Dogs bark for a cause, some apparently for no reason, while others do both. Some breeds are more susceptible to barking. The issue with dogs is not necessarily barking but rather the need to be silent at certain hours or when requested. Let us discuss how to stop a dog from barking.
How Long Will It Take to Stop a Dog From Barking?
Consistency is the key! Training your dog is an overwhelming task; it is essential to train consistently and with love and affection. Although few dogs take a long time to capture the concept, few dogs learn early. It depends upon the dog’s breed, age, and temperament. In addition, an exciting training session helps a dog to learn faster.
What Tools are Necessary for the Dog to Stop Barking?
Tools required to stop your dog from barking:
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs bark for several causes. They could be threatening other animals, raising an alert, enjoying or trying to instigate a play, engaging in the fun of the moment, requesting an answer out of insecurity, or the desire to push other animals and entities away. Often dogs bark, only to bark. However, it can be a mixture of all of these at times. When puppies bark, it may be a sign of fear after they’ve left the pack.
Suppose you understand the ‘why’ behind your dog’s barking. In that case, it will assist you in managing the situation better and train them to close up when needed. But first, let’s check out the various types of dog barking and remedies to work on for them.
Alert Barking: Alert barking is your dog expressing that somebody is there. Many dog parents appreciate it when their dogs alert them if someone is approaching. This will become quite frustrating if you’ve got a dog who barks at any and everything outside the window. Alert barking is often challenging for people who sleep in apartments or have neighbors nearby.
Territorial Barking: Territorial barking is identical to alert barking. Your dog is reacting to the proximity of someone in the vicinity of your house. Territorial barking aims to defend the area and force the “intruder” to leave. While your dog stops alert barking once you are notified about the threat, territorial barking lasts longer until the intruder goes away from the place.
Manage Territorial Barking
Your dog’s motivation, as well as his opportunities to protect his area, should be minimized to treat territorial barking. For example, allowing your dog to welcome visitors at the front fence, front yard entrance, or land boundary line is not a good idea. Instead, teach him to go to a specific area, such as a crate or a rug, and stay quiet until he’s invited to greet politely.
Play and Excitement Barking
Dogs bark while excited or playing. The pitch of play barking is higher than that of other barks. It is okay not to teach play-barking behavior until it bothers the other dogs playing or causes neighbors to complain. When the barking becomes too much, having a solid “quiet” cue trained is still helpful. It’s all about management, whether you need to control your dog’s enthusiasm or play barking.
Train Calm and Quiet Greetings
When meeting other people or pets on a stroll, some dogs start barking out of enthusiasm. Others can find this frightening, so you are advised to focus on what you expect your dog to be rewarded for, such as walking slowly and respectfully to meet others. Let your dog approach if they’re calm, and don’t pull the leash if your dog or human is welcoming, secure, and proper. Avoid approaching and turn their focus back to you if they start barking out of enthusiasm.
Consider using a higher-value training reward to hold your dog’s attention as you approach or request basic prompts. You don’t want to exclude cheerful greetings from other people or pets, but you do want to set your dog up for success.
Your dog may bark because it has been working with them in the past to find what they need. The demand for barking is also caused by curiosity and craving the attention of people nearby for the wrong reasons.
Teach Not to Demand Bark
Demand barking occurs during dog-to-dog play in some situations, where one dog barks at another to get them to play. In those cases, it is better to redirect the barking dog to a more willing playmate or provide them with something else to do, such as a brief training session or an engaging toy.
Warranted Demand Barking
Pay special attention to any barking or whimpering from puppies and adult dogs amid potty training; this might indicate that they need to go outdoors to use the toilet.
Adult dogs might demand bark when they have an upset tummy. They may also bark if they are anxious. These demand barks must be accepted to serve the problem.
Since your dog is under-stimulated, they often bark. This form of barking is typically monotonous and has a consistent pitch and tone. If left unattended, a bored dog’s barking will last for hours. Unfortunately, many pets bark out of boredom when owners are away and are unaware until a neighbor complains to them about their dog’s barking issues. The simplest solution to boredom barking is to provide your dog with appropriate and healthy activities to do when you’re at home.
Stop Boredom Barking
There are various ways we can stop a dog from boredom barking. Let’s find out the ways:
- Exercise Your Dog
- Provide Mental Enrichment
- Safe Space for Dogs
- Engage your pet with dog toys and puzzles
Fearful and Reactive Barking: When dogs come upon something that bothers or scares them, they often bark. This is often referred to as “aggressive” barking and is generally a fear reaction. Reactive barking caused by fear may occur due to a stressful encounter or a lack of socialization as a puppy. In certain situations, reactive barking is the product of anger rather than panic. The essential thing to focus on for private training clients is reactive barking while on leash. Many dog owners are ashamed to take their reactive dog on a stroll because they fear what will happen if their dog escapes or an off-leash dog confronts them. Working with a licensed canine behavior specialist or a veterinarian behaviorist is the safest way to handle leash reactivity and fearful barking. When your dog is confronted with its “cause” for barking, you are supposed to alter the emotional reaction. A certified trainer can assist you with establishing a training schedule. He can tailor to your dog’s needs and causes, walk you through each move so that you can feel safe taking your dog for a walk.
Barking Due to Separation Anxiety: The common signs of canine separation disorder are barking, whining, and howling when left alone. Separation anxiety is a mental health disorder. A dog gets anxious when separated from a specific individual or people, which may vary in severity. Dogs can hurt themselves when attempting to flee and locate their owner in more complex situations. Dogs suffering from separation disorder cannot control their behavior and are not acting out on purpose.
Barking Due to Old Age: When your dog gets older, you can find that they bark more often for no particular cause. The reason for this form of wandering barking may be a deterioration in your dog’s cognitive abilities. Canine cognitive dysfunction, also known as “dog dementia,” is a neuro-behavioral condition that affects elderly dogs and cats. Consider it the canine version of Alzheimer’s disease. A vet will help you figure out whether your barking dog has an emotional disorder, what the proper care choices are, and things you can do to increase your dog’s quality of life as they get older.
Steps to Stop a Dog from Barking
Here we are enlisting a general guide to stop a dog from barking. Introducing your dog to quiet cues is very effective against all types of barking.
Introducing Quiet Cue
Use your dog’s barking to teach them to be quiet. You can quickly train your dog to bark and be quiet during the same training session by teaching “paired cues.” It is always recommended to teach the “bark” and “quiet” cue simultaneously. When your dog has already begun barking at the trigger outside, use this training technique.
- Take some dog treats and stand next to your puppy. Say “Quiet” in a cheerful tone of voice.
- When you say “Quiet,” your dog will look at you; if they do, make sure to reward them with treats and praise right away.
- Some dogs need assistance in focusing while barking, mainly if there is a significant distraction outside. Keep some treats in your closed fist and hold them in front of their nose. They’ll smell it and most definitely stop barking. When they stop barking, say “Quiet,” open your palm, and give them the treat. Be sure to lavish them with compliments!
- If your dog remains quiet, reward him with another treat! If they start barking again, use it as a chance to practice “Quiet.” Please pay attention to the timing of the delights to reward them for keeping their mouth closed after the first treat; don’t wait too long until the second or third treat. They’ll lose interest in what you’re offering and resume barking at their trigger.
- With practice, your dog can react more quickly to the verbal cue “Quiet,” and you won’t need to depend on a hand lure to get them to stop barking. This is when you will begin to construct the length of the cue by waiting to reward with a treat. When you say “Quiet,” see if they can be quiet for 3 seconds. Then, before the treat, raise the time to 5 seconds.
- You may gradually cut food rewards as they react quickly to the quiet cue and remain silent for a while after being asked. If they stop barking when prompted, continue to reward them with affection, petting, or toys to play with.
Prepare Your Dog for Sights and Sounds
Let’s take the case of anyone passing by your house.
- Make sure you’ve closed the curtains or obscured your dog’s view of passers-by when you’re not practicing.
- Pick a few high-value workout goodies as you’re training.
- Say “yes” and give your dog a treat as soon as your dog sees the person but before they start barking.
- Tell “yes” again before they bark and offer another reward if they look straight back at the passer-by.
You may have trained an incompatible habit to warn barking with practice. Plus, watching someone pass by has now elicited a positive emotional response. So it’s a win-win situation!
- Use sight barriers
- Prepare a quiet zone
- Purchase an anti-stress and bark control gear
- Train your dog
What You Should Not Do
- Don’t allow your dog to bark in response to noises such as passing people or dogs, birds outside the window, or children playing in the street.
- When you’re not closely supervising your puppy, never use a muzzle to keep him calm for extended periods. Muzzles prevent dogs from eating, drinking, or panting to calm off; forcing the dog to wear one for extended periods is cruel.
- Do not shout at your dog. This will make your dog bark more out of anxiety.
- Do not use shock collars to hit your dog. This can be very painful and unkind to your dog.
- Do not depend on debarking methods. Surgery can solve the barking but cannot decrypt the fear, anxiety. Most of the dogs bark excessively out of fear and anxiety.
If your dog’s repetitive barking behavior is new, consult a vet and check for health issues. Your dog may bark continuously due to one of the following reasons:
- Result of pain such as Arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Fluid accumulation around the brain
The vet will rule out any medical problems or accidents that may affect the barking and work with you to tailor your dog’s specific needs. For example, a young dog with excessive barking may have different medical conditions and a better response plan than an older dog with excessive barking.
Barking unnecessarily without any purpose can be disturbing. It is always important to strengthen the training process and follow a routine to maintain all the behavioral activities. Be generous with your dog, as they do not like being harsh on them. The dog tends to react positively if the master’s or owner’s approach is optimistic. Reward your dog every time he is maintaining up to your command. Remember to appreciate your dog.