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Limited Barking Permitted
If the Labradoodle barks when the owners are at home, it should be immediately called to the owner on the first bark and very quietly told to Sit.
If the stimulus that caused the first bark is known not to warrant barking (the barking was unnecessary in that situation), the sitting dog should be quietly released and immediately recalled, and the routine repeated until the dog settles down.
If the owner believes the stimulus should be investigated, the dog should be called, told to Sit, then released, at which time the owner should go quietly to investigate the stimulus that caused the barking.
If the cause for the bark is not worrisome, the owner should quietly tell the Labradoodle again to Sit, release it and return to former activities.
This teaches the dog that its bark is important, but that the owner is in control of the situation, not the Labradoodle.
If the Labradoodle starts again to bark during this procedure, it must again be called and the routine repeated.
When this is done consistently, the dog will soon begin to give a single alarm bark, then seek the owner for further guidance.
This exercise is very important in that it teaches the Labradoodle it has a function in the family group.
At the same time, it learns not to sound the alarm at stimuli that are not important, such as neighbors returning home, visitors arriving, or sirens sounding.
The learn-to-earn praise and pet program can be used in correcting barking.
Each time the Labradoodle seeks affection or attention, it must be pleasantly told to Sit, then praised and petted briefly (3-5 seconds), then released from the Sit. It's as simple as that.
The Labradoodle should also be taught to go down on command after being told to Sit, then Up to Sit from Down, then back Down from Sit, then released and petted briefly.
This exercise, called Push-ups, can be used.
At homecomings or departures, the owners must avoid all emotional interplay with the Labradoodle.
This requires behaving in a matter-of-fact manner. In many cases, even eye contact with the Labradoodle should be avoided if it causes excitement.
Homecoming greetings should be delayed at least 5 minutes and then should be low key, with minimal petting and a few quiet words.
If the Labradoodle barks for attention, the greeting must be ignored until the Labradoodle becomes quiet.
Many barking dog are leader types. That is, if the owner walks from one room to another, the dog rushes ahead of them.
The owner must understand that this is the Labradoodle's way of leading in their relationship.
To reverse this situation, the Labradoodle should be taught, by movement (the Labradoodle's language), that the owner is in charge of movements around the house.
This is not difficult, but it must be applied consistently.
Each time the owner starts to go somewhere and the dog begins to move ahead, the owner should produce a single hand clap and reverse direction, which puts the owner in the lead.
If the dog catches up and again starts to move ahead, the hand clap and direction reversal are repeated.
This should be done if the dog rushes ahead of the owner when the doorbell or phone rings, or at meal times, until the dog begins following its new leader.
If the Labradoodle is a backyard barker, this exercise should be applied there as well as in the house.
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