Fortunately, I’ve never had a problem with excessive dog barking. I always stop my dogs from barking at a very early age. Even older adopted dogs soon learn. My method is simple. I pay attention to what the dog is trying to tell me (I check it out) and then when I see that everything is fine, I tell my dogs in a quiet tone, “Shhhh. Enough. Quiet.”
None of my dogs bark more than about 5 times before they stop on their own. They will look at me for assurance and probably to see if I’m as concerned as they are, but then the become quite. Thereafter, I simply have to say, “Enough.”
You can do this too, but first, let’s look at some problem barking behaviors.
Some dogs are genetically designed to bark, usually those in the terrier family. In some cases, it’s simply because the dog is highly territorial and dominant. In other cases, it results from how the dog is treated, especially if it is left isolated or confined in improper living quarters. Tethering a dog outdoors is sure to produce a barking dog.
Make sure your dog is properly cared for, with sufficient nutrition, water and freedom, and is given sufficient social interactions. Dogs are pack oriented, so being alone can be quite “painful” for a dog.
Leaving your dog home alone while you work is one thing. Leaving him in a kennel 24 hours a day is another.
Dogs will bark and develop other troublesome behavior if they do not get sufficient attention and exercise. This means stimulating their brains as well as their bodies.
Keep your dog active. Have fun with him. Teach him new things regularly.
Bring your dog indoors, rather than leave him outside all day and night.
If the problem persists, it’s possible your dog needs help from a dog behavior specialist. Talk to your vet for ideas on how to stop dogs from barking excessively. Here are more dog training tools for you.
And Now, Here’s My Secret Technique To Stop Dogs From Barking
It will be a little tougher if your dog is older and already has an established barking process, but it’s not impossible.
1. Observe your dog.
When your dog barks, observe her to see how she acts. Is she barking out the window, at the door? Is she barking frantically or just calmly? How does she sound? Is it quick, high pitched, low pitched? Are there growls mixed in? Does she stop on her own?
What you’re looking for is a clue into how she acts each time. Sometimes, she’ll be barking at visitors, at other times just to get your attention for some other reason. A toy out of reach, anxious for dinner, threatening a household member (including other pets). What you observe will determine how you respond.
2. Pay attention to natural breaks in the barking.
Dogs generally bark in “paragraphs”. Some might do a series of 5-6 barks, take a break, and then do another series of 5-6 barks. Other dogs will bark for much longer. Those natural breaks provide you with the perfect clue when you will get the best results in stopping her.
What she’s doing is barking, listening, and then barking again. You can be certain that dogs are not just barking. They listen. If the problem still exists, they’ll continue to bark.
3. Check out the cause of your dog’s barking
One thing the dog wants is for you to do something. “Come and see what’s going on so we can scare away the threat together.” In other words, she’s looking for your support. Walk to her side, look where she’s barking. Note what might be causing the barking.
4. Interrupt the barking
Quietly instruct your dog to “Stop!” or “Quiet!”. If you yell, your dog will simply think you are barking as well, which signals that it’s okay for her to keep barking. The best time to coordinate your training is between those natural rest stops. Wait until she reaches one, and tell her to be quiet.
5. Shorten the allowed barking time
You probably don’t want your dog to never bark. Besides, that would be kind of cruel since dogs bark like we talk. What you really want to do is shorten the time your dog barks. The first thing you need to do is teach her to stop barking on your command, as explained above. Then, work on stopping her at a shorter time. If you only want your dog to bark for one or two series of 5 barks each, allow her those and then tell her to stop.
This process really does work. You have to let the dog know you heard the warning, show support by taking a look to see the possible cause, and then instructing her in a quiet, calm voice to stop.
Why do dogs bark? To get attention and warn of impending threats or a need for help.
How do you stop dogs from barking? You establish your dog’s trust in you by checking out the warning and proceed to quietly assure her that it’s okay to stop.