From their wagging tails to their many noises, dogs aren’t afraid to show how they feel.
This can be an issue, however, when it comes to excessive barking.
Barking to warn their humans of danger is a wonderful thing. It’s always comforting to have your furry friend on guard, letting you know when something isn’t right.
But we all know those dogs with a lot of well-personality. Sometimes that perky personality and excessive barking can get on your nerves.
This can be even worse if you live in an apartment complex or have close neighbours. Your incessantly yappy buddy can be a problem for people close by.
So how do you get those vocal pups to take it easy? How do you stop your dog barking?
#1. Don’t Add to the Noise
It’s best not to shout or yell at your dog to be quiet. It’s tempting, I know!
But when you are trying to train a dog out of their mouthy behaviour, it isn’t really a good idea to overpower their noise with yours.
This can wind them up even more because it seems like you’re just joining the party.
Try to stay calm and relax.
#2. Ignore It
This one is probably tough. After all, when a dog is continuously barking, it can be like dragging nails across a chalkboard.
But if you avoid any contact or communication with the dog when they start barking, this can help. The lack of attention could deter them.
Once they stop barking, no matter how long, praise them! Give them a treat, tell them they are a good boy or girl.
The one thing with this method is consistency. If you ignore, you must continually ignore and not give in to the urge to hush them.
This way, they can correlate you ignoring them to barking, and them not barking to receiving praise.
If you are not consistent, this will only confuse them.
#3. Distract Them
When they are going wild over a passerby or a knock at the door, divert their attention.
Instead of shouting at them to be quiet, toss a treat into their bed or kennel and tell them to lay down. Or place them in another room away from the activity with a toy.
Each time they bark, remove them from the situation and they are likely to calm.
#4. Exercise Regularly
You may not equate your dog’s excessive barking to lack of exercise, but you’d be surprised!
One way to try to reduce the amount of barking is to make sure your dog runs out all their energy. Take a nice walk or jog with them. Let your dog run around in a fenced-in yard or park to tucker them out. Play with them.
If your dog is cooped up and not getting the outlet they need, this can add to hyper behaviour and even more barking. Getting the appropriate stimulation is so important!
Each dog is different, so just be sure you are giving them the release they require. Calmer dogs are easier to work with.
#5. Always Applaud Good Listening
It’s no secret that our four-legged friends thrive on positive reinforcement. Even the most disagreeable dogs truly care that they make their owners happy.
Barking is impulsive or instinctive behavior. As you train, if you stay upbeat, positive, and give out yummy rewards, this is sure to get their attention.
The more positive you remain in your teaching, the better response you will get out of your dog. They love feeling as if you are happy with them.
Negative reinforcement can start other bad habits that come from fear or resentment. Of course, you will want to avoid that completely.
Just remember – stay consistent, be firm, and be constructive. The more you show them the same repeated behaviours, the quicker they will snap into your desired routine.
Toys and treats all the way! It’s a win-win for both of you.