Some dogs really have the affinity to barking. While it can be an annoying habit, there are ways to fix this habit. With the right training paired with these tips for reducing your dogs excessive barking, you can mold your dog to become a discipline canine.
Although barking is a natural tendency of canines, too much can be disruptive to you and your neighbors.
Why does your dog bark too much?
Identifying the cause of the excessive barking is the first to fix the bad habit. Usually, there are three main reasons why canines bark too much: wanting attention, being protective, or getting alarmed.
Wanting attention. Boredom and loneliness can trigger a dog to howl, bark, and whine. Dogs left alone for long periods will become unhappy which will lead to the endless barking. Some just want to get the attention of their owners. The more that this is reciprocated the worse the barking gets.
Protectiveness. Canines have a natural protective instinct toward their families, much so for trained guard dogs. Whenever a stranger comes into your yard, your dog will automatically growl or bark. The barking will get louder as the person approaches.
Alarm. Dogs get scared or confused when they see a foreign object. This can happen both in their home and outdoors.
Are you wondering what dogs want to communicate when barking? Here’s an interesting video from BBC Earth:
How to stop the excessive barking
After identifying the cause, you can make use of the following steps to reduce or even stop the excessive barking of your pooch:
-Teach the quiet command
If you want your dog to listen to you, you have to teach it how to do so. If your dog barks, show a treat and let him sniff it. Whenever he does stop barking, praised the doggo and give the treat. Say a loud “no!” if the pooch barks again.
Use specific words like “speak” or “quiet” consistently. You can also practice with a friend that your dog hasn’t seen before. Ask the person to ring your doorbell until your dog barks. Use the quiet command and give treats if your pooch responds well.
Still, avoid using treats as bribes to your dog just to stop barking. As you progress with the training, you should slowly reduce the number of treats.
-Drain the extra energy
Dogs that are left in the house for long channel their energy into something else. It’s either they chew things around or bark endlessly until they get tired.
If you are to leave the house, take your dog to a short walk to drain its excess energy. In case the outdoor weather doesn’t allow, give a short playtime that includes tiring games like fetch, chasing the ball, and more.
Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog. Depending on the age, breed, and health of the pooch, the physical activity requirement will vary.
-Setup sight barriers
Does your dog bark whenever it sees you leaving at the front door? My personal advice is to crate the pooch and block their view.
If the barking is due to something that moves around the fence, find ways to block your dog’s view. Private hedges should suit your yard well.
Blinds aren’t a good choice for aggressive chewers. I suggest that you get your glasses tinted or use a static cling window film for a more affordable solution.
Training is the only way to stop your dog’s excessive barking effectively. Aside from teaching commands, it will help to expose your dog the people they tend to bark at. Pair it with these tips for reducing your dogs excessive barking and you will see good results.
Socialization and obedience training will reduce barking. It’s always ideal to train as early as possible because hard-wired habits are difficult to break.
Take note that each pup is different from the other. Yours might learn faster or lower than other doggos. Also, each dog will require a different approach.
Getting your dog accustomed to the stimulus that causes their barking will help fix the problem. For example, if your dog barks over a friend, let the person stand at a distance. Ask the person to move in closer to see if your dog will bark. If the pooch does bark, use your quiet command and give treats if your canine responds.
Repeat this process multiple times until your dog gets used to the stimulus. Perform the same drill to other things that make your dog bark.
Each dog will have a different response to various stressors. Rescue dog with a history of abuse will need a calmer environment. Exposure to stressors may cause aggressive barking in this case.
If possible, reduce loud noises and use a gentler doorbell tone. This will reduce the excitability of the pup.
I know that no house is stress-free. Just try not to trigger your dog’s nerves. Whenever you’re having guests at home, it will help to distract your dog with toys or snacks.
Boredom is the leading cause of barking. It’s best to find ways to entertain your dog. You can use toys to keep the pooch occupied.
Some dogs would do well listening to some sounds instead of sitting alone in an empty house. You can leave the radio or TV to make your dog feel accompanied.
Aside from preventing barking, keeping your dog busy will also dampen aggressive chewing.
-Seek the help of a professional
If all your methods fail, the help of a professional is what you need. A professional dog trainer can work with you inside and outside your home.
The professional trainer will train your dog and identify the cause of barking. Just make sure that you look for a reliable professional with an excellent track record.
Make sure that the trainer uses positive reinforcement and not violent punishments.
These tips for reducing your dogs excessive barking are just some of the general points that you can use. If you have doubts, it’s always important to consult a professional dog trainer. Also, you may want to rule out any possible health condition that causes your dog to bark too much.