Training your dog not to bark can be a challenge for many dog owners. Essentially, you are making a request to your pet that they restrain their natural instinct to speak on command. Dogs are always going to bark no matter what and if you have a dog that doesn’t bark a lot, consider yourself lucky. I bet you are getting a lot more sleep than most at night when they hear something that no one else can hear or even see. If you want to train your dog to stop barking, start with these two tips: stay positive and be consistent.
Positivity and consistency should always be at the forefront of any training technique you try. If you yell at your dog to be quiet, he will only think you are barking along with him and if you’re not consistent, you will never see results and your dog will get away with inappropriate barking behavior. The key to all of this is having patience in the process and with your pup that his barking behavior will change for the better. Here are 4 techniques you can try at home to train your dog not to bark. Keep in mind while all of these techniques can help keep your dog from barking, results will take time.
The first technique is to remove the motivation to bark. Your dog is getting some kind of pleasure or reward when he barks or he wouldn’t keep doing it. Dogs aren’t the type to do something just for the heck of it. If your dog often barks at the mailman or the kids who are coming from home school, manage his behavior by keeping him away from the windows or closing the curtains. If he barks while he is outside, take him into the house so that he understands it’s not ok to be outside and bark at people. The second technique is to ignore the barking. If you have kids, you might be aware of a similar technique. Ignoring your dog when it barks is like if you were to ignore your kids when they are whiney. It will show them that barking is not an ok way to achieve attention. Once your dog quiets down, then reinforce the silence with a treat so that it understands that it’s better not be noisy if it wants attention. Another technique is to desensitize your dog to the stimulus that makes him bark. If your dog is always barking at your neighbor or another dog, then maybe try introducing him to her so that he feels more comfortable. Some dogs can just be over protective and when they see other people that are not you in their space, they become defensive. Teach your dog that stimulus is ok by bringing the two closer together and giving your dog treats as it behaves appropriately. Over time your dog will get comfortable and see that there is no harm and won’t bark. The last technique and most common is to teach your dog the quiet command. This one can be a bit tougher as you must first get your dog to speak on command before it can truly understand to be quiet when it does speak. Get your dog to bark a couple of times and use the term quiet until he stops and calms down. Once quiet, feed it a treat and practice it over and over again. You can make it more challenging by having someone ring the doorbell and using the command until it’s fully effective.
Barking is natural and will take time to control. Stay positive and consistent to train your dog how to not bark in any situation.