Ways To Teach a Miniature Schnauzer Not To Bark

The Miniature Schnauzer is derived from the standard schnauzer and are excellent guard dogs because they have the tendency to bark at strangers. It important to learn to control your dog's barking through simple training techniques.

Derived from the standard schnauzer, whose origins date as far back as the 15th century in Germany, the miniature schnauzer breed is the smallest of the three schnauzer sizes. These little, muscular dogs have a happy temperament and make good guard dogs because of their propensity to bark at strangers, according to the American Kennel Club. To control your dog's barking, train them to stay quiet on command.

Triggers

Determine the trigger for your dog's barking and remove it or desensitize them to it. Miniature schnauzers typically bark when a stranger is at the door because of their guarding instinct to protect their family members. As part of this territorial barking, a miniature schnauzer may bark when they hear or see another dog or person outside. Close the drapes or blinds to block your dog's view of the outside to help stop this type of barking. You can also desensitize your dog to strangers or other dogs by giving your dog treats and praise while you are both in the presence of strangers and other dogs or while your dog sees them through a window. When your dog views strangers and other dogs as something good, they won't continue to bark at them.

Rewarding Desired Behavior

Miniature schnauzers are intelligent dogs that are easily trained using positive, consistent methods. When your miniature schnauzer begins to bark, ignore the bark completely; acknowledging the barking ends up encouraging it further. Once your dog stops barking, praise your dog and give your dog some favorite treats. This could take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour for some dogs. If the dog begins barking again, immediately ignore your dog. Your dog will soon realize that barking results in something unpleasant while staying quiet results in a reward. This type of training decreases barking overall, especially compulsive barking.

Verbal Command

Train your dog to stop barking on your verbal cue by teaching them the "Quiet" command. Trigger your dog to bark by having a friend or family member ring the doorbell or play a recording of other dogs barking. Once your dog begins to bark a few times in a row, calmly say "Quiet" and wait for a pause in the barking. Immediately click a dog training device and give your dog a treat. You can also give your dog a series of treats to stop your dog's barking after giving your dog the "Quiet" command. This type of training requires repetition for 10 to 15 minutes each day to teach your dog what is expected of them.

Considerations

Never yell at your miniature schnauzer during training to keep your dog quiet. Not only will this make the dog fearful of you, it will also encourage your dog to continue barking. Training may take several weeks or months, although this breed learns more quickly than others, according to the American Miniature Schnauzer club. These eager-to-please little dogs respond well to positive training but bore easily, so keep the sessions short and vary them with play each day. If you notice that your dog seems to bark for no reason, bring your dog to a veterinarian to check for any health issues that could be the cause of this behavior. Exercise your miniature schnauzer daily to help release pent-up energy and reduce your dog's propensity to bark.

Teach Your Dog to Bark

Some puppies are natural talkers – they moan, groan, howl, yowl, yip, yap, whine, and bark. Others are quieter by nature. Either way, teaching your puppy the “Speak” command and its opposite command, “Quiet,” will enable you to build his communication skills and eliminate inappropriate puppy outbursts. 

Command #18 - “Speak” and “Quiet”

“Speak” means your dog should bark.

“Quiet” means your dog should stop barking and be quiet. 

Teaching Method:

Step 1:

Ask yourself, is my dog a talker or more the silent type?



Step 2:

  Once your puppy is speaking on command, you can begin teaching “Quiet.” With your puppy ready and willing, ask him to “Speak,” followed by “Yes! Good Speak!” Ask for another “Speak.” As he is speaking, say, “Simon, Quiet!” Say this slightly louder and in a firmer tone of voice, to get his attention. As soon as he is silent, say, “Yes! Good Quiet,” and give him a treat.

Step 3:

You can make a game of “Speak” and “Quiet,” asking for “Speak” two or three times followed by a “Quiet,” then maybe one “Speak” followed by a “Quiet,” then four “Speaks”… you get the idea. Changing the number of times he speaks before being quiet will keep him interested in doing as you ask and ensure that you are in control of his speak/quiet cycle.

“Speak” and “Quiet” are fun and useful commands that can help develop communication skills between you and your dog. Teaching “Speak” and “Quiet” essentially gives you the ability to switch your puppy’s vocalizations on and off – a handy skill to have to prevent incessant barking or to play vocal games with him. Have fun with it and your puppy will too!

Last week's lesson: Training a Dog to "Go to Bed"
Next week's lesson: Training Your Dog to Put Paws in Your Lap
Back to 20 Dog Commands You Need to Know

Get 20 Commands Delivered in 10 Weeks!

Sign up today and get two training tips a week from the expert trainers at ECAD, delivered right to your inbox.

All training tips in this series are from ECAD (Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities), a non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs for veterans with disabilities. Learn more about ECAD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do mini schnauzers bark so much?

Dr. Chyrle Bonk notes that All dogs bark, but Schnauzers are particularly known for barking a lot, which makes them excellent watchdogs. Schnauzers might bark because they’re feeling frightened, hungry, depressed, or bored. Dr. Chyrle says that Schnauzers can be especially vocal when protecting their family. They need lots of mental stimulation, such as games or puzzles, to prevent them from becoming destructive, but are easily trained. Miniature Schnauzers are a very active and vocal breed of dog. They are known for their high energy levels and tendency to bark frequently. This is often due to their history as a working breed, as they were originally bred to be guards and ratters on farms. Miniature Schnauzers are also a very social breed, and they may bark to communicate with their owners or express their emotions. Training and positive reinforcement can help to manage excessive barking in Miniature Schnauzers.

How do you discipline a Schnauzer?

Dr. Denise Nelson, DVM, says you should first work on commands such as Sit, Stay, Down, Come, and Heel. Obedience training lays the foundation for good manners. Different dogs respond to different training methods, so experiment with various techniques until you find what works for your Miniature Schnauzer. Teach one command at a time, and make sure your dog obeys a command the first time it's given. Practice passive leadership by making it wait for cues. Also, use commands like Sit and Stay during activities like mealtime and walking through doorways. You can consider using a dragline on Sammy's collar for control during misbehavior. Use a firm tone and a tug on the collar to correct unwanted behavior. Disciplining a Miniature Schnauzer should be done positively and consistently. Reward your dog for good behavior with treats or praise. This will help them to associate good behavior with a positive outcome. Be consistent with your commands and training methods. This will help your dog understand what is expected of them. Also, use specific commands for specific behaviors to make it clear what you want your dog to do. If your dog is misbehaving, remove them from the situation and put them in a designated "time-out" area. Training classes are a great way to teach your dog basic obedience and socialization skills. But avoid hitting, kicking, or striking your dog, as it can lead to fear and anxiety, which can also damage your relationship with your dog. Keep in mind that every dog is different, and what works for one dog may not work for another.

How do you calm a Miniature Schnauzer?

Here are a few tips to help calm a Miniature Schnauzer. Miniature Schnauzers are a very active breed and require regular exercise to burn off excess energy. A long walk or run, as well as playtime in a securely fenced yard, can help to keep them calm and relaxed. Keep the environment around the dog as calm and quiet as possible. Minimize loud noises and sudden movements that can startle or excite the dog. Reward your dog for calm behavior with treats or praise. This will help them to associate calm behavior with a positive outcome. Training classes are a great way to teach your dog basic obedience and socialization skills. This can help them to learn to focus and follow commands, which can help to calm them down. Provide your dog with puzzle toys or interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated and engaged. Gently massaging or grooming your dog can help to relax them and reduce stress. Lastly, provide a comfortable and cozy bedding area for your dog where they can rest and relax.

Are Schnauzers hard to train?

Miniature Schnauzers can be intelligent and eager to please, but they can also be strong-willed and independent. They tend to be stubborn and are known to have a strong prey drive. However, Miniature Schnauzers can be well-trained and obedient with proper training and socialization. It is important to establish yourself as the leader of the pack and to use positive reinforcement and consistent training methods. Denise Drawdy-Allen, a former Schnauzer breeder, says basic obedience training typically commences with young puppies, usually after their final set of vaccinations, around 12-15 weeks old. It's advisable to initiate basic obedience regardless of the breed, fostering a strong foundation for both the dog and its owner. Schnauzers, being intelligent, may possess a short attention span due to their historical role as ratters, necessitating mental stimulation. Basic obedience aids in enhancing their focus and attention. Consistent training post-puppy classes are beneficial for maintaining the sharpness of both the owner and the puppy/dog. Miniature Schnauzers respond well to treats, praise, and verbal commands. It is also important to start training early, as Miniature Schnauzers can be difficult to train if they are allowed to develop bad habits. It's always helpful to take your dog to professional training classes, where you'll learn how to train your dog and get help from professional trainers.

Can a Schnauzer be trained not to bark?

Yes, Miniature Schnauzers can be trained not to bark excessively. However, it may take time and patience to achieve this, as Miniature Schnauzers are a naturally vocal breed, and barking is a natural behavior for them. Reward your dog for not barking with treats or praise. This will help them to associate not barking with a positive outcome. Teaching your dog a "quiet" command can be helpful. When your dog barks, give the command "quiet," and when they stop barking, reward them with a treat or praise. A tired dog is less likely to bark excessively, so make sure your dog gets enough physical and mental stimulation to tire them out. Identify the things that make your dog bark and try to remove or avoid those triggers. Do not pay attention to your dog when it barks for no reason. This could reinforce the barking behavior. If your dog's barking is excessive and you are struggling to train them, it may be helpful to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist who can help you address the issue. Remember that barking is a natural behavior for dogs, and it's not possible to eliminate it completely. The goal is to reduce excessive barking and teach your dog when it's appropriate to bark. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can train your Miniature Schnauzer not to bark excessively.

References & Resources

advertisement
Join our mailing list
advertisement
Join our mailing list