Help for the barking poodle

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I have a lovable small Poodle that is so smart. A real problem is that she sits and watches our street and really barks as if she will eat them up. This really gets on my wife’s nerves. Is there a solution?

Terry’s answer:

Yes, it is usually the smart ones that are the biggest problem – they figure out how to get around our rules.  I would begin by not making it so easy for her to continue this habit.  Maybe you could move the sofa in front of the window for now – or buy some window tint material – or clear with a texture.  Just put it at the bottom of the window where she looks out.  Then you can start to train her.  Work on “watch me” by having a treat in your fingers, move the treat from her nose to your eyes saying “Watch Me” as you move the treat.  As soon as her eyes move from the treat to your eyes – Boom, she gets the treat.  You can practice this in short time frames, but several times and different locations during the day.  She will start to understand that the watch me words mean to pay attention to you to get something good.  Then you can ask for watch me for a little longer time before you reward, then try asking for one from across the room.  Then when she starts barking, you say watch me – which should cause her head to turn away from what she is barking at and turn to you – at that point you can call her away from the window and give her something else to do (toy, play, practice obedience )  She will get out of the habit of barking – and if she does bark, then you have a way to distract her from it.  When that is reliable – you can move the sofa back.  Good Luck.

Terry Meeks is a dog trainer, APDT Member an CGC Evaluator in Pinellas County, Florida.  Find Four on the Floor Dog Training at and on Facebook.

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