How to Stop Dog Barking at Turtles
Why can’t your two animals just live in peace? You want them to get along, but your dog barks at your turtle every chance they get! Why is your dog barking at your turtle? How do you get your dog used to a turtle? And, of course, how do you protect your turtle from your dog?
Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have about this frustrating problem. And we’ll obviously get to the information you’re really interested in: how to stop your dog from barking at your turtle. Soon, this aggravation and worry will all be behind you. Keep reading below for our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at Turtles!”
Table of Contents
Why Is My Dog Barking at My Turtle?
Your dog is barking at your turtle because it’s in their natural instincts to look at them as prey. This could lead to not just barking at the turtle, but also lunging, pawing, and possibly even attempting to bite.
Some dogs with friendlier temperaments might only bark at turtles due to overexcitement. If your turtle is new to the house, then they’re probably feeling curious and see them as a potential new playmate. Obviously, this is not really possible but your dog does not understand that. Look for other signs of play from your dog like doing play bows or wagging their tail.
But if your dog is barking at your turtle and not listening to your commands to stop, then you have a serious problem on your hands. Your dog is feeling dominant, which is why they feel it’s necessary to protect their territory, you, and themselves from this new creature. They don’t respect your ability to decide what is and is not a threat, so they ignore you.
If allowed to continue, this problem will only grow and escalate and you’ll likely find your dog barking uncontrollably at other animals both inside and outside of the home. Your dog will bark at any cats you have, bark at your sugar gliders, bark at your ferrets, bark at your hamsters, bark at any chickens you might keep, bark at nearby deer… you get the idea.
You, of course, don’t want any of this to occur — particularly when you consider that if left unchecked this barking could soon lead to chasing after and attacking these animals. To stop your dog from barking at your turtles and other animals on command, skip to the last section now where we’ll give you the exact steps you need to follow.
How Do I Get My Dog Used to a Turtle?
You get your dog used to a turtle by taking things slowly and very cautiously. You should also know going in that some dogs may never be calm enough around a strange creature (to them) like a turtle. Put your dog on their leash, and take them to where you keep your turtle. It’s best to keep your turtle in their tank or enclosure at first.
Bring your dog into the room along with some treats in your pocket, and speak to them calmly. Stay a good distance back from the turtle to begin with. Have your dog sit, and pet them when they’re being quiet and calm. Give them treats when they do well. If they start barking or getting excited, take them back out immediately and try again in 10 minutes.
When your dog is behaving, slowly move forward a foot or two at a time while again praising them and giving treats, but take them out if they start showing aggression or getting too excited. Repeat this process for up to 30 minutes, but try again later in the day if your dog isn’t making progress yet.
Regular, short introduction sessions will be more effective than long, individual ones. Keep the meetings brief to begin with, and increase the length of time if both animals are doing okay. When your dog has shown to be reliably calm and your turtle is doing fine too, you can try taking them out of the tank to meet your dog, but they should still always be supervised and leashed.
How Do I Protect My Turtle From My Dog?
You protect your turtle from your dog by making sure that your turtle’s habitat is inaccessible to your dog. This may mean having their tank or enclosure in a room that is always closed. Outdoor habitats for your turtle should also be fully enclosed or fenced off in ways that always prevent your dog’s access.
To create a barrier around your turtle’s enclosure inside, you can make a 50/50 mixture of water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply this in a line to mark where you’d like your dog to stop in their tracks if they try to approach your turtle. It is safe for nearly all surfaces including carpet, wood, composite, laminate, and tile.
The smell will be undetectable for you after about an hour, but your dog will continue to be able to detect the scent and will remain deterred. It should not bother your turtle.
How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Turtles
To stop your dog barking at turtles:
- Teach your dog the “quiet” command to use whenever they bark at your turtle.
- Practice by taking your dog to a place where you know they’ll want to bark, like the park, with plenty of treats.
- When your dog begins to bark, say “quiet” in a positive voice. If they do so and also give you their attention, immediately give them praise and a treat.
- But if your dog continues to bark or quickly starts up again, then place a treat in your fist.
- Put your fist right by your dog’s nose. They’ll still be able to smell it within your fist and will stop barking to take a sniff.
- Once they’ve stopped barking and are giving you all their attention, again say “quiet,” and then open your fist to give them the treat along with praise.
- If they keep staying silent while giving you their attention, continue to reward them with praise and treats.
- But if they resume their barking or not paying attention, repeat the steps of putting a treat in your fist, placing it near their nose, and pausing until they stop barking and pay attention.
- Always make sure that you wait until they’ve quit barking and are giving you their attention, and then say “quiet” before you reward them with any treats or praise.
- This forms a positive connection in your dog’s mind with the “quiet” command, and with being silent and giving you their attention.
- With time, patience, and repetition, you should be able to get them to respond with the “quiet” command alone, and there won’t be any need to put your fist next to their mouth.
- When your dog is responding well to just the verbal command, then you should start lengthening the time before you give them the rewards.
- Start by pausing for about 2 seconds, then as they do well move that up that to 5 seconds, and so on.
- Before long, it won’t be necessary to reward your dog with food and praise, and they will be silent and give you their attention simply by you giving the command.
You’re still going to need to address the underlying issue, however, which was causing all of this in the first place: your dog’s feelings of dominance over you. If you don’t, their problems will continue, they’ll just start showing up in different areas.
And to properly cover how to get to the root of that issue, we should quickly talk about what makes dogs tick deep down. You’ve probably heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.
But when your dog barks at your turtles or other animals and then ignores your commands to stop, they are definitively showing that they don’t respect you in this role, and that they see themselves in it instead.
If they did respect you as their leader, they would quit barking when told, and in most cases wouldn’t have even started. They would not engage in any other types of dominance-related misbehavior. And they would obey all of your commands at all times, and they would do so happily — and immediately.
Prove to your dog that you are not only their pack leader, but a capable and worthy one that they must respect, and you’ll be able to make all of these wonderful changes your reality.
You and your turtle will be better off for obvious reasons, but your dog will be too because you’ll have freed them from all of the stress and confusion that they’re currently burdened with 24/7 due to their pack leader and dominance issues.
Sounds like a great thing then, right?
“Yes, of course, but how do I do any of this?”
You should watch an excellent free video series which is on this exact subject — how to be your dog’s pack leader — by a renowned trainer named Dan. In his series, he explains everything in ways that are very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets immediately to the point so that you can start seeing these important changes in your dog before things get any worse.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your four-legged little buddy. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving teaching methods at all times. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.
I’m sure you’re ready to have a dog and turtle who can get along, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Good luck, and thank you for reading our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at Turtles.”