In order to learn how to stop my dog from barking I first need to know why is my dog barking and what is he barking at. It is very natural for a dog to bark and some dogs do bark more than others.
Reasons For Barking
• Warning another animal
• Sounding the alarm
• Fear driven
• Looking to play
• Bark for the sake of barking
• Combination of all of the above
So you can see that not all barking is bad. If your dog is alerting you to danger then you certainly do not want him to stop that type of barking. However if he is mindlessly barking as he looks for your undivided attention often you may want to stop that type of barking.
An owner needs to know just what their dog is barking at. An owner must also show confidence around their dog to let him know that you are the type of leader that he can trust.
It all come down to the Alpha spot. As the owner you need to be the pack leader and show your dog that you are able to deal with certain situations. You really need to get to know your dog and find out what triggers his barking. Sometimes it takes awhile but you need to learn and understand what your dog is telling you.
For example I have had dogs that will bark at the door when they need to go out and other dogs I have had will simple sit and stare at me when they need to go out. All dogs are different so you need to learn what your dog is telling you.
As I am not a professional dog trainer I looked at some professional trainers to see what they had to say about the best way to stop a dog from barking.
I found out that there are several methods that trainers use to help silence their dogs.
The Best Way To Stop A Dog From Barking
• Teach your dog to bark on command
• Close your dog’s mouth
• Give your dog a bone or toy
• Refocus their attention
• Ignore the barking until it stops
• Use a bark collar
• More exercise
Looking at the best way to stop a dog from barking we can see that trainers do employ more than just one method and by the look of these various methods some of them will take some time and effort on your part. The first way “teach your dog to bark on command” will definitely take time and effort on your part. Having a well trained dog always takes a lot of time and patience. If your dog know how to bark on command then he will know how to stop on command.
The second way can be done with your hands gently over your dog’s muzzle or you can use a halter like the Gentle Leader.
The third way to stop your dog from barking is to give them a bone or a toy since they cannot bark with something in their mouth. The trick is not to give it to them when they are barking or they will see it as a reward for their barking.
The fourth method of refocusing their attention usually involves throwing something like a can of pennies to cause a noise which will cause them to refocus on the noise and not their barking.
The fifth method requires a lot of patience and ear plugs. Just letting your dog bark until they tire out may work but you better have very understanding neighbours or live in the country.
Some people have had great success with bark collars. Some of the collars that use a spray can be set off by other dogs barking so check out the type of collar you get and how it works first.
The last method can help a lot and it would be a daily routine. A dog that is well exercised is usually tuckered out at the end of the day and really does not have the energy or the desire to bark.
For anyone that has a dog that just won’t stop barking it may be time to click on the following and seek some professional help.Share This:
Very interesting article that I’m pretty sure will help out more than a few pet owners. When I was younger my mother got help for our Irish Setter’s barking complaint. She was told she needed to remove the motivation to bark – the dog sort of gets something out of barking and she had to figure out what it was. Anyway, great article – learned a lot!
I hope your mother figured out why her dog was barking. Nothing more annoying then a dog that barks for what seems to be no apparent reason. Dogs always have a reason for barking even if it does not seem apparent at first. Finding out why your dog is barking can often be half the battle in getting them to stop.
Great stuff, you have fore filled my curiosity about about this subject. I absolutely love the way you write your personality really shines through you content.
My question to you is do you think it is cruel to put an electric collar on a dog that barks way to much ? I ask because me and my cousin had a heated discussion about this the other day
Thanks again for sharing this with everyone, My cousin was also looking for a similar article I will share this one with here right away.
Hi Jack you bring up an interesting topic when asking about electric collars. First there are a variety of these types of collars. Some just emit a sound that a dog may find uncomfortable, others may spray citronella and others may shock the dog. These collars can be quite helpful but you need to know how to properly use them. Like any tool if used improperly you can do more damage than good. Improper use can result in an aggressive dog or a fearful dog.
If you are going to use one of these collars I suggest you get help from a professional.
Yes, barking can be an irritating problem, and especially for your neighbors. Our dogs can also be quite painful, especially when my hubby is away.
Great insights in this article. Some of these methods to stop your dog from barking are new to me.
I like the one that says close your dogs mouth. I will definitely try that one next time.
Hi Michel. Our dog is also barkie. The method I have been using on her is to hold her muzzle and tell her no bark. When doing this make sure you are firm but gentle. Your dog will probably start to squirm at first but just wait until they settle down before releasing. And of course make sure you praise. I have found that the quieter I am now when I say no bark the better she responds.
Will definitely try that thanks Maureen.
This is a nice article on a topic which vexes a lot of dog owners. I know my dog used to bark at the most awkward times (he was a jack russell so quite hyper anyway). I had to be quite stern with him and “show him who was the leader” so to speak.
A lot of the time he would calm down, buy I never though to divert his attention with something else – that’s great advice. Thanks for the article 🙂
Hi Paul Dogs often have the worst timing so why not bark when it is going to embarrass you the most. Jack Russells are great dogs but boy are they hyper. I would guess you had your hands full with him.
Never came across this topic before and boy do I talk about dogs barking a lot. Really appreciate the sound advice and didn’t know there could be so many different ways to get your dog to stop barking. I always just shout at my dog, guess that counts as refocusing their attention:)
Now, do you have any advice on how to stop the neighbors dog from barking?:)
When you shout at your dog they think you are engaging in the activity i.e. -you are barking back at them. I have made that mistake in the past. I find the quieter I am the dog responds the way I want. I will often turn my back on our dog and walk away when she is barking too much. As far as your neighbour’s dog I don’t think there is much you can do. If they are barking late at night you could report them to your local SPCA.
Very interesting! I’ve found with my puppy that the bone or treat method definitely works the best. I’m hoping that I can use the training method though (Bones can get expensive lol) Do you think that training while still a puppy is better? I just dont want him to think im rewarding him for barking.
The sooner you start training the better. I look at training as your day to day interaction with your dog. Once you train your dog to do certain things then usually every day you are in some way reinforcing that training. For example – sitting for their favorite toy. If you are worried that the treats are rewarding his barking then gradually wean him off the treats and switch to a training method. Before you give him a treat make sure you are telling him No Bark.
Hi, thanks for sharing your article. I’m not a dog owner but I think it’s important to understand the dog’s behavior to know why it is barking. If it is barking excessively, I believe that the tips that you provided will come in handy. I like all the tips except ignoring its barking and closing the dog’s mouth. If I have a dog, most likely I’ll take it outdoors for more exercise or refocus their attention.
Hi Yvonne thanks for your comments. You may have misunderstood the ignore tip. That would definitely not work outside since your dog is already to focused on something i.e. reason for barking. This tactic you use indoors when he is barking at you for attention. Turning your back on him and walking away will usually result in him becoming quiet fairly quickly. Your idea of more exercise is an excellent one. A tired dog is usually a well behaved dog.
THIS is one-of-a-kind guide that I will actually sharedto my neighbor since he’s worried about their dog’s constant barking. It’s really true that giving them an item as a prize is effective for dogs especially when they need to follow a command. He used a ball in this case since its their pet’s favorite toy, and after a few days, their dog is now starting to cause less noise during the night.
Thanks for the comment Julie. Many people think that you need to use food as a reward but often a toy that they really like is much more effective. Glad your neighbour is having some success.
I wish I could get an anti-bark collar for my neighbors dog because it gets hard to fall asleep at night with it barking all the time.
They do not play with the dog, nor do they give it any attention. This really makes me mad because people get pets but they do not pay enough attention to them. I do not know how they manage to sleep at night.
Do you have any recommendations for something that I can do to make a stop at this?
Unfortunately there is not much you can do. You could try talking to them. If that doesn’t help then if the dog is barking at all hours of the night you could call the Humane Society in your area and report them. I am not sure where you live but where I live the Humane Society will come out and talk to the people and if it still continues they will fine them.
It does sound as if this dog is really starving for attention.
Hello here. You have such as interesting and nice looking website for all people who are interested in how to make their animals be obedient and healthy.
I guess when somebody has a dog and lives in apartment building, they can have problems if their furry friends make noise such as barking.
Your offered advice will help to understand the nature of this type of behavior.
Patience is a great trait when we want to teach animals to behave. I think that your visitors will learn from your article how to prepare their furry companions obey commands and follow instructions how to behave when dogs want to bark.
All the best, happy writing, Nemira.
Thanks Nemira. You are so right if you do not have patience you will have a very hard time training your puppy or dog. Stopping a dog from barking is very difficult since you still want them to bark when it is appropriate. Teaching them to stop barking can be quite difficult.
great article. Barking can be quite annoying. We have 6 rescue dogs and they are pretty good most of the time, but all it takes is our little husky cross instigator to get them started. Our pitbull will bark at anything new, we find that as long as he has an opportunity to smell whatever it is, he tends to stop. I’d like to know more about teaching them the bark command. Its the one command we haven’t been successful in with all our dogs. I guess we tried harder to teach them silence lol
what would you recommend we look at to be successful in this command?
That’s a great question Layne. I know Doggy Dan has some great information on how to get your dog to stop barking. You can check out his site for $1.00 for 3 days. http://puppy-and-dog-training.com/doggydan
Hi Maureen, great topic, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that have this problem. We have two dogs, one hardly barks but the other barks heaps but manly when she wants to play but she doesn’t know when to let up 🙂 she is only 8 months old and still learning so there is light at the end of the tunnel. All the best, Kerry
Hi Kerry We had the same problem when our dobie was alive. Olive the dog we have now barked like crazy at our Dobie girl. She was in constant play mode. She has settled down as she matures so that is good. After our dobie died she really went quiet. She is finally getting used to being the only dog and now the barking has returned but not too the intensity it had been before. We just can’t play with her like another dog can.
I find if she is really barkey she is usually trying to tell me something like “Hey stupid my water bowl is empty” So if your dog is only 8 months old she will probably settle down. Although it is hard to ignore the barking it usually is your best way to get her to stop. Turn your back on her and leave the room. Good luck – Maureen
I just recently discovered your blog, and I really like it. It seems that you really want to help people, and I appreciate it!
It sometimes can be really annoying when a dog barks for no reason. I remember, my dog used to bark at night for no apparent reason and it was so annoying. Then I decided to give him a bone to chew, and he finally stopped. Since then I give him a bone every night lol.
Hi Julius I am glad you found my site. I always compare a barking dog to nails on a chalk board – soooo annoying. Re-focusing your dog with a bone was a great idea. Hopefully you won’t run out of bones!
My husband and I travel around the country for 3 months at a time for his work, and with us come our two pups. Once of them has been fine during this new transition for us, the other has gotten into this horrible barking phase! He barks at anything AND everything – especially people. Because we usually live in either corporate apartments or extended stays, it becomes very frustrating because there are always people all around. I do feel it may be fear driven however because he is a little dog, I know his bark is more than his bite, as they say… although he does sound quite ferocious at times, it is becoming quite problematic for I haven’t known exactly how to train him to stop. Anyways, your post has given me a few ideas on how I can combat this new habit of his… thank you!