How To Stop Your Dog’s Barking

Is your barking dog driving you crazy? Knowing the reason(s) why they are barking will help you better manage their environment, and train your dog to stop barking and be quiet when needed.

Why is your dog barking and how to stop it?

Boredom barking happens when a dog is left alone often and doesn’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation. Dogs are like kids. If you don’t give them something fun to do, they entertain themselves—often in ways we don’t appreciate. So, step up the enrichment, and get out the puzzles.

Demand barking occurs in dogs that have learned that barking gets them what they want. To curb demand barking, immediately stop rewarding the barking. Try to ignore your dog when he barks. Pick times when he is quiet, tell him “Nice quiet,” and reward him. If your dog barks when you work at the computer or talk on the phone, settle him in his crate or on his bed with a toy or stuffed Kong before you sit down to work.

Watchdog barking is triggered by sights and sounds such as people passing by the house, slamming car doors, or a cat on the lawn. Teach your dog to respond to noises by getting a toy or barking once, then coming to find you. Keep blinds closed and don’t put your dog’s bed near a window or door. Crating your dog can be a great way to signal to him that he can take time off from his patrol duties.

Separation anxiety barking is characterized by constant home-alone barking usually coupled with other behaviors such as house soiling, visible anxiety upon departure and arrival, and destruction around doors and windows. In this case, barking is a symptom of the underlying anxiety, which is what needs to be addressed.

Barrier frustration barking often happens when dogs are left in a backyard alone for too long, dogs in cars, or dogs on leashes. With very social dogs, more time spent playing with other dogs and less time spent behind a barrier will greatly improve the problem. Not-so-social dogs first need to learn to enjoy other dogs. In the meantime, avoid unsupervised time in the yard or car.

Training an alternate behavior (like “be quiet”) is preferable to just telling your dog “no” because your dog has a need to do “something.”

Please don’t yell at your dog to be quiet though as this will most likely make your dog bark more, not less. Make training sessions fun for your dog so he is eager to do as you ask.

Be consistent with how you deal with unwanted barking and reward behavior that is desirable (like quiet). Barking can be tricky to stop so be patient!

If you’re ready to get help with your barking dog, schedule your Initial Behavior Consultation:

1 thought on “How To Stop Your Dog’s Barking”

Comments are closed.