Rescue Miniature Schnauzer barks when out walking

by kayleigh
(belfast )

Hi I have just rehomed a 1 year old schnauzer the previous owner had not walked him so when i try to walk him he barks at everything even his own shadow I would like to be able to walk him and enjoy the time with him. The previous owner had told me that he had got out and was hit by a car I was wondering if this has knocked his confidence. I would love some help and tips that would help me,

Many thanks

Our Response

Hi and thanks for the question – although taking on a new dog or puppy is a wonderful experience it can be challenging especially if your a rehoming a rescue dog or puppy that may not have been treated as well as they could have been.

With your dog I would suggest that the fact that he was hit by a Car has really and I mean REALLY knocked his confidence (I am assuming that the pooch was checked over by a Vet after being hit). Your dog has lost complete confidence when going out of the property. When he is surrounded by things that he knows there is no anxiety around this because there is no increase in anxiety because he sees the things in the property everyday i.e. when he wakes, when he plays, during the day, and of course when he goes to bed.

If something had happened that was an unpleasant experience – lets say for example that a dog owner constantly used a crate as a punishment method and placed the dog in the crate whenever he was naughty – then the dog would start to associate the crate with bad experiences. Of course you can re-train your dog to like the crate by purchasing a new one the owner would have to build up the dogs confidence all over again – and this is the same with your dog. If he was never walked he simply has never seen the new experiences that a normal and regularly walked dog gets used to and would not not be scared of. Imagine if you were brought up as a baby and never went outside – the first time you saw a tree, car or person (anything that you had not seen before) you would cry and want to go home – this is exactly what your dog is doing. So how do you solve the problem?

Socialization! This the answer to your problems. I would start by joining a dog training class so that your dog can be socialized with other dogs, people and new experiences. This will help to reduce your dogs anxiety and nervous behavior around new things. I would also take your dog out for walks regularly twice a day. Reinforce positive behavior i.e. when your dog is quiet around something that he normally barked at deserves a reward and a treat.

Try ‘Focus Attention Dog Obedience Training’

This dog training technique helps to focus your dog’s attention away from the thing that is causing him to bark. So as soon as you notice your dog is about to bark (around something that you know your dog will bark at) – preventative action is always best if you can! Ok start with this technique.

1. As soon as your dog looks like he is about to bark or is barking..
2. Call his name and then move to the right or left.
3. As soon as your dog moves with you – give him lots of praise and then hold a treat at eye level (between your eye level and your dog’s
4. By holding the treat at your dog’s eye level and keeping eye contact with your dog will focus his attention on you and not what he is barking at.
5. Give him the treat – this should all happen quite fast (but you will need to practice over and over again until it becomes natural). This is a great technique that does work.

Hope all of this helps and best of luck – let us know how you get on – there are some links to more articles that might be of use.