How to stop dog from barking at new people and other dogs?

by m
(chicago)

My fiance and I adopted a 6 month old mini schnauzer from a family that have a new born and both were fighting for the mother's affection/attention. Our dog (Sally) is very sweet and gentle with us and doesn't bark at us for attention but lets us know when someone is outside. However, when we take her on walks, she bark/yelps at everyone near by.

When we encounter other dogs, she barks at them and lunges at them (most dogs are scared by this). We tried distracting her with treats when she starts barking, but she can't concentrate enough to realize there are treats in front of her.

We have put a gentle lead on her, which helps with the barking and say "quiet" to her (making sure she is looking at our "stern" faces) and praise her with words and treats when she can ignore some people.

I have tried to train her to speak, but I dont want her thinking that barking will get her attention and rewards. I know the previous family did not take her our much and probably why she doesn't know how to interact with others. Any suggestions? Thank you!

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been there
by: Robyn

I would recommend a reward based trainer and a booked by Leslie McDevitt called Control Unleashed. The book looks like it is to help dogs to do agility, but a lot of the "games" will help with real life situations. I especially like the Look at that game. That has been the most beneficial for our reactive schnauzer. I would also recommend using a clicker for training. They seem to catch on quicker to training with that.

I've got the same problem
by: Anna K

But my Max is 6 years old and when he sees someone he knows he screams and lunges trying to get to them. I have started him in obedience lessons--should have done it MUCH sooner. Get your pup into obedience classes NOW. Take her everywhere you can think of to socialize her to different people and places. With the training you can make her watch you and sit when meeting new people, dogs etc. I have started with Max and Penny, the 2 year old--both are miniature schnauzers. Then you'll have a dog anyone will welcome to see or to come to their home. It doesn't take long, a few minutes a day to reinforce that you are alpha. I hope you are not using a harness with a flexi leash to walk--they both encourage lunging and pulling on the leash. Good luck!

Anna, Max and Penny

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