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Anyone have any tips on how to stop our dog barking when we stop on walks?

Holly Hyde

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Our 6 year old Bernese Mountain Dog is a generally well behaved lovable giant. However, if we stop when out for a walk he will bark. The same if we try to sit down for a coffee/lunch somewhere and it seems to be getting worse. We are obviously doing something wrong but can’t figure out what!

We’ve tried ignoring, distracting with treats before he starts, saying “no” or “wait”, getting him to sit/lie down. Praising him when he does stop or has been good for awhile causes him to start again. Any help or advice greatly received!
Barking can sometimes be self rewarding so ignoring doesn't always help.

Ideally, you would want to find why he is barking because addressing the cause is always better than a(resting the symptoms.

Is it frustration at stopping? Proximity to other people?

You could try the yoghurt pot method.

Get a yoghurt pot, and smear the inside with wet dog food, squeezy cheese, yoghurt or anything else your dog likes. When he starts to bark, you can offer the pot to lick - he can't bark and lick at the same time.

As he is doing that, repeat the word that will become your ”quiet” cue.

After some repetitions and you think he has got it, give the cue and if he stops barking, give the pot as a reward (if he doesn't stop barking, stay at step 1 for longer).

When he is stopping on cue, gradually increase the delay between the cue and reward.

Once it is reliable, you can start fading the reward to something more convenient.
Thanks Joanne! This is really helpful and will give it a go.

Can’t work out why he does it. We can be at the end of a long walk/short walk. Middle of a field with nothing around or with lots of people! Suspect it started off as attention seeking which we didn’t address properly and now has become habit.

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