It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, and it can leave you feeling helpless. No matter how much you plead, beg, or yell — your dog won’t stop barking! No matter how big or small your pup is, your dog’s bark probably annoys you more than anyone else.
So what can we do to put an end do it without resulting to painful, cruel collars and other methods? What are some ways to stop dog barking for good without ruining our relationship with our four legged friend? Read on for 7 surefire tips to end dog barking!
1. Remove the cause of the barking.
Before you can stop dogs from barking you have to identify what the cause is. Why is your dog barking? Does he see something out the window? Is he afraid of something out of the ordinary (a trashcan that’s been moved)? Does he want something?
If your dog is barking at something he sees that’s grabbing his attention you can simply remove it from his sight. Close the blinds, make him leave the room or remove the object.
If your dog is barking at traffic on the other side of your fence, bring him inside. If your dog is barking for attention ignore him until he quiets down.
2. Teach a “quiet” command.
This will sound odd, but when your dog barks, praise him and use a verbal command such as “speak” or “bark” so that he’ll associate barking with the command you give. When your dog understands the cue, ask them to bark on command and give them a treat when they comply.
Then when your dog stops barking, you can give him a different cue such as “quiet.” Once they quit barking, give them a different type of dog training treat. Continue training until both cues are strong.
3. Desensitize your dog.
Desensitizing your dog is what you’re doing when you’re getting your dog used to whatever it is that’s causing them to bark.
For example, if your dog barks at the mailman, take your dog for walks when the mailman is making his rounds through your neighborhood. This lets your dog get to see the mailman from a different point of view. Instead of seeing him as an intruder, he’ll view him as a part of the neighborhood’s norms.
Another example is if your dog barks at people outside. In this case you can sit with your dog and when someone passes by use your quiet command, then when he’s quiet, give him a treat. Gradually increase the time he must be quiet before giving a treat.
Exercise is the single best thing you can do to stop dogs from barking. Dogs act out when they get bored and a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. The average dog needs about 45 minutes of exercise daily and working breed dogs need more. To eliminate barking from boredom or frustration, make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise every day.
Doggy daycare is a good alternative if you’re unable to give your dog the daily exercise he/she needs. Another good alternative is hiring a dog walker. Either of these options will help keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated, which will decrease or eliminate their need to bark.
5. Bones and toys.
Like exercise, bones and toys help stimulate your dog and tire them out. Keeping dogs mentally and physically stimulated as often as possible will help stop dogs from barking.
When choosing toys be sure to pick toys that your dog can’t destroy. The last thing you want is your dog eating little bits of their toys while you’re gone. Safe choices are KONGs or Busy Buddy toys. Fill them with treats to keep your dog too busy to bark!
6. Stay calm
Think about it. When your dog barks, if your reaction up to this point has always been to get excited and angry while yelling “STOP,” “NO,” “QUIT THAT RIGHT NOW,” and so on, what do you think is going through your dog’s head?
I’ll tell you what, they’re thinking “great, now we’re both barking!” At this point, you’ve lost a handle on your dog and given them control of the situation. Your dog wants to look for you for cues on how to behave, oblige them by remaining calm when they get to barking.
You can then calmly apply the other methods we’ve gone over such as distracting them with a toy or using your quiet command. Of course, these are more immediate solutions but do not address the ultimate issue of your dog not always respecting your leadership.
7. Be the pack leader
It’s really very simple. When your dog feels like they must protect you, you will have a difficult time stopping their barking. Dogs that bark constantly no matter what you try have a control issue. Simply put, they see themselves as leader of your pack, rather than you.
Establish yourself as the pack leader, and both you and your dog will be happier. Your dog will no longer feel that is necessary for them to protect you at all times, and will listen to and obey your commands.
This video series from a trainer named Dan covers how to firmly establish yourself as head of the pack, and finally put an end to behavioral issues such as incessant barking, biting, potty accidents and more. You can start watching now by clicking here.
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