How to Stop My Dog Barking – When Out Walking
I get it. Everyone wants an obedient dog that walks calmly on their leash and doesn’t bark their adorable little heads off at every dog, passerby, and car that’s on the route.
All that barking can make even the most dedicated dog parent a little bit on the crazy side, not to mention that it’s embarrassing when all the other dogs are walking calmly on their leash and your dog is lunging and yip-yapping or maybe even baring their teeth.
I know… because that’s EXACTLY how I felt when my Tillie would see another dog on a leash or in a yard and pull me with every ounce of her 15 pounds, barking, and teeth bared toward the other dog. She was downright SCARY.
To understand how to fix this barking behavior and how to stop any dog from barking on walks (even the stubborn ones), we first need to look at WHY dogs bark when they out for a walk.
Why do dogs bark on walks?
Here’s the truth. The real reason for dog barking tends to get buried in techniques and tricks and tools. The BIG problem is that until you address the root reason, those techniques and tricks and tools don’t work well – at least not for long.
Forget about yelling and screaming or even worse hitting your dog. These are outdated techniques not only make your dog AFRAID of you, they won’t get you the results you want.
And bribing your dog with chicken and treats… that doesn’t work a whole lot better.
The reason these techniques DON’T work is because they simply don’t take into account dog psychology.
Dogs have VERY different social structures from humans, and the rules that govern these social structures don’t match the rules that humans follow. Most of the time when dogs are barking during a walk (or any other time there isn’t a direct threat) it’s because we aren’t playing by THEIR rules of social engagement.
And THAT can make your dogs feel stressed and insecure.
And a stressed and insecure dog is GOING to bark. Often a lot.
There are several different circumstances where you need to step up and lead your dogs when they are barking on a walk. Here are the ones that I see the most often.
My dog is anxious on walks
Anxious dogs are a recipe for uncontrollable barking. If your dog feels afraid to go out the door, to be on a leash, or on their walk, then you often have to get the anxiety under control FIRST before you can get the barking taken care of.
When your dog is calm, everything gets much easier.
My dog barks constantly on walks
While there are many circumstances in which dogs bark on walks, this is one of the most annoying and can make you not want to take your dog out at all.
Some dogs bark at nearly anything, anytime they are on a walk including people, other animals and inanimate objects. Luckily this isn’t any harder to fix than any other kind of barking.
My dog barks at everyone that walks by
This is a situation where your dog will bark at literally anyone and everyone that walks by you, whether you know them or not. They want to protect you from strangers and friends alike.
Usually other dogs like this will ignore other dogs and only bark at people. This can make walking your dog anywhere but a country road nearly impossible.
My dog barks at strangers on walks
This type of barking is a little easier to deal with than the “barking at everyone” type. It is reserved just for strangers or people your dog doesn’t know.
But even “just” barking at strangers can make every single walk stressful as all get out.
My dog barks on walks at other dogs
Barking at other dogs is an incredibly common dog walking behavior and the one that my Tillie used to do ALL THE TIME.
It was so embarrassing to have her baring her teeth at every dog that crossed our path and it made walking on the trails in the area almost impossible.
My dog barks at cars on walks
Sometimes dogs won’t bark at people or other dogs, but they will bark at anything with a wheel. This can be a car that’s parked or one that’s moving.
This seems entirely weird, but it’s not unusual behavior for dogs at all.
So that leads me to how to actually STOP the barking. Don’t worry… it’s not as hard as you think. It all has to do with dog psychology.
No matter how many tools and gadgets and training techniques you’ve tried… you CAN get your dog to calm down on walks and to stop barking. Even if it keeps getting worse and worse.
Before I get into behavioral techniques though, I want to address a question that I get asked ALL the time. People always want to know if these dog barking control devices that are on the market work.
Tired of dog training methods that “wear off” and just don’t stick – or worse are cruel or don’t work at all?
Get our FREE Dog Psychology 101 Guide and find out which of these 5 sneaky behaviors your dog is using to show you that THEY are the boss.
(fixing this will address the ROOT cause of all dog behavior problems)
What about dog barking control devices? Do they work?
Here are the two most popular dog barking control devices and exactly what I think about them (and WHY I feel that way).
Dog barking control collar
There are A LOT of collars that are supposed to stop dog barking that on the market today. Most of them aren’t very good and can even be dangerous for your dog.
I always prefer behavior modification with techniques that use dog psychology (because it works so well) and don’t involve shocks, beeps or vibrations delivered directly to the dog through a device on their neck.
With that being said, there is one dog barking control collar on the market that really stands out as being pretty good – mostly because the technology has improved SO much from when they first came out.
It’s the TBI Pro.
This is the most advanced no bark collar that I’ve ever seen.
It has a no shock most (that just uses vibrations and beeps) and an impressive safety feature that turns it off if your dog barks more than 7 times in one minute – it resets after a minute and then starts again.
Also, it’s rechargeable and the charge lasts for 14 days.
I’m not recommending it, but this does seem to be the best and safest option on the market.
Another option that people ask me about a lot are the ultrasonic devices that are supposed to train dogs not to bark.
These aren’t worn as collars, but are used in various areas – like the front porch or by the door where your dog is prone to barking a lot.
Once again, these devices work for some people, but I still think that leveraging dog psychology is ultimately a far better way to get your dog to stop barking.
But… if you are going to get one of these devices the one that stands out as being the best and most effective is the Instaecho Anti Barking Device.
This device can help you keep your dog or your neighbors dog from barking at you. And can be placed on a hard surface like a table or hung from a tree or other object.
The way these devices work is to detect barking and then emit an ultrasonic sound when the bark occurs.
If you REALLY don’t want to use dog psychology first, this is a humane device to try, but it still doesn’t teach your dogs when it’s appropriate to bark and when it’s not.
Now that I’ve covered the two main devices that are used to stop barking, let’s look at the BEST way that I’ve found to stop barking.
How to stop dog barking on walks
First – within every dog there is a good dog. You just have to understand how to bring PEACE and HARMONY to your dog.
It is possible. I promise. I’ve been there with a couple of loving, but stubborn dogs (my Millie and Tillie) and it just works.
Next – let’s look at exactly what happens to your dog when they start barking. Barking is a response that activates the FIGHT or FLIGHT syndrome in your dogs. This dumps tons of hormones into their bloodstream. Hormones like cortisol that put them into an overdrive state.
This fight or flight response used to be useful when dogs were wild, but aren’t so useful anymore. And these hormones, once they’ve started make traditional dog training techniques nearly useless.
The good news is that calming your dog down from the hyper state of barking isn’t complicated – when you know what to look for and what to do.
They take their cues from you if you understand how to work within your DOG’s psychological state.
But… you can’t just think like a human and apply it to your dog. You have to do it almost OPPOSITE of everything you’ve been trained to do and taught to do – even by big-time dog gurus.
That’s why I’ve put together this free guide – Dog Psychology 101.
It’s a simple short guide that takes you step by step through the single biggest issue that dog owners have with dog behavior – their dog thinking that they are the boss of the pack.
Please note that all links in this post are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I earn a commission.