Behavior Tip of the Month
Barking At Men
My male Bichon Frise dog likes women and children. However, he barks at men who walk into my house. It's embarrassing. What can I do about it?
Many dogs feel threatened by men due to their size, staring, and gruff voices. What you need to do is retrain your dog to associate men with good things. One effective way to do this is to hand feed your dog's meal when men walk into the house. Put your pup on leash, and, when a man first appears at your house, hand feed your pup BEFORE he barks. Continue feeding him as the man walks into the room and sits down. Go on feeding by tossing the food to your dog as the man remains in the room.
When your pup shows improvement by not barking or staring at men when they enter, you can have the men toss the food. Progress by baby steps until the men can hand-feed your dog. Do the above only with men, NOT with women or children. Your dog already likes them. .Don't feed him out of a bowl until the barking at men is replaced by wags.
During the early phases of this procedure, do not have the men approach your Bichon or look at him directly. Dogs interpret this as a threat and can become fearfully aggressive, hence the barking. By replacing fearful feelings with happiness and mealtime, your Bichon will slowly become "mancrazy".
Hope you all had happy HOWLidays!
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.