Different Ways to Stop a Dog from Barking
How to teach dogs to stop barking
Although we may love our furry friends, there may be a number of different things they do that not only annoy us, but our friends, family and neighbours too – and one of the most common activities to do just that is barking.
While some dogs may only bark occasionally, others may start yapping at anything they deem to be unusual. Either way, it can often be more pleasant for everyone if they’re taught not to make noise. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be as complicated a task as some people may think.
Although it’ll be easier with some canines than others, since there are a number of different factors to consider, it’s often possible to teach any dog to stop making unnecessary noise – and in general, patience and calmness are the best tools.
Things to keep in mind when trying to stop a dog barking
From new puppies to adult dogs, most canines will bark – but some do so more than others. If they’re being too noisy and upsetting the family and those around them, it may be a good idea to try and teach barking dogs that being loud isn’t the right behaviour.
Fortunately, here are a number of techniques that can be used to stop these kinds of animals from barking – and although all of them have the potential to be successful, the results can vary depending on a wide range of factors.
This can include things like their breed (for example, Beagles, Terriers and German Shepherds are notorious for being noisy pets) or how long they’ve been allowed to get away with this kind of behaviour (as they say, old habits die hard).
A few of the techniques mentioned later on may require an understanding in why the dog barks, which is why it can often be a good idea to try and find the root of the problem before trying to fix it.
Despite the fact that some pets will be a bit more difficult than others, teaching dogs not to bark isn’t usually a complicated task, but it can sometimes take quite a lot of effort to prevent a canine from being vocal when they don’t need to. When trying to train a pet to stop making noise, there are a few things that should be kept in mind, such as:
- Try not to make the training sessions negative in any way, so that they don’t feel as though they’re being punished
- Make sure to use a calm but firm voice – some pets may think that if their owner is yelling, they’re shouting with them
- Be consistent with the training, or the canine may get confused and not get the message (letting them bark sometimes and not others isn’t often a good way to teach them not to do it)
All of this can help to make the training process easier for both the owner and their pet – which is often the best option for everyone.
Training dogs to stop barking
Luckily, there are a range of different methods that can be used when stopping a canine from barking unnecessarily. However, some may not be as effective on some pets as they will be on others. This is why it can sometimes be a good idea to try different ways if the first few methods don’t help to keep them quiet (although be sure to give anything you try a chance before moving on to another technique).
Whether they’re being noisy because of anxiety or because they want to go out and get some exercise, there’s often an easy and enjoyable way for a dog to learn to be quiet. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of dog training and care to get the message.
In general, it’s important to remember that some exercises will work and that others may not. Often, it just takes a bit of time to find the one that will work in the best way. Some of the most effective methods for stopping a barking dog are:
Ignoring the behaviour
Although this method is only really effective when used on dogs who are being noisy because they’re unhappy about something (for example, if they’re confined in their crate or want something), it’s often one of the best methods for these types of situations.
In general, the best thing to do is ignore the noise until they stop. In most cases, any kind of attention (from using a harsh tone to an excited one) will only encourage them to continue until they get what they want.
It’s often best not to talk, touch, or look at the dog until they’re quiet; even if they’re only stopping to get a drink. When there’s no noise, reward them – some good ideas are a treat (giving them some food they like or their favourite toy) and praise them.
However, to train a pet to stop yapping with this method, it often takes a lot of patience. A person will need to wait until their canine has stopped being loud – which in some cases, can take a long time. Even waiting for an hour before yelling isn’t good enough, as the canine will learn that they’ll get what they want (eventually) if they keep on making noise.
The “quiet” command
If a pet is on alert and shouting every time someone rings the doorbell or pulls up in their car, then this method is often the best. However, the first step in teaching a canine to be quiet is for them to learn how to speak on command.
This is often easily done, but make sure to have some tasty food on hand. Tell them to “speak” – and when they bark a few times, put a treat in front of their nose. When they stop making noise to sniff it, give it to them and praise them. Continue to do this until they can speak on command.
Then, when they’ve learnt the “speak” command, they can be taught the “quiet” command. In a calm and relaxed environment, tell them to speak. Then, say “quiet” and put a treat in front of their nose. When they stop, give them the treat and praise them.
Helping the dog to become more accustomed to the thing that they’re barking at
In the case where a canine is expressing uncomfortable/overly interested behaviour towards something that they’re no used to, there are two options: remove that thing or help them to get used to it. However, since it’s not always possible to remove something that’s agitating them, the only option may be to desensitise them to it instead.
One of the best ways to do this is to keep the thing far enough away from them so that they don’t notice it. Also, be sure to give them lots of nice food and snacks. Then, move closer to the stimulus (or move it closer) and continue to give them treats, even if they continue to bark. Then, move out of sight of it (or move it away) and stop giving them treats.
The whole point of this is to teach them that the thing they’re yapping at isn’t bad, but good – and if they associate it with food, it’s likely that they’ll stop shouting at it. Although this method can be highly effective, it can sometimes take a while to get a dog to stop barking in this way.
Remaining calm and relaxed
When trying to teach a canine anything, whether they’re a puppy or an adult, it’s often a wise idea to keep calm and not shout.
Yelling will often stimulate an animal (which often makes the problem worse) and although punishing them may work, it’s not the most effective method. Since it’s not an enjoyable experience for anyone, it’s often a much better idea to remain relaxed and show the barking dog that there isn’t anything to worry about (which will often be a great deal of help when teaching a dog to stop barking).
One thing to remember is that most dogs bark – all they need is a little love and patience to help them to understand that it’s not the right thing to do.
Getting a dog house
When a pet barks, it may be because they don’t want any outsiders in their home. But why?
Well, most dogs are territorial (some breeds more than others) and for this reason, they may see other people as intruders. In these cases, getting a dog house can sometimes be the best solution. If they have a new home just for them, where no one else goes, then they may protect their territory rather than the whole house, reducing the chance that they’ll bark when people visit.