While it can be frustrating, helping your dog stop barking is not a small task. Dogs are fickle creatures like humans and require a lot of love and training. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and with the right attitude and consistency, you can have a better relationship with your dog. Figure out what works best for your pet with these simple steps. Simply put, you help your dog stop barking by:
1. Staying calm
2. Setting consistent rewards for good behavior
3. Don’t give into barking
4. Making sure your dog doesn’t feel threatened
5. Exposing your dog to stimuli in doses
6. Teaching them to bark and then how to be quiet
7. Tiring your dog
One of the most effective ways to help your dog stop barking is to remain calm. Dogs are often reacting to stimuli in their environment which can cause barking and other behavioral issues. Staying calm even while they are barking and using a calm tone when giving directions can help dogs calm down. When you yell or scream, a dog is going to think that you are barking at them as well. In turn, your dog will become more hyperactive, and it won’t stop barking. If you have family, everyone must be in on the training. As the Humane Society notes:
“Everyone in your family must apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. You can’t let your dog get away with inappropriate barking some times and not others.”
Setting consistent rewards for good behaviors
Instilling good habits into your dog by offering treats can help your dog stop barking. However, this can only be accomplished by consistently offering rewards for good behaviors. Reward behavior such as:
· Speak command
· Quiet command
· Using the restroom outside
· Not barking at a dog
· Come here command
· Getting into bed command
Following these steps will make you a better dog owner and help your dog stop barking. Routine helps dogs understand their owner, and what behavior is expected in certain situations. Establishing that trust can go a long way in helping your dog deal with external stimuli.
Don’t give in to barking
Although it may pain you, every time you give in to your dog barking, they are learning what behavior is acceptable. You must not reward their barking with giving them attention. Instead, ignore them or don’t even look at them. Once your dog does calm down though, that is the appropriate time to reward them for their calmness. Use a treat or some peanut butter to reward that good behavior. If your dog starts barking again, stop immediately. Only then can you start training them. What you do not want to do is give them a treat in the middle of a barking session or even acknowledge them. When you acknowledge them, the dog becomes trained to use barking as a method for getting your attention (in some situations this can be a healthy thing). Help your dog stop barking by not giving in to their barking fits.
Make sure your dog doesn’t feel threatened
Dogs can show aggression when they feel someone has violated either their territory or their body. If your dog is making low growling noises or barking loudly at others as they approach, your dog could feel scared and threatened. Never shout or scream at your dog as this can only make the situation worse. You don’t want yourself to seem like a threat. Again, remain calm and don’t make sudden movements. This can often happen with new dog owners who adopted an abused pet from a shelter. Oftentimes, a new owner will need to win over the new pet. An abused pet may find a hiding spot and cower and bark at people. In order to get your dog to stop barking, leave them alone, and let them warm up to you.
Expose your dog to stimuli in doses
Dogs can often bark at others when they feel their territory is threatened and various other reasons. One of the best ways to get your dog to stop barking Is to expose your pet to that stimulus in small bursts. Training with a professional can help your dog get some exposure and calm them down even when they don’t like new people. Remember though, dogs take on the personality of their owners. If you are laid back and calm, your dog will learn little by little from you.
Teach them to bark, then to silent
It may sound counter-intuitive, but teaching your dog went to bark helps train your dog for when not to bark. First, teach your dog the command “speak”, and only reward them after they bark on your command. Next, teach your dog “quiet.” This will establish when it is and isn’t appropriate for your dog to bark. Remember to always reward good behavior and do not engage with bad ones.
Tiring your dog
Seriously, one of the best ways to get your dog to stop barking is for them to be tired out. That may mean that you need to take them on walks, runs, or play with them for a while. Using items like dog toys can also be beneficial in getting your dog’s either tired or distracted from barking.Like this content and want more? Check out our articles over the best pet insurance or how to protect your pets from the summer heat! Subscribe to Dock Line Magazine and receive free content like this in your email every week!