Clicker Training is useful to facilitate correcting many bad behaviors. Behaviors are not necessarily good or bad but are poorly timed. Does your dog bark to alert you to people at the door? Perhaps it looks at you and makes a racket to get something from you. In the dog’s mind this is the correct way to get something done. It only becomes a bad behavior when it is poorly timed or you don’t want to respond and the dog continues its behavior.
There are ways to correct noisy barking. You need to understand what your dog is after and decide what you would like for the dog to do in this situation. That is the ultimate goal. Get the correct behavior to replace the wrong behavior.
Lets start by introducing the dog to the correct behavior. In this case, a barking dog is the wrong behavior, a quiet dog is the right behavior. Reward quiet and ignore barking. Get ready to start a training session as outlined in the Clicker Training- Loading post. With your treats and your clicker at hand, wait for the dog to stop barking. When it is quiet, click and treat. Each time your dog begins the barking behavior, ignore the barking, when it is quiet, click and treat. If the dog is quiet for a period of time, reinforce the quiet with a click and a treat.
You can reinforce that the barking is not acceptable by turning your back to the dog. Then if it quiets down, click, turn to your dog and treat. Then the dog will connect that to get attention being quiet is the key.
Repeat your training session whenever the dog gets noisy. I recommend that you keep the clicker and treat bag handy for those times when the dog gets spontaneously noisy. Then you can start a session right then. Remember, timing is everything. Make sure that you are rewarding the behavior that you want and ignoring the one that you are trying to extinguish.
Add a command once you have established the behavior in the dogs mind. “Good quiet” is a reinforcer if issued in a nice quiet voice. Of course, use the click and reward at the same time.
Keep the sessions short and frequent and in no time at all you will have peace and quiet ruling your home.