On the Traninability of Dogs
It always amazes me how many people honestly believe that their dog is not intelligent enough to be bark trained. But the truth is that all dogs are smart enough to learn not to bark. In fact, if there really were such a thing as a dog that was too stupid to learn not to bark, he would also be, quite literally, too stupid to live.
Think about it. If every time your dog barked you went outside and gave him a sharp smack, or doused him with water, or dispensed some other punishing aversive, and he continued to bark chronically, that would mean he was unable to make the connection between what he just did and what just happened to him. A dog so totally unable to grasp cause and effect relationships would stick his nose in the fire over and over again without ever making the connection between the pain in his snout and the fact that he put it in the fire. He would walk endlessly through the briar patch on bloody paws, forget to eat, run in the sun until he died of heat stroke, and stand in the snow bank until he was frostbitten. It's an absurd notion.
If you make sure that something unpleasant happens to your dog, immediately, after each and every unwarranted bark, the animal will bark less and less. Within a few days he will all but stop, and within a week or two, he will fall silent.
Your dog, then, is definitely smart enough to learn. The question is, are you smart enough to teach him, and are you committed enough to follow through with the effort?
Written by Craig
Spanish translation - Traducción al español
This website and all its content, except where otherwise noted, are © (copyright) Craig Mixon, Ed.D., 2003-2017.