When you acquire a puppy, for several months to come, life will be one lesson after another for your dog, but he would thrive on it. Learning new things restrains him from mischief by giving him something to do, something to expect. Training matures him mentally; and he near wiggles out of his skin having pride when you praise him for work well done.
Your puppy will learn to love you very much; you’re his whole world, and when he has anything to say about it, you’re not going to leave him alone. To make a long story short, he barks if you go out—the neighbors have complained. This is not acceptable.
The first step is to teach him never to bark unnecessarily. To do this properly, you must first select when the barking is permissible and when it is not. To deter all barking is to limit his value as a watchdog. So you correct only if the dog barks continually and for no obvious reason.
Go to the barker. Do not call him to go to you for correction. Using one hand hold his muzzle tightly shut even when it hurts. Use the other hand to finger-point as you state “Quiet!” Correct your dog each time he barks overly. Sometimes a few such sessions will be sufficient, but if the bad habit is of long standing, or the dog is unusually stubborn, then something more dramatic than the muzzle grip has to be utilized. You could surprise the yappy one into silence by way of a harsh sound—drop a tin or frying pan. A shake-can may also be rattled at the dog as you command “Quiet!” To create one, put five to ten pennies in a clean soda can and tape the top. The noise made by shaking the can would distract your dog and make him stop barking. This lesson can also be instructed with success by squirting him using water from a water pistol or plant mister.
When you teach the “Quiet!” lesson, the dog will continue to be quiet when you are with him, but the minute you’re out of sight, he’ll perhaps start barking again. Pet owners who reside apartments or settled communities must make certain their dogs behave when left behind. So put on your hat and coat and allow the dog to think you are going out. Order him to “Bed!” or “Place!” Using an old sweater of yours to lie on, then say simply and slowly, “Quiet!” and make believe you are leaving the house or apartment. When the door is shut, stay close by.
Do not let the dog fool you, however, by stealing to the door and smelling out the fact that you are waiting on the other side. That’s why you ordered him to “Place!” — to keep him off the door. As soon as your dog begins to bark or cry or howl, open the door straightaway, rush back inside, and lecture him using a firm jerk of his collar and the command “Quiet!” You may have to reiterate this performance several times, and you could find yourself spending what appears like hours just outside your door waiting for the barks to start out. But keep at it until you’re sure your dog has learned the lesson. Leaving him for brief periods at first will likewise let him understand that you’re going to come back. Whenever he feels guaranteed of your return, he will learn to be content alone. Young puppies that have learned this in the cradle, so to speak, seldom have to be trained to stay alone restfully.