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My 7 year old toy poodle was always a little skittish BUT whenever someone comes into the house, she barks and barks. My son visits us rarely as he lives across country but everytime he gets up or moves around, she barks like crazy. How suggestions how I can stop this pattern? He is only here for a couple of more days and she is smart enough to learn quickly -I HOPE!
 

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As you only have a few days I would try distraction - as he begins to get up call her to you, ask for a Sit (or just eye contact if that is easier) and reward her with a tiny bit of something good for being quiet. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Don't scold or join in the shouting, or do anything to imply his presence is a source of anxiety just calmly and happily encourage her to come to you for a treat.

Longer term I recommend Turid Rugaas' little book "Barking: the sound of a language" - very helpful for working out why a dog is barking, and thus being able to work on the causes rather than just the effects.
 

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If whenever someone comes into the house your little one 'barks and barks' this is a long term pattern. I too recommend Rugaas. It might take while but will be a wonderful addition to peace and quiet in your home.
 

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Does she like your son? Does she ever sit or lie/chill next to him on the couch? And if he gets up, is that what sets her off? Or is it only from a distance...across the room?
 

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This is hard to change. Beckie barks whenever my son comes into the house, and he’s always been coming on week-ends ! She will bark in the middle of the night even more, waking everybody up.

I have accepted that’s how it is, however unnerving it is.

Which doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. Good luck !
 

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I teach all our dogs the command "Quiet" by gently holding the mouth shut. I repeat it if, when I release him/her, the barking starts again.


That said, we get a large charge out of our chihuahua mix when she barks at the sound of a doorbell. She's a rescue, so she has evidently always barked a the sound of doorbell. What's funny is that there is an ad on TV where a lady presses a doorbell and it gives the classic ding-dong sounds. That ad sets Miss Molly off every time!
 

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My dog barks a lot when people come to the door and/or inside the house, even with people he knows. I got the book from Rugaas based on the recommendations here, look forward to reading it.
 

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There are a few very good methods that don't involve any force or intimidation...simply pairing the trigger with: it's time for a stupendous treat if I pipe down. Then: if I pipe down and hold it down for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, for a long time etc. But it takes more than 2 or 3 days. If you're in a hurry, I have an idea for a quick fix...maybe not a long lasting fix but it may work in a pinch. It is also purely PR. But I needed the answers to my questions first to know if it could work. Oh well...best of luck.
 
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