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My puppy is a 4 and a half months old Shelti.

He used to be quiet, just a crier once upon a time. But now he doesn't cry unless he sees us leaving.

Last week we went for a trip and had him stayed with a friend for 4 days. After we took him back, we found him bark much more than before.

He barks when hearing neighbor comes back, or a bird singing outside, a vehicle passing by (at least 60 feet away), NBA players in TV...Anything that moves or make sound. Of course when we are walking him, he barks at passers-by. Something confuses me is that when he barks at passerby in a threatening tune and runs to the stranger, he finally stops at the stranger and start shaking his tail? So if he doesn't consider the strangers aggressors, why does he bark at them???

So is my puppy a barker now? Why does he bark at everything? What should I do? Just let him go and this kind of bark-at-strange-things will go or do I need to do something to stop his barking?

I'm thinking of when he barks I say Shiiihhhh! and if he stops I give him a treat. Has anybody used this method? Does this work?
 

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Shelties can be barkers so, they need early training to reduce the problem. The two biggest problems are excitment and alert barking. The excitment barking (Look, look...a bird!) tends to wear off. The alert barking requires more work. That's the 'intruder' walking towards you, people walking past the house, knocking on the door. He's telling you there might be a problem. As the pack leader you're obligated to investigate, run off the threat or make introductions....his job ends the second you step forward to do that. Literally step forward...between him and the 'threat'. Thank him for the alert....you're taking over and now he can be quiet...use your shhshsh command or Enough..whatever you use. Once he understands that you will handle the situation...not him...he will bark much less.
 

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Shelties can be barkers so, they need early training to reduce the problem. The two biggest problems are excitment and alert barking. The excitment barking (Look, look...a bird!) tends to wear off. The alert barking requires more work. That's the 'intruder' walking towards you, people walking past the house, knocking on the door. He's telling you there might be a problem. As the pack leader you're obligated to investigate, run off the threat or make introductions....his job ends the second you step forward to do that. Literally step forward...between him and the 'threat'. Thank him for the alert....you're taking over and now he can be quiet...use your shhshsh command or Enough..whatever you use. Once he understands that you will handle the situation...not him...he will bark much less.
sounds reasonable...and I feel my puppy mainly barks for excitement and alerting, too (He even alerts me when I and my boyfriend kissing...)

But I have one more question, if he barks at coming back neighbour and I step between he and the door and thank him for alerting me, won't that kind of act encouraging him barking?
 

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sounds reasonable...and I feel my puppy mainly barks for excitement and alerting, too (He even alerts me when I and my boyfriend kissing...)

But I have one more question, if he barks at coming back neighbour and I step between he and the door and thank him for alerting me, won't that kind of act encouraging him barking?
No. You're not rewarding the barking behavior. Once you step in front you can thank him for doing a good job and now he's done. The biggest problem with barking is owners who rush up and yell at their dogs...adding to the chorus/confusing the dog. You're taking away any confusion he might have about what's going on or what to do next.
The part that I didn't get to earlier is the last step. Teaching him what is 'normal' and doesn't need an alert. Dogs are masters of body language and one thing they recognize easily is the YAWN. They know that yawning means boring/uninteresting so that's one thing you can use to show him there is nothing of interest there. Just yawn and walk away.
 
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