Guess what new doggy behaviour Mal the Wonderpup has picked up in the past few weeks, barking!
I think it’s partly my fault because I’ve coddled him a bit at night when he gets nervous about things and barks at them. The wind will blow and cause a bag of garbage to rustle at night and it’ll set Mal off into a barking fit and he gets nervous of even going out into the yard at that point. So, here’s where I enter the picture. I walk out into the yard, laughing at my silly pup and encouraging him to be brave. But I haven’t really scolded him for his excessive vocalizations.
See I’m being realistic, I understand that Mal the Wonderpup will have a need to be vocal at times, and this is acceptable. But he also needs to learn that when told to stop, he will need to quiet down. I can’t have a dog that barks and barks and barks. And Mal does bark, a lot.
So far Mal has been a pretty smart dog when it came to training. It took about a week for him to get the basics of housebreaking, and now at four months of age doesn’t have that many accidents in the house.
He’s getting the basics of sit, lay down, get up and come. So now we enter a new command into his vocabulary, and I’m not sure what the command will be at this moment. Since I like to include my husband and kids in the command word selection procedure but I’m thinking it will be something like ‘quiet‘, ‘stop barking‘, ‘Mal shush‘ or a simple ‘stop‘.
I do know what the procedure will be when it comes to teaching him what will be expected of him to do once given the command.
When Mal barks he will be commanded to stop, and once he’s quiet for a few seconds he will be given a treat. If he barks after being given the command Mal will be scolded. This basically means that I’ll have to have training treats with me at all times, since I can’t predict what or when Mal’s barking will be set off. So far at night he tends to get a bit more barky, which I think goes along with the German Shepherd’s protective instinct. He sees everything and everyone in the house get a bit more protective, as we shut blinds and curtains, lock doors and close things down for privacy. This could be seen as us keeping folks out and he’s just alerting us to potential threats to our shutting ourselves away from the world, such as my neighbours standing in their yard, next to our house and chatting very loudly in the evening. Mal the Wonderpup goes crazy with the barking when they do that, like he’s letting them know that he’s here and this is his house and they better remember not to try to invade his space!