Dog ownership is a fun, rewarding experience. A dog rewards its owner with a lifetime of companionship. But owning a dog is not all fun and games. You must commit to training your dog and teaching your dog that they don’t have to bark at everyone is an important skill.
If you have a dog that is a bit too noisy, ready below to learn some tips. You can turn your problem pet into a stoic companion in no time.
Common Reasons Dogs Bark
When trying to train your pet out of a bad habit, it’s important to figure out the reasons why your pet is acting in that way.
Dogs can bark for a lot of reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons a dog would bark:
- Your dog’s excited: Normally you want your dog to be excited. It’s one of the reasons for having a dog. Seeing the wheels turning in their head when they expect a treat, anticipate mealtime or prepare for a trip outside satisfies an owner’s desire to please their pet. But having Fido bark at every life event can get a little tiring.
- Defending territory: If your dog has their own little space, they can bark when a person or other animal goes there.
- Seeking attention: Your pet might simply be trying to tell you they want your attention. They may be trying to get your cuddles, a treat, food, toys, or even access to the outside. Just remember, they are trying to tell you something.
- Frustration: Have you played with your pup and noticed they will bark when a toy rolls somewhere where it is inaccessible? That’s the bark of frustration because your dog is feeling
- Fear: When something startling or unknown presents itself, your dog may use their bark to put some distance between them and what startled them. Usually this is the “angry” sounding bark because it comes from a place of fear.
- Separation distress: Dogs are social animals, and they love being with their families. When left alone, they can vocalize their sadness with a bark.
How to Stop a Dog from Barking
If you’re trying to figure out how to stop a dog from barking, you can use a few techniques. Feel free to mix and match some of these methods to best suit your dog’s reasons for barking.
White Noise Machine
A white noise machine is just a machine that plays a quiet repetitive sound that helps to cover up other sounds. Many people use these machines to help them fall asleep.
This machine is also useful to help block out noises if your dog is an alertness barker. Using white noise in an area of the house your dog typically stays in can help block out external noises. No need to worry about delivery trucks, car doors or children playing outside when you’re able to cover up the distraction.
Having more toys for your dog helps to stop those boredom or attention seeking barkers. Having more toys can keep your pet entertained during times where you can’t be their entertainment. This helps out if you need to take a phone call or want to catch up on your favorite show.
Get a hard rubber toy that dispenses treats and you’ll be able to get some alone time. Your pet will also love the challenge and reward.
This method helps if your dog is seeking attention or wants to play. If your dog starts barking because they want to play or can’t reach a toy, you shouldn’t cave in to their demands. If you do, you’ll be teaching your dog that barking gets them what they want.
What you should do is wait for your dog to relax and stop barking. Then you’ll be able to help them or give them what they want. When your dog realizes that barking is not a successful strategy to get what they want, they’ll stop doing it.
Cover Your Dog’s View
If your dog is barking to alarm you or to defend territory, an easy way around this is to simply cover their view.
If your dog is staring out the window and barking at everything that walks by, you can install a window film to block your dog from seeing outside. Slowly, you can lower the film to eventually train your dog that what’s outside the window is not much worth their attention.
Tire Out Your Dog
The age-old secret to a happy dog: more exercise! Make sure you dog always has a full day and is able to play to their heart’s content. This will tire them out to the point where they will not be on high alert all the time.
Games like tug-of-war are great for physical exercise. You can play “hide a toy” for a nice mental workout. Whatever exercise you and your dog like, be sure to finish it out with nutritious food and the right amount of rest.
Remember, when training your dog, positive reinforcement works much better than almost any other method. You may have pulled your hair out trying to figure out how to stop a dog from barking, but it’s not rocket science.
When your dog does what you want, reward them. When your dog does something you don’t like, don’t reward them.
When a dog starts barking at the doorbell, it’s easy to scold them or raise our voice. This isn’t going to be as effective as rewarding them when they don’t bark.
So, when someone walks by and your dog doesn’t bark, give them a treat. When your dog waits patiently for the toy under the couch, be sure to pick it up and play with them for a bit. These times are great teachable moments.
By giving your dog positive reinforcement, you’ll quickly be on your way to having the perfectly trained dog you’ve always wanted.