How To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking

Our dogs are like our children.  We love them dearly, they make us smile and laugh.  But man OH man can they be ANNOYING sometimes.  Most specifically, I am talking about barking, that notoriously annoying loud noise that just always seems to come out at the most inappropriate times.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have them trained to stop on command?  I know we would certainly love if babies could do it.  The great news is, your dog can learn how to stop barking if you teach them! So here are some great ideas to get your dog to stop barking on command, just remember, this is a process.

Dogs are great at working for a reward.  This can be food, attention, pleasure, or comfort.  So when they bark, they are doing it because they expect some kind of positive outcome from it.  So if your dog is barking recurringly, figure out what they want and remove the reason.  The first step is not giving them the opportunity to want to bark in the first place.

Stop Your Dog From BarkingYour dog gets some kind of reward when he barks. Otherwise, he wouldn’t do it. Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.  For example, one of the most common reasons that a dog will bark is an approaching stranger.  This is a very basic instinct, they are actually trying to protect you and alert you to what they see.  Keep in mind that they are pack animals, and pack animals work together, so if you yell at them for barking at a stranger you will just confuse them as they view this as a good thing to protect the pack.  If they are barking based on sight and sound from inside the house at a window, or at guests, put them in another room or close the curtains, if they bark when they are outside, stand by them outside and move them away as people approach.  This is the first step to teaching your dog that you do not desire this behavior.

Another important thing to do is refrain from giving your dog attention when they are barking undesirably.  This can be very hard as the barking behavior can get very annoying, especially if they have been allowed to do it for some time.  Dogs will seek recognition when they are barking because they are not actually doing it for themselves, they are doing it to alert you.  Ignoring them while they are barking will leave this desire unsatisfied, and dogs will start to see no reward in the behavior, thus making it an unnecessary action to them.  While you are doing this, you should also try and desensitize them to whatever it is causing them to bark.  If they bark at strangers, socialize them with humans.  If they bark at cats, train them to be them be friendly.  This will show them what you, as the pack leader, expect from this type of interaction, and their first and foremost desire is to please the pack leader.  Hopefully, these tips will get you on the path of how to get your dog to stop barking, as it can be a very difficult behavior to control.  For more tips on Problem Barking, read this post!