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obedience —

Puppy Barking

Julie, i have a month old half pit half german shepard puppy. she seems to be barking for no apparent reason. we give her enough attention, that she shouldnt feel neglected. I have so much patience but she doest seem to get the message. sHE is not the first puppy we  had n she seems to be the most stubborn we\’ve had. I had her for almost two weeks now. How can I get her to listen. please help me. Im desperate.I want her to grow up with my 8 month old niece               ~sheila CA


Hello Sheila,


Puppies are wonderful but can be a lot of work.  It isn’t your puppies fault that she is barking and she isn’t being stubborn.  Dogs do what comes naturally to them until we train them otherwise.  So, yes this problem can be resolved but you have to be the one to fix it.


You may have unintentionally taught your puppy to bark.  She wants to go out, so she barks and you let her out; she wants to eat so she barks and you feed her; she wants to be pet so she barks and you pet her.  It seems easier to just offer the behavior she is asking for by giving it to her when she barks but what this does is teach her that she gets what she wants when she barks.  She is actually a smart dog if you think about it!  So what do you do now?


Barking is often a result of isolation, fear, frustration or boredom.  Dogs need to be exercised a lot at least twice a day as well as go out and explore the world.  They do not do well be left alone for long periods of time and also need to go out for walks, explore new sights and smells and not just stay at home every day.   A tired dog is a good dog and will most likely spend a lot of time sleeping if they have had their needs met. 


Also, make sure you praise your dog and give it attention when they are NOT barking.  We often mistakenly give our dogs attention when they bark which rewards the behavior and forget to give the attention when they are quiet.


I would highly suggest you begin an obedience-training program using positive methods.  You can train your puppy to behave the way you want them to if you practice daily obedience with them in a positive way and with good timing. 


You also need to be very consistent with your dog and establish clear rules.


Here are some steps to follow for immediate results:


  1. When your dog is barking say a command firmly, like “Stop Barking”, or “Quiet!” Pick one of the commands and stick to it as a family.  Do not be angry though and let your dog sniff a treat while you say that command.  Generally, when offered a treat a dog stops barking to smell it even if only for a second. 
  2. Then, when your dog is quiet, give a treat and say “good quiet” or “good no bark” in a praising way.  Continue this but expand the amount of time you expect your dog to be quiet from say 3 seconds, to 6 to 9 and so on.  So the wait for the treat is delayed. 
  3. They start associating the fact that you say that command, they stay quiet and then they get a treat. 
  4. This method may take some time but it is one way for you to work on the barking problem right away.  It also establishes the meaning of the command to the dog so that over time you can just say that word and they will stop. 


There are many ways to resolve this problem and this is just one example.  It is important that you work on obedience training right away if you want to be able to handle your puppy well.  Do not wait or more behavioral problems can develop. 


If you are interested in joining my online training program to get a good start with your puppy, that includes access to email me 7 days a week throughout your training I can offer you a buy one get one free coupon!  If you are interested, sign up at the join now page   and I’ll send you the free membership coupon you can offer to a friend or family member as a gift!  Makes a great Holiday Gift! 


I hope the information I provided was helpful.  Good luck!  If you teach your puppy well now they can grow up to be a wonderful companion for years to come. 


All the best!



Testimonial from webDogTrainer, learning the stay command

Hello Julie:

I am so grateful that I found you.

I am impressed by your insight, especially about the ’stay’ command. I now understand why none of my previous dogs ever truly understood this command. My goal is to have an extremely well-trained dog who is a joy to be around. I have always had the greatest respect for service dogs. My highest goal would be for Josie to be a certified Good Citizen and become a Pet Therapy Dog.

I am relieved that I found your website.

Thank you!!!

South Carolina