Getting your dog to stop barking can be tricky. Some important things to keep in mind while training your dog is to not yell, because it sounds like you are barking along with your pooch. Be sure to keep the training sessions positive and upbeat while staying consistent so your dog is not confused. Read on to learn more tips and tricks to stop your dog’s barking, provided by the Humane Society of the United States.
REMOVE THE MOTIVATION
Your dog is receiving a reward in some way when he is barking. He would not do it if that weren’t the case. Take the time to figure out what is motivating your dog to bark and remove it. If, for example, your dog barks at people passing by the window, close the curtains or put him in another room. You should also bring your dog inside if he barks when he is in the yard.
IGNORE THE BARKING
Don’t give your dog any attention when he’s barking, because when you do, you are rewarding him for being noisy. This method is challenging, because you have to wait out his barking. When your dog does finally quiet down, reward him with a treat. Do your best not to cave and shout for him to stop, because your dog will learn that you will give him attention if he barks long enough.
DESENSITIZE YOUR DOG TO THE STIMULUS
You can slowly make your dog accustomed to whatever is making him bark. Start with the stimulus far enough away so that he doesn’t immediately bark when he sees it. Feed him treats while slowly moving the stimulus closer. Stop feeding him treats when it is out of sight. The idea is for your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus can lead to treats. This method can be used with toys, people or other dogs that cause your dog to bark.
TEACH YOUR DOG THE 'QUIET' COMMAND
The first step of this technique is actually the reverse, which is to teach your dog to bark on command. Reward him with treats when he does after you say “speak.” Once he can reliably bark on command, then teach him the opposite. In an environment with no distractions, instruct your dog to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and put a treat in front of him. Reward and praise him for being quiet.
ASK YOUR DOG FOR AN INCOMPATIBLE BEHAVIOR
When your dog begins to bark, instruct him to do something that is incompatible with barking. For example, if someone is at the door, put a treat on his bed and tell him, “Go to your place.” When he is heading there for his treat, open the door. If he gets up, close the door immediately. Keep doing this until your dog learns to stay on his bed when the door opens.
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KEEP YOUR DOG TIRED
Make sure that you are playing and exercising your dog enough. A tired dog is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Playing with toys or going for long walks can all keep your dog entertained and tire him out. Exercise every day is important for many dog breeds that need the activity to stimulate their minds and bodies.