Barking is the main form of communication for dogs. They can bark when they’re excited, scared, feeling threatened or even bored. Some dogs, however, tend to bark in excess, which can be a nuisance.
If your Cavoodle is barking way more than you think he should, here are some useful tips on how to stop a Cavoodle barking.
Find out what is making them bark
The first step for making your Cavoodle excessive barking stop or decrease is finding out what is triggering them.
Some possible reasons include:
- Barking at a passer-by when he’s in the yard
- Barking at a noise from outside the house/apartment (either only a specific sound, such as a car engine or at any noise)
- Barking at an animal (other dogs, cats, birds, etc.)
The best way to get rid of undesirable behaviour is to replace it with a new, more desirable one.
If you think your Cavoodle is barking out of fear or by feeling threatened (for example, at another dog or at a strange person), you can help them overcome that by working on a method called desensitising.
Start at a controlled space. If your Cavoodle is barking at strangers, ask for a friend to help. If it’s at dogs, find a relatives or friend’s dog that behaves well with other dogs to help you on this mission. If the problem is a specific noise (like a bell ring), try to replicate the sound.
In the beginning, the trigger must be at a safe distance or at a low volume. It must be enough for your dog to notice it but don’t have the urge to bark yet. Find out what’s the ideal distance or volume is and start from there.
The second your dog notices the trigger, feed them a couple of small treats before he barks. Congratulate them in a cheerful voice and make the moment as positive as you can.
Move the trigger a bit closer (or raise the volume) and again give some tasty treats to your dog. If he barks or gets too nervous, that means the trigger is too close or the noise too high. Go back at a level he is comfortable with and start again. Don’t yell at them or punish them, as you want your dog to create positive associations during the training.
With patience and time, your dog will start to understand that seeing the trigger means good things (like yummy treats).
This training can take several weeks, depending on the dog. Setbacks can happen, and that is normal. Just remember to always be consistent with the practice and remain positive and upbeat.
When you feel your Cavoodle is improving, you can start doing the same thing at parks or during walks: reward them with treats every time he sees something that might have triggered them before he has the chance to bark. If the trigger is getting to close, distract them as much as possible and move your dog away.
Other ways to help
Some other ways to get your Cavoodle to stop barking would include:
- Increase the activity level of your Cavoodle, as he may be getting bored around the house
- Provide more or longer walks or create games like scavenger hunt (with treats or toys) or chase to get them to exercise his body and brains
- Spay or neuter your dog, as the barking could be derived from a territorial issue
- Block your dog’s access to windows, yards, porches or whatever allows them to see or hear what is triggering them
- If he likes to play with other dogs, considering taking them to a doggy day care every once in a while