Difficulty: Moderate Prerequisite: None Items Needed: Clicker, Treats
The barking and barking. The yapping and squealing by the window. The bark that makes you dizzy. Like needles in your eardrums. Not stopping. Never ceasing. Only continuing on and on, to drive you mad, to drive you crazy, to drive you up a wall. Ringing in your ears. Your heart beats faster. And faster. The bark pulsing your head. The pain stabbing your neck. If only you could say one word, and end it all...
Hush. It's an incredibly useful command that saves your ears and peace of mind. Depending on the breed, your dog may or may not be a barker. If he is territorial at all, you may be dealing with a lot of barking problems. Barking is good - it warns you of potential danger; but it can be very annoying if the dog is barking at every jogger that goes by. With this trick, teach him to be silent when you give the command.
Step 1: Focus your attention on your dog while he is barking. If he looks at you and stops barking, even for a second, click and treat. Step 2: Repeat this several times, eventually adding the word "Hush" as you click and treat. Step 3: After several training sessions while your dog is barking, give your dog the command and click and treat when he hushes. Repeat this until he has mastered the trick. Each time you repeat, try and go for longer durations of silence. Step 4: You can now add a hand signal to help with this trick. Use it whenever you give the command, and he'll associate it with the trick.
Caspian can be a worrier. He barks at every dog that walks down the street, as well as walkers and joggers, not to mention the mailman and the poor FedEX guy. We almost didn't get a package one time because Caspian was barking so loud. Even though he has a deep bark, he's made entirely of fluff, and would probably lick a burglar to death instead of attacking. However, the barking issue was a problem that we wanted to fix, and the hush command has done its job.
When I stare at my dog to get his attention, he just ignores me and keeps on barking. You may have to get his attention some other way. Clear your throat, say his name, or show him the treat. Eventually, he'll learn not to ignore you.
Tip: "You usually have to 'catch' this trick by waiting until your dog starts barking wildly. But if you have noticed certain things your dog will bark at, such as when a doorbell is rung, or a light shining on a wall, use that to help teach."