Gradually get your dog accustomed to whatever is causing him to bark. Start with the stimulus – the thing that makes him bark – at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (treats!).
Example: barking at dogs
- Have a friend with a dog stand out of sight or far enough away so your dog won’t bark at the other dog.
- As your friend and her dog come into view, start feeding your dog lots of very yummy treats.
- Stop feeding treats as soon as your friend and her dog disappear from view.
- Repeat the process multiple times
- Remember not to try to progress too quickly as it may take days or weeks before your dog can pay attention to you and the treats without barking at the other dog.