Yooper Paws Christmas Photo Fun: Pup's a Pippin'
My husband loves to teach our dogs to howl when they hear an emergency vehicle. They come by it naturally since they are alerted to the noise long before we hear it. And that deep shepherd howl can almost rattle the windows! Isis, my son's shepherd/husky mix was a pro at Howling and boy could she make some noise! She would bark for any reason...on command, with the sound of a knock, when a car pulls in the driveway...when the wind blows too hard. LOL Literally anything! We made a mistake in her training by reinforcing it when she was young. We have a family friend that is afraid of large dogs, despite the fact that he is a rather large man that would intimidate most dogs. So when he came to visit we would try to make him more comfortable by giving him a bunch of treats so he could command the dogs in hopes that their obedience to the friendly stranger would help ease his fears. It helped, but didn't fix that issue! But it also taught Isis that when a friendly stranger is present, if she barked she would get told another command and the receive another treat. She did this for quite some time before we realized she was doing it on purpose and was quickly starting to gain some extra weight. We spent far more time trying to reinforce the quiet with Isis due to this bad habit, then we ever spent teaching her (by accident) the bad habit! Cam used to bark quite a bit too, but he learned the value of quiet long before Isis did. Azul has always been quiet with some playful talking with trusted friends, but very rarely actually doing a full bark. When he was a puppy, he had the cutest husky howl when he was upset.
Please share your training experiences with barking and what you establish as appropriate and not-appropriate barking. But if your dog is in the habit of barking and your trying to teach them not too, please don't encourage bad behavior! You can share how you are working on the "quiet" cue too. If your dog is trained to use their voice on cue, please share photos or videos of them having fun using their voice.