Have you ever looked at your dog and thought, “Gosh, I love it when my dog barks nonstop?” yeah, we didn’t think so.
While they are the cutest companions, their excessive barking can be a nuisance. Fortunately, you can train your dog to control the barking.
Just remember that each is different and will follow its own timeline for learning. It is vital to remain patient throughout the process.
Before we work on a remedy, let’s examine what compels your dog to bark incessantly.
WHY DOES MY DOG BARK SO MUCH?
Barking is a natural form of communication for dogs; however, the endless yelps can be annoying. Understanding why your dog may be barking will make the training process easier.
- Your dog may feel threatened: If you were wondering why your dog barks at the postman, its because your pup views him as a potential threat. Most dogs are protective and territorial by nature; hence when a stranger approaches their territory, they bark to scare them away.
- Out of fear: It’s common for pups to get startled due to sudden loud noises or abrupt movements. Signs indicating your dog is scared are a tucked tail and tightly laid-back ears.
- Your dog is bored: When boredom strikes, your dog will most likely launch into a long spell of barks to register its unhappiness. This indicates that your dog needs physical and mental stimulation.
- Your dog suffers from separation anxiety: Dogs are affectionate furballs with an inherent need for love and attention and can get easily agitated if lonely. Your pup is especially prone to separation anxiety in unfamiliar places. Leaving them locked in their crates for too long can also promote this behavior.
Other actions that signal anxiety and depression in your dog are pacing, running in circles, getting destructive, etc.
- Out of excitement: Dogs express joy by barking; they may bark when they see you or at other dogs while out on a walk. This is their way of being playful and showing excitement, often accompanied by jumping and tail-wagging.
- Your dog is seeking attention: There are times when your dog may seem to be barking for no apparent reason. There is no threat; your pup is not alone and has had plenty of exercise. In that case, it is mostly because your furry friend is trying to get your attention.
- Underlying Medical Condition: If your dog is barking excessively and none of the reasons mentioned above apply, it could be due to an underlying medical concern. Dogs that experience pain or suffer from a brain disease or old age senility also tend to bark a lot. Visit your veterinarian to rule out any serious health problems.
These are the most commonly known causes behind your dog’s barking. Let’s look at simple training methods to help you and your dog.
How to Keep Your Dog From Barking?
While having a dog that never barks is impossible, you can significantly limit their barking with these easy-to-practice methods and tips.
This method involves training your dog to follow a command through positive reinforcement. You can use “quiet” as a command to stop your dog from barking. When your dog complies, immediately offer praise and a tasty treat.
As you continue to do this each time your dog barks, it will soon learn to associate the reward with being quiet. Make sure only to offer the treat when your dog has fully stopped barking.
This method makes use of body language accompanied by commands. You can start by directing your dog to “Speak.” Then, use your hand to gesture to your dog to stop or put a finger on your lips, followed by the command, “Quiet.”
Dogs find it easier to interpret and understand their owner’s body language, which makes learning faster.
Remember that while both methods are designed to train dogs to reduce their barking, they do not completely eliminate this very natural vocal behavior.
These tips, accompanied by the methods above, can help you and your dog.
Tips to Help With Training
- Socialize: Well-socialized dogs are less likely to start barking at strangers or other dogs. Try to familiarize your pup with those that are frequent visitors so that it doesn’t perceive them as threats.
- Change the environment: Switching up your surroundings and removing the trigger is another way to reduce excessive barking. For example, keep your windows covered if your dog barks at approaching cars. If your dog is out in the yard, you can build solid wood fences to limit their view of the outside world.
- Stay calm: No matter how you approach this issue, do not resort to yelling. This plays into their need for attention, confuses the message, and builds fear. Remain relaxed and keep your tone calm to convey that you also want your pup to be calm and quiet.
- Spend quality time together: If your pup is prone to getting nervous when alone, spend quality time together to put your dog at ease while you are away.
- Exercise and mental stimulation: We learned that a bored dog is often the reason behind the excessive barking. Allow your dog plenty of opportunities to play outside and interact with them frequently. You can also offer them multiple toys, like tug toys or puzzles, to keep them occupied.
- Stay consistent: Stay firm, be patient, and remain consistent. If your dog is barking to get more treats and you give in, they will interpret this as being rewarded because of the barking. Ignore their sad puppy dog eyes, and don’t undo all your hard work.
- Redirect: Shift your dog’s focus from barking to other ways of communication. For example, if your dog barks because it wants to go outside, you can teach it to ring a bell by hanging one by the door.
- Seek professional help: Training your dog at home can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you believe it is not as fruitful as expected, contact professional trainers or dog behaviorists to help you with your furry friend’s relentless barks.
It is important to remember that barking is a fundamental way of communication for dogs. However, it can be minimized using the tips we have shared. From keeping your dog engaged to socializing it with frequent visitors, you can prevent excessive barking. Make sure to visit your dog’s vet to be certain that there are no health complications. Good luck!
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