All actions of a dog are trainable to some extent. A dog barks for various reasons, some good, some bad, some due to fear. When a dog barks in your company, they feel they are doing what they should for you. Maybe to warn you, maybe to protect you, maybe because they think you want them to bark.
If you want them to stop barking, it is up to you to convey this to your dog. Without their training has included response to certain words, they will not understand what you want when you yell, Stop it, Be quiet, or similar words. It is just sound you make like the sound they make when barking.
I am not a professional dog trainer. Having owned dogs a good part of my life it is very easy to take them as they come. At some time during the relationship, you will wish you had provided training for your dog. How to do that, when to do that are all questions to answer in this article.
Training Takes Time
Raising a dog without taking time to learn to train the animal is much like the golfer who just takes up the game without any instructions. Sure, they will always learn how to hit a reasonable good drive, place a short iron close to the pin and sink an elusive putt. However, if they had begun their golf career with pro level instructions it would eliminate a lot of the frustration, bad scores, and exemptions from their game.
As a multi-year golfer who started without instructions, I can attest to that story.
As a multi-year dog owner, who did not know how to train my dog I can also attest to that story.
When we lost our last dog due to old age, we took a period to adjust to the loss but determined to seek another companion. We also determined that this time we would start with training for the dog. We did but found the real reason for our attendance at the training class was to train us, along with the dog. An owner must understand how to train his pet. Sure, when class is over your puppy will be able to do certain things on commands that you taught them.
How Do I Start, Where Do I Go
The dog is still a puppy, still very young and repetitive work is necessary, sometimes for long periods. Sometimes they will learn all you want them to do. We found these six commands provide a base for all others: Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Leave it and the key control command, Watch me. The last point is extremely important as it moves the dog from any act placing them into obedience mode awaiting for your next command. There could be another key command word but Watch Me works.
It starts with the stomach; it ends with the stomach getting there by way of trips. Dogs like to please and enjoy rewards for pleasing. A small morsel of treat keeps the attention when in training mode. In training sequence, trips precede praise to your dog about good boy / girl, a lot of praise, initially exaggerated praise, and lots of it. Rewards will become mostly proud as the training progresses. Treats will always be part of the process but praise from you becomes the major reward for your dog, not fears. This followed by playtime with your pet is extremely valuable as a reward.
Your key training secret is a solid key command word or phrase to snatch your dogs attention from what they are doing, maybe something you do not want such as barking, to get them into training mode.
The Technique We Use
The technique we use works well for our pet. When barking started, we would get attention with the command word Watch Me, lead them into a past training mode such as sit, then stay, Watch Me as necessary to focus their attention from barking. Keep them in eye contract with the command word then reward them for that focus. If something has historically prompted them to bark, such as a vacuum cleaner motor start the training while the vacuum cleaner is running.
You will get their attention and mostly shut down the barking but then let it go and if they resume barking run through the cycle again, again, again until they stop. Repetitive exercises will lead them to understand that barking is not the behavior you desire and rewards come from doing what you want. Nothing happens if they bark but good things happen if they do not bark. Dogs learn this quickly as long as you will take the time to walk them through the drill repeatedly until it sticks.
Do not give up on the training even when something does not go quite right. There will be failures along the way. Dogs and people sometimes fail as a means of learning how to do something correctly. When failures occur, take it as opportunity to begin the lesson over again as necessary, always with a familiar starting point, Watch Me!