Let’s be honest here, a dog’s bark isn’t the most pleasant of sounds, especially when you want some peace and quiet or while you are sleeping. A dog’s bark is not pleasant to your neighbors as well, especially when your dog barks in the yard.
Lucky for you, you can train your dog to stop barking when unnecessary and we have compiled six great techniques that you can use to help you do that.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t expect miraculous results overnight, this is a process that will take more than that and the more that your dog has been participating in barking behavior the longer it will take to train it out of them.
You also need to note the reasons why your dog is barking before you train it to do otherwise.
Here are some tips you need to remember and utilize while training your furry friend:
- You needn’t yell at your dog to be quiet; it will just entice them to keep on barking along with your yelling.
- You need to keep your training sessions pretty upbeat and positive.
- Make sure to be consistent so you don’t confuse the dog, everyone in your household must keep to the rules and methods for every time your dog barks unnecessarily.
How to get your dog to stop barking
Here are 6 techniques you may want to use to stop your dog from barking at inappropriate times:
Remove the enticing motivation behind the barking
The reason why dogs bark is because they get some kind of kick/reward out of it, if they didn’t then why would they do it? So, you need to figure out what they get out of the action and promptly remove it. Remember to not give your dog the chance to continue this bad behavior.
For example, they could be barking at a passerby from the window, if they do that continuously then you should manage this behavior by simply closing the curtain or moving the dog to another room entirely.
Manage this behavior by ignoring it
Another reason why your dog is barking might be the fact that they’re trying to get your attention. If you suspect that this is the reason why they do it, then the simple way of managing this behavior is to ignore your dog.
That means do not engage them, do not talk to them, do not touch them, do not look at them, any type of attention, even if you are shushing them means that their method works and will keep barking to get your attention.
Only when they finally quiet down, reward them with a treat, for this timing is key so make sure to quickly reward them so they don’t confuse it as if you’re rewarding them for barking.
For example, if they’re barking when you have put them in their doghouse or a gated room, just turn around and ignore them, and once they’ve stopped quickly turn around and reward them with a treat.
They will slowly catch on to which behavior earns them a treat and which doesn’t. Keep in mind to lengthen the amount of time they have to remain quiet before they get a reward, and always start small with the rewards and slowly work up over longer periods of quiet.
Completely desensitize your dog to the stimulus
You can try to get your dog gradually become accustomed to whatever or whoever is causing them to bark. You may begin with the type of stimulus at a distance, far away enough so that they do not bark when they see it.
Proceed to reward them with treats for not barking at it. Then continue to move the stimulus closer and closer while rewarding when good behavior is exhibited. If the stimulus can’t be seen by the dog do not give them treats as you want them to learn that the appearance of the stimulus accompanied with good behavior leads only to good things.
For example, if they bark at other dogs, have a friend with a dog (if possible) to stand far away enough so your dog won’t be prompted to bark, and slowly as your friend and their dog is coming into sight of your dog, start with the rewards. Stop feeding your dog treats when your friend and their companion disappear from view and continue repeating this process until your dog is trained.
Command your dog to do an incompatible thing
This may be confusing so let us explain, when your dog starts barking you can try to ask them to do something that incompatible with barking. So, by teaching your dog to react to stimuli with something that prevents them from barking, you can train them to not do that anymore.
For example, if someone is at the door you can throw a treat on their bed and command them to go to it. When they have listened and gone to their bed to earn the treat go and open the door while they are on their bed. However, if they get up, close the door promptly. Repeat this process until they stay in bed while the door opens.
Try to keep your dog tired
By making sure that your dog is getting the needed mental and physical exercise every day, you can stop them from barking by simply getting them tired. When dogs are tired, they are far less likely to bark from either boredom or frustration. The amount of exercise they need all depends on their breed, health and age.