Barking is a dog’s way of expressing themselves at the most basic level. Here we share ways to stop a dog from barking.
- Dogs might bark due to illness or injury. Please have your dog examined by a vet to rule this out.
- A safe and humane way of stopping your dog and your neighbors’ dog from barking is by using an Ultrasonic Anti-Barking device. These devices work by emitting a high pitch noise when it detects the sound of barking yet totally silent to humans. This naturally discourages dogs from barking.
- A humane alternative to shock collars is Bark Control Collars that work by producing vibration and sound instead of electrical shock.
- Do not pet your dog or give it treats while it is barking as this will reinforce the behavior.
- When your dog starts barking at something at home, it thinks there is a threat and is trying to let you know. Calmly approach your dog and speak softly. This will make them feel that there is no threat.
- Avoid situations that trigger them to bark. If your dog likes to look out a window and bark at passing people or animals, install curtains or block the area.
- Exercise your dog before leaving the house.
- Train your dog to change their behavior through positive reinforcement by using a clicker. As the owner, you are already familiar with situations that trigger your dog to bark like seeing other dogs, children or passing cars. Use high-value treats and anticipate the trigger. The instant your dog perks up, press the clicker while simultaneously giving a treat followed by a marker word like “good boy”. The treat must be given as quickly as possible. The clicker method takes practice but is effective and can be used in obedience training in larger animals such as horses as well.
- When a dog chooses not to bark in a situation that they very frequently do, make sure to reinforce this by rewarding them. For example, if you pass by a person while going on a walk and your dog chooses to stay calm when he would normally bark, reward him immediately with a treat. As a note, dogs have the ability to pick up on their owner’s vibration. Staying calm will help them stay calm.
It helps if we try to understand our dogs. Apart from barking, dogs also communicate through growling, whining, scents and body language. The pitch of a bark is particularly important. Notice the pitch of the bark when an unfamiliar person enters the house compared to the bark they do when they bark to greet a family member. The deeper the pitch, the more serious the dog is. The number of barks in a row and the space between barks is equally important. A single bark may mean a minor irritation. The more barks in a row and the less space in between, the more worked up the dog is.
Reasons Why A Dog Barks
- Alarm/Territorial Barking – A dog barks at people or objects that they perceive as a threat to them and their territory such as unfamilar people inside and outside their home.
- Alert Barking – Its when someone rings the doorbell or the sound of someone turning the doorknob in the front entrance. It could also be when he sees a raccoon pacing the backyard or a passing dog while looking out a window. The dog is simply responding to something it finds interesting. Closing the curtains can minimize this as well as blocking their view to a window.
- Fear Barking – Commonly misunderstood. This type of bark is loud and with its tail wagging. This happens when they are simply afraid and want some distance. People, mostly children mistake tail wagging as being friendly(especially when wagging vertically) then get bitten.
- Frustration Barking – Feeling helpless, such as when a toy rolls to a spot that is just out of reach.
- Excitement – Car rides, a new toy, seeing other dogs and wanting to play, seeing his favorite person after a period of time.
- Attention seeking – Barking in hopes to get your attention or to get access to somewhere like the backyard or to items that are out of reach
- Needing food or water. Needing to eliminate.