While dogs bark for many reasons, barking can sometimes become excessive. Unfortunately, some dogs develop a habit of barking incessantly. If your dog has gotten into a habit of barking constantly, you may feel you are at your wit’s end. Thankfully, there is something you can do about it.
It’s important to note that while you can train a dog not to bark, the process is lengthy. The longer your dog has had a habit of barking, the longer it is going to take to break this bad habit. While it will not happen overnight, it will happen with consistency and patience.
I have put together this guide to help you better understand the actions you can take to ensure your dog understands when barking is appropriate and allowed and when he should remain quiet.
Before you can train your dog to stop barking, you need to first know the answer to the question: why do dogs bark? What is he trying to communicate to you? Once you understand the why, you can begin to help train your dog to curb his barking and exhibit more appropriate behavior.
Common Reasons for a Dog’s Bark
To help you better understand what your dog is trying to tell you, you need to know the common reasons he might start barking. A barking dog needs attention . By understanding the reasons for barking, you can take appropriate action.
- Dogs will often bark when they become excited overseeing you or getting to go for a walk.
- If your dog needs your attention or wants food, he is either going to begin whining or start barking.
- Dogs will also sometimes bark because they are bored.
- Dogs will often bark because they are fearful or have anxiety. Dogs will also bark to be territorial.
- Sometimes, dogs will also bark when they are in pain. This is their way of telling you they are hurting and need help.
- If a dog suddenly gets surprised or spooked, it may bark in a high-pitched continuous bark.
- Some older dogs develop canine dementia which causes them to suddenly start barking uncontrollably.
In addition to understanding the reasons behind your dog’s barking, you also need to know what to look for in his body language. You should always take your dog’s body language into account for clues on why he is barking. If you understand why your dog is barking, you may be able to get him to stop by making simple changes.
Tips for Training Your Dog to Stop Barking
When you first begin training your dog to stop barking, you need to make sure you take careful action. This is not a process that should ever be rushed. The following tips should help ensure you are successful in your training endeavors.
- Never yell at your dog when he is barking. When you yell at your dog, he may think you are joining in and will bark louder. The goal is to identify the reason behind his bark and offer an alternative method of communication.
- It is important to remember barking is completely normal and is the main way your dog communicates with you. Try to keep your training session upbeat and short so your dog will remain comfortable.
- Try to be as consistent as possible when training your dog. Make sure everyone in the house is attempting the same training efforts so your dog does not become confused.
- Prevention is highly important. Keeping your dog occupied will help him avoid excessive barking.
Please remember it is your job as a pet owner to understand the needs of your dog. Barking is normal behavior, and your dog will never completely stop barking.
If your dog has a problem with excessive barking, he is trying to tell you he is not receiving the full care and attention he needs. Your dog may also be afraid or feel overwhelmed which is causing his incessant barking.
Steps for Training Your Dog to Stop Barking
It is important to realize the steps involved in training your dog to stop barking. These steps take time but they will help your dog learn to use alternative methods of communication instead of barking too much. While you can certainly opt for tools like the best bark collar in training, you may also take these steps to train your dog effectively.
1. Get Rid of the Motivation to Bark
Your dog would not continue barking if he did not receive some type of reward for it. Your job is to figure out what your dog is getting out of barking so you can discourage it.
For instance, your dog may bark at passersby. If this happens, move your dog away from the person. Close the curtains or take them inside.
Sometimes, dogs will bark when they need to go outside to use the bathroom. To stop this barking, you can train your dog to ring a bell. This takes training with dog treats, but it is entirely possible to train him to use a bell in a short time.
2. Try Ignoring the Barking
As I stated above, your dog likely wants attention. Yelling at him could make his bark worsen. If you are sure your dog is simply barking for attention, you should try to ignore him as much as possible. Giving him attention will only cause your dog to think barking is the correct way to gain your attention—this is not the way to make your dog quiet.
If your dog begins barking when confined to his dog crate, do not let him out as long as he is barking. Wait until he stops barking, if only for a couple of seconds, and then let him out.
Again, keeping your dog occupied can often prevent barking. Make sure he gets plenty of exercises, and provide fun and engaging toys for play. When your dog is having fun, he is less likely to begin barking for any reason.
3. Help Your Dog Become Less Sensitive to the Stimulus
Often, there is some type of stimulus that is making your dog bark. If you can discover what the stimulus is, you are halfway to training your dog, and the remaining steps are fairly easy.
If your dog seems to be barking at certain triggers, you can slowly desensitize him. If you can get him accustomed to the thing he is barking at, his barking should stop.
To desensitize your dog, introduce him to the stimulus. Start off with the stimulus far away so that he does not see it and will not bark. As you slowly bring the stimulus closer, keep your dog’s attention by giving him treats. Do not be afraid to shower him with treats the closer the stimulus becomes.
Realize this process is going to take time and will not be accomplished overnight. The more patience you have with your dog, the better. If your dog is barking at strangers or other dogs, he may need training from a positive reinforcement trainer.
4. Incompatible Distraction Training
When your dog begins barking, ask him or her to do something that is not compatible with their barking behavior. If you can teach your dog to react to a stimulus by doing something that will inhibit barking, you are close to having him trained.
For instance, if a stimulus comes into view, toss a treat on your dog’s bed, and tell him to lie down. Keep the door open as long as your dog does not bark. If your dog gets up or starts to bark, close the door to the dog crate immediately. Be sure to give your dog plenty of treats during this training process.
Once your dog responds well to this diversion tactic, further increase the difficulty by having someone ring the doorbell while your dog is lying down. If he stays in his crate without barking, reward him with a tasty treat.
5. Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercise
Many dogs bark because they are bored. Your dog needs a lot of exercises and mental stimulation. By ensuring your dog gets plenty of both, you can rest assured he will likely be too tired to bark and will want to drift off into dreamland.
How much exercise does a dog need? Depending on your dog, he may need a few walks a day. You can play fetch with him and offer interactive toys that allow him to stay happy and stimulated. Your dog is less likely to grow frustrated and start barking if he is getting plenty of exercise fun. Remember that a tired dog is a happy dog.
Your Dog May Need a Certified Professional Dog Trainer
If your dog is barking excessively and is not responding to training, despite your best efforts, you may need to consider seeking a certified personal dog trainer. A certified trainer may be just what your dog needs to ensure he understands how to react to stimuli without barking excessively.
FAQ About Training Your Dog to Stop Barking
I know you likely have a lot of questions regarding how to train your dog to stop barking. I am here to get you the answers you need. The following are the top questions dog owners ask about training their dogs to stop barking. May these answers help you train your dog effectively.
1. How do you train a dog to stop barking?
To train a dog to stop barking, you will need consistency. First, start by identifying the barking stimuli. Slowly use the steps above to help your dog learn to use other methods of communication. Treats are highly effective at helping curb your dog’s barking.
2. How do I stop my dog from barking at everything?
Dogs are naturally inquisitive, and they communicate through barking. There are many reasons a dog may bark a lot. Finding the reason is important. Your dog may simply be expressing his excitement, fear, or need for attention. Learning to desensitize your dog to stimuli will help.
3. How long does it take to teach a dog to stop barking?
Teaching a dog to stop barking takes time. The training length will also depend on your dog’s obedience level. It can take one to two weeks for you to begin seeing changes in your dog’s behavior. Patience is key when training your dog to stop barking so much.
4. Why does my dog keep barking at nothing?
You may think your dog is barking at nothing, but there is typically a good reason, at least in his mind. Dogs bark because they’re bored, afraid, anxious, hungry, happy, excited, etc. Your dog may simply be barking to express his emotions. Allowing your dog to bark constantly or demand things from you will only increase this unwanted behavior.
Get Started Training Your Dog Today
While dog barking is normal, it can become excessive. Teaching a dog to curb his barking habit takes time and will not happen overnight. You must use patience and realize it will take time to see results.
I hope this information has helped you realize the reasons your dog may be barking and what you can do about it. Using the tips above should help you get started.