Some dogs bark when visitors ring the doorbell; others bark at the drop of a hat or even when a leaf falls from a tree a few blocks away from your home. It is inhuman to stop dogs barking and pet owners should not do so. However, incessant barking can drive you insane and can especially annoy your neighbors. There are several proven ways to stop dogs from barking excessively. Let us study the easy ones:
1. Teach bark control when your dog is still a puppy
While it is not impossible to teach an adult dog not to bark; it is just a lot easier to train him while he is still a puppy. Teach your puppy that barking redundantly or without a reason is a ‘bad thing’ so things are much more in control as the dog grows older. Here is a great video that can show you how to teach your dog the quiet command.
2. Teach your dog the ‘bark’ command
When you train your puppy to understand the ‘bark’ or ‘speak’ command, he will bark only when you ask him to. Understand that barking is a warning system for a dog. So praise him or reward him if he barks once when the situation demands it. This will teach him to only bark once when he wants to get your attention. Ignore if he barks excessively and soon he will know that excessive barking is unacceptable.
3. Never leave your dog unattended outdoors
Many people tie their dog outdoors which can be very unsafe for him. If a dog left outside seems to bark at everything, chances are he is trying to tell you something. Often, dogs left outside even try other unacceptable behavior like digging under the fence to escape. Even if your yard has a fence and is completely safe, if your dog is domesticated, he will still feel anxious if he is unable to see you, which can lead to excessive barking. A dog that has all his needs met and is loved will not bark.
4. Understand the reason behind your dog’s barking
Some dogs bark when some stranger walks by your yard. Dogs do so because they are territorial and their intention is to scare them away. The motivation for barking will also change the tone of his barking. Learn to understand panicked or anxious barking tone and approach your dog immediately. Some dogs bark just for fun or without any reason. This kind of barking can go on all day and can be extremely annoying to neighbors. Other times, your dog may be hungry, might need attention or simply wants to play with you. In any case, if the barking was to protect your family, reward your dog immediately.
5. ‘My bark chases strangers away!’- Teach your dog that is not the case
Often, people walking by (who aren’t stopping at your place) will continue to walk by your home despite your dog’s barking. Your dog then thinks that his barking chased them away and this reinforces his barking behavior. To prevent this, you have to train your dog while he is still young. Enlist the help of your friends (whom your dog has not met) and ask them to walk by your yard or by your window. When your dog barks, ask them to stop and continue looking at the dog. This will teach him two things: that his barking did not work and also that the person standing by your yard is not a threat.
6. Exercise your dog
A tired dog will not bark without reason. The best way to stop dog from barking too much is take him to the park and exercise him daily. You can also have a training drill with him. A few commands like ‘sit’, ‘down’ etc will soon tire him out and he will forget all about barking.
7. Prevent situations that cause barking
This may not be possible always but this is a surefire way to stop your dog from barking too much. Avoid keeping your dog outside or alone if that is causing this behavior. Increase your dog’s social interactions as well as exercise levels each day. Make sure he has companionship through the day or enroll him at a dog care center. Also give him plenty of chew toys in the morning so he is busy with them and sits down quietly with them when left alone.
8. Use stop dog barking devices
Bark collars and stop dog barking devices deliver an unpleasant stimulus to the dog each time he barks. The stimulus can range from a spray of citronella mist, an Ultrasonic sound or even a tiny shock. Never use collars or devices that inflict pain on your dog. After all; barking is a dog’s natural expression. You may use stop dog barking device for training purposes only. However, some dogs are known to go back to barking once the collar is off. Here are some good products you can use: Citronella anti-bark collar and Ultrasonic Bark Stop Collar.
9. Tap your dog’s nose
Your dog’s nose is its most sensitive body part. Tapping it once lightly is enough to get it to stop barking. If you do this every time he barks redundantly, he will learn not to bark.
10. Quiet his barking with noise
Sometimes, making a noise is an easy way to stop your dog’s barking. Whistle or clap loudly or snap your fingers. Do this each time your dog barks without reason.
Teaching your dog not to bark redundantly is important but it is equally important that you decide whether his barking was okay for the situation or occurrence before punishing him. We hope these 10 easy ways help you teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command.