How to Stop Dogs Barking

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

How to Stop Dogs Barking

by Peter Halpin

To answer the question "How to stop dogs barking" we need to understand why dogs bark in the first place. Dogs are like people - they like to communicate. They also have feelings and responses like people, so the secret to how to stop dogs from barking lies in tuning into their thinking patterns and feelings. The advantage we humans have, is that dogs, unlike us, have a very simple outlook on life and therefore are easy to "program" or "train" if you know how.

All dogs bark, it's their way of communicating a message. The disadvantage they have is that their vocabulary only contains one word - "woof". It may be to greet, to alert, express boredom, to attract attention, or when they get excited. Most would agree that some barking is acceptable, but too much barking will most certainly be annoying, especially to your neighbors.

Take into consideration what is making your dog bark. Is a cat taunting him in the window? Does he need to go out into the yard? It could be hungry, out of water, or just trying to tell you something.

So How Do We Stop Dogs Barking?

You need to create a new link in a dog's mind between event and response. A good way is to set up a situation similar to where your dog always seems to bark. An example would be having someone knock on your door or ring the doorbell. During this simulation, when your dog charges for the door and starts to bark, simply grab him/her by the collar and give the command "No!" or "Quiet!" But be careful not to yell at the dog because yelling doesn't help. A barking dog thinks our yelling is our attempt to join them in warning everyone of the intruder. Your yelling is inadvertently telling your dog, "Keep it up, bark more and make it louder too!" Look the dog in the eye and firmly say issue your command, but don't yell.

If your dog ceases barking after you gave the command reward him, but not immediately, otherwise he might think you are rewarding him for barking. First, follow directly with another command like "Sit!" and when he obeys, then reward the dog. This is how to stop dogs barking.

The dog hasn't stopped barking at this point, what should you do? If your dog did not stop barking after the first "quiet" command, use your hand to close his mouth. Place a muzzle on your dog and rap your fingers around it. Then once again give the command of "quiet" Remember no yelling!

Be sure to praise or pat your dog or say "good" at the exact instant he displays good behavior. Reward him with plenty of praise

What About When There's No One Home?

To prevent your dog from barking while you're not at home. Keep him/her in the house with the radio on. Play soft music and keep the drapes and blinds closed when you leave.

Things to Remember

There are two reasons why you may have a dog that barks at almost anything. One reason is some type's of dogs are just born to bark. If you own a basset hound, foxhound, or bloodhound, you unfortunately have a dog that was born to bark.

The other reason is some dogs are naturally very territorial. To them your home is their place to defend. When your dog barks they're telling you, "Come quick, I need to know if this person is a friend or an enemy!"

Remember, it's a good thing to have your dog warn you of potential danger. You don't want to train them so well they just sit there like a statue when someone rings your doorbell or knocks on the door. You just want them to do it once or twice, and then stop. Using the commands and then treat method will do trick.

Did you know you can train your dog to do almost anything, even stay in the yard when the gate is left wide open? There is a wealth of information about training your dog at How To Stop Dogs Barking

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