It is normal behavior for dogs to bark, but barking incessantly is a different story.
It is considered a behavioral problem and is disruptive especially at night when you’re supposed to sleep.
To make your dog stop barking, you can follow these 5 effective steps:
Step 1: Recognize the reason why your dog is barking
Barking is one of the ways dogs communicate with their owners.
Imagine that it is the version of humans talking, but instead of hearing various words, there’s only “woof”.
That’s why the first step to make your dog stop barking is to understand the context of why they are barking.
You can do this by carefully listening to the tone of their bark.
- “I want attention” barks are shorter and high pitched
- Boredom and frustration-induced barking are monotonous and repetitive
- Territorial barks come in loud fast bursts
Step 2: Physically and mentally stimulate your dog
Is the reason behind your dog’s excessive barking is simply because they are bored and have nothing to do with their bottled-up energy? If yes, then the solution is easy.
Simply engage your dog in more challenging activities. For example, instead of regular walks, take your dog on a hiking path or with a bicycle.
You can also involve them in dog mental activities such as puzzle toys or why not teach them new tricks?
Step 3: Remove the motivation
Dogs may bark excessively if they are seeing something that triggers their curiosity.
It can be animals crawling in the yard or people crossing the street.
On the other hand, they might also be giving territorial barks. If this is the case, you have to manage your dog’s surroundings.
If your dog can see all the busy distractions in the street, then try bringing him inside the house.
If he is barking at a visitor then put him in another room for the meantime.
You can also close the curtains to limit their views and set up a familiar background noise such as television and electric fans to prevent them from hearing street noises.
Step 4: Ignore the Barking
Train your dog to realize that excessive barking is bad behavior and they will not be rewarded for it.
For example, once they start barking, turn away, do not pet them, and avoid eye contact.
Once they settle down peacefully, give them a treat. When encouraging your dog a positive behavior, consistency, and patience is the key.
Make sure that all family members will do the same.
And never yell at your dog for barking as it can make the problem even worse.
Step 5: Use the “quiet” command
This might take some work to accomplish, but the feeling will be very rewarding once you finished teaching your dog to stay quiet upon instruction.
At first, expect that your dog will simply ignore you when you say “quiet” in a low but assertive voice.
Wait until your dog stops barking and then give him a treat. Once he starts to open his mouth again to bark, hide the treat.
Do this training method consistently at home and even at public places so that your dog will be less desensitize to noisy stimuli.
We hope that these steps helped you to stop your dog from barking.
If not, you can try and seek help from professionals to guide you furthermore about dog behavior.