Does Your Dog Always Bark at the Wrong Time? Not Any More
Without one paw of doubt, dogs are one of the most adorable, loyal, and intelligent animals on Earth. That being said, constant barking can become extremely irritating!
We all know that barking is a dog’s natural form of vocal communication. Everyone should be able to agree that it’s natural for dogs to bark every now and then.
However, if your dog has a habit of constantly barking (almost non-stop) throughout the day, then you have a big problem on your hands. It doesn’t matter if your pooch is inside or outside the house. Excessive yapping, barking, woofing, or growling will not only annoy you, but also everyone around you as well.
This article will reveal some simple techniques on how to teach your dog not to bark. We will also discuss the various reasons why dogs bark so you can better understand the meaning of your furry best friend’s “woof”. 🐺
Why do dogs bark?
Barking is your doggie’s way of communicating or relaying messages about his/her general condition, health, or territorial situation. There are many reasons why your dog will bark and these are:
- Seeking attention. Your doggie might start yapping if they want to go outside and play. If your dog is hungry or wants to get a treat, he or she might start barking as well. This is often heard as a more softer and affectionate bark.
- A form of greeting. I’m sure you noticed the way your dog reacts when you get home from work. This type of bark is called a happy bark or welcome bark and is usually accompanied by a wiggly tail and some minor acrobatic maneuvers!
- Marking territories. While a soft bark is more of a greeting, a territorial bark is more aggressive. Your dog will bark louder as the threat gets closer. You will also notice your dog will be more alert with signs of piloerection, which is basically the scientific term of when the hairs on a dog’s back are standing up (hackles). However, keep in mind that piloerection alone is not a typical sign of aggression. It is also important to note that dogs will also bark when faced with other dogs or animals. If there is a stranger outside your door, your dog will emit a loud and slightly aggressive bark to tell you that someone is approaching the premises of your home.
- Fear or Anxiety. There are dogs that can get startled by loud or crashing noises. This will cause your pooch to emit a somewhat anxious or fearful bark.
- Sign of boredom or loneliness. Dogs are no different from wolves in terms of social behavior since your doggie is a pack animal as well. Leaving your dog alone for extended periods of time (whether inside or outside the house) will leave him/her bored and unhappy. This will also cause your dog to bark because he or she will basically want to hear their own voice when they’re bored.
Teaching your Dog How NOT to Bark
Before learning the simple techniques on how to teach your dog not to bark, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:
- Train them early. You should start training your dog not to bark at the first sign of the problem, preferably before they become full-grown adults. The earlier you start, the better it is for your doggie.
- Excessive barking can also be a sign of disease or sickness such as brain disease or bee stings. If you think your dog is barking excessively because he or she is sick, seek veterinary care immediately.
- Remember that a quiet dog is a tired dog. If your pooch is the energetic and lively type of dog, take him or her for a job or a long walk to curb excessive barking. You can also start teaching your dog not to bark after playing a game (play ball!) so your pooch can burn off all those excess energies.
- Whatever you do, DO NOT SHOUT or raise your voice when your dog is barking. As frustrating as it is to have your dog bark at other dogs or the door when the door-bell rings, shouting will only make him/her think that you are joining in the fun and will only cause louder and more intense barks.
- Be patient. Training your dog not to bark will take time. At this point, it is foolish to expect great results overnight.
Method 1: Ignore your dog’s barking.
This might sound a bit cruel, but it is best to ignore your dog when he or she is barking excessively. Pay no attention to your doggie as long as he/she is barking. Don’t make eye contact, don’t touch your dog. More importantly, do not shout back! When the barking stops, reward him/her with a tasty treat. Repeat this every time your dog starts barking.
Method 2: Say “Quiet” instead of “Shut up!”
When your dog is barking incessantly, say ‘Quiet’ in a calm, composed, yet firm manner. Since dogs are more responsive to visual commands, you can say ‘Quiet’ while holding a finger to your lips. If your dog responds and stops barking (even when just catching a breath), give him/her a tasty treat.
If the barking starts again, repeat the ‘Quiet’ command and reward the dog when he or she obeys your command. Praise your doggie by patting him/her on the head while saying ‘good girl!’ or ‘good boy!’ Remember this method is best taught when your dog is in a quiet and calm environment.
Method 3: Remove the Stimuli
If your pooch is constantly barking at other people and animals outside the yard, bring the dog inside your house and begin teaching him the ‘Quiet’ command. Removing the stimuli (or the cause of the barking) will significantly reduce the barking sessions of your pooch.
Alternatively, if your dog has a nasty habit of barking at people or animals by the windows of your home, simply close the curtains or relocate your dog to a separate room inside the house. After doing this, you can begin teaching your dog not to bark if he starts barking again.
Removing the motivation behind the barking will make your dog easier to train. It will be hard to train your dog not to bark when he or she is constantly bothered by external stimuli.
The methods listed above are the easiest and most humane way of teaching your dog not to bark. Patience is the key to successfully training your dog to stop barking at your command. It is best to stay away from bark collars or shock collars since you will still need to train your pooch even in the presence of these so-called anti-barking devices. As always, we hope that you found this article useful on how to teach your dog not to bark and hope that every-paw-dy has a bark-tastic day! 🐾