What are the main factors that you look at when buying a dog? If you’re like some dog owners, you might specifically look at breeds that don’t bark a lot. Especially if you live in close proximity to your neighbors or have children. The last thing you will want is to receive noise complaints and keep people up at night.
However, unfortunately, small breeds like the Poodle get a bad reputation for this and tend to bark a lot. There are many reasons why Poodles aren’t quiet, but that’s not something that can be managed without sufficient training.
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Why do Poodles Bark?
Toys, Miniatures, and Standard Poodles are not the quietest dog breeds out there nor the loudest. Their barking tends to be moderate, and the pitch tends to develop more if certain triggers have been set off.
Generally, the larger the Poodle, the louder it barks. Many people have this misconception that when a Poodle barks, it’s due to aggressive tendencies they have. The truth is, though, Poodles aren’t an aggressive dog breed, and they usually bark due to the following:
Poodles are a breed that loves to please. This means they enjoy being around the company of others and don’t do well being left in the home for long periods. If left alone for long, they may develop separation anxiety and bark out of despair.
Poodles are very sensitive dogs and can easily become disturbed by the slightest noise in their home. Like other dogs, Poodles have a hearing capacity of 8,000 Hz compared to our own hearing of 2,000 Hz, which means they can pick up sounds a lot more easily than us.
One example is fireworks on the 4th of July can cause a lot of distress, and bright flashes can set them off. Also, loud situations such as thunderstorms and loud music from parties may cause them to bark out of fear.
Strangers and footsteps from nearby
Naturally, Poodles aren’t much guard dogs, but they are very alert, which makes them perfect service dogs. If they hear the sound of footsteps from passersby that they don’t recognize, they may tend to bark to alert you of their presence. Moreover, if they see strangers in your home or in their territory, they may bark as a form of threat to intimidate the newcomer. The same can apply to new dogs.
If you’ve been away from your Poodle for a few hours or days, when they see you again, they may bark out of excitement. Similarly, if you play with them a lot and want to play more, they may also bark because they’re having fun.
How to train your Poodle not to bark?
Barking is something that is pretty much inevitable for most breeds. However, as a dog owner, you have the power to reduce the frequency and the situations your Poodle barks in. To do this, you should try the following:
One of the first steps to stop them barking is not acknowledging it. Usually, barking is a sign they’re commanding attention, and you don’t want to give into it. If you do give in to it, it will only encourage them to bark more. Most dogs cannot decipher the difference between positive and negative attention. Because of this, telling them off when they bark will not have the appropriate effect.
Positive reinforcement is key
When your Poodle stops barking after a barking episode, you should reward them with a treat or toy. Doing this over time will condition your dog to believe that if they’re quiet, they’ll expect a treat. It will also prevent your Poodle from barking unexpectantly.
Teach them how to speak and be quiet
Sitting and being quiet are two of the most important commands that can be effective in stopping your Poodle from barking. To show your Poodle is speaking, say “speak,” then reward them with a treat when they carry on barking. Over time, this will let them know when to bark. Similarly, when they’re quiet, say “quiet” and reward them. If you are consistent with this and apply it to different situations, it will allow you to control your Poodle.
Remove any external triggers
The majority of the time, when a Poodle barks, it’s due to external triggers in their environment. When you’re in your home, office, or out in public, try and remove certain triggers like loud noise, strangers, and more which could set off their barking.
If you can’t remove these triggers, some of the best things to do are to remain calm in these situations to let them know it’s safe. Moreover, you might wish to make a safe and quiet space in your home to go to when they don’t feel safe.
When you get any dog, socialization from an early age is essential. After they’ve had their full set of vaccinations, you should take them out on walks and let them get accustomed to other dogs and humans. The more familiar a Poodle gets with strangers and other animals, the less likely they will fear others and bark less.
Give your Poodle toys
Sometimes it isn’t easy to stay in the house all of the time with your Poodle and give them the attention they deserve. To help reduce their barking, you should gather toys so they can play with them while you’re away. Toys can help provide them with mental and physical stimulation distracting them from the long periods you’re gone.
If you give your Poodle sufficient exercise, it can also reduce the chances of barking due to excitement. When a Poodle becomes exhausted from training, they have less energy to bark out of boredom, fear, or aggression. Therefore try taking them out on frequent walks, runs, swims and give them lots of playtime.
If you can’t remove the external triggers completely, you can aim to desensitize your Poodle from them. Slowly introduce your Poodle to these triggers and provide them with positive reinforcement. Over time they won’t bark as much. Some common examples of this are training them to be calm around the delivery man or other people when walking.
Overall, Poodles tend to bark a lot but not out of fear or aggression; it tends to be due to external situations. Common triggers for them to bark due to strangers, loud noises, separation anxiety, excitement, and more. The best ways to reduce their barking are providing them with positive reinforcement when quiet, early socialization, removing external triggers, desensitizing them, and more.
Do you have a dog that barks a lot? Let us know what you do to reduce how much it barks.