Do you have a dog that likes to bark incessantly? It can be frustrating, especially when trying to work, relax or sleep. Unfortunately, many pet parents struggle with how to stop a dog from barking at some point in their hound vs. human relationship! In fact, it can feel like an uphill struggle when every solution for how to get a dog to stop barking doesn't seem to work!
Dogs bark for many reasons and boredom, excitement, fear, or aggression are common triggers. Thankfully there are ways to stop this behavior, and most are quite simple.
This Mountain Hound blog provides 10 tips on how to stop a dog from barking. We will also explore why dogs bark in the first place and how you can eliminate some common barking triggers. Let's get started!
10 Tips on How to Get a Dog to Stop Barking
- Respond selectively: A lack of response is the ideal trick for how to stop a barking dog! Many dogs bark when they're trying to get your attention. Giving in and providing them with the attention they want can reinforce the behavior and teach them that barking gains results. Instead, respond selectively by ignoring the barking and only rewarding calm behavior.
- Exercise: Provide your dog with plenty of exercise - this helps reduce boredom and hyperactivity, two common triggers for barking. If needed, consider getting an additional walker or hiring a pet sitter to help out!
- Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog when they are quiet, so they learn that being quiet is rewarded rather than barking. This could involve giving them treats, petting, or playing a game with them.
- Establish boundaries: Set clear rules and consistently enforce them, so your dog knows what is expected of them. This will help establish boundaries for when it's appropriate to bark and when it isn't.
- Desensitize: If your dog barks at certain noises or people, start desensitizing them by gradually introducing the noise or person from far away until they become comfortable with it. Make sure to reward calm behavior!
- Leave the scene: If you notice that your dog starts barking in a particular situation, such as the presence of another dog in the park, leaving the scene can be an effective way to stop the barking.
- Relaxation techniques: If your dog is easily excitable or struggles with stress and anxiety, you could try using natural calming remedies for dogs to restore calm—for example, pet remedy diffusers, anti-anxiety beds, or tablets. Alternatively, doggie yoga is a great stress reliever for pet parents and their hounds, and as you know, less stress is the perfect remedy for how to get a dog to stop barking!
- Distraction: Learning how to stop a dog from barking is quite easy, and sometimes, all it takes is a distraction! Try offering your dog something else to focus on, like a toy or tasty treat, so they don't feel the need to bark. However, don't fall into the pet parent trap of rewarding bad behavior!
- Make sure they are not left alone for too long: Dogs can become bored and anxious when left alone for long periods. So, ensure you give them plenty of attention and playtime if you're away from home during the day. In addition, leaving the radio or tv on when you are out of the house can help reduce separation anxiety and block out outdoor noises (cars, neighbors chatting, delivery drivers).
- Get professional help: If you're still having trouble controlling your dog's barking, consider getting professional help from a certified trainer or behavior specialist. They can provide bespoke advice tailored to your pup on how to stop a dog from barking.
The Final Yap on The Matter
Understanding what triggers your dog's barking can help you eliminate these bark-inducing irritants and find more effective ways to communicate with your pup, thus removing the root cause of their excessive barking. Remember, patience and consistency are vital when trying to reduce a dog's barking. Good luck on your journey toward a quieter home!