Do you find yourself constantly being bombarded by the excessive barking of your Shih Poo? While barking is a natural way for dogs to communicate, excessive barking can become a nuisance and cause us to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. The good news is that by taking a few simple steps, you can train your furry friend to bark less and restore peace and quiet in your home. In this article, we’ll share five effective tips for training your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively, as well as additional tips to help prevent future barking. Let’s get started!
Why Shih Poos Bark Excessively
As a Shih Poo owner, it can be frustrating when your furry friend barks excessively. While all dogs bark, excessive barking can become a problem if left unchecked. Understanding why Shih Poos bark excessively is the first step to addressing this issue. Several reasons may contribute to your dog’s excessive barking, including separation anxiety, lack of exercise and mental stimulation, and territorial instincts. By addressing these issues, you can effectively train your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively. To learn more about training your pup, check out our articles on positive training, obedience, and clicker training.
Shih Poos are known to be prone to separation anxiety, which is one of the major reasons for excessive barking. This can occur when they are left alone for long periods of time or even when they are around their owners but not receiving enough attention. Separation anxiety can cause your pet to bark excessively and become destructive.
Here are some signs your Shih Poo may be experiencing separation anxiety:
- Pacing and restlessness
- Excessive barking, howling or whining
- Chewing on furniture or objects
- Scratching at doors or windows
- Urinating or defecating inside the house, even when already potty-trained
What can you do to help your Shih Poo overcome separation anxiety?
One effective method is to gradually get your Shih Poo used to being alone. Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods of time and then gradually increase the duration. Make sure to provide plenty of toys and treats, and avoid making a big deal out of leaving or returning home, as this can worsen anxiety.
Crate training can also be useful in reducing anxiety levels. A crate provides a sense of secure and private space for your pet. However, it should never be used as a punishment or as a way to isolate your pet for extended periods of time. You can find more information on crate training for Shih Poos on our article about the benefits of crate training for Shih Poos.
Socialization is also important in preventing separation anxiety. By regularly exposing your Shih Poo to different people, environments, and situations, your pet will become more confident and less prone to anxiety. You can find more information about socialization on our article about Shih Poo socialization.
If your Shih Poo continues to experience separation anxiety despite your efforts, it may be beneficial to consult with a professional dog trainer or veterinarian. They can provide additional tips and potentially recommend medication to help manage the anxiety.
By addressing separation anxiety, you can help your Shih Poo become a happier and more well-adjusted pet, and reduce excessive barking in the process.
Lack of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
A lack of exercise and mental stimulation can be a common cause of excessive barking in Shih Poos. As active and intelligent breeds, Shih Poos need regular physical activity and playtime to keep them stimulated and happy. Without enough exercise, this breed may become bored and restless, which can lead to excessive barking as a means of releasing pent-up energy.
Additionally, mental stimulation is equally important for this breed. Shih Poos are known for their intelligence and love of learning, so providing opportunities for mental stimulation can help prevent boredom and excessive barking. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and trick training are all great ways to keep your Shih Poo mentally engaged and occupied.
It’s important to make sure that your Shih Poo is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and incorporate mental stimulation activities into your Shih Poo’s routine. This can not only improve their behavior but also their overall health and well-being.
If you’re having trouble incorporating exercise and mental stimulation into your Shih Poo’s routine, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide guidance and advice on how to properly exercise and mentally stimulate your Shih Poo to reduce excessive barking and other training issues.
For further information on Shih Poo training issues, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also learn some fun and mentally stimulating tricks to teach your Shih Poo in our article on teaching Shih Poo tricks.
Shih Poos are known to be alert and protective of their owners and their territory. While this trait can be beneficial, it can also lead to excessive barking if not managed properly. Territorial instincts may kick in when the Shih Poo feels that their space is being invaded or that their family is being threatened.
To address this issue, owners can try the following methods:
- Positive reinforcement: Reward your Shih Poo with a treat or praise when they remain calm and quiet when someone approaches their territory. This will help to reinforce good behavior and help them learn that not all visitors are a threat.
- Teach boundaries: Train your Shih Poo to stay in a designated area of the house or yard. This will help them learn their boundaries and feel less threatened by visitors who pass by.
- Redirect their attention: Provide your Shih Poo with toys or puzzles that will keep them mentally stimulated and distracted. This will help to redirect their attention away from territorial instincts.
It’s important to remember that excessive barking due to territorial instincts can be a tough behavior to break. It may take time and patience to teach your Shih Poo to distinguish between real threats and harmless visitors. If the behavior continues to persist, seeking the help of a professional trainer may be necessary.
By addressing your Shih Poo’s territorial instincts and working to redirect their focus, excessive barking can be minimized, and a calm and peaceful home can be achieved. Additionally, training your Shih Poo in tricks and obedience will help to build trust between you and your furry friend, making them even more willing to protect you without the need for excessive barking.
5 Effective Tips for Training Your Shih Poo to Stop Barking Excessively
If you’re a Shih Poo owner, you know that excessive barking can be a problem. It’s not only annoying for you and your neighbors, but it can also indicate an underlying issue with your furry friend. Luckily, there are several effective tips that you can use to train your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively. With patience, consistency, and the following strategies, your Shih Poo will become a quieter and happier pooch in no time. So, let’s dive into some of the proven ways to address excessive barking in Shih Poos!
Tip #1: Ignore the Barking
One effective way to train your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively is to ignore the barking. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually a tried and true method for reducing unwanted barking behavior in dogs. Here are some concrete steps to implement this technique:
- When your Shih Poo starts barking, do not react. Do not yell, scold, or try to calm your dog down. These reactions can reinforce the barking behavior and make it worse.
- Instead, remove your attention. Turn your back, cross your arms, and avoid eye contact with your dog. This communicates to your dog that barking is not an effective way to get your attention.
- Wait for your dog to stop barking, even for a second. Immediately reward the silence. This can be done with a treat, praise, or attention.
- Be consistent with this method. Do not give in and pay attention to your dog while they are barking. This can undo all of the progress you’ve made.
The idea behind this technique is to teach your Shih Poo that barking is not an effective way to communicate with you. When they realize that barking doesn’t get the desired outcome, they will start to rely on other forms of communication and reduce their barking overall. Additionally, by rewarding silence instead of barking, you reinforce the desired behavior and encourage your dog to continue it.
It’s important to note that this technique may take time and patience. Your Shih Poo may have learned that barking is an effective way to get attention, and breaking this habit can take time. However, with consistency and positive reinforcement, you can train your dog to bark less and communicate more effectively.
Tip #2: Reward Silence
When it comes to training your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively, one effective tip is to reward silence. Here’s how you can do it:
- Step 1: Start by setting small goals. For example, if your Shih Poo barks excessively while you’re cooking dinner, start by rewarding them for short periods of silence.
- Step 2: When your Shih Poo stops barking, immediately give them a treat or a belly rub. This will help them associate silence with positive reinforcement.
- Step 3: Gradually increase the length of time your dog needs to be silent before receiving a reward. This will help your Shih Poo learn to be quiet for longer periods of time.
- Step 4: Be consistent with your rewards. If your Shih Poo barks, don’t give them attention or treats. This will show them that barking doesn’t get them what they want.
- Step 5: Eventually, your Shih Poo will learn that being quiet is more rewarding than barking excessively. And remember to praise them with words and affection, in addition to the treats, as they will respond to positive reinforcement with pleasure and love.
Rewarding silence may take some time and patience, but it can be a highly effective method to stop your Shih Poo’s excessive barking. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key, as is gradually increasing the length of time your Shih Poo can stay silent. With these steps, you can help turn your dog into a well-behaved and happy companion.
Tip #3: Provide Enough Exercise and Mental Stimulation
One effective way to reduce excessive barking in your Shih Poo is by providing them with enough exercise and mental stimulation. This breed is known for being active and curious, so keeping them active both physically and mentally can help reduce their barking.
Here are some ideas to provide enough exercise and mental stimulation for your furry friend:
- Take your Shih Poo for a daily walk, allowing them to explore and smell new surroundings in the environment. Try to change up the walking path to add some variety to their routine.
- Play fetch or other games with them, such as hide and seek or tug-of-war. Shih Poos love interactive playtime with their owners.
- Use puzzle toys or food-dispensing toys to keep your pup mentally stimulated. These toys provide a challenge and keep them entertained for longer periods of time.
- Introduce agility training or obedience training to give their brain a workout. This not only stimulates them mentally but also helps with bonding between you and your Shih Poo.
- Consider doggy day-care or play dates with other dogs to give them more socialization and stimulation.
Remember, a tired and stimulated Shih Poo is less likely to bark excessively. By incorporating regular exercise and mental stimulation into their routine, you can help reduce their overall barking.
Tip #4: Desensitize Your Shih Poo to Triggers
One effective tip for training your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively is to desensitize them to triggers that cause them to bark. This means exposing your furry friend to the trigger in a controlled and gradual manner until they become more comfortable with it.
What are triggers?
Triggers are situations, sounds, or sights that cause your Shih Poo to bark excessively. This can be anything from the doorbell ringing to seeing other dogs or people.
How to desensitize your Shih Poo to triggers
Desensitizing your Shih Poo to triggers takes patience and consistency. Here are the steps to follow:
|Step 1:||Identify the trigger|
|Step 2:||Introduce the trigger at a low intensity|
|Step 3:||Gradually increase the intensity of the trigger|
|Step 4:||Reward calm behavior|
Step 1: Identify the trigger – It’s important to identify what triggers your Shih Poo to bark excessively. Once you’ve identified the trigger, you can start working on desensitizing them to it.
Step 2: Introduce the trigger at a low intensity – Start by exposing your furry friend to the trigger in a controlled environment at a very low intensity. For example, if your Shih Poo barks excessively at the sound of the doorbell, you can start by playing a low, recorded version of the sound.
Step 3: Gradually increase the intensity of the trigger – Slowly increase the intensity of the trigger over time, making sure your Shih Poo is comfortable with each level. For example, you might increase the volume of the doorbell sound until it matches the actual sound of your doorbell.
Step 4: Reward calm behavior – It’s important to reward your furry friend for calm behavior during each step of the desensitization process. This could include treats, petting, or verbal praise.
Desensitizing your Shih Poo to triggers can take time, but with patience and consistency, it can be a very effective way to stop excessive barking. Remember to start with small steps and work your way up gradually, rewarding good behavior along the way.
Tip #5: Seek Professional Help if Necessary
While the tips discussed above are effective in most cases, there may be instances when they do not work. If your Shih Poo continues excessive barking despite your best efforts, seeking help from a professional can be the best option.
Here are some signs that may indicate that you need professional help:
- Your Shih Poo barks excessively at everything and nothing seems to work in stopping them
- They become aggressive when you try to stop them from barking
- Your Shih Poo starts to exhibit other behavioral issues such as anxiety, fear, or destructive behavior
- You are unable to identify the root cause of your Shih Poo’s excessive barking
What can you expect from a professional trainer?
When you seek the help of a professional trainer, they will usually assess your Shih Poo’s behavior and identify the root cause of their excessive barking. They will then create a personalized plan to help you effectively train your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively.
During the training, you can expect the professional trainer to use positive reinforcement techniques, and help you understand your Shih Poo’s body language and behavior.
Choosing the right professional trainer
It is essential to choose the right professional trainer for your Shih Poo. Look for trainers who specialize in small dogs and have experience in addressing excessive barking.
You can seek recommendations from your vet, friends, or family who own dogs. It is also recommended to check the trainer’s credentials, experience, and reviews before hiring them.
Remember that seeking professional help is nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, it takes a trained eye to identify the underlying cause of your Shih Poo’s excessive barking, and working with a professional trainer can help you effectively address the issue.
Additional Tips to Help Stop Barking Excessively
You may have tried the five tips for training your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively, but sometimes even those methods aren’t enough. If you’re still having trouble with your furry friend’s barking, don’t worry! Here are some additional tips that can help reduce your Shih Poo’s barking behavior. These tips aim to address the root causes of barking and provide alternatives to stopping it. Let’s explore some of the ways you can help your Shih Poo feel more relaxed and less likely to bark excessively.
Socialize Your Shih Poo
Socializing your Shih Poo is an important aspect of stopping excessive barking. By introducing them to a variety of people, places, and other animals, you can help them feel more comfortable in different situations and reduce their anxiety.
Here are some tips to help you socialize your Shih Poo:
- Take them on regular walks in your neighborhood, allowing them to meet other dogs and their owners. This will help them become more confident and less reactive to other dogs.
- Visit dog parks or arrange playdates with other dogs. This will help them learn how to interact with other dogs and improve their social skills.
- Take them on car rides to new places, such as the beach or park, to expose them to different environments and experiences. This will help them become less fearful and anxious.
- Introduce them to different people, including children and seniors, to help them feel more comfortable around all types of individuals. Make sure the interactions are positive and rewarding.
- Attend training classes or hire a professional trainer to help teach your Shih Poo how to behave in different situations, such as meeting new people or being around other dogs.
By socializing your Shih Poo, you can help prevent excessive barking due to fear or anxiety. It is important to remember to always supervise your Shih Poo during interactions with other dogs and individuals to ensure their safety and comfort.
Teach the ‘Quiet’ Command
When it comes to teaching your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively, one effective strategy is to teach the “quiet” command. This command teaches your furry friend to stop barking on command and can be extremely helpful in reducing excessive barking.
Here are some steps to follow when teaching your Shih Poo the “quiet” command:
- Start by giving your dog the command to “speak” or “bark.”
- Once your dog has started barking, wait a few seconds, then say “quiet” in a firm but calm tone.
- As soon as your dog stops barking, give them a treat or praise them with a happy tone of voice.
- Repeat this process several times a day until your dog learns to associate the “quiet” command with stopping barking.
- Be consistent with your training and use this command in different situations to reinforce the behavior.
Remember that teaching your Shih Poo the “quiet” command takes time and patience, but it can be an incredibly useful tool in reducing excessive barking. In any case, be sure to keep reinforcing positive behavior and avoid punishment, as this can cause anxiety and stress in your furry friend, resulting in even more barking.
Use Anti-Bark Devices with Caution
If you’ve tried all the other tips mentioned above and your Shih Poo is still barking excessively, you may turn to anti-bark devices as a solution. However, it’s important to use them with caution as every dog is different and may react differently to these devices.
Here is a table that outlines the different types of anti-bark devices and how they work:
|Type of Device||How it Works||Caution|
|Shock Collars||Deliver an electric shock to the dog’s neck when it barks excessively.||May cause pain and harm to the dog, use only under professional guidance.|
|Ultrasonic Devices||Emits a high frequency sound when the dog barks, which is unpleasant to dogs but inaudible to humans.||May not work for all dogs and may cause discomfort, use with caution.|
|Citronella Collars||Release a burst of citronella spray under the dog’s nose when it barks, which is unpleasant to them.||May be ineffective for some dogs, and some may become immune to the spray.|
|Vibration Collars||Deliver a vibration to the dog’s neck when it barks excessively.||May not work for all dogs and may cause discomfort, use with caution.|
It’s important to note that these devices should not be used as a substitute for proper training and exercise. It’s also important to consult with a professional trainer or veterinarian before using any anti-bark device on your dog.
Remember that every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Make sure to always observe your Shih Poo’s behavior and reactions when using any anti-bark device, and discontinue use if it seems to cause any harm or discomfort.
In conclusion, excessive barking is a common problem among Shih Poos, but it can be effectively managed through consistent training and patience. It is important to first identify the underlying cause of the barking, whether it is separation anxiety, lack of exercise and mental stimulation, or territorial instincts. Once the cause is identified, implementing the proper training techniques can then be more effective.
It is crucial to remember to ignore the barking and reward silence, as well as providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Desensitizing your Shih Poo to triggers and seeking professional help if necessary are also effective tips to consider.
In addition, socializing your Shih Poo, teaching the ‘quiet’ command, and using anti-bark devices with caution can also aid in controlling excessive barking.
While it may take time and effort, with dedication and consistency, you can train your Shih Poo to stop barking excessively and enjoy a harmonious relationship with your furry friend. Remember to have patience and understanding as your Shih Poo learns, and always reward the desired behaviors. With these tips and techniques in mind, you can successfully train your Shih Poo to stop their excessive barking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Shih Poos be Trained to Stop Barking Excessively?
Yes, Shih Poos can be trained to stop barking excessively with proper training techniques and consistency.
How Long Will it Take to Train a Shih Poo to Stop Barking Excessively?
The amount of time it takes to train a Shih Poo to stop barking excessively varies depending on the dog and the training techniques used. However, consistency is key, and it can take several weeks or even months to see significant improvement.
Is Excessive Barking a Sign of Separation Anxiety?
Yes, excessive barking can be a sign of separation anxiety in dogs. However, it is important to rule out other potential causes before assuming separation anxiety is the root of the problem.
How Can I Tell if my Shih Poo is Barking Due to Territorial Instincts?
A Shih Poo barking due to territorial instincts may exhibit behaviors such as growling, standing guard over a specific spot, and barking at perceived threats or intruders.
What Are Some Common Triggers That May Cause a Shih Poo to Bark Excessively?
Common triggers that may cause a Shih Poo to bark excessively include strangers, other animals, sirens or loud noises, and separation from their owner.
How Can I Help Desensitize my Shih Poo to Triggers?
Gradual exposure to triggers and positive reinforcement techniques can help desensitize your Shih Poo to triggers over time.
What is an Anti-Bark Collar and How Does it Work?
An anti-bark collar is a device that is worn around a dog’s neck and emits a sound or vibration when the dog barks. This can help discourage excessive barking, but it is important to use these devices with caution and only as a last resort.
Can Shih Poos Be Trained to Be Quieter?
Yes, with proper training techniques and consistency, Shih Poos can be trained to bark less and be quieter overall.
Is Consistency Important When Training a Shih Poo to Stop Barking Excessively?
Yes, consistency is key when training a Shih Poo to stop barking excessively. It is important to stick to a consistent training routine and reward good behavior consistently.
Do All Shih Poos Bark Excessively?
No, not all Shih Poos bark excessively. However, it is a common behavioral issue in this breed and can be addressed with proper training and consistency.