Want to know the best way to stop a dog barking? Teach him to bark! I’ll be showing you how later but first you may want to know the reason behind all the ruckus.
Why do dog’s bark?
You may be wondering why dogs bark, when their ancestor, the wolf doesn’t. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Wolf Cubs do bark, but as they grow older they either lose the ability or stop because barking would scare off prey and attract predators.
Through our domestication of the wolf, we have provided the dog with a safe environment where he no longer has to hunt or hide from his enemies. So instead of giving up the ability to bark, he relishes it, even if it sometimes gives us a headache!
So barking is natural dog behavior. All dogs breeds – with the exception of the Basjeni – do it.
Dogs bark for a number of reasons and if you want to stop a dog barking, you should have an idea of why he is sounding off.
These are the most common causes:
- Territorial Barking: Basically, he’s saying “Back off! You’re on my turf!”
- Alarm Barking: He’s raising the alarm, telling you about a threat.
- Insecurity: Often a problem with smaller dogs. Anything they see as a threat sets them off
- Attention seeking: He’s asking for, or maybe demanding, a treat, a game or just your attention.
- Greeting: Every time you return home you are met with a volley of excited yapping. You then pay attention to the dog giving him an instant reward and encouraging him to repeat the behavior every time you walk through the door.
- Frustration: A common behavior with dogs who do not get enough exercise or mental stimulation.
- Compulsion: When a dog gets used to barking at every sound, movement or shadow, it soon becomes a habit. This can become very frustrating and is the kind of barking most likely to have your neighbors banging on your front door.
The method to stop a dog barking.
The idea is to teach your dog to bark on command. If you can tell him when to bark, you can tell him when to stop barking. Here goes;
- When you start this training put your dog his lead and secure it to a post or fence. Later you can progress to training off the lead.
- Stand in front and in an urgent tone, give the command “speak”.
- If your dog is already a “problem barker”, he will probably bark. When he does, praise him and give a food reward. If he doesn’t bark, repeat the command until he does, then give the reward.
- As soon as he barks, or even before if you can anticipate a bark, say “Speak!” and reward.
- Now that he’s learned that barking earns a reward he needs to learn that being quiet does too. Give the command “Quiet!” reward him as soon as he stops barking.
- If he continues barking say “No!” and withhold the reward.
- Repeat the exercise in short spurts (no more than 15 minutes). Keep up the training until the dog consistently responds to the command even when the food reward is not given.
- It is often useful to use hand signals with voice commands, so for example, bringing your thumb and fingers together in a “talking” gesture, and a palm up signal to stop.
As with all dog training, be patient and consistent. I’ve tried this with my dog and it is a great way to stop a dog barking. Hope it works for you!
The Rowdy Bunch (Breeds that love barking)
- Fox Terrier
- Mini Schnauzer
- Toy Poodle
- Mini Poodle
Silent Types (Breeds that bark less)
- Golden Retriever
- Australian Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Old English Sheepdog
- Alaskan Malamute
Plus of course, there’s the Basjeni, which doesn’t bark at all.Hope the method discussed above works for you. I’ve tried this with my dog and found it is a great way to stop a dog barking