How To Stop A Dog From Barking

The noise can be deafening. It can annoy your neighbours and embarrass you in front of friends or company. It can give the impression that your dog is more aggressive than they actually are. Whatever your reason for wanting to reduce it, barking is a natural form of expression in the canine world. Suppressing a dog’s bark to nothing is like striving to stop a person from talking all together. It’s impossible. What isn’t impossible, however, is managing to reduce the barking to occasions where it’s more appropriate to. Like not talking during a movie or shouting in the middle of a mall, training your dog to bark less frequently is a crucial piece of training that owners usually overlook. It isn’t an easy road to travel though. Like any other dog training, stopping your dog from barking will take time, patience, dedication and a whole bunch of treats. In this article we hope to assist you with all of the information you will need to successfully train your dog to stop barking. At least, stop barking at everything they see and hear.

Why Is My Dog Barking?

Before you can begin the training on how to get a dog to stop barking, you have to understand why your dog is barking. Just like how we humans use our voices to communicate intent, conversation, fear, happiness and pretty much everything under the sun, so does your dog. They just do it in a way that can, sometimes, come off as irritating or happen at inopportune moments. There are lots of reasons why your dog is likely barking and once you identify the reason for the barking you would like to reduce, you can begin training.

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Territorial Barking

This is usually the most common form of barking. It usually occurs when a dog feels that their territory is being challenged and they need to protect themselves or you, the owner. It could also be caused by fear of whomever or whatever is approaching their territory. Does your dog only bark when they are in the yard and see someone walking by? Do they run to the window every time they see a silhouette? This type of barking could easily be managed by reducing their ability to notice the triggers in their barking. Changing the chain-link to a wooden fence may be a slightly more expensive solution to the problem, if you’re not a fan of training, or keeping your shudders closed to reduce what your dog can see.

If your dog only seems to bark at the sight of another dog or person, you will have to work at introducing their triggers to them slowly and rewarding them when they do a good job. This can be done by slowly bringing the catalyst of their barking into view. If they begin to bark, move them away. When they stop, give them a treat. It will take many tries and possibly weeks, but teaching them that it benefits them to remain quiet is a surefire way to reduce their barking when they see another dog or person.

Boredom

Yes. Your dog might just be barking because they are bored stiff. If you’re wondering how to stop your dog from barking when you leave the house it might simply be because you are leaving the house. It’s their way of vocalizing that they don’t want you to leave because they know once you do, the amount of stimulation or fun will leave with you. A way you could work to reduce the amount of barking your dog does when you leave home or are absent from home would be to give them something to do while you’re gone. A treat dispensing toy could be all it takes to keep your dog’s attention on something else while you are away and could easily reduce the amount of barking they are doing without any additional training.

Boredom barking can also stem from your dog not getting enough physical activity. A quiet dog is a tired dog. A hyperactive dog that won’t stop barking might just be in need of a morning and evening walk. If you already take them for a morning walk, you may have to step up the challenge. Becoming a dog owner isn’t recommended for those owners who are slightly lazy. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. If you’re not giving them exercise or enough exercise, turning that walk into a morning run may be the best way to quiet down your dog before you leave for work or to keep them calm in the evening.

Play

At the end of the day, your dog may just be barking because they are excited and want to play. Like we mentioned above, ensuring your dog gets enough activity may be the best solution. Do they spiral into a barking fit every time you come home and that’s left you wondering how to make your dog shut up? Do they lose their minds at the sound of a doorbell? Though it may seem like your dog is barking at nothing, they may be trying to initiate play with their trigger.

Attention

With all of the possible cause of why your dog wont stop barking, it could just come down to them wanting attention. Food dish empty? Lose it. Want to go outside? Howling time. Your dog may just be barking to try and get what they want. It is imperative that you never reward or encourage this type of behaviour. This is where proper training becomes even more important and effective in your battle against the bark. You are, and should always be viewed as, the pack alpha. If you submit to their demands (barking) every time they want something, they will begin to realize it. Dogs are smart animals, if they notice that a tactic is working it will become their new norm and before you know it, you will be fighting a losing battle for peace and quiet.

Dos and Don’ts For Treating Excessive Barking

You have figured out the root of your dog’s barking problem and have decided that closing the blinds or blocking their view just won’t cut it. Training is going to be needed to quiet fido and you are not sure where to begin. Luckily, we have your back. If you follow these simple steps you should be basking in the tranquility of a quiet home in no time.

Do have treats on hand at all times. If you are ever going to successfully complete training, of any sort, with your dog, rewards are necessary. Use them to reward your dog every time they do what you’re training them to do. Enforce the “quiet” command by giving them one of their favorite treats every time they listen. If your dog is barking, reward them when they stop. Even if it’s between breaths. You want to instill the idea that being quiet gets them a treat. Reinforcing it with the command will make it so that every time they hear you say “quiet”, they believe it’s treat time. To take the command-treat-training a step further, begin their training by teaching them how to “speak”. It sounds like a counterproductive step, but training them to speak and be quiet on command will save you massive headaches in the future.

Don’t get upset. If you are shouting at your dog to try to get them to shut up, they don’t hear the desperate pleas of a person, they hear another animal barking. Matching a dog bark with human barks will only confuse them into what you are trying to accomplish. Whenever you are working at training a dog, patience and a calm attitude are the most important steps. You may know exactly what you are trying to accomplish, but your dog does not.

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Anti-Bark Products

While treats and dedication to weeks of training is usually the best way to train a pet to do anything, life and schedules may not make that possible. Luckily there are many products on the market that are designed to reduce or even stop your dog from barking. Some of them make bold claims and even receive harsh feedback, but it’s up to you to decide the best course of action for your pet.

Treat dispenser toys are one of the best ways to quiet your barking dog. The reason they won’t be quiet might simply come down to them being bored or wanting something to do. A toy to play with that rewards them with a treat could be all it takes to put an end to their barking. These toys are usually inexpensive and you will know relatively quickly if it will be a viable option in training your dog not to bark at, seemingly, nothing.

Anti-Bark collars come in a few different varieties that deter barking in the form of a scent, spray or shock. The latter being more controversial. If you want your dog to quit barking, but don’t want to inflict pain on them (like we recommend) then a line of ultrasonic collars and devices could be just the thing you are in the market for. A good device can run anywhere from $20 to $200 and use non-painful ways to reduce your dog’s barking.

If you have tried everything and are still unsure of how to get your dog to stop barking, a dog trainer might be your only option. While they are likely to cost more than handling it yourself, some dogs may require special attention that you are unable to schedule in. That’s okay, it’s why trainers exist. They will be able to give your pup the attention and dedication they need to successfully stop barking at everything they see or don’t see.

There is a Surgery that exists to de-vocalize dogs, but it is considered highly inhumane by all animal activists. Ourselves included. The procedure is designed for owner convenience and is usually compared to declawing a cat. Ventriculocordectomy is a procedure that removes a portion of your pet’s vocal cords and eliminates the ability to bark, to an extent. Your dog will still be able to bark, but the sound will be muffled or raspy and not at the volume they once could. Many cases have shown that some dogs manage to regain their original “voice” and continue the barking that was attempted to eliminate in the first place. Wild Thing Pets neither condones or recommends this course of action.

Conclusion 

Trying to train a dog to stop barking is like trying to reason with a child on why to be quiet. It is completely possible and people manage to do it, but it can be difficult and annoying. The success of your mission to stop your dog from barking, or get them to bark less frequently, is entirely up to you. How much time do you have to commit to the goal? Where do you live? What is your schedule? How much exercise can you dedicate to giving your dog. All of these will factor into the success of your crusade against barking. This isn’t a task that you can expect to take a day or even a week. Whether you are training your dog to sit or working on the more advanced techniques, it is going to take time. Stay patent, stay calm, have pockets full of treats and you will have the quietest dog on the block.

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Wild Thing Pets products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained in or made available through Wild Thing Pets website is not intended to constitute or substitute legal advice or consultation from veterinary professionals. www.wildthingpets.com/terms-conditions