Bull terrier puppies bark, as do all dogs. It is part of their nature. They bark to alert us of things, they bark out of boredom or frustration and sometimes they just seem to bark to bark. So, how do you train your dog to stop barking? Here is a list of six techniques that you can implement to help teach your dog to stop barking unless instructed otherwise.
In order to know how to get your puppy to stop barking, you are going to need to know the reason for why they are barking in the first place. We’ll provide some ideas that might help you to gain some insight into what is causing your puppy to bark. When training your puppy, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t yell at your puppy! While you might be frustrated with their incessant barking, resist the temptation to yell at them. Puppies perceive your yelling as you are barking along with them.
- Keep all training methods positive and upbeat using treats or toys for rewards of good behavior.
- Stay consistent so your puppy doesn’t get confused. Don’t allow your puppy to get away with barking at times and not at other times.
Remove the Motivation
The first thing to teaching your puppy not to bark is to remove the motivation for them to bark. Dogs get a reward for barking, which is one of the sole reasons why they bark. Figure out what is the motivation for them to bark and remove the motivation. Don’t provide your puppy with the opportunity to continue their negative barking behavior. Examples of barking motivation can include:
- Barking at people walking by the front window. Remove the temptation by either closing the curtains or placing your puppy in a different room in your home.
- Barking at people from the backyard. The easiest way to stop this type of barking is to simply bring your puppy inside where they can’t see people walking past the yard.
Ignore the Barking
Ignore your dog while they are barking for as long as it takes them to stop barking. This means that you do not give them any attention at all while they are barking. When you give into the temptation of giving them attention while they are barking, you are rewarding their barking. As soon as they go quiet, even if only to catch their breath, reward them with a treat.
In order for this method to be successful, you will need to be patient and wait as long as it takes for them to stop barking. This requires a lot of patience on your part to not give into the temptation. When you do give in and yell at your puppy to be quiet, they learn that all they have to do is bark long enough and eventually they will get attention. Next time they might bark even longer waiting for you to pay them some attention. Examples of how to ignore and eventually reward your puppy when in their crate or a gated room:
- Simply turn your back and ignore them
- As soon as they stop barking turn around and reward them with a treat
- Soon they will catch on that when they are quiet they get a treat. Slowly start to lengthen the amount of time that they are required to be quiet before receiving a reward.
- Start small. Only wait a few seconds after they’ve gone quiet to reward them, gradually working up to longer periods of time.
- Keep the amount of time different. Stagger short periods of time with longer time periods to train your puppy to keep quiet, as they don’t know when the reward is going to come.
Desensitizing Your Puppy to the Stimulus
Work on getting your puppy familiar with whatever it is that is causing them to bark. Start by having the stimulus at a distance where your puppy isn’t tempted to bark at it. Feed your puppy lots of treats and slowly move the stimulus closer (move it within a few feet or inches) and continue to feed your puppy treats. As soon as the stimulus moves out of sight, stop feeding treats. The idea is that your puppy will learn that the sight of the stimulus leads to good things, i.e., the treats.
Keep Your Dog Tired
It is important to make sure that your bull terrier puppies are receiving adequate physical and mental exercise every day. A dog that is receiving ample physical exercise is going to be a tired dog, which translates into a good dog who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.