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#StoptheShock: Positive Dog Training Without Shock Collars

positive reinforcement dog training

A campaign called “Stop the Shock” has been making its way through social media and email inboxes in an effort to educate dog owners about alternative and humane ways to train their pets. We love it! Positive-reinforcement training is exactly what we recommend in our “Train, Treat, Repeat” approach to dog training. More on that in a moment. 

Here is a short video message from Petco’s national dog training manager about positive reinforcement dog training:

What is ‘Stop the Shock’? 

Petco launched this campaign to promote healthy training for dogs that reinforce good behaviors through rewards, rather than punish dogs to stop unwanted (or bad) behaviors, also known as aversive training. The retailer offers in-store and online training classes that you can do one-on-one with your dog and a trainer or in a group setting. And, they’ve removed shock collars from their shelves, saying, “Petco no longer sells shock collars operated by a person with a remote in hand.” 

High fives and paws up to that.

High fives and paws up to #stoptheshock

The company went on to say that there are many alternatives to training dogs that don’t inflict pain or discomfort on them. Indeed, shock collars have been a source of controversy among dog lovers, dog trainers, and dog experts since they were introduced in the mid-20th century (according to this entry on Wikipedia).

That said, not all aversive training is bad, cruel or harmful. In fact, you can use certain devices to distract a dog (rather than punish) while they’re doing unwanted behaviors (barking like a banshee, for example) and immediately follow up with a verbal command (“quiet!”) and a reward (treats, belly rubs, kind words, and kisses).

Why Do People Use Shock Collars on Dogs?

Some people use shock collars to train dogs to stop unwanted behaviors, such as excessive barking, jumping on guests, and ignoring recall commands

They also use shock collars to train dogs to observe geographical boundaries in lieu of installing a physical fence or an electronic fence in their yards. The objective to shock collars is stimulus-response: the dog approaches a boundary, you use a remote control that zaps or shocks him through his collar, and he learns not to go there.

Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? The shock collar causes your dog to associate those behaviors with pain, discomfort and fear; it doesn’t teach her to defer to you for guidance. 

Even though some of the higher-end shock collars allow you to adjust the settings, we recommend against shock collars. Instead, opt for positive reinforcement training using our signature product, The BarxBuddy. By the way, the ultrasonic hand-held device nicely complements the expert training you and your dog learn from pet trainers at Petco. Here’s how it works…

How Ultrasonic Trainers Work with Positive Reinforcement

The BarxBuddy is a handheld device that never comes in contact with your dog. There is no collar or strap that your dog wears. It works by emitting a high-pitch tone when your dog does something annoying, aggressive or undesired, like barking excessively. 

As soon as your dog starts barking, you press and release the device. Make sure you are within 50 feet of your dog, for two very good reasons. First, the device works best when you are closer to the dog. Second, your dog will naturally look at you when he hears the sound. This is when you give a verbal command: “Quiet” or “Stop” or “Speak low.” 

The ultrasonic sound interrupts whatever your dog is doing, which is why it is very important to use it ONLY when he’s doing unwanted behaviors and NOT when he’s being a good dog. You might not be able to hear the ultrasonic tone but your dog sure does! Keep the device out of reach of children who might mistake it for a toy or flashlight!

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Best Large Dog Breeds and Why We Love Them

top large dog breeds we love

There’s always more to love with a large dog. While they won’t fit in a designer purse or easily tuck in a backpack, many large breeds insist they’d make good lap dogs. 

Big dogs are often considered the hardest-working group of dog breeds and some of the gentlest giants. If you’re looking to welcome a large dog into your family, you probably have questions. Do they bark a lot? How difficult are big dogs to train? Are they hard to groom? Here’s a glimpse at the wonderful world of large dog breeds.

What are Large Dog Breeds?

Determining what breed classifies as large isn’t clear-cut. You might find a breed categorized as both a medium-size and large breed because of the height and weight variances. In general, you can expect a large dog to weigh from 50-70 pounds to over 100 pounds. Bred for a purpose or function, large breeds excel at jobs such as hunting companions and guard dogs. Although their size is enough to intimidate most people, they tend to get along well with humans of all ages. 

Before you decide to adopt a large dog, it’s important you research the breed to ensure he’s the right dog for your lifestyle, home size, and family (with young children). Here are 20 of the most popular large dog breeds starting with the shortest (height, weight range):

  1. Siberian husky – 20-23.5 inches, 35-60 pounds
  2. American bulldog – 20-25 inches, 60-100 pounds
  3. Old English sheepdog – 21-22 inches, 60-100 pounds
  4. Golden retriever – 21.5-24 inches, 55-75 pounds
  5. Labrador retriever – 21.5-24.5 inches, 55-80 pounds
  6. Boxer – 21.5-25 inches, 65-80 pounds
  7. Chinook – 22-26 inches, 50-90 pounds
  8. German shepherd dog – 22-26 inches, 50-90 pounds
  9. Rottweiler – 22-27 inches, 80-135 pounds
  10. Alaskan malamute – 23-25 inches, 75-85 pounds
  11. Weimaraner – 23-27 inches, 55-90 pounds
  12. Curly-coated retriever – 23-27 inches, 60-95 pounds
  13. Bloodhound – 23-27 inches, 80-110 pounds
  14. Pointer – 23-28 inches, 45-75 pounds
  15. Giant Schnauzer – 23.5-27.5 inches, 55-85 pounds
  16. Rhodesian ridgeback – 24-27 inches, 70-85 pounds
  17. Doberman pinscher – 24-28 inches, 60-100 pounds
  18. Afghan hound – 25-27 inches, 50-60 pounds
  19. Irish setter – 25-27 inches, 60-70 pounds
  20. Greyhound – 27-30 inches, 60-70 pounds

Do Large Dogs Bark a Lot?

There’s no getting around it, dogs bark, and you’ll have no problem hearing when a large breed barks. For this reason, you need to consider whether barking is an issue with the breed you’re interested in adopting. The good news is many large dog breeds, such as the Labrador retriever and Alaskan Malamute, aren’t barky breeds. On the other hand, Irish setters can bark incessantly if left alone for too long, and the German shepherd dog, known as a superior guard dog, barks more than most. 

Even if you choose to adopt a highly vocal canine, there are a few tips that can reduce or eliminate nuisance barking. What’s nuisance barking? It’s when your pet barks to merely bark. He’s not hurt, fearful, or warning you of imminent danger. Early socialization and training are essential. If your pet is older or had early training and is still a barker is time to invest in some training. With plenty of treats, praise, and the proper tools like the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool, you can help eliminate or reduce your dog’s incessant barking.

Are Large Dog Breeds Difficult to Train?

So, how difficult are large dog breeds to train? It depends. Breeds like the golden retriever and rottweiler are among the easiest to train dog breeds, whereas an Afghan hound and a bloodhound, with their independence and stubbornness, make training a challenge. Here are a some tips for training a large dog:

  • Use a firm tone and never yell at your pet.
  • Be consistent in your commands.
  • Practice patience (dog training will take time).
  • Use positive reinforcement, aka offer treats and praise immediately following your dog’s successful completion of whatever task.
  • Be sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Interested in learning more? Check out the BarxBuddy train, treat, and repeat training method

Are Large Dog Breeds Hard to Groom?

A bigger dog means more hair, larger teeth, and nails. Some large breeds like the Weimaraner are generally easy to groom outside of keeping their nails trimmed with the appropriate equipment like the BarxBuddy nail clippers. Others like the Afghan hound and their long, silky coats require hours of grooming per week and require brushing with a brush like the BarxBuddy self-cleaning brush and regular bathing to prevent mats and tangles. While dogs of all sizes require some form of grooming, you might need to make a few adjustments for a larger breed, like bathing outside if possible (avoid picking up your large dog into a bathtub).

BarxBuddy.com is your resource center for more grooming tips for large dogs and other dog-related issues.

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Tips for Training, Raising, and Grooming Big Dog Breeds

Four large dogs in a field

While many dog owners favor teacup and small dog breeds, it’s time to give some love to the most popular large dog breeds. If you’re interested in adopting a larger dog like an Akita or Saint Bernard, or you already own a large sized dog breed, you may have some training, raising, and grooming questions. Are big dogs harder to train than smaller dogs? How expensive is it to raise a large or giant dog? What kind of grooming needs do larger breeds have? Wonder no more. We’ve got tips for raising large, big, and giant dog breeds.

Are Large or Giant Dog Breeds Harder to Train?

Large dogs present a few issues that their diminutive counterparts don’t. The sheer size and weight of larger breeds can make for some precarious situations if your pet isn’t properly trained. Imagine, a 100 pound (or more) dog that doesn’t know he shouldn’t jump on visitors; his sheer weight can throw your guest to the ground. Add the physical characteristics of a larger breed with a stubborn or independent personality and you can find training a larger dog like the dalmatian or Great Dane frustrating.

Here are a few tips that can help make training large dogs a bit easier:

  • As with any dog, especially large breeds, start training and socialization early! This initial experience with your commands and exposure to sights, smells, sounds, and sensations of the environment can help a puppy become a friendly, disciplined, confident adult dog. 
  • Although many large dog breeds, including the German shepherd and Doberman pinscher, grace the AKC “most trainable” list, training any dog requires time, patience, and consistent corrections.
  • Use a firm tone when training. Never yell or scold your dog as this may cause him to become confused, fearful, and may even encourage bad behavior (aggression) on his part.
  • Use positive reinforcement with high-quality treats and praise immediately upon your dog successfully performing a task. 
  • Since larger breeds can come up to an adult’s waist or chest area, be sure to place treats in a pouch or one hand behind your back as they may distract your dog if you hold them in front. 
  • Make the training sessions fun, interesting, and short for larger breeds like the Mastiff, which doesn’t require a significant amount of daily exercise. According to the AKC, this breed can become bored so fast with repetition, that you may find him snoring mid-training.
  • The best bark control for large dogs is the BarxBuddy Ultrasonic training device with a “quiet” command and plenty of praise and treats. 

How Expensive Is Raising a Large Dog?

The cost of raising a large dog is not quite as expensive as raising a child; however, you go through enough 50-pound bags of dog food to make you feel like you’re raising a few teenagers. There are a plethora of expenses to consider when buying or adopting a dog of any size such as:

  • Toys
  • Collars and leashes
  • Beds
  • Food and treats
  • Grooming
  • Training
  • Veterinary care
  • Medications and supplements

Because everything is amplified with larger breeds, it’s essential you’re prepared for the cost of raising a big dog. According to Forbes you can expect to spend about $22,000 over a 12-year lifespan. Even though you should expect the unexpected when raising a dog, there are a few things you can do to make the expenses of owning a large breed a little less painful:

  • Look for durable products like fetch or tug toys, dog beds, and grooming supplies
  • Buy or price compare your pet’s meds online
  • Brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent expensive dental care
  • Use vet-recommended flea and tick treatments to prevent your dog from becoming ill
  • Spay or neuter your dog (which can ensure you don’t have to care for a litter of dogs)* 
  • Buy food and treats in bulk
  • Better yet, make your dog’s treats
  • Don’t overfeed your dog. Many larger breeds don’t require a lot of exercise, and as such don’t require as much food as you think they do. Talk to your vet about an appropriate diet for your pet. If you’re a math wizard The Ohio State University has a Pet’s Calorie Calculator that can help determine your dog’s calorie needs.
  • Groom your pet at home. You can bathe, brush, and trim your dog’s nails with the proper tools like the BarxBuddy self-cleaning dog brush and BarxBuddy dog nail clippers.

*According to Brown University, spaying reduces the occurrence of breast cancer and eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer in female dogs, while neutering male dogs reduces the prevalence of prostate cancer).

What Grooming Needs Do Larger Dog Breeds Have? 

Large dogs have the same grooming needs as smaller canines, except larger breeds have more hair to brush, bigger teeth to clean, and larger nails to trim. And, even though dogs don’t all shed like crazy, it’s best to regularly brush your big dog to ensure he doesn’t leave behind big piles of dog hair. Not sure if your pet is a shedder? Check out the BarxBuddy Guide to Shedding Breeds and look for deshedding tools for large dogs. Maintaining your dog’s oral health is essential as it can prevent other issues such as heart and kidney disease. Here are a few tips to make grooming your large or giant breed at home doable:

  • Get an assistant. You never know when you might need someone to help hold onto your dog or hand you supplies.
  • Use a kiddie pool as a makeshift outdoor tub.
  • Keep your pet on a leash if you bathe him outside. This will help keep him from running too far with shampoo in his hair.
  • If you want to bathe your dog inside, use a walk-in shower so you don’t have to lift him into a tub.
  • Use the hairdryer (on a cool setting) to speed up drying your dog’s coat. 
  • Have extra towels around for drying your extra-large dog breed and to keep your grooming area safe and dry.
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Recall Command: How to Teach a Dog to Come When Called

Of all the basic commands you can teach your dog, the “recall” command is the most important. Training your pet to come to you when called not only keeps you in control, but it can save him from dangerous situations. While it is a crucial command, it is often the most difficult to train. Why? Think about the world of distractions your pet can face everyday, SQUIRRELS, other dogs, toys, and kids. Let us not forget the endless list of scents that catch his attention! So, with all these diversions, how can you train your dog to come on your command? Don’t worry, it can be done. To help you here are a few tips.

What is Dog Recall Training

Dog recall training is teaching your dog to come to you on command. You may hear the term “reliable recall” when reading about or discussing the topic with trainers. Reliable recall means when you give the “come” command you’re sure he will happily respond by running up to your side. Before we get started on how to teach your dog this obedience command, keep in mind:

  • The earlier you start recall training the better; AKC recommends to begin when your pup is 7 to 8 weeks. 
  • Don’t take his disregard to your command personally! Dogs are easily distracted and your hollering “come” may not be as exciting as whatever has his attention.
  • Patience, plenty of practice (daily is best), and positivity will go a long way in dog recall training.
  • Ensure you have lots of treats on hand.
  • Never use an authoritative or angry tone when commanding your dog to come.
  • Never punish your dog when he comes to you.
  • Don’t repeat the word “come” or his name as it may lose its meaning for your dog.

How to Teach Your Dog to Come

When you start training your dog the come command, begin in a low-distraction area, like inside your home. The quiet will make it easier for your dog to focus. Over time, work your way up to places with greater distractions like your backyard, then a park.

Show your dog a treat or toy and praise him as he comes to you, then offer a reward. Repeat, adding the verbal cue “come” (or whatever term you’ve chosen to use) when your dog looks at you and begins to move toward you. Only use the cue when your pet is moving in your direction. Always give treats and praise. After plenty of practice, ask your pet to come without revealing the treat and add distance between you and him.

Now that you’ve got the basic idea, one of the best ways to teach him to respond to your call command is through games as suggested by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

  • Hide & seek: This game is an ideal way to involve children in dog training. Have your dog sit or stay in a room or have someone hold onto him. You and/or your child hide around the corner in another room, or behind a piece of furniture. Call your dog to come find you. When he does, immediately offer a treat and praise.
  • Go & come: For this game, you will need a low value treat such a kibble and a high value one like meat or cheese. Throw the low value treat and tell your dog to get it. Before he finishes eating the treat, call for him to come to you, using an excited, positive tone. When he responds and comes to you, reward him with the high-value treat and praise.
  • Catch me if you can: Get your dog’s attention then run in the opposite direction making excited, fun sounds and gestures to get him to chase you. When he catches you provide treats and praise. It’s important that you never chase your dog. He thinks it’s a game and will continue to run away from you.
  • Relay races: You can play this game inside (hallway is ideal) or outside in your backyard providing it’s fenced. This game requires two people. One person starts by holding your dog while the other person goes a few feet away and calls him to come. Reward and praise him when he complies. Now the other person calls your dog to come, offering him treats and praise when he does. As your dog gets faster, slowly increase the space your dog has to run.
  • Recall retrieve: This game is for any dog that loves to play fetch. Like the go & come game, you throw a retrievable object, such as a ball or toy. As your dog is returning to you with the object, say come. Have him give you the object and throw it again. If your dog is unwilling to give up the ball or toy, it’s time to psych him out and throw a second ball or toy and repeat. The best part is when your dog finds the game itself rewarding so you won’t need treats because he’s motivated by praise. 

Once your dog listens to your “come” command every time, you can begin rewarding him randomly instead of every time.

Why Won’t My Dog Come When Called?

Does your dog look at you like you’re stupid when you give the “come” command? Expect it; all dogs ignore a command for one reason or another. Here are the top three:

  • Fear: If your dog has been reprimanded in the past when he came to you he might associate coming to you with getting into trouble. 
  • Distractions: Whatever is distracting him is way cooler and more interesting than coming to you. 
  • Confusion: You’ve repeated “come” over and over, and its meaning is unclear or your dog has attached a negative association with the word. (To fix this situation, switch to a different word like “here.”)
  • Motivation: Your pet thinks fun time is over.

While you may not fully understand why your dog is ignoring you, incorporating a few of the above recall games in his training may help you and your dog get past the unwillingness on his part. Sometimes using a training device to get your dog’s attention may be helpful. Learn more about The BarxBuddy in this related post about ultrasonic dog repellers and deterrents.

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10 Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Dogs so They Live Longer

Happy dogs live longer

What do food, friends, family, and your physician have in common? Together they are partly responsible for helping you stay happy and healthy. Surrounding yourself with loved ones, practicing proper nutrition, and minding your physical health add to your overall well-being. 

Dogs, too, need the love and support of those around them to live their best life. And of course, regular visits to the vet help your dog stay well. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog stays as happy and healthy as possible. 

1. Socialize Your Dogs and Puppies

That’s right, just like when you need to get out to enjoy time with your friends, so does your dog. Socializing with fellow pups offers a host of benefits, including easing anxiety, encouraging good behaviors, promoting fitness, and fostering friendships.

Socializing puppies: It’s best to introduce your dog to people and other dogs when he’s around three to four months old. 

Socialize a nervous dog: However, if your dog is older and hasn’t had exposure to others, socializing him is essential to his health. Use caution as you introduce him to others one at a time, never leave your dog alone with children, and reward good behavior with treats and plenty of praise. 

2. Keep Calm and Avoid Yelling at Your Dog

Honestly, it’s hard to prevent a freakout when your dog shreds your favorite slippers or tears through a bag of garbage, but yelling at your dog could make things worse. Before you raise your voice, know that your dog can read facial expressions and negative commands, so learn to use these to your advantage. 

A recent study in BioRxiv demonstrates, dogs subjected to scary behavior and negative commands were likely to suffer from long-term stress and lower overall cognitive abilities. If your dog is displaying a behavior you don’t like, it’s time to reassess what you could’ve done to help prevent the situation.

Maybe trade your slippers in for a chew toy your dog can enjoy or keep your garbage can closed and locked and take the trash out before your dog can get into it. Remember, before your next blow up, do yourself and your dog a favor, keep calm and carry on.

3. Learn the Language of Dogs

While it’s believed dogs have the mental capacity of a two-and-a-half-year-old, dogs can learn language through repetition. Keep it simple. You know the words: ball, walk, sit, treat, or stay. 

  • It’s playtime — repeat the words you want to associate with it, such as “toy” or “play.” 
  • Exercise time — repeat the word “walk” so your dog recognizes the word when it’s time to go for walks.
  • Sit and stay — when your dog is sitting or staying, say things like “Good sit” or “Good stay” and reward with treats. 

Canines recognize human emotion from your tone and body language, so when you get the chance, be present, and hold a relaxed conversation with your dog. 

4. Feed Your Dog Healthy Treats

Feeding your dog a high-quality diet reinforces his overall health and well-being. So is occasionally giving in to his puppy eyes, and sliding him some table scraps or treats (as long as they make up less than 10% of his diet). 

5. Never Stop Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Training your dog is a lot more than just teaching him how to follow commands. Learning something new is good for his concentration, flexibility, stamina, and balance; plus, it’s a great way to strengthen the bond between the two of you. Even as he gets older, training can go a long way to keeping your dog active, agile, and alert.

RELATED: Are smaller dogs harder to train?

6. Tame Your Dog’s Jealousy

Yep, just like humans, man’s best friend can appear jealous when their owners pay more attention to another person or pet. While your devoted companion may not go full-tilt green monster, he can display any number of unhealthy jealous-like behaviors such as growling, hissing, or worse getting into a fight with another pet.  

There are a few things you can do to address jealousy and help your dog maintain his coolness and mental wellness. For pet parents with more than one dog, avoid giving too much attention to one pet over another, and separate toys and mealtimes if needed. Be sure to give recognition and praise when your dog behaves well. 

7. Keep Your Dog Happy When Home Alone

Leaving your dog home alone while you’re at work — especially when they may be used to having you around for long periods of time — can stress your dog. Yet, you have no choice, right? You have to work! 

Dogs have a sense of time and can suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave. While you may think your dog is calm and collected in his crate or on the couch while you’re at work, he may, in fact, be stressing out and feeling lonely. 

To help prevent health-related issues from this daily dose of solitude, try to return home consistently at the same time (or as close as possible). If you aren’t able to get back around the same time, ask someone to check in on your dog and spend a few minutes with him.

You might enlist the help of a neighbor you trust, or look into one of the many dog-walking services. Make sure you choose a service that does full background checks on their walkers.

8. Your Scent May Calm Your Dog

One trick that might help your dog’s anxiety while you’re gone or during other stressful events like thunderstorms or fireworks, involves leaving a piece of your clothing or something that smells like you with your dog. Your scent alone can help ease your dog’s fears. 

9. Take Your Dog for Scent Walks 

Keep your dog happy AND fit by taking them on regular “scent walks.”

Dog sniffing is normal behavior. They rely on their sense of smell to understand their environment. Whether it’s to sniff out a new walking trail or fellow canine, a dog’s nose knows. With hundreds of millions of scent receptors in their noses, a dog is wired for smell; it’s their way of gathering relevant information about their surroundings. Be sure to let your dog sniff for mental stimulation and so he can stay on top of what’s going on in his world.

While walks for exercise are important, so are scent walks, which exercise their sense of smell and allows their brains to analyze their findings. Dogs are data analysts!  

10. Take a Trip

While keeping up with all vet appointments is crucial to your dog’s health, a trip to the vet makes just about any dog shake and shiver, and may even stress out their owners. To help reduce your dog’s fear of visiting the vet, take him on plenty of car rides that don’t end up with him getting poked and prodded. As always, treats and toys also help. 

These are just a few tips about how to keep your dog healthy and live longer. For more advice on raising happy and health dogs, explore our blog.

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Are Small Dogs Harder to Train?

Woman on a park bench with a big dog and a small dog

If you’re a small or toy dog person, you know the littlest canines are downright adorable. They cost less to care for, and they fit in your favorite designer bag. Everything about them is cute and cuddly. Even when they try to protect and defend, all you can do is smile. 

While small dogs earn lovable points in just about every category, training them to follow your directions or stop barking isn’t one of them. Small dogs are indeed harder to train than large dogs, but it’s not their fault; it’s most likely due to genetics … and you (their owners). 

Let’s take a look at how to get control of your small dog barking. 

Why Small Dogs Bark (Hint: Size Does Matter)

Imagine being so small that you fit comfortably into a purse or teacup. Now envision looking out at other animals and humans, everything and everyone is huge! 

As a human, if you stand as you speak down to your dog, she may view you as threatening, merely because you’re a giant to her. Instead, when you need to address your dog, kneel and keep your hand motions in front of her, not above her. 

Tiny Bodies, Tiny Tummies

Pet owners and pet professionals alike rely on treats-based training. They are easy to use and reinforce good behavior in dogs. The problem is, small or toy breeds have much smaller stomachs and may have more sensitivity to fatty foods than medium or large breeds. This can make them harder to train. 

What seems like a single kibble to a 20-pound bulldog may be more like a full day’s meal to a little canine. Plus, offering treats meant for larger breeds, or fatty foods like cheese might leave your little one with digestion issues. Instead, offer her low-fat crumbs or a lick of baby food off your finger. 

How to Train a Small Dog to Stop Barking

You might expect your small dog to perform new skills as smoothly as her larger counterparts. However, she might have more trouble learning moves that bigger dogs have no problem mastering. Break tricks into steps and reward as she accomplishes them. Another approach is to watch your dog throughout the day. If she performs a skill such as “sit” or “lay down” on her own, use a verbal command that she’ll associate with that behavior, and reward her.

Likewise, when she exhibits unwanted behavior, you can distract her with a tool like The BarxBuddy, which will get her attention so you can stop unwanted behavior and teach her better behaviors.

Anti-Bark Strategy for Tiny Dogs

Small dogs tend to be quite energetic and, in turn, bark, or in the case of most tiny dogs, yelp excessively without regard to your orders. If you yell or punish your dog for her barking habits, she might not understand that this is you telling her to stop; she may think you’re joining in on the fun!

Instead, learn why your dog barks. One way to reduce barking is to make sure she gets plenty of exercise during the day. A regular exercise routine might help calm her down enough to focus on your commands.

Be Consistent With Training Commands

Small dogs rely on you for a lot of things. Unlike larger dogs that can quickly get around, say to jump up on the couch, your little one needs you to lift, carry, and watch out for her. However, her size and cuteness are no excuse to give in to her bad behaviors like excessive barking. 

Remember, any attention you give, good or bad, to your dog’s unacceptable behavior, guarantees she’ll repeat it. Instead, ignore your pet when she is acting up and reward her good behavior. Train, treat, repeat.

About Ultrasonic Training Devices

If even after you practice these tips and find your dog is still struggling with barking issues, proper training might be the answer. The safe and effective BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool makes it easier to train a dog, even the tiniest ones. An alternative to bark collars, the BarxBuddy distracts your pet without any contact between it and your dog, allowing you to give a verbal command and reward her when she stops the unwanted behavior. 

As a small pet owner, you understand that your adorable and cuddly teacup breed requires some adaptation and patience in your training. Like training medium and large breeds, plenty of patience, persistence, and practice goes a long way when training your small dog — it may be easier than you think.KeywordsJun 30, 2020Query Phrase

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4 Humane Ways to Control Dog’s Barking

Woman using humane dog training techniques outside

Barking is one of the most annoying behaviors that dogs have, but you can’t fault them for it. That’s how they communicate when (they think) something is wrong, when (they think) they need something, and when they’re excited about something or someone (you’re home!). 

How can you humanely stop a dog from annoying barking, or train him to bark when you want him to? If there are two things we want you to take away from this message it’s this: (1) yelling doesn’t work and (2) you must be consistent with your dog training. 

Why can’t you yell at your dog when he barks? When you yell, you confuse them. They may think you’re joining their fracas, or they may think you’re scary. Training a dog not to bark requires three things: Get their attention, let them know what you want them to do, and reward their good behaviors. We call it our train, treat, repeat approach to dog training.

We’ll explore four ways to train dogs to stop barking, including the use of humane anti barking devices. First, let’s explain what we mean when we talk about “humane” ways to train dogs. 

What Does ‘Humane’ Bark Control Mean?

Humane dog training techniques are methods that get your dog’s attention without hurting, scaring, scarring or harming them in any way. A humane approach to training dogs involves discipline without inflicting pain, force or fear. 

Which brings us to a common question dog owners ask about dog training collars … 

Are Anti-Bark Collars Humane?

We see these questions a lot: Are bark collars inhumane? Are bark collars mean to dogs? 

There are several types of dog training collars that shock, vibrate, spray or make sounds. If you are considering a training collar for your dog, make sure you understand the different types of bark collars, how they work, and what they’re like for your dog. 

  • Shock collars can be uncomfortable for dogs. You use a remote control to administer an electric shock through metal prongs. Some shock collars are auto-triggered by “invisible” fences prompts. 
  • Spray collars use a dog’s sense of smell to administer a citronella spray when they bark or do some other unwanted behavior.
  • Vibrating collars don’t use the same electrical jolts that shock collars do; instead, you use a remote control to send a vibrating alert to your dog through their collar. Some models allow you to control the speed and intensity of the vibrations. 
  • Combination collars include multiple methods to help train your dog — typically vibrations, shocks and sounds — which can be confusing to dogs if you don’t use them consistently or properly. 

The words “barking,” “humane” and “collars” seem to go together, which you’ll find as you search for information about the best bark collars and most humane ways to train dogs. Bark collars are widely used as bark deterrents, and like many dog training tools, they have advantages and disadvantages. 

Our first choice for correcting a dog’s behavior is ultrasonic training tools, which we’ll describe next followed by three other humane bark deterrents.

1 — Ultrasonic Training Devices

Ultrasonic dog training tools are effective, safe and humane dog barking solutions. When used properly, the handheld device never comes in direct contact with your pets, and the high-frequency sound won’t hurt. The ultrasonic training device distracts dogs from barking so that you can give a correction command and then reward their good behaviors with treats. 

Our BarxBuddy ultrasonic training product is incredibly easy to use. It is important to be consistent with the way you use any training tools and methods with your dog. They learn by simple, clear, consistent commands:

  1. Train: Every time your dog barks unnecessarily, press the ON button and then correct their behavior. 
  2. Treat: Reward the good behavior with a treat or a scratch behind the ear.
  3. Repeat: Be consistent. Do this every time; otherwise, your dog remains a confused pup.

It’s also helpful to have everyone in your household on board while you’re training your dog. Otherwise, they’ll quickly figure out who are the “top dogs” and who are the “softies” in your home! Some families order multiple devices, so each family member has his or her own, or so they can keep the training tools in the various parts of the home where their dogs dwell.

2 — Sound Aversion Dog Training

You may have had a friend advise you about something called “sound aversion dog training.” This methodology uses something like a homemade “coins in a can” dog noise maker, or by using a dog training noise app.

It works like this: Rinse and dry a soda can. Put a handful of coins in a can, seal the opening with duct tape and, when your dog starts the disruptive barking behavior, shake the can to startle them and get their attention. 

This method of sound aversion training is more humane than shock collars; however, it can be disruptive to everyone within earshot. Not only will you get your dog’s attention, but you’ll also get attention from everyone around you. 

Another important disadvantage of this type of training is that smart dogs will quickly associate the sound with the can, rather than the sound with the unwanted behavior. 

The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device doesn’t bother you or people around you, and it doesn’t require a special app to operate it.

3 — Distraction Training to Stop Barking

Like many dog training methods, distraction training takes practice and patience. The theory behind this methodology is to give your dog something else to do that interferes with his barking. 

If he barks excessively when someone is at the door, toss a toy or a treat into his bed and say, “Go to your place.” If she barks at the neighbor kids when they’re playing outside, immediately bring her inside and give her something to do — a treat that she has to work for, retrieving a toy, or something else to keep her busy.   

4 — Treat-Reinforced Sit-Stay Training

This methodology reinforces good behaviors and builds on them as a distraction from barking triggers. It works like this: Take your dog for a walk or go outside to play. Keep treats on you at all times in a place where he can sniff them so he knows they’re there. Train your dog the sit/stay command and each time he does it, reward him with a treat. 

When someone passes by, practice the sit/stay command and praise and reward your dog when he’s done the right thing. Have a friend knock on your door and practice the sit/stay command. The theory is that your dog will watch you for commands when bark triggers arise. Eventually, you will need the treat rewards less often; he’ll learn your voice commands.    

Why is Your Dog Barking? Remove the Barking Trigger

No matter what method you use when training your dog to stop unwanted behaviors, first find out why she is barking. What is she trying to tell you? There are many reasons dogs bark: she’s alarmed, anxious or frustrated; she wants attention, food or help; or she’s in distress. 

Learn why your dog barks, so you can eliminate the things that trigger her and then teach her commands to let her know you’ve understood her message and that it’s time to be quiet. If she barks at passersby, cover the window or remove the trigger from her line of sight as soon as she starts barking, for example. 

Get her attention, reward her for good behaviors and be consistent. Train, treat, repeat. Here are four ways you can train your dog not to bark, using humane training techniques.