How to Stop a Dog Barking
Dog owners often share a common problem—how to stop a dog barking. Dogs bark. It is an inherent way of communication with other members of the pack. However, some dogs tend to bark excessively. If you are having this problem with your pet, it’s probably time you start to figure out what is causing this behavior. Once you have pinpointed the cause, you can now properly address your dog’s barking problem.
Being a vocal method of communication, dogs bark for several reasons.
A dog is highly protective of its territory thus when a person or animal approaches or is in the dog’s territory, this often sets off excessive barking. A barking dog defending its territory from trespassers often show an aggressive stance with an insistent loud barking particularly when the threat seems to get closer.
Dogs also bark in alarm. When a particular noise or object startles them, it can trigger incessant barking.
Basically, dogs are pack animals. Thus when they are left alone for quite long periods of time, they can become bored and will often bark to show that they are unhappy. When they want something, a barking dog may want to seek your attention.
The best barks come from dogs greeting the other members of the pack—humans and animals alike. It is often a lively bark accompanied by a wagging tail.
One type of barking which is not normally shown by dogs is associated with separation anxiety. Aside from barking excessively when left alone, a dog suffering from separation anxiety also develop negative behavior such as destroying things, inappropriate elimination, depression, and persistent pacing. Some dogs also show repetitive movements including running in circles.
How to Stop a Dog Barking Excessively
A dog which has developed the habit of barking excessively will need lots of patience and work to correct. It will certainly be a long process that demands consistency. Arming yourself with the proper time-tested techniques, you will soon see positive changes in your dog’s behavior.
Before you start correcting your dog’s barking, you have to remember to stay calm. Do you think shouting at your dog will calm him down? Definitely not. If anything else, he will think that you have decided to join him.
It is also recommended that your dog be trained to comprehend what the “Quiet!” command means.
Dog behavior experts recommend two simple ways to stop excessive barking in dogs:
When you hear your dog barking, use a calm, firm voice to say “Quiet!”. When he stops barking, offer him a treat. Never give him a reward while he is still barking. With consistency, your dog will eventually learn that if he stops barking when you give him the “Quiet!” command, he will have his reward.
You can train your dog to understand your body signals. It has been shown that dogs can easily pick up body signals faster compared to voice commands. While teaching him the “Quiet!” command, hold your finger to your lips while saying the word. In time, with practice and consistency, your dog will learn to stop barking once you give him the command.
Ways to Curb Excessive Dog Barking
Negative behaviors in dogs can easily be prevented or stopped when you nip the problem in the bud before it gets out of hand. Remember that the longer a dog is permitted to display specific behavior, positive or not, the more ingrained it will become. When you allow your dog to bark excessively, you are unknowingly encouraging him to continue with the habit.
Regular exercise can also help curb excessive barking. A dog whose energy has been well-spent running around or taking a long walk will certainly be tired and quiet.