If your new dog barks like the house is on fire each time he sees an outdoor cat, you and your neighbors might not be happy campers. Teaching him to be quiet on command can help you keep your sanity. Sometimes solely using a verbal command isn't enough to stop his barking. This is when you can arm yourself with a spray bottle and plenty of dog treats to teach him right from wrong.
To stop your dog's nuisance barking, you'll need a spray bottle just like the one you use to spray houseplants. A small water pistol can also do the trick. Fill the bottle with clean water and set the nozzle to a steady stream. Avoid filling the spray bottle with white vinegar or lemon or lime juice, because these can irritate your dog's eyes. Ideally, place several spray bottles throughout the house so there's always one within your reach.
When your furry pal sees a teasing cat and goes into a barking rage, say "quiet" and immediately squirt water in his face. This will startle him and breaks his concentration so he stops barking. After about 30 seconds of being quiet, praise him and give him treats to reinforce the good behavior. With consistency, your dog might stop barking at cats, and even if he continues, your verbal "quiet" command might be enough to get him to stop.
- Adopting A Dog; John Ross and Barbara McKinney
- How to Listen to Your Dog; Carlotta Cooper
- The "I Have A Life" Dog Owner's Guide; Kim Campbell Thornton and Debra Eldredge
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images