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How to Train Your Dog Not to Bark?

Barking shaggy dog standing in grass

Do you own an excessively barking dog who is making your neighbors (and yourself) go crazy? You might feel a little relieved to know that you are NOT the only one who is facing this trouble. You shouldn’t try to eliminate barking completely because it’s a canine’s natural form of communication. However, it’s important to train your dog not to bark inappropriately, and this kind of woofing must be controlled. 

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Being their natural vocalization, dogs bark for several different reasons, like fear, boredom, and excitement. Similarly, your pup might bark to warn you about the presence of potential danger. Consequently, it’s the responsibility of the owner to figure out why the dog is woofing.

You shouldn’t discourage the canine if he is whining or growling for a genuine reason. This can have a disastrous impact on the confidence and personality of your pet. On the other hand, if you feel that your puppy is exhibiting negative behavior, train him/her not to bark inappropriately.

Common Causes of Inappropriate Barking

Dog barking at fence

The first thing that you need to do to solve this problem is to find the exact cause of barking. For this reason, you will need to investigate your dog’s behavior to see what’s troubling him/her. If your puppy tends to bark inappropriately in your absence, you may have to talk with your neighbors. Alternatively, you can use a video camera to record the incidents while you are away.

Gather as much information as possible to determine the right cause of the problem barking. Once you have that, you will be in a better position to train your dog not to bark inappropriately. The following are some of the most common triggers that can induce barking.

  • Frustration
  • Boredom
  • Fear
  • Unexpected Noise
  • Territorial Breach
  • Excitement
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Medical Issues

How to Train a Dog Not to Bark?

Profile close up of Shiba Inu Barking

Before you start the training, devise some rules and responses that you will be following. Stick to them throughout the training if you don’t want to confuse your puppy. Likewise, make sure that there are no underlying health issues, such as pain. Last but not least, treat your pet with kindness and avoid harsh treatment to maximize the efficiency of the training.

It’s NOT possible to come up with a single training method that works well for all barkers. This is because there are several reasons for barking and each one of them has its own solutions. Having said that, the following set of recommendations is extremely effective to train a dog not to bark.

Eliminate the Motivation

Chihuahua pulling against lead barking

This is the first thing that you should do after figuring out what’s causing your dog to bark. You need to realize that the canine’s motivation for barking is always some kind of a reward. Removing that particular incentive will lead to a significant improvement in the situation.

For instance, if your puppy tends to bark when it sees outside, close the blinds to block their view. Similarly, if he/she exhibits this behavior while in the yard, bring the dog inside when it starts barking at something/someone.

Ignore the Barking

Man sitting with Shiba Inu Next to train tracks

Attention barking is one of the most common issues that dog owners have to face. Canines bark to get some sort of acknowledgment from their owners, even if it’s scolding. That’s the reason why you should NEVER yell back at your barking pup. Instead, calmly ignore your pet and do the opposite of what he/she wants.   

For example, if the dog is barking because he/she wants to go for a walk, put the leash down. Quietly walk into another room or busy yourself in any activity, until the canine calms down. It’s quite likely that the barking may get worse before it gets better. Therefore, it’s critical to stay patient.

Teach the “Quiet” Command

little girl on blue background with finger over her mouth suggesting quiet

This is a very useful method to train your dog not to bark inappropriately. Start the training by walking up to your pup while it’s barking. Hide a favorite treat of your pet in your hand and bring it close to his/her nose. When the dog stops barking to smell the treat, say “quiet” and give him/her the treat.

Keep repeating this process until your pup stops barking whenever you say the word “quiet”. You can also make the dog earn the treat by gradually increasing the difficulty level of the training. For instance, make him/her sit quietly for a while before giving the treat.

Reward Good Behavior

3 chihuahuas receiving treats from their owners hand

Many dog parents don’t give enough attention to their pets when they are showing good manners. You must acknowledge the good behavior of your canines because it is extremely beneficial to train them not to bark.

For instance, if your pup is waiting quietly for the dinner while you prepare it, reward him/her with a treat. Likewise, if your dog doesn’t bark upon hearing or seeing a neighbor, praise him for being nice. Make this positive reinforcement a part of your training routine and it will do wonders for you.

Provide Sufficient Exercise

Dog running on a beach

A tired dog is a quiet dog. Dogs are social beings who need environmental stimuli to stay healthy and satisfied. For this reason, you must schedule a good workout routine for your pup to reduce inappropriate barking. Canines are incredibly fond of playing fetch and you can use this physical activity to keep your puppy in control.

Similarly, the use of interactive toys is an efficient way to wear out your pet, mentally. In addition to that, you should try to take your dog for regular walks around the neighborhood. This is an excellent way to strengthen the bond with your canine companion.

Try Pheromones

This technique can be quite useful to prevent inappropriate barking, especially if the pet is suffering from stress. These calming chemicals don’t bring a huge change in the behavior of your dog but can be used to create a friendly environment.

Recommended Dog Training Courses Train Your Dog Not to Bark

There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.

  1. Doggy Dan – The Online Dog Trainer
  2. Brain Training for Dogs

These two courses serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan course is the best behavioral training course that I’ve ever used. It tackles problem behaviors like barking in ways that are innovative and kind and most of all WORK.

The Brain Training for Dogs course is a course that will help give curious and bored dogs something to do so that they don’t get destructive. Bored dogs often behave badly. The games in this course are fun to play with your dog and they go from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog is barking out of boredom this video course is a good choice.

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