As dog owners, we’ve all had our fair share of annoying problems and challenges to face when it comes to dealing and disciplining our furry pals. And while they are bundles of happiness that we cannot thank the world enough for, they do have their moments and blunders that can really irritate plenty of us past our breaking point. Most especially when talking about barking – excessive barking to be specific – which sometimes goes past the point of reasonable and understanding to just plain annoying!
However, we believe that all dogs, no matter how big or small, are capable of learning how to stop and control their barking, reducing it to a minimum and thus eliminating its irritating effects. And in order to keep you from holding any grudges against your doggie’s barking habits, we’ve run our research and accumulated experience to help with this problem. Here are the 6 tips you will need to know in order to train your dog not to bark excessively.
How to train your dog to not bark
1. Find Out What Makes Them Bark
Dogs are very simple animals, and every single thing they do, whether it is big or small, often has an underlying cause which you can manage and control. The same goes for barking; while barking is innate and natural among all dogs, the excessive barking we all despise is usually caused by something that intrigues or scares the dog. This can range from people passing by the house or the doorbell ringing all the way to stranger danger, extremely loud noises, or maybe even a lack of attention from the owner’s part!
This is why finding out what makes your dog bark is the most important tip we can provide you when it comes to training them to shake off this annoying habit. Once you find out what the actual reason really is, then you will have a much easier time trying to isolate and control it from distressing your dog. As such, you will be removing the precursor and motivator – essentially breaking the barking down from its root cause!
So, we highly advise you to be very observant of your dog, because more often than not, the solutions are laid in front of us. The only problem is that we tend to forget to look in the right direction, making a small annoyance grow into a big irritating problem.
2. Get Them Some Physical Exercise
No matter what breed of dog you have, from the biggest and most athletic of dogs like the German Shepherd and all the way to the cutest Shih Tzus, all need physical exercise. And quite surprisingly, the lack thereof can actually be the cause of your dog’s excessive barking. With all the pent-up energy they had in store for adventures, runs, and going out on walks – they have no other way to release it than by barking.
Therefore, if this is the situation you find yourself facing, the answer to all your barking worries is very easy and straightforward – get your pooch some physical exercise! Whether this means going out for a walk around the neighbourhood, playing in the backyard, or even going to the dog park, you should invest some time into physical activity. By doing this, you will be able to use up all of your dog’s pent-up energy and leave them satisfied and too tired to even think of barking excessively.
Not only that, but there are obvious benefits to maintaining your dog’s regular physical exercise, such as optimal health and well-being. Do make it a priority that your dog gets sufficient exercise, both to keep them healthy and to stop them from barking too much when not needed!
3. Teach Them the Quiet Command
Dogs are one of the smartest animals you will ever get to see and proof of that is the endless number of commands they can start learning at a very early age. One of which is the quiet command, which will undoubtedly help your barking situation immensely and prevent your dog from ever barking excessively ever again. Just imagine how useful a one-word command that tells your dog to stay quiet can be in your everyday life!
The first step is teaching your dog the bark command, which is the opposite of the quiet command, where you teach your dog to bark upon your command. You can achieve this by giving them treats when they successfully bark after you tell them to, which will act as a stepping stone for the quiet command. Once they have mastered this, you can do the exact opposite, by rewarding them with treats whenever they successfully stay quiet after you tell them to.
With regular practice, dedication, and a good amount of treats, you will be able to teach your dog both the bark on command and the quiet command in a couple of weeks’ time. However, the quiet command is very complex and requires a good training foundation before you can truly use it to its full potential. So, if you plan to go with this route, you’d better start with the very basics!
4. Ignore the Barking
Quite simply, one of the easiest fixes to the excessive barking problem is to not mind the barking at all, no matter what your dog thinks or does. Just like us, our dogs are very observant and learn better from actions and experiences, and if their endless barking fails to get our attention, they will stop. So, no matter how long your dog insists on barking annoyingly, do not give in; persevere in your attempt to ignore them, as giving them the attention they want will only make matters worse.
Do your best to ignore your dog at all costs during this barking ‘spree’. Avoid talking to them, touching or reprimanding them – put a stop to all of these and wait until they finish barking. This will teach your furry pal that excessive barking will neither get your attention nor garner love from you, which is one of the best ways to teach your dog to stop barking too much.
5. Reward Good Behaviour
Just as we mentioned above, the act of rewarding good behaviour is a great way for your dog to understand what to do and what not to do. By giving your pet treats and rewards for all the good things they do does, such as staying quiet, they will be more likely to keep up the good work in order to win the treat. This will convince your dog that by showing good behaviour they will be rewarded, and therefore they will begin to behave properly even when they do not receive treats.
So, do make it a habit to reward your dog whenever they show good behaviour, because those small treats could go a long way in terms of teaching your furry pal proper barking manners. And if excessive barking is quite the problem between you and your pooch, then this compromise might just be the best way to solve all of your troubles!
6. Stay Calm
Last but definitely not the least, stay calm no matter how annoying or irritating your dog’s barking can get, always think with a level head and keep your cool. The problem with excessive barking is more often than not that dog owners respond to their dogs by shouting and being very loud about how displeased they are of their behaviour. However, this negative response will only breed more negativity and cause your dog’s barking to get worse and worse through sheer misunderstanding.
Don’t let the noise get the better of you and put yourself in your doggie’s place: what could possibly be making them bark and what can you do to stop it? Don’t allow the barking to get to you and stop you from thinking straight; be the bigger person, or in this case, the responsible dog owner. Keep calm and analyse the situation, figure out what your dog needs to stay quiet without shouting and being loud.
Dogs are very fun pets that are highly intelligent and can bring plenty of happiness into a person’s life; however, they are not perfect. One major problem dog owners face with their dog is barking, and while this is natural for dogs, things get irritating when they reach beyond the threshold of acceptability and become annoying. Even so, a barking dilemma is not the end of the world, because dogs can be trained and taught to stop barking excessively with the help of six tips.
These six tips are: find out what makes them bark, get them some physical exercise, teach them the quiet command, ignore the barking, reward good behaviour, and stay calm. By using these six tips to your advantage, not only will you be able to teach your dog to stop barking so often, but you will also develop a stronger bond and help them live a healthier lifestyle. In the end, the responsibility falls in your hands, and it is up to you to decide what to do, ultimately dictating what your doggie becomes.
Related tip: How to Stop Dog Barking at Night?