Have your neighbors been complaining that your dog is barking when you’re away?
Typically, Golden Retrievers do not have a problem with barking, but they will bark if bored or lonely.
Start by teaching him to be quiet while you’re at home. When your dog starts barking, tell him “Quiet!” When he stops barking, praise him by saying, “Good boy to be quiet!” When he seems to understand what you want, go for a short walk outside, leaving your dog at home. Listen and when you hear him start barking, come back and correct him.
After a few corrections when your dog seems to have the idea, ask your neighbor to help you. Go outside and have your neighbor come out and talk. When your dog barks, run back home as fast as you can and correct him again. Repeat as often as you need to until he understands.
Some dogs will stop barking as you leave if you make leaving home very low-key and unexciting. A distraction also works well for many dogs. Try taking a small brown paper lunch bag and put a couple of treats in it. Perhaps a dog biscuit, a piece of carrot, a slice of apple, and a small toy. Tape the top shut and rip a very tiny hole in the side of the bag. As you walk out the door or the gate, give this to your Golden. He will be so busy trying to figure out what is inside that he won’t pay attention to you leaving.
Problem barkers may need extra help. There are several anti-bark collars on the market that are humane and effective. All are triggered by the dog’s barking and administer a correction to the dog. Some collars make a high-pitched sound, one squirts a whiff of citronella, and others administer a soft electric stimulation.
Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book. This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.