“My dog barks at everyone and everything and won’t stop. It’s annoying & embarrassing!!! Please help me get his barking under control” – This is what most of the dog parents say when they reach out to us! So how do you train your dog to stop barking?
Well, when you come to seek help, the biggest question we ask is, what is making your dog go into a barking frenzy?
You got to know the reasons, first!
Once you figure out what’s behind your dog’s unacceptable behavior, you’re already halfway there. And it becomes easier to train your dog to stop barking.
And one thing more, don’t feel bad. Dogs bark; that’s their natural communication. You should not expect your dog to NEVER bark, but if your dog is overdoing it, there’s some reason behind it, for sure.
Read on to know more about these fear factors and find ways to curb the fear.
Why do dogs bark excessively?
A dog’s bark may mean his uncontrollable excitement, fear, a warning, an alarm, or anything like that. It depends upon the situation he’s in.
When your dog is barking unusually, determine what kind of bark it is. A happy bark, just an appropriate bark, or a problem bark?
Some reasons why dogs bark absurdly can be:
- Territorial/ Protective: When a stranger gets into your dog’s territory, he will bark to say: “This is my area, you can’t be here, go away!”
- Alarm/ Fear: When your dog comes across something that frightens him, he will bark. When he feels like making you alert of some danger, again, he will find barking as his duty. This kind of barking is not territorial; it can happen anywhere.
- Boredom/ Loneliness: Staying in solace for a longer time will bore the hell out of your dog. A lonely doggie who has no one to communicate with, what else can he do?
- Greeting/ Play: An overflowing feeling of joy and excitement can also lead your dog to bark too much. The trigger to over barking can be playtime enthusiasm or a welcome gesture when you come home.
- Attention Seeking: Dogs often bark when they want something or for your attention.
- Separation Anxiety: If you stay away from your dog for extended periods, it can affect your dog more than you think. Your absence can make your furry friend bored and compel him to bark unduly.
Ways to Treat Excessive Barking:
So, by now, you might have realized what EXACTLY the motivation is behind your pup’s unstoppable barking behavior, right?
You are all set to teach him the difference between an appropriate bark and a problem bark. Ready? Here are some simple techniques that can help you train your dog to stop barking
Remove the Motivation to Bark
When your dog barks frantically, don’t come running to him. If your pooch keeps on getting something as a reward whenever he barks, you can never have him STOP. Understand what motivates him to bark and remove that motivation.
For Example: Barking while looking outside the window.
Is your furry barking while looking outside the window? He’s presumably annoyed by the passersby.
- You can move your dog to another room or go to a hardware store and get some frosted lamination. Apply it to your window. It doesn’t block the light, looks nice, and restricts your dog’s vision. Put in a little effort, and eventually, your dog will display better behavior.
- Suppose your dog is barking outdoors, in the yard, for instance. You got some more work to do. Stay with him and keep an eye on him. Please don’t leave him unsupervised at all or bring him inside.
Ignore the Barking
Dogs love socialization. They crave your attention, but if you have spoiled them more than you should, they’ll bark more and more. In that case, the best thing you can do is IGNORE it!
Pay no heed to him until he stops. Please don’t talk to him, don’t look at him, and don’t even scold him. A bit of your attention can stimulate them to continue this awful behavior. As soon as he stops barking, get back to him, praise him, and award them with a treat.
Be patient meanwhile you wait for your dog to halt his aggressive attitude. It may take an hour or more. If you get frustrated and find giving attention the only way to address his barking, we are afraid you’ll encourage him.
For Example: Barking when confined or left alone
- When you are about to leave, your dog will start barking out of separation anxiety. Ignore him! Don’t turn back at him until he carries on barking.
- Leave him in a place where no bark-provoking stimuli are present. Most dogs remain calm in darker environments.
- To give him an aural appearance of your presence, you can leave your radio/TV on.
- As you leave, give the dog a chew toy or a goodbye treat as a prize to stay quiet until you return.
Keep Your Dog Busy
A busy dog is a quiet dog. No one can deny the significance of busyness. Most of the dogs bark because they are bored. You got to channel their energy into something productive to relieve their boredom.
- Take your pup out for a walk. Your dog’s age and health condition will decide the period of the walk. Observe how much your buddy can handle time out and plan walk sessions accordingly.
- Give your furry friend an interactive toy like a KONG dog toy. Stuff it with the best-loved treat of your dog. Let him struggle to win his tasty treat. This activity will tire him out, and he’ll be more likely to seek rest than barking.
Use of Command
If your pup keeps you up all night with his noisy barks, teaching your dog to stop barking on commands is vital. It can be a little challenging to educate your puppy, but it’s worth taking the challenge.
Start training with short to medium-length bursts. Remember not to exceed a session longer than 20 minutes.
Teach the ‘quiet’ command using a firm and clear voice. Positively reinforce the correct behavior of your dog with some affection or treat rewards.
To train your dog to stop barking, we highly recommend Brain training for dogs. It is a 100% force-free dog training course that promotes learning with positive reinforcement.
It uses intelligence and mental stimulus to eliminate any behavior problems in dogs, no matter the size or breed. Adrienne, the trainer, and creator of this program explains that all dogs have a hidden intelligence. With training, your dog will be smarter and more disciplined through her methods while creating a deeper bond between you and your dog.
“We applied what we learned in the first few modules from brain training for dogs, and our Shih Tzu’s barking stopped!“
Check out our full review of the program here.
There is no single DEBARKING solution to your dog’s excessive barking issue. You can make a few tweaks in the methods for getting personalized results, though.
We don’t encourage punishment, the use of shock collars or muzzles to prevent barking. Your puppy is just an innocent being. He reacts the way you have raised him.
Train your dog positively, and you’ll see the change soon. Want to get more out of your management struggle? Speak to your local canine instructor to oversee your efforts.
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