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My 5 month old likes to bark of people or dogs that he isn't allowed to get to close to or if we are just walking by them and he gets no attention from them. It is in no way an aggressive thing. He does, however have a deep scary bark, and frankly, it is embarrassing! Mostly when we are in a place, like, petco, and his bark echos through the store, lol. How do I stop this? Is he ready for a pinch collar or is 5 months still too young? I have been trained by a professional on how to use the pinch collar, but it was with an older (1 year old) dog. What is recommend? And distracting him, doesn't work.
 

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It sounds like your puppy is going through his fear period. Batman is 5 months old and, after being mute for 4 months, started barking at people a few weeks ago. We have it under control after about a week of working with him. He now rarely barks at anyone unless they are doing something really unusual to him, like skateboarding or playing tennis.

I would not recommend the pinch collar for this particular issue, especially since he is pretty young. It also might just incite him to bark more, or to associate strange new things with being pinched, which is probably counter-productive.

Anyway, here's what I did: I started reading his body language more closely, and got much better at scanning for bark provoking sights in advance. The moment I saw a potential bark-worthy thing, or saw his body tense up, ears go up, and him fixate on something, I would wave a liver biscotti or other smelly treat under his nose, and get him to do something for me (usually "down" or "sit" -- down is better though because it's harder for him to get back up and bark, "down" and "watch me" is the best combo for us).

Doing this heads-off barking over 90 percent of the time. For the times this doesn't work, or for the times when he already has started barking, and I caught it too late, I will start to approach whatever he's barking at, keeping the leash slack. When I know the thing is safe (someone I know, or an inanimate object), I will even drop the leash and walk to it.

Dogs interpret your pulling back on the leash as "pack support" -- akin to how someone saying "oh, hold me back!" feels powerful because he knows he will not be able to actually confront the trigger. The second your dog is forced to confront the thing, he doesn't really know what to do, and most likely will stop barking.

Now, I know you can't always do this -- for example, Batman barked at someone who was playing tennis behind a fence, so I couldn't get closer to the person. In that case, I kept waving treats at him and the second he stopped barking, I put him in a "watch me" (holding the food in my hand, and moving my hand up to the bridge of my nose), and treated him as soon as he made eye contact. Then I did this again, and kept giving him treats for easy commands. We did this for several minutes. This made him associate tennis with getting lots of treats!

Good thing, too, because the next time we went, there were four different tennis games going on, total chaos, and I was able to get him to watch me and wait for treats instead of barking.

The other thing I hear works, but that I haven't tried myself, is using peanut butter. When he barks, put a spoonful in his mouth, and he will instinctively suck on the spoon. Tell him "quiet" while he does this. Eventually, he will understand the command "quiet."

Good luck!
 

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My 5 month old likes to bark of people or dogs that he isn't allowed to get to close to or if we are just walking by them and he gets no attention from them. It is in no way an aggressive thing. He does, however have a deep scary bark, and frankly, it is embarrassing! Mostly when we are in a place, like, petco, and his bark echos through the store, lol. How do I stop this? Is he ready for a pinch collar or is 5 months still too young? I have been trained by a professional on how to use the pinch collar, but it was with an older (1 year old) dog. What is recommend? And distracting him, doesn't work.

SITUBUSIT is right, your pup is going through a fear stage. Mine started when she was 5 months and she is 7 months now but not fearful anymore but its more like insecure. She just needs more confidence, don't worry though mine did the exact same thing and still does. I use a pinch collar and it works well with pulling and controlling her. When she gets excited, she likes to pull and bark at the dogs but with the pinch collar once she pulls she'll feel the collar 'pinching' and will stop and sit.
 

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Get a
'Pet Protector' spray cannister. Can get them on line or at Petco. It is just compressed air. You point it anywhere but your pup or older dog and say QUIET, when it does, then say GOOD QUIET and then a treat. No pinch collars..would you like one around your neck?
 
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