspicious too.)
So Dino barks at him. All. The. Damn. Time. Husband gets up from couch - Dino barks. Husband goes out to garage and comes back 12 seconds later - Dino barks. Husband walks by my office where I'm working and Dino is sitting quietly - Dino barks.
The only time Dino doesn't bark at him is when I'm not around. So we think it's some kind of [really over-the-top] protective instinct.
* husband feeds and cares for Dino exclusively
* husband carries treats around with him, and any time he passes Dino, gives him a treat
* homeopathic calming pills on a recommendation from our vet (who was reluctant to prescribe tranquilizers when I
* ignoring the barking, thinking that we were somehow encouraging it
* yelling at Dino to shut the hell up already (our current approach, sadly)
Nothing works. Husband is now working from home, and I have summers off, so we're looking at three months of wild-ass yapping whenever husband moves a muscle.
HELP! How do I train Dino to not bark at my husband? I would settle for him stopping when I ordered him to, or stopping on his own after one or two yaps. Not barking at all would be ideal. I can't count on complete cooperation from my husband anymore, as he has given up and is ready to send Dino back to the shelter (ain't gonna happen.)
I have looked at the other AskMes about bark-y dogs, and the ones I've seen are focused on dogs who bark when the owner's away, which is the opposite of my problem.