Ask Valli of ‘Oh My Dog’: Help With a Barking Dog

By Valli Aman,
Certified Dog trainer, ABCBDT

Valli Aman is a local certified dog trainer based in Valley Glen.

Valli Aman is a local certified dog trainer based in Valley Glen.

Question: When walking my two 4-year-old terrier mixes, they bark and start to fight with each other when they see any dog barking behind a fence. I’m exhausted by the time I get home. What can I do?

Answer: I’m sorry you are having this problem but it is rather common and I get lots of calls about walk situations.

First you need an appropriate walking harness. Depending on the length of your dog’s legs, if they are not too short, you can use an “Easy Walk” harness. They have a ring on the chest so you are guiding your dog by the shoulders instead of the neck. The harness needs to be fitted properly so if you need help with this contact me.

Once the flat or chain neck collar is not an issue and there is no pulling from behind as in some harnesses that works that way, you can begin some training and here is where you will start:

Every GREAT walk begins with your dog in a sit and stay inside the doorway where you intend to leave.

You need to leave the door first. NOTE: Whoever crosses the threshold first owns the space. So, if you have a dog that experiences undo stress on the walk, by your “owning the space” outdoors and when you return entering first, you are telling doggie that you will take care of them. A lot of the pressure leaves with a change of order.

I’m sure you know which houses are the triggers — make no announcement but when you are a house away, put the dogs in a “sit stay” and start talking to them about the barking dogs.

My methods are a bit unique but they have worked for a few hundred clients.

If you want tips, further explanation or want a meeting so I can show you all of the above, please contact me at (818) 785-0377, or by email: ohmydog@earthlink.net.