Dog on Lawn

All dogs bark from time to time.  But, if your dog is barking excessively it may be driving you, your family, or your neighbor nuts.  Dogs bark for a variety of reasons and it is completely natural but they can be trained to bark only when appropriate.  Before you begin any training to get your dog to stop barking, it is important to try to determine why your dog is barking in the first place.  The ASPCA notes that there are some common reasons that dogs bark, including territorial barking, alarm barking, attention-seeking barking, greeting barking, compulsive barking, socially-facilitated barking, frustration-induced barking, illness or injury, and separation-anxiety barking. Below are 3 tips for getting your dog to stop barking.

3 Tips for Getting Your Dog to Stop Barking

  1. Tell Them No
    • Most people will roll their eyes at this because they think they are already doing this but there are some important steps to take to ensure that telling them no actually helps rather than hinders things. First, yelling “no” or “stop” at them over and over again will not be particularly helpful because without any other action or follow-through your dog may simply think that you are just barking along with them.  Use a look or action when telling them a firm no.  Be consistent and do it every time so that they begin to associate their barking with something that is not allowed in that circumstance.
  2. Teach Them That They Do Not Need to Bark At Certain Things
    • Employ the help of a friend or family member to help de-sensitize your dog to what is encouraging them to bark. If your dog barks at other dogs or people passing by a window, have a friend or family member walk back and forth until out of sight with their dog.  Sit with your dog by the window and tell them no with follow-through (perhaps tell them to sit and then give them a reward for being quiet) action to show them that they do not need to bark at that trigger.
  3. Teach Them a “Quiet” Command
    • Calmly work with your dog as they bark and use a “quiet” command. Try to use a minimal amount of other words so that they begin to associate quiet with the action of actually being quiet.  When they are quiet, reward them with a treat.  That way, even if they get triggered to bark you can tell them “quiet” and they will obey.