SAME HERE. As you guys know (if you read my earlier article) I got a new 6 month old pug puppy. He is at the age where he learns fear and barks at many things. When he first came home which was yesterday...it was night time and he started barking at my ferret who was in his cage in the living room. The problem is I had the house owner living underneath my house.
Scared that the owner would be mad, I did some research and experimented what would stop my rambunctious puppy to stop barking at my parents walking across the house, ferret rustling in his sleep, and just random noises. I tried many things so I don't know yet what really worked but I will tell you the things Ive tried to get him stop. The result: He now doesn't bark and sleeps well in his crate, doesn't bark at my ferret unless he is IN FRONT of the ferrets cage and only if he sees the ferret moving towards him. So pretty much a success.
1. I told him to be quiet in a quiet but firm voice. Everytime he barked, I interrupted him and told him "quiet". When he stopped barking, I said "good quiet" and rewarded him with treats. Instead of going like "SHUT UP, BEQUIET" and all that I praised him when he did good things instead of punishing him.
2. When that didn't work, I did some more research and reassured him that everything was okay. It is important to figure out WHY your puppy or dog is barking. I knew my puppy was barking not to get attention but because he was scared. He only barked when he heard footsteps or my ferret moving around in his cage. He never saw a ferret in his life so he probably was scared. Plus this was his first time here!
3. That didn't work right away either so I lifted him up, carried him around the house introducing him to all the noises in the house. It is good to get your PUPPY familiar with all the noises happening around the house so he knows he is safe. I carried him in front of my ferrets cage and told him it was our family and that it was okay, brought him to bathrooms and turned the water on and let him hear the shower and all kinds of noises. Then I brought him back in my room. He calmed down a bit.
4. After that, I put him in his crate so he felt safer. During the day we had gone on a car trip and took lots of walks so he fell asleep right away. And the dog cant bark while sleeping right? But he did snore however...
5. The next day I woke up with a earful of barks coming from my pug. He had heard people walking and ferret waking up from the cage. I told him it was okay and later my dad took him for a walk.
6. Then we fed him in front of the thing he was scared of the most. The ferrets cage. He refused to get close to my ferret but when he smelled the temptation of a milk bone dog biscuit, he ate in front of the cage and bolted away. But later he creeped up close to the cage and only barked when the ferret moved towards him.
7. Later we called him to the living room and played and trained him. Then we played with him alot in my room and he almost ignored all the small noises!
8. Now he only barks or lets out small short barks when my parents are coming towards my room or when he sees my ferret. The house is a lot quiet now and he is currently sleeping in his cage snoring loudly after a fun day of playing fetch and tug of war.
I hope you try all of this and find that it helps. If it doesnt Im sorry.
There are different methods of training each individual puppy and this way helped my dog over come the fear of a new home, new noises, and new animals.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.