Hi! Buddy has been with us since he was 12 weeks old. He is now a little over a year old. Love him to pieces, greatest and smartest dog I have ever had, despite many telling me pugs aren't that smart!
My problem is that he barks like crazy at anyone and anything he sees outside the windows of our house. Sometimes even scratches his back feet to the ground while he's barking in an aggressive way. I'm desperate to find some advice on how to get him to chill out. I'm most worried because he's driving my husband crazy, thus my husband is in turn driving me crazy!!
Should I just turn to a dog trainer or does anyone have some ideas? Is this just a phase? Thanks for any help you can give!
Yes barking is a tough one. The secret is to try and distract them e.g. A noisy squeaky toy, or a slightly hissing sounding "ssshhh!" BEFORE they zone you out in a frenzy of wild barking. Lavish verbal praise and cuddles are a better reward than food for responding to you, or you could end up teaching him to bark in order to get food - they aren't daft! It's very much about being consistent while you're working on this though, so possibly a trainer to support you in your efforts would be helpful.
Personally, I do not ever spray my dogs from water bottles, throw jangling training disks, or use aerosol cans that loudly hiss to discourage a behaviour - they're unkind and have too high a risk of causing an even worse adverse behaviour. I do however use a firm "No!" on rare occasions if the situation warrants it, but overuse runs the risk of it not having any effect at all or a very sad puggy who generally is trying his best to be helpful and pleasing.
I also compromise a bit over the barking at dogs/animals etc on the TV - it's her innate instinct to warn of an 'invader' coming into her lounge on the TV screen, so as long as she only does it quietly it's allowed lol!
Some great suggestions above! Barking is a difficult behavior to break because for so many dogs it feels "rewarding" to bark at a bird or squirrel and watch it run off. Sometimes barking can be from frustration or boredom, sometimes from aggression or as an alert to something. You need to try and determine what he is barking about and then, as suggested above, find a good distraction to use.
Best wishes and I hope you find a solution that works for you.