Dogs bark. It’s their natural behavior. But sometimes it can be unnecessary, annoying, and even scary.
That’s when you begin thinking of ways to stop your pup from barking. And your first natural response will most likely be to yell at the dog. While it can be like a reflex, you should keep yourself under control.
When you scream at a barking dog, the animal takes it like you’re barking along with it.
So the solution is to train your dog to not bark. It is not easy. It takes time and effort. But in the long run, it’s worth all that. So accumulate patience and keep in mind two rules:
- Be consistent. Don’t let your pet get away with unnecessary barking from time to time. And teach everyone who lives with you to control the dog as well.
- Be positive. Training sessions shouldn’t be stressful for the pet.
Six Ways to Stop a Dog From Barking
Remember that when the pup barks, it rewards itself in some way. Maybe it releases tension, stress, or enjoys everyone’s reaction. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at methods.
Remove the trigger
It’s the simplest solution. It won’t fix the issue, but it will make your life less noisy.
For example, your dog goes off at every person who walks past your house. The animal sees people through the window or from the yard. You can prevent the barking from happening by only making it impossible for the pup to see people.
Close the window with curtains or keep the dog in the room from where it can’t see the street. And don’t leave the animal outside. In this case, the automatic dog door will help you.
Ignore the dog
Attention, even if it’s negative, it a sufficient reward for your pet. So ignore your pup while it is barking until it stops at least for a second. Then praise it and give it a treat rewarding silence. The hardest part here is to stay calm and not yell at the dog while it is barking.
It’s easy to get frustrated, especially if the pup goes off for a long time. If it can bark for longer than several minutes, try the next method.
Desensitize the dog to the trigger
It’s not the easiest thing to do, but the result will be very reliable. Figure out what triggers the barking and the distance from that object at which the dog begins going off.
Take a step back to that distance at which your pet remains relatively calm and give it treats for seeing the trigger but staying quiet. Over time, shorten the distance.
Teach the dog to be silent by the cue
If your dog knows how to bark by a command, ask it to show its voice. As it begins barking, show it a treat. The pup will go silent to sniff it. That’s when you can say your cue, “silence,” for example, and give a treat.
Practice this command in the quiet environment first. And then make the conditions more difficult for the dog adding triggers.
Ask your dog to do something
Sometimes it will be enough for the animal to switch the focus from the trigger to something else. You can ask it to go to its place, sit, lay down, or do the trick. See if it is working for your dog or not.
Keep your pup tired
A tired dog will think twice before wasting the extra energy on barking. Make sure your pet gets enough exercise every day – both physical and mental. Try taking longer walks and teaching your dog various tricks.