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Our little shih tzu is 15months old and for the last few months he barks really loudly at guests when they come over. He knows the quiet command. I tell him quiet. He stays quiet for a few seconds then begins to bark again. He will bark on and off until the guests leave. His bark sounds like a stranger invading our home. I allow him to sniff the guests first but I would like him to be calm when guests come over. Any tips.
Shih tzu's are a voiceturious breed so he is normal for his breed... Nothing wrong with him. Young inexperienced working on learning applying individual skills in real life situation.
I put my dogs up my guest and service people are there for me.. fenced in area on the property for my service people and in the house a baby gated area. I don't let them meet my guest or go to the door (it' not their job) they can watch me handle it... Main thing i I put them out of the way. I have put them back into the house if I am talking out side which out of sight out of stimulation of seeing to bark.. That seemed to teach them over time about stop barking on their own. so when I did have company inside the house it transfered over being put into a baby gate area for barking a bit being ignored and then being quiet watching .. takes time... but guest service people are for me...
Try teaching your dog to go to a place when guests come in. It could be a crate, or a blanket or bed. Just like with any other training, you'll have to practice teaching them to go to this spot, and rewarding them when they do. Always use one vocal command, like place or bed, and walk them over to it. Have them sit on the chosen spot and immediately reward them. You'll have to do this many, many times, but they will eventually learn to associate the command and the reward with the chosen place. When guests come over, immediately give the command to go to their place.
This can help with the initial introductions and allow your guests to get in and get settled. Then ask your guests to give the place command. Allow them to reward your dog. Heping your dog associate strangers with structure will help to relieve the anxiety or fear that is causing him to bark. Once your dog has taken treats or a reward from your guest, then allow him to free roam. Keep treats on hand. Both you and your guest can reward your dog whenever he is quiet, calm, and nicely interacting with your guests.
It's less about trying to force him to be quiet and more about teaching him that there is nothing to fear and no reason to act defensively. Disciplining bad behaviour is not as effective as teaching good ones. If your dog knows what he is supposed to do, and knows that he will be rewarded with treats, toys, or attention, then he'll be more inclined to act appropriately.
I'd also recommend exercising him before guest come over. If you know you will have guest over, take your dog for a walk beforehand. Or play a game, like fetch, hide-and-seek, and even do some training. A mentally and physically stimulated dog will be less anxious.