How to Teach a Dog to Stop Barking on Command?

Owner with one finger extended training dog in park

Barking is an important form of communication for dogs. Due to this reason, it can be tricky to control excessive barking. Having said that, humane training solutions allow you to overcome this behavioral problem. There are several ways to counter inappropriate barking but nothing beats the comfort of the command method.   

The “Speak” and “Quiet” Method

Teaching your dog to stop barking on command can be a difficult task but it is worth the effort. The best possible approach for this training is to first teach your dog to bark on command. Once you have done that, it will be easier to train the pet to stop barking on your instructions. It is important to have a patient attitude and keep the training sessions shorter (less than 20 minutes). 

This technique might seem a little counterproductive at first glance, but it’s pretty effective against excessive barking. Make sure that you select a calm place so that the dog could fully concentrate on the training. Similarly, you will need a handful of tasty treats or a dog toy to execute this procedure. If your pet is clicker-trained, you can also use a clicker to help with this cognitive teaching.

Teach the “Speak” Command

Dog sitting and speaking in the park
  • Start the training by doing something that could trigger your dog to bark. For instance, you can make someone knock at the door.
  • Once your dog starts barking, say the word “speak” and press the clicker. After that, let it bark for a few times before placing a dog treat (or toy) in front of your dog.  
  • The pet will stop barking to sniff the treat. Praise your canine companion (with a specific phrase) for the good behavior and give him/her the treat.
  • Repeat this process several times to ensure that the dog is barking on your command.

Teach the “Quiet” Command

Man kneeling down with treat in front of sitting dog with pink wall in background
  • Ask your dog to bark by using the speaking training. The fact that you are in control of your dog’s barking is a massive advantage. Alternatively, you can instigate the barking through a trigger.
  • When the dog starts barking, say the word “quiet” and press the clicker. Ideally, you should select an area where your dog tends to bark uncontrollably as you want him/her to learn your command in all circumstances.
  • Now, place a treat in front of the dog’s nose and wait for your pet to stop barking. Give the treat to your dog while praising with the same phrase.
  • Repeat the process, again and again, to ensure that the dog is stopping on your command.

Combine Both Parts of the Training

Woman on knees in park with dog sitting while training
  • Start the training by asking your dog to “speak”.
  • Once it starts barking, put a treat in front of it and say “quiet”.
  • Wait for the dog to stop barking and give it the treat as soon as it happens.
  • Repeat this process many times. Gradually, keep delaying the reward as you want your dog to learn that “quiet” means to stop barking for long periods of time.

Test the Training

  • When you are confident that your dog has learned to stop barking on command, it’s time to test your training. Ask someone to knock at your door while the dog is inside. You can use any trigger that will work for your pet.
  • The dog will start barking by obliging to this trigger.
  • Say the “quiet” command (and press the clicker) and wait for your dog to stop barking.
  • Give him/her a treat and praise the good behavior.

Recommended Dog Training Courses to Stop Barking on Command

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.

How to Stop a Barking Dog?

The efficiency of this training is heavily dependent on consistency. Therefore, it is extremely important for all family members to stick to the same rules and commands. Confusing your dog with different instructions can exaggerate the erratic behavior of your dog.

In addition to the commanding technique, there are several other ways to stop barking. One of the most effective of them is to remove the motivation(s) to bark. For example, if your dog is reacting to door knocking, you should keep him/her in a backroom or laundry area.

Likewise, if it is showing signs of alarm barking, you should keep the curtains closed so that it could not view the people passing by. Your ultimate goal should be to minimize the triggers in order to provide a peaceful environment for your dog.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.