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The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Barking

Close up of old dog with greying face, barking

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, and it’s the responsibility of the owners to understand what they want. For example, your dog could be barking for attention or because something is making him/her anxious. Let’s take a look at some common causes of barking and how to get a dog to stop barking. 

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Excitement Barking

Preventive Vet explains that dogs will always bark when they’re excited. This is why dogs greet other people and animals by barking. Likewise, they use barking to communicate with you while playing. Although excitement barking is quite understandable, you can’t reward your pup every time.  

This behavior can quickly turn to excessive barking and will be a nightmare for you and those around you. Bad habits are hard to undo once your dog grows up. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to control excessive barking when your dog is young. If all fails, you may need to look for a professional dog behaviorist.

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Alert Barking 

Beagle with head stuck out between wooden fence posts

Whether they are at home or any other place, dogs will bark at anything that startles them. According to ASPCA, your pup will start barking whenever something catches his/her attention. The primary purpose of these barks is to alert their family about a potential danger.

While this is good for protecting your home, it can become annoying for your neighbors. Dogs engaged in alarm barking usually have a stiffer body language than those who are barking to greet. Similarly, they often move or pounce forward an inch or two with each bark.

If your dog is barking excessively at night, it can be troublesome for your neighbors (and even yourself). To counter this behavior, make sure that your dog is tired before it’s time to sleep. Take your dog out for a walk or play with him/her before bedtime to ensure that he/she sleeps peacefully. 

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Boredom Barking 

Pomeranian on a pink couch barking

Being pack animals, dogs don’t like being left alone for long periods. This is why dogs can bark purely out of loneliness or when they are bored. In this case, they tend to bark repeatedly until they have someone or something to play with.

The dogs that were originally bred to do certain jobs can get bored, very quickly. If these canines have nothing to do, they can also become destructive. Therefore, try to provide your dog with enough exercise to burn-off its stored energy before leaving him/her alone. Alternatively, you can use dog puzzles to keep your dog busy and entertained while you are away. 

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Territorial Barking 

Maltese on a leash barking at another dog on a leash.

According to Humane Society, the easiest solution to modify this behavior is to block the view of your dog. This means that he/she shouldn’t be allowed to see people or other animals passing by. You can use opaque fences in your yard or curtains inside your home to achieve this goal. Likewise, removable plastic film or spray-based glass coatings can also help to obscure your dog’s view.

Do not let your dog greet everyone at your front door. Instead, train him/her to go to an alternate location, like a mat, and greet only when invited to do so. Certain dog breeds are more territorial than others, and there’s not much you can do about that (except prevention). 

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Aggressive Barking 

German Shepherd on a leash barking aggressively

Dogs bark aggressively when they feel threatened. If your pooch is triggered (to bark) upon seeing other animals, block his/her view. You can do this by putting fences in your yard and covering windows with curtains or wallpaper sheets. You should also make your dog’s sleeping area as soundproof as possible to minimize excessive barking.

Some canines may also try to attack other dogs (or other animals) during a spell of aggressive barking. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to use a shorter leash during walks if your pup has this tendency. If your dog is showing aggression for no apparent reason, visit your vet to rule out medical problems. If the vet doesn’t find anything wrong, you may need some professional help to train your dog. 

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Attention Barking 

Hound dog behind a fence barking

In these cases, it’s best to reward your dog a few seconds after it stops barking. The rewards can be anything your dog wants, be it attention or treats. In this way, your dog will learn that he/she won’t get anything by barking but will get rewarded for staying calm and silent.

However, Web MD suggests that you should slowly cut off the treats. This is because you don’t want your dog to behave well just for getting rewarded.

Some dogs bark excessively only when they hear other dogs barking. This kind of barking occurs in the social context of hearing other dogs, even at a distance. There’s not much you can do about your dog barking at other dogs. 

The Best Way to Get a Dog to Stop Old Age Barking 

Old shaggy dog barking at the camera

Old dogs often have random pains and aching joints. These discomforts are the biggest reasons that can make your old dog bark excessively. To solve this problem, you can try to soothe the pain through massage or medication. You can also spend some quality time with your furry friend to keep him/her relaxed.

Providing your senior dog with a soft bed is also very beneficial for him/her. You can also buy ointments that can help your dog relax. Lastly, paw balms can also be used to soften your old dog’s paws. All these steps can help you control old-age barking as you make things comfortable for your pup.

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