I really don’t want him to do that. How do I stop him from barking at strangers?
Barking is natural for dogs. They are doing their job by alerting their family that someone is coming. It’s unreasonable to expect that a puppy will never bark. The key is that he should learn to stop barking once you have identified the issue and taken charge.
Acknowledge that they’ve done something wonderful and then take a leadership role so the puppy can relax. Here are some specific steps you should take:
- As soon as puppy starts to bark, approach him to investigate what he sees.
- Tell him he’s a good boy and ask him to sit.
- Praise him for the sit and answer the door.
- If puppy continues to bark, say “all done” and give him work to do (such as sit, come, down) and reward him for the work.
- In the future, the “all done” will come in handy to stop barking in many situations.
By practicing this, puppy is learning that his bark will get you to investigate then you will take over the situation so he can relax.