Barking at toys when we take him to the field.

by Rachel
(Harrogate, England)

Sherlock likes to bark for his toy!

Sherlock likes to bark for his toy!

Can anyone help me?

My dog, Sherlock is usually a little angel. Very well behaved, never runs away off the lead. Lately we have started taking him to the local field to play with a Frisbee. He goes mad! Barking with excitement.

I don't know what to do about it. He is barking because he is happy so I don't want him to stop having fun I'd just rather he didn't bark. The field is in the middle of a residential area who have complained about barking dogs before.

I have tried changing the toy to see if that makes a difference but it doesn't. It's pure excitement. After 10 minutes or so he does stop but if he's waiting for too long he will bark at you again. I know throwing the toy is rewarding him for barking but I don't really know what else to do about it.

He is good at training so I don't think he will have a problem with learning it's just me and my husband that needs to be taught how to stop him making a noise the kindest way possible. I won't punish him. My method for training him has always been positive reinforcement. And has always worked with him.

I just need a lesson in how to control the barking. Thank you!


Many dogs are so excited that can't control their barking. I want to say that you are absolutely right, he is barking because he is happy and punishing him won't help.

First, I would suggest you teach Sherlock several commands , including some tricks such as sit, down, bow, shake, spin, etc. Then, you can ask for a command and only toss the toy after he does it. While you are doing this, make sure you toss the toy only if he is quiet. Asking for different commands will help him focus on something different and hopefully not get so focused on the toy.

Second, do not toss the toy when he is barking. It may take a few days of 10 continuous minutes of barking, let the neighbors complain, its for their own good. Sherlock needs to understand that barking won't get him the toy...and for that, you need to let him bark and reward him with the toy after he is at leas 5 seconds quiet.

Third, spend some time in the field relaxing with Sherlock. After playing, running and training, sit on the ground with him, have him lay down next to you and give him treats for being quite and calm. Enjoy the quite time yourself too, make it a bonding experience. This will help him learn that he can also relax in the field.

Hope this helps!

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Jun 15, 2017
Thank you
by: Anonymous

I have a similar issue with my girl. However I think her barking is due to her being spoiled and demanding I pick up and throw the ball quicker.

I'll definitely try your advice and see what happens. I need to be trained to not give in as quickly.

Jun 14, 2017
Great advice
by: Rachel

Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I will put your advice into practise when we are on the field tomorrow.
Again thank you!

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