Tips to Stop Barking


You love your dog – but he barks - a lot! It can be really annoying to you and your neighbours if it becomes incessant barking. So what can you do to control or reduce your dog's barking and make him the most loved dog on the block? Dog barking has several explanations. Yes, it's not threatening and can certainly be useful. But too loud, too often is annoying. Left as it is, barking leads to some problems. The most common problem would come from neighbours complaining.


Advice sharing is the best! The key to controlling any problem is understanding, what could trigger the behaviour and how to deal with it. This holds true to any problems and thus could be used to deal with the dog barking. Below are helpful ways to deal with your dog's barking problem: 


Ø  Have your dog eat at regular intervals. When they’re thirsty, dogs will respond to nature by barking for water. Dogs produce a different kind of howl, bark or growl when they want food. Feeding them at regular intervals would let them know when to expect they will get fed.


Ø  Be certain your dog gets enough daily exercise.  Dogs have energy reserves; they must use it up daily. If not, they get jumpy. Whether it’s rain or shine on any given day, let your dog have enough exercise – no exceptions. When the sun is out, just be imaginative with indoor exercises.


Ø  Bring home a toy or a second dog to keep your little friend entertained. Sometimes having a second dog in the house can minimize the barking and minimize the loneliness. Although this may be rewarding at sometimes, it can also be a pain. Your best bet would be to maximize training of your dog when it decides to bark. Sometimes having two dogs may cause havoc because they may teach each other to bark more.


Ø  Dogs suffer separation anxiety if left by themselves for a long time. Keeping him amused or with company effectively de-stresses the dog and keeps him calm.


Ø  If you’re entertaining a guest with their dog along, don’t let yours see this. Stay out of earshot when you’re into something interesting. Dogs like to take part in activities and would bark for it.


Ø  Giving your dog something to chew on is also a good deterrent to barking. How many dogs have you heard barking with their mouth’s full? All your dog's attention is now on the new squeaky toy you gave him!!


Ø  If we want to control barking, we need a dog that can obey us and relax. The dog needs to look to her owner for behaviour clues. If we can call her, have her lie down (dogs do not bark as much when lying down) and stay, we are well on the way to solving a nuisance barking problem. In addition, there are some common principles we can use in modifying barking behaviour.


Ø  First, in most cases shouting "No" is only going to make matters worse since the dog is thinking you are barking too (and is probably happy you joined in).


Ø  Be consistent. Pick a one-word command e.g., "Enough" for the behaviour you want and always use that word in the same tone of voice. Everyone in the household must use the same command and act identically.


Ø  Be patient with your dog and yourself. Changing behaviour takes a lot of time, and you need to take it slowly, one step at a time. If you become angry at your dog, the chance to correctly modify the behaviour will be gone.


Ø  Reward the dog for good behaviour. Positive reinforcement is much more powerful than punishment. Physical punishment will do nothing but make your dog fearful of you and break down the bond you wish to have with her. Often, picking a very special treat like small pieces of cooked chicken or hot dog will make the reward seem even better. As time goes on, you will not give a treat every time, sometimes just rewarding with a "Good Dog" and a pat on the dog's chest.


Ø  Do not hug your dog, talk soothingly, or otherwise play into your dog's barking. Your dog may then believe there really was something of which to be alarmed, afraid, or anxious. This reinforces her behaviour and she will likely bark even more the next time.


Ø  Control the situation. As much as possible, set up situations to use as training. Practice in short, frequent sessions, generally 5-10 minutes each.


Ø  Do not be afraid to ask an expert. Animal trainers, behaviourists, and your veterinarian can give you valuable advice. Having them witness your dog's barking episodes may give them valuable clues on helping you solve the barking problem.