Stop Your Dog From Barking

What are some of the reasons dogs bark, and what are some of the ways to stop dog barking? Let’s explore some of those issues here. Often, dog barking is associated with those cute little nippers, like Chihuahuas or Pekingese, but really any dog can bark incessantly if given the right circumstances for them. So, what makes a dog bark?

When they are puppies, they learn to bark for the same reason that babies cry. They learn early on that this is a real effective attention-getter. As they get older, they learn that they can also use their bark to let their owners know that a stranger has arrived, or an unusual (to them) event is taking place. They also come to find that their barking, in most cases, is an effective deterrent if they need to defend themselves or if something is happening in their territory, like a burglary or break in.

Owners agree that to have a dog bark to forewarn of danger, or stranger, is nice. But when the dog keeps on barking after the warning or notification has been given, then owners agree that the barking becomes an annoyance at that point. It gets real annoying if the dog still insists on barking even after being told to stop.

This brand of excessive barking usually can be traced to when the dog was younger and knew that barking would get him attention, or if they were bored and had nothing better to do than to bark. When a dog is bored, it means it is not getting enough attention from the owner or family members, so will take up barking to gain that attention. Then, because it worked, it keeps this up for years. Establishing a pattern like this means that reconditioning is hard to do, but it is necessary for the owner’s peace of mind and peace of environment. If it is not too late and the dog is still young, a puppy even, then it would be a good thing to break the pattern before it sinks in.

To start with, don’t associate that little puppy’s bark with cuteness; otherwise you may be tempted not to do anything about it because it is so cute. Trust me, cute can become annoying very fast. Nip it in the bud, as they say.

Let’s also ask the question, “What if I want my dog to be the family watchdog?” That might be one of the big reasons you got the dog, to become the security system, right? No problem, just follow these techniques to condition your dog to bark when it is important to bark, and not to bark whenever it wants.

Start with rewarding your dog with words of praise or a treat, immediately when the dog (or puppy) barks at the arrival of a stranger. But don’t let the dog bark more than one or two times before you tell it to stop. “Stop” is the most common command word used, but you can also use words like “enough” or “quiet.” What matters most isn’t the word, but the tone and the situation. After your dog has stopped barking at your command, very quickly afterward issue the praise or reward, whether a chew toy or a treat, whichever reward system you’ve established with your dog.

Also, to stop dog barking, give your dog plenty of attention when it is quiet, but especially after your dog has responded well to your command to stop the dog barking. This will reinforce that type of behavior in your dog.

Just remember to never hit or yell at a dog to stop dog barking. This will only build up anxiety and stress in your dog and make matters worse. It could also lead to a biting behavior, or your dog could simply run away.

If your dog is barking when you leave your house, a condition known as separation anxiety, then try to give your dog more toys to play with while you are gone. You can also take them out for long walks or exercise before you leave, to stimulate the dog and prevent boredom. When you get back home, be certain you praise your dog for being quiet when you enter your house, so your dog will remember that being quiet is a good thing.

Above all, whatever you do to train your dog, be consistent. Use the same approach and methods when you are training your dog to bark only when needed. Always pay attention to and reward your dog for the times when your dog is quiet, as well as for when your dog stops barking at your command. If you don’t keep your rewards and praise consistent, your dog may become confused as to when it can bark, and when it can’t. These are the best methods to stop dog barking.