Dogs bark at anything and nothing. Sometimes they’ll bark at each other, at other animals, or at random people at the park. Generally, barking is completely normal, and it is just the way dogs communicate. However, at some point barking can turn into a serious problem. This is when dog owners wonder “How to get a dog to stop barking?”
You should look for a permanent solution, not a temporary solution. This means no yelling, rewarding bad habits, or inconsistently disciplining.
To permanently solve this problem you need to find the source of the behavior, which will then lead you to the solution.
Why do dogs bark excessively?
To successfully answer the question how to get a dog to stop barking, we need to find the reason why your dog is barking constantly.
There could be several reasons why:
- when there is somebody at the door
- at cats or birds in the garden
- at people walking past the house
- to get your attention
- at other dogs or people when out and about
- at visitors who enter your home
Now, all these reasons alone won’t make your dog bark like crazy, it is how these things make your dog feel. Dogs bark when they feel a certain way:
- Territorial/Protective barking
When an animal or a person or comes into an area your dog considers their territory the excessive barking will start.
- Alarm/Fear barking
Your dog might start barking out of fear then it hears an unusual sound or gets startled
- Boredom/Loneliness barking
Being left alone is what dogs hate. They are pack animals, and you are their pack. So when you leave, they feel lonely or bored so they will bark because they are unhappy.
- Greeting/Play barking
Your dog will bark when he or she sees a familiar dog or person. That’s how they greet them.
- Attention Seeking barking
Dogs communicate their feelings and needs through barking. They will bark when they want something for you, be it attention or for you to let them out or feed them.
- Separation Anxiety/Compulsive barking
Separation anxiety is a very big problem for dog owners, and more and more people are facing it. Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone.
How to get a dog to stop barking?
There are several techniques you can use to get your dog to stop barking, however you can’t expect them to work overnight. It will take some time until your dog gets used to them and understands what you want. Patience is key, so don’t give up.
Things to remember
A dog is almost like a little child. So you can’t expect them to understand immediately what you want from them. There are three things you should always keep in mind if you want your dog to stop barking excessively:
- Never yell! It’s as if you’re barking with your dog.
- Stay positive and upbeat. That’s how your training sessions should be as well.
- Consistency is key! Otherwise you might confuse your dog. Don’t let your sometimes dog get away with barking, and then other times not.
Keep your dog tired
You’d be surprised how many times your dog will tirelessly bark only because they are bored or didn’t get enough physical activity and mental stimulation that day.
It’s simple, tired dog is a good dog! If your dog got enough physical and mental stimulation he is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.
Ignore the barking
If your dog is barking just to get your attention the best way to stop it is to ignore it! If you touch them, give them a treat or talk to them it’s like you’re rewarding that kind of behavior. Your dog will learn that barking is a way to get your attention.
It might take a lot of time for them to stop, but like mentioned patience is key.
Once they stop, even if it’s just for a few seconds you can give them a treat to reward them. As they catch on that being quiet gets them a treat, lengthen the amount of time they must remain quiet before being rewarded.
Remove the motivation
We tend to give our dogs treats to make them stop barking. But this is a very wrong approach. What you should do instead id find the reason for barking and remove that.
For example, if your dog barks at people or animals passing by the living room window, close the curtains or take your dog to another room.
This procedure is also called cordectomy and it is an elective surgical procedure involving partial removal of a dog’s vocal cords. However, it does not take away the dog’s ability to bark, it just makes it sound quieter and raspy. De-Barking surgery is definitely very controversial and we would never suggest you do that to your dog. It’s unnecasarry and full of risks.
There are several reasons why your dog is barking and each reason requires a different approach to stop it. The most important thing you need to remmeber is not to punish your dog and never yell at them for barking. Try to understand why your dog is barking excessively and based on that you’ll will find the right way to stop it. However, if you find that nothing is working, you might want to consider speaking to an expert, like a dog trainer. If you need more tips and techniques on how to get a dog to stop barking you can find them HERE.