Before you discover how to stop your dog from barking, you need to learn why he does it in the first place.
Barking comes as second nature to your dog and however much your eardrums object, your dog doesn’t know he is doing anything wrong. He even looks like he is enjoying himself!
Why Man’s Best Friend Barks
Dogs are instinctively territorial and will always have a certain area marked off as their own territory, in their own mind. That means any violation of their space from people or animals they see as a threat will be met by a flurry of verbal attack, namely barking, from your dog. While this is a trait you can outwardly frown upon, you might be inwardly smiling because it shows how tough your dog is. This might make you think twice about learning how to stop your dog from barking.
But if unchecked it can prove to be not just a nuisance, to you and your visitors, but dangerous as well. This is because dogs can at times use biting to defend their territory when barking does not seem to be working.
Your dog could also be barking just because he just got startled or something drew his attention.
Remember that barking is one of the ways he talks, so he can’t help himself much. Your dog may also bark because he is happy and excited to see you or when he is out playing to just show how happy he is. Many times you might never even notice this because you might also be doing your own kind of barking by talking to him excitedly.
Your dog may also bark when separated from people, or it could be a compulsive behaviour where he just wants to hear the sound of his own voice. There are even dogs who just love to hear themselves speak. Like some humans I know.
Sadly, it can also be because he is unwell and uncomfortable, and is just lamenting. It is important to never dismiss the barking of your friend before you get to know how to stop your dog from barking. Here are 4 sure ways to stop him from barking.
How to Stop Your Dog From Barking
Remove the Trigger
Your buddy may be triggered to bark by various things including other dogs or passers-by. You can make your dog know that his barking is not welcome by removing him from the situation every time he gets excited and goes verbal.
If he starts barking when in the yard, you can get him into the house. If he is getting overly chatty while in the living room, get him to another room till he quietens down.
Making this deliberate move every time will drive the message home, given the right amount of time. It will not happen instantaneously. But every time you repeat this act, he will start to see the connection of being separated with when he starts to bark and it will teach you and him another lesson on how teach your dog to stop barking.
Teach Him When To Be Quiet
Just like when a little tot is learning how to talk, you can never stop a pup from barking and expressing themselves. But as they get older you teach them when to speak and when to be quiet.
You can do the same for your dog by teaching him when to talk and when to be quiet. When you have his attention and there are no distractions, encourage him to bark and give him a treat every time he does. This will be important to teach him the command ‘speak’. Remember to give this time to sink in. A couple of days of continual good response should let you know it is sinking in well.
Next, you will teach him to be quiet by following the same pattern, but then giving the treat every time you tell him to be quiet and he obeys. He has to obey for you to give the treat.
Be deliberate with your voice, but keep a good hold of it. Do not get excited, but be well controlled as excitement can show in your voice and give a different message from the one you intend. Once your bosom buddy learns this you will have a better handle on how to stop dog barking. Keep affirming this ‘quiet’ command even when there are no treats and in more distracting conditions; especially when a trigger is introduced.
Make Your Guard Trigger-Friendly
Another sure way how to stop your dog from barking is by making him trigger-friendly.
You can do this by making him relate the presence of the trigger, like the postman, to yummy treats. Every time, around that time the postman is meant to come, start treating your dog to treats that he can’t ignore.
Depending on how much the trigger tickles his fancy, it may take some time to direct his full attention to the treats. At first, he may even bark and chew at the same time. Two for two for the team, he may be thinking.
But sooner than later this mutt’s taste buds will take over and get him to look for the treats every time the trigger is introduced, instead of focusing his attention on the trigger. When this happens, the war will be won on how to stop your dog from barking. Remember introducing treats for being quiet will work best as they send a clear message.
Keep That Furry Friend Active
Remember that an active dog is a happy dog. When he burns up all that energy that is itching inside of him he will quiet down. This helps you in three ways. While interacting with him in fun and games, you will be killing his boredom as well as expending his energy. That will give you a stronger, healthier and happier dog.
Freddy and I hope we have answered your question ‘how to stop my dog from barking?’
You’ll be so glad you made the effort, and you’ll have a much better friend.