It’s natural for dogs to bark. Dogs bark for a whole multitude of reasons, sometimes to protect and sometimes out of nothing.
It’s a good thing dogs bark too. Having a dog who barks at strangers safeguarding your home, is helpful. The real problem is not the barking but sometimes we need our dogs to be quiet. Before we tackle the ways to get your dog to stop barking, you have to understand why it barks in the first place.
Why Bark Anyway?
Most dogs bark when they are alarmed, giving off warning signals. Sometimes it’s just the excitement it has in seeing something it likes, for instance; food, you. It could also be because of fear. For instance, a dog barks when it sense danger coming. Dogs also bark just to get your attention.
So the first thing to do before trying to get your dog to stop barking is to really understand the reason why it barks. You have to be very careful with this.
If your dog is really barking to ward of danger and is somehow stopped by you, it may begin to stop barking even though it senses real danger. That could be counter intuitive when it comes to warding off danger. Granted, some dog breeds bark more often when compared to the rest.
Understand When Your Dog Has To Bark
Like we have discussed, sometimes your dog is barking for the right reasons. Many people make the mistake of trying to make their dogs think like humans when dogs normally act upon instinct.
When handling your dog, confidence has be shown towards your dog. Barking is one of the only way your dog communicates with you, so learning when to stop them from barking is crucial.
How To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking
With different dogs come different methods to stop them from barking excessively. Here are some ideas and proven strategies that have worked for other dog owners. We suggest you try and discover which one works best for your dog.
Tip #1 – No Rewards For Bad Dog
You might have a dog who barks excessively to gain attention. No matter what you do, never, never and never give a dog a reward when it’s barking excessively.
Many pet owners think giving them a quick reward would shut them up. However doing so would only kick the dog into a habit of barking excessively for food.
Instead, try giving your dog a silent treatment. Stop noticing your dog, don’t look into his or her eyes and just keep quiet. When it fails to get attention, it might stop barking. Dogs are clingy animals who loves the attention from their owners. Ignoring it for a bit might have some good reverse physiological effect. This would work for dogs who likes to gain attention by barking at its owners.
Tip #2 – Teach Your Dog To Be Quiet
Give a command of ‘quiet’ to your dog and make the ‘shhh’ sound gently. As you do that, gently close your dog’s mouth. A dog normally barks because of a trigger. As you keep his mouth shut, slowly introduce it to the trigger that made it bark. Allow the dog to understand and slowly accept the trigger while still gently hushing the dog quiet.
Dogs can often bark because of something unfamiliar to them. This is why you have to train them to accept unfamiliar things. Upon quieting down, give your dog some praise and maybe reward them with a snack. Be very careful to only do this after it quiets down.
Tip #3 – Bark On Command
It’s generally a good idea to teach your dog to bark on command after you have taught to be quiet as well.
Practice with a mock triggers that can potentially make your dog bark. Give a ‘bark’ command and then encourage your dog to bark by imitating the ‘bark’ yourself too. As a pet owner, this shows your dog your authority and your dog would follow you upon seeing you as a leader.
Practice giving your dog the bark command and quiet command in different environments until he or she is able to listen to you.
Tip #4 – Distract Your Dog
This wouldn’t be an all great solution in my opinion, but distraction can make your dog ‘forget’ the trigger that made him or her bark and focus on something else. A common distraction method used by many dog trainers is the use of a dog whistle.
A dog whistle is a whistle that produces a very high pitched sound in which dogs can only hear them and is extremely sensitive towards it. If you don’t have a dog whistle, you can substitute the source of this type of sound which a more unusual sound, such as key jingling.
So the next time your dog barks excessively, he or she would fear a high pitch sound coming out of a sudden to startle it.
Be careful to scare your dog. Your main focus here is to only temporary distract your dog. Making a sharp and quick hiss noise just with your mouth can also work pretty well in getting your dog to be immediately focus.
Tip #5 – Don’t Get Mad
The last thing to do as a loving pet owner is to get mad at your dog. When your dog barks excessively, never shout at it. Shouting at your dog only makes it assume that you are encouraging more barking. Dog trainers believe that dogs think your loud voice of commanding or scolding is a way you bark, and thus they simply want to join in to bark.
And if you angrily shout and wave your hands to mimic a beating, your dog is going to fear you rather than to get its barking problem solved.
Your dog’s behavior and habits is determined by you, the pet owner. Through patience in your training they’ll begin to follow you as a leader and become obedient.
It will take you time to train your dog, spending time, taking it out for walks and showing it love, for it to grow to listen to you. Building a rapport between your 4 legged friend is one of the best ways to train a dog – also to get their barking problem fixed.
How do you train your dog to stop barking? And why does your dog bark so much? Drop us a line below.