Yesterday, I shared a video of Cooper’s “before” excitement of barking at the door. This is VERY different from what he does at the front door – coming tomorrow – because the back door is what friends and family use. So, it’s EXCITED! And then he turns on Emmett. Sigh.
But, you know what? This was the easiest barking problem to solve. I’m seriously amazed (ashamed?) that it took us so long to hit on this one simple idea.
We hand him a toy.
Now, this works because Cooper LOVES toys. We first tried it with treats, but that didn’t work. He’d gobble the treat, and the barking would start back up. This keeps him focused and occupied with something other than barking. Piece of cake. By the time he loses interest in the toy, we’re in the house and settled, all before he can remember how excited he was and start barking again!
The tricky part is remembering to put a toy in the garage!
I know the first inclination is to think… isn’t that rewarding him for the behavior? I debated that for, like, one second, then realized that it’s more about the distraction than the reward. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. And it works, so I’m cool with it!
If only all barking problems could be solved as easily… 🙂
For those of you who mentioned a similar problem, have you tried a toy? Any other tips, tricks, or suggestions for stopping this barking at the door behavior? Please share in the comments!
And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the final day of Bark Week. I get to giveaway two of my very favorite tools to curb barking! Woot!