As I've mentioned several times (LOL) I'll be getting a new pup soon - a miniature schnauzer... as we look for apartments, most landlords tell us "sure you can have a dog, as long as she doesn't yap a lot"
So we want to nip any barking in the bud. Any suggestions?
How long will the dog be left alone every day? Some schnauzers can be barky, some are pretty quiet. You can give them a squirt of water or a mixture of vinegar and water to surprise them out of barking (say 'Quiet!") so they know what you're talking about.. Or use a bark collar, those aren't cheap though. YOu won't have many ways of stoping the dog from barking when you are gone, and unfortunately this is when dogs are most likely to bark.
Just a note to you, my brother got a shock collar for his dog, and it was totally ineffective. His dog was determined to bark and it did. I agree, you will have to find other ways to keep the puppy entertained!! Make sure you give him his own toys and not old shoes or things like that!!! Have fun!
Rebecca - I have a 9 months old Miniature Schnauzer puppy named Kiba. She barks and whines when I leave the house... used to think it was cute because she was "missing me" but now working on her not to do it for when I move out one day.
I tried using a citronella collar on her for when she was in the house and barking... quickly learned how to bark then back up so she wouldnt have to smell the spray... 70 dollars down the hole. Tried water and water with vinegar... she tries to drink both concoctions.
Have fun with your new pup (when you get her). They are very smart... so be careful! Those little eyes mixed with the beard and eyebrows will let them get away with anything.
**Just kind of noticed that this post is mostly of me rambling about Kiba.. oh well ^_^
My grandmother had a Persian mix cat named Bijou... that cat was so mean. She hissed at everyone.
I forget, is it a girl or boy? What color?
I almost named Kiba Cricket.. but didnt want to have a "color name." Try one of those baby name sites.. its neat because then you can find meanings for the names and have it go along with the personallity of the pup.
Kiba's name means Fang in Japanese, named her after an anime character. It was ironic later on when her baby teeth didnt come out she had all double canines/fangs at one point before they were pulled.
I raise Shetland Sheepdogs (another breed that is a renowned barker :) so I have lots of experience in this area! First of all, I personally think shock collars and such are the lazy way for an owner to train a dog (no offense meant to collar fans!). The hardest part of training anything is establishing a line of communication with your dog. The biggest mistake that folks make when training not to bark is that dogs bark for a reason (no different than a baby crying). First figure out why your dog is barking and then you can figure out how to control it. I personally don't try to STOP the behavior. I try to REDIRECT the behavior. I know with shelties the main reasons they bark are out of fear and out of a desire to protect.
The first key is to make sure you have your puppy well socialized. If he is not afraid or weary of strangers he will be less likely to bark at them. The less things that startle him, the less he will bark. Take the time to take him to public places (be smart about it and always take into consideration that you have to handle his socialization in a challenging way that doesn't overwhelm him too much. Push his boundries, but don't go over the edge. ). Give him lots of praise for handling new situations well!
Then comes the training end of things. The thing with easy fixes is that they are easy to reverse. That's my main problem with shock collars (besides the point of using pain to train). They may make your dog stop barking while the collar is on, or for a month, or even 6 months, but it's very likely they will eventually start again. Good training that lasts takes lots of time, repeatition, and patience. Once he gets it down you still have to enforce and continue the training in short periods for at least a year.
I know a lot of folks with sheltie puppies that use reverse psycology. They first teach their puppy to speak on command. Once they know they are supposed to bark when told, then they teach them to stop barking when told. Again, lots of praise and reward.
Don't expect your dog to stop barking all together. That is like asking a 3 year old not to speak. Teach them to bark only when appropriate and most importantly, teach them to stop when you say so!
OH - and if you choose to go the collar route as a training AID there is a collar on the market that is a Vibrating collar. Rather than shock, it emmitts a vibration to get the dogs attention. We have a deaf sheltie that we rescued that we trained successfully with a vibrating collar (the collar was used as a "Come" command or "Pay Attention" command so that we could get her attention when she wasn't facing us). It worked very well.