Dear Miss Behavior:
Our neighbor’s dog keeps barking at us whenever we’re out in our back yard. Is there anything we can do to stop him? Would taking him for a walk help? If our neighbors are home they come out and tell him to be quiet, but if they aren’t home he keeps barking.
Next, talk with your neighbors and make sure it’s okay if you do a little training with their dog when they aren’t there. Then go pick up some small tasty treats. (I really like the steak flavor Purina Moist and Meaty). Then whenever you’re outside and Fido comes running up, toss a treat at him. Try to get the treat to him before he barks. Then while he’s quiet and eating the treat, toss a small handful near him. Keep tossing treats whenever he’s quiet.
If he begins barking ignore him, if he’s quiet even for a second toss a treat or two. Once he learns that being quiet will get him goodies, he’s less likely to bark. As he learns that when you’re outside and he’s quiet, he gets good things, you can give him treats only occasionally.
Last, you could politely suggest that your neighbors and their dog might enjoy a class at the Greater Lincoln Obedience Club!
Thanks to this feature goes to Greater Lincoln Obedience Club, who ran the Miss Behavior Dog Advice Column in their newsletter. Appreciation also is extended to Marcy Graybill, a trainer at GLOC and the expert behind this column. She also hosts her own blog, Dog Log, where she talks about training adventures with her dogs.
If you have a question for Miss Behavior, please post in the comments below and we’ll feature it in a future column.