How to stop a Bichon Frise barking

How to stop a dog barking

Now, the issue with this little barking Bichon Frise here was that when anybody tried to leave the house, he'd get absolutely crazy – barking like mad and jumping up and down. In this video, I'll show you exactly how to stop a Bichon Frise barking all the time.

Use a simple lead

The issue revolves around being able to control the dog, and to control him in his environment. This is done by putting a simple lead on him. You'll see what a difference it makes – when he's not out of control, you can control him.

On the first attempt he's still barking pretty full-on. So, what I'm doing is practicing  – almost going through the door, in and out, in and out. When he barks, this allows me to take lead and just say: hey! Without the lead on you, really just of lose a lot of control.

The more I repeat the in-out action, you can see the Bichon Frise getting calmer and calmer. He's getting better and better at taking my lead. But, very importantly, you can see I'm not shouting at him. I'm not touching him. I'm just taking control of him and pointing at him and directing my fingers saying: hey, that behaviour is unacceptable.

He really starts to calm down and get it. And, this is where it's important to point out that if you didn't have that lead on him, he would be running around – because he's a smart, logical little dog, he'd know that you couldn't catch him. He gets himself into such a state making all that noise and becomes totally uncontrollable. But, as you can see with the lead on, he's much calmer.

It's partly true that old habits die hard – he's so used to barking that he has to have a couple of barks. But again, if I didn't have this simple lead on him, this little Bichon Frise would be barking, running up and down these stairs like he did before, going mad. But, when you can take control of the environment and stop it, he nips it in the bud pretty quickly. And, you just repeat repeat repeat repeat.

And then, when he's behaving the you want, take the lead off. See how it goes. You'll be surprised at how quickly your dog will change, but you may still need to practice to really imprint this behavior.

If you're interested in learning how to use kind, gentle training methods, I invite you to check out my program, The Dog Calming Code!

Find out more here! Or if you have a puppy, get started with my Puppy Coach training program!

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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

12 Responses

  1. We rescued a labrador/cocker cross from a puppyfarm, when she was 7months old. She has fear anxiety for strangers in the house and garden and barks constantly and paces about scared. She is fine with all of the family but not our 20 year old son either and barks at him everythine he walks into the room or garden. Its so stressful for us all. How can we help our rescue dog and stop the barking?

    1. Hi Naileen…the world can be a scary place for dogs and strangers can be seen as potential threats/dangers. If your dog’s start to life was a little traumatic then it’s very likely she has learnt not to trust humans…..apart from her own that is! Helping her relax around strangers is something that can be achieved with patience and the right information from you…..essentially showing her that she can trust you to keep her safe! My website shows you very clearly how to achieve this…maybe take a quick look…its a $1USD trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

  2. Hello,

    We recently got a bichon puppy who is so sweet when calm. He gets this sudden burst of energy and will come charging at us and would want to bite. He starts barking and it scares me that he will bite our small son. I know he’s playing but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. How do we manage that behavior and get him to stop?

    1. Hi Neena! This can be a really normal behaviour for young puppies and it may be a result of them being over-tired or over-stimulated. The best response is to calmly pop him in his crate or puppy pen for a bit of a chill-out. Often puppies will then fall asleep but the aim is for him to be calm before you allow him back out. Try to do this all very calmly so as not to escalate his excitement level. Good luck! Doggy Dan

  3. Hi my name is Jill I have a bichon Ben, no matter how I try I cannot stop my dog from barking at dogs he doesn’t like, he spoils the walk for the other dogs I have & winds me up, I took him in 4 years ago, I love him to bits but this really is beginning to really stress me out, he is not treat orientated, I really have to lug him along & having COPD myself & being on a crutch for semi paralysis I left leg through back operation, but I WILL NOT give up on him, I have tried everything I can think of, yes I maybe to blame as well X Jill

    1. This is one of the most common enquiries we get Jill and as frustrating as Ben’s behaviour is, it’s coming from a good place. He is out there on his walk trying to protect you (and him) from meeting a dire end, which you know won’t happen but in Ben’s little doggy brain he really doesn’t! The key to calming everything down is to start to show him that he no longer has to worry about everything, that’s your job! My website shows you very clearly how to achieve this and we have an extensive section about Barking…maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

    1. Hi Diane,
      The following Blog (link below) may be really helpful for you as it covers barking in all it;s forms, including barking for attention. Ultimately if barking is motivated by attention seeking then in order to stop the behaviour your dog needs to realise barking no longer works for them. So make sure you avoid telling your dog off or make eye contact, just ignore them, but if they continue you can walk away from them or place them outside or in a room on their own. We want your dog to learn that barking at you will actually have the opposite result and they my lose you as a result.Hope that helps, Doggy Dan

  4. Hi DD, I have 6 mth old cavapoo and cows have just moved into the field behind the garden. Bobby feels the need to warn me about them whenever one moves!! I’ve tried the calm thank you but I am exhausted from the constant in and out to show him they’re not dangerous. Any tips? 🙂

    1. Hi Sally,
      Having cows at such close range, when previously there were none, would be an occasion where I would expect a dog to react. Bobby is just trying to work out if these strange animals are a problem for you or not and so how you reassure him is really important to calming things down. If you are ‘thanking’ him for barking then that’s great but something else that can be helpful is to place him on-leash and head out into the garden to do a little work in sight of the cattle. It may be that you just grab yourself a cup or tea and a chair and go and sit in the garden with Bobby to show him that the cows really don;t bother you at all. You can also try practicing some command training or just walk with him on a leash in sight of the cattle. If he barks or tries to pull you towards them then calmly change direction until he is happily coming with you again. A 5-10 practice session on the leash can accomplish a lot but it’s important that you are calm and matter-of-fact about his behaviour.
      If you would like some more information my website shows you very clearly how to achieve this…maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

  5. Hi Dan. We’ve been trying to stop Lilly from going crazy barking at every visitor, and us too. And we tried this on a Sunday morning, and by lunchtime we’d succeeded! This is incredible, I will tell everybody, and they may come back to visit!!!
    Thank you

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