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My puppy just turn 6 months old, and I have noticed a serious (and annoying!!) increase in his barking. He is an Akita, therefore has a predisposition to being a guard dog. However, he has started to go overkill on his alarm barking and no longer listens when I tell him to stop. He is not a fearful, aggressive, or loud dog in general, so this behavioral about-face is confusing to me.

The barking is not confined to when we are home and people walk by, he now has started in situations such as:

-People walking past when we are at the dog park/yard/playing off leash
-Nearby dogs begin to bark
-Strangers approaching while we are standing still on walks
-Large objects such as trucks, trash containers, or motorcycles that appear suddenly.

I used to be able to stop him with the command "quiet", which he knows. This does not work anymore, as he has begun to ignore it. I have tried to get between him and the "threat" so he knows I have it under control, but he goes around and stands in front of me.

I have considered purchasing a bark collar, however I would like to solve this through positive reinforcement. Unfortunately, most of the things I am finding on the Internet are related to territorial barking in the home only. I appreciate the fact that he is trying to warn and protect me, but I want him to stop when I ask him to. I am wondering if anyone has any experiences or advice they could share with my to help fix this problem!
 

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I like the step-by-step protocol outlined at www.CAREforreactivedogs.com

Though the protocol was designed with fearful/reactive dogs in mind, I don't think you need to worry about labeling your dog at this point. I certainly wouldn't call my current dog particularly fearful, reactive, or aggressive, but have used this protocol (or a similar one) to change her negative responses to things as varied as garbage trucks and other dogs! Instead of waiting for her to have a negative response and then trying to tell her to do something different, I worked to change her emotional response to the thing itself. Builds a good foundation for any young dog!
 
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