Although we love our furry friends, their constant barking can be a source of irritation. Thus, to help you (and your neighbors) enjoy Fido more, we offer the following list of 5 simple techniques to stop your dog from barking.
Before We Begin…
It’s important to keep the following tips in mind while training:
- Don’t yell at your dog to be quiet. To him, it just sounds as if you’re joining in on the fun
- Keep training sessions upbeat and positive
- Practice on a consistent basis
Tip #1: Take away the motivation
Believe it or not, your dog receives a sense of gratification from barking. If he didn’t he wouldn’t do it. So, to prevent the behavior, you must find the barking triggers and remove them. For instance, if he’s barking at animals or people walking past your window, manage the behavior by either putting him in another room or closing the curtain.
Tip #2: Ignore the barking
If your dog barks incessantly, try ignoring him until he stops. Giving him attention while he’s being naughty is like giving him a reward. Take your power back, as in don’t touch, talk, or even look at him. When he stops barking, even if it’s only for a few seconds, give him a treat as a reward.
In order for this method to be successful, you should wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. If he barks for an hour and you yell at him out of frustration, you will undo all the work you’ve done. You are effectively teaching him that if he barks long enough, you will eventually provide him with the attention he seeks. As a consequence, the next time he will bark for a longer period of time.
Tip#3: Desensitize your dog to the stimulus
Once your dog begins showing progress in his barking cessation training, you must do what you can to get the dog accustomed to his barking trigger.
You want to teach the dog that the stimulus’ appearance is synonymous with good things. To do so, you must begin with the stimulus at a distance, far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Give him a treat. Move the stimulus a little closer. If he doesn’t bark, give him another treat.
Tip #4: The Quiet Command
Although it may seem counterintuitive, you have to teach your dog how to bark on command in order to teach him to be quiet when you say so.
To teach him to bark on command, follow these steps;
- Tell your dog to speak
- Wait for him to bark a couple of times and then put a tasty treat in front of his nose
- When he stops barking to smell the treat, give him some praise and feed him the treat
- Repeat this step until he starts barking when you say speak
Once your dog is able to consistently bark on command, teach him the quiet command in a calm environment. As he begins to learn this command, practice in increasingly distracting situations until your dog is able to be quiet when you say so, even when a stranger is at the door.
Tip #5: Keep your dog tired
A tired dog is less likely to bark from frustration and boredom. So, you must make sure that your dog receives enough mental and physical exercise every day. Just remember, depending on the breed, health, and age of your pup, you may need to go for several long walks for this tip to be effective.
It’s important to note that while the methods listed in this article are quite effective, you shouldn’t expect overnight results. The longer your dogs has been engaging in the barking behavior, the longer it will take for your furry friend to change its ways. Good luck!