According to various studies carried out by dog training professionals, stopping a dog from barking is one of the most commonly requested solutions dog owners are looking for when they hire a dog trainer.
Learning how to stop a dog barking is one thing. But first we must take the time to understand why a dog is barking in the first place. You could start here: Why do dogs bark?
Now, on to the process of learning to cure unwanted dog barking...
Teaching a Dog Not to Bark
Let's look at one of the best tips to stop dog barking. It's short, it's simple and it works! If it were written in the form of a Japanese proverb it might sound something like this:
"To teach a dog not to bark, first you have to teach it to bark."
We're looking to stop our dog barking and so we go about training to bark?
Well, yes. You see, a dog barking can only really be expected to understand a command to stop barking if he's been taught it. Attaining an element of control to your dog's barking is one the most effective ways to control their unwanted barking. After all, you wouldn't just say sit to a dog and expect him to understand. You'd teach the command.
Sandy Finley is a professional dog trainer. Here are his top tips to cure unwanted dog barking:
Dogs do not engage in unrewarding behaviour. Dog training is mostly about making bad behaviours unrewarding. If we simply employ this principle, we can stop our dog from barking excessively.
Dogs bark because it is a natural behaviour. Barking is used to alert their pack of possible danger and to give warning to others. This natural behaviour can go astray when the canine is bored, stressed or for various other reasons. An analogy would be overeating in humans. Eating is obviously a natural behaviour. However, if we are bored, stressed or suffer from various maladies we sometimes overeat. Natural behaviours can become unnatural given a toxic environment. This is what occurs with your dog barking excessively.
We therefore have a problem with a cause and a symptom. The cause of your dog’s barking is generally stress or boredom. The symptom is the headache inducing noise known as “excessive barking”.
As your dog’s trainer, you would strive to eliminate both the cause and the symptom. Both canine stress and boredom can be alleviated by exercising your dog. A tired dog is a good dog. Exercise both his mind and body. This can be accomplished by walking your dog and obedience training. Different breeds will need different degrees of exercise. If you have a working breed like a Border Collie, you will need large doses of work to drain his energy reserves. Less active dogs will need less work.
Unfortunately, it may take a great deal of time to reverse barking behaviours that have become ingrained. It would accordingly also be appropriate to address the excessive barking behaviour directly. To do this would involve retraining your dog that excessive barking is unrewarding.
To retrain your dog not to bark, I’d suggest the following:
· Create an environment where barking is unrewarding and quiet is rewarding.
· Every time your dog barks inappropriately, go to him and command "NO."
· When the dog barks, go to where he is. Do not call him to you.
· Go to him immediately after he barks.
· Go to him every time he barks, for as long as it takes, until he associates barking with unpleasantness.
· Your 'punishment' should be so consistent that the dog comes to perceive it as an automatic and inevitable consequence of barking, but you should not be seeking to frighten the dog - simply to disrupt the unwanted behaviour and reward the desired response.
· When the dog is quiet, reward him with your presence and your affectionate praise.
Finally, if your dog is aggressive, hire a professional dog trainer to assist you. Rehabilitating an aggressive dog will often involve employing specialised knowledge and experience.
Stop Dog Barking Quick Tips
To keep your dog from barking, you need to stop rewarding the behaviour by giving him what he wants. This means paying attention to your dog, letting him inside the house or comforting him. Your dog will associate your behaviour with the barking and will think that you want him to bark.
Stimulate your dog every day to help prevent nuisance behaviours, such as barking. A bored dog is more likely to bark continuously in an effort to gain attention. If you get your dog out for regular walks and exercise, you may find that this behaviour stops. You will have a happier dog, and be a happier owner. Yes, often barking is simply a result of boredom. A bored dog will engage in lots of unwanted behaviour, not just barking!
To reduce the barking of your dog, try getting them used to what causes the barking in the first place. It can be a sound, or being face to face with other people or other animals. Your dog will understand that there is no need to bark in these situations.
The best way to prevent your dog from barking excessively, is to make him more comfortable with whatever it is he barks at so frequently. Dogs bark at anything that scares of threatens them, so if you show your dog that the object of their fear is nothing to be afraid of, he'll stop barking.
To train a dog to stop barking you must first train him to bark on command. When the dog barks on command instead of when he chooses to bark, it is easier to teach him to stop barking during the training session. Once he learns the command for "stop barking" he will follow it outside of training.
Yelling at your dog to stop him from barking can be very ineffective. Instead, try talking calmly to him, and teach him a word that he will associate with quiet. Yelling, to your dog, sounds like you are barking right along with him and so, it can further encourage him to bark.
Making sure your dog knows how to learn is the best benefit of working with your dog early on in his or her life. When your dog understands the benefits and rewards of learning the tricks you teach it, the desire to learn is often as rewarding as the reward itself.
Stop Dog Barking - Cesar Millan Tips:
Barking while the owner is away – This is most often a symptom of separation anxiety. You can help your dog to relax by communicating that being apart is no big deal. Instead of showering your dog with affection, practice no touch, no talk, and no eye contact for at least five minutes when entering or leaving your home.
Barking at a specific stimulus – Take time to simulate the cause of the barking, and practice correcting your dog. If it’s the doorbell that sets your dog off, ring it when no one is coming over, so you can stay focused on the task at hand: helping your dog overcome this unwanted behaviour.
Stop Puppy Barking
For any new dog owner, handling all of the loud barking of a new puppy can be quite an unnerving experience. Most new dog owners are not prepared for the intense amount of barking and yelping that young puppies start doing the minute they arrive in their new home.
Although it is totally natural, some puppies do not give their owners the luxury of quieting down, especially at night.
One of the biggest phases that a puppy will go through is the fear of being alone. And I’m not talking about being alone in the sense of you leaving the house. Some puppies will go absolutely nuts even when you only leave the room for a split second. They just can’t bear to be alone because they are used to having their mommy or littermates around non-stop.
When faced with this situation, what you do? If you run to your puppy to sooth and caress him every time he cries, then you are only feeding the behaviour and creating a spoiled dog. On the other hand, if you ignore him and let him bark his brains out, the rest of the family (especially your spouse) will become very annoyed with you for letting the barking go on.
It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, we do have some tips to help you deal with your puppy barking situation:
1. The first step is to try to ignore your puppy’s barking if at all possible without yelling at him. Yelling will either scare him from wanting to come near you or will further add to his anxiety levels that and he will continue barking.
2. There is a product called a “teaching lead” which will enable your puppy to be around you at all times in the house. Use these types of tools so that your puppy can be around you while he is getting used to his independence.
3. When you leave the house, try to refrain from long and drawn out departures. Although it’s understandable to want to pet your puppy and talk sweet to her before leaving the house, it only creates more stress because she will start to associate your behaviour with you leaving her side. The same advice goes when you arrive home. Avoid big and exciting welcomes after walking through the door.
4. Try using a simple training aid to get your puppy to quiet down immediately when she is barking. A water bottle that sends a quick burst of streaming spray is a perfect idea. Or you could use a small tin can filled with a few pennies in it. When you go to leave her side and she starts barking, simply throw that can in her area. It will create a startling noise while at the same time diverting her attention.
Stop Dog Barking Video Tips