As cute and cuddly as dogs are, they are prone to behavioral issues, such as excessive chewing, digging and the most common: barking. While barking is a natural instinct in dogs and serves as a means of communication, it can slowly become a problem if your pet does not learn to stay quiet in public places and at home. Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to control excessive barking.
As a responsible dog owner, it is important you instill positive habits in your pet and teach him have to behave like a responsible canine citizen. If your dog has a barking problem, your first move should be to identify the trigger. Once you have learnt why your dog acts out, you can use the following training techniques:
This is a great way to silence your dog when he does not stop barking. First, give your furry friend the “speak” command and wait for him to bark a couple of times. Hold a treat and stick it in front of his nose. You may give him the treat. Do not forget to praise him and give him a pat on the head. Repeat this exercise until your dog learns to bark as soon as you say ‘speak’.
It might take a few days for your dog to learn to associate the command with the treat. Once your dog has the hang of it, start teaching him the “quiet” command. The next time your dog starts barking, utter the command “quiet” and hold a treat when he silences down. Continue this exercise for a couple of weeks. Your dog will soon learn to quiet down.
If your dog starts barking as a way of showing protest or to attract your attention, you can discourage the habit by simply ignoring him. For example, some dogs tend to start barking when they are put in a crate or when it’s time for their weekly nail clipping session. In such instances, it is best you ignore your dog.
Allow him to bark for as long as he wants without showing a response. When your dog finally quiets down, reward him with a treat. But remember, in order for this method to work, you must wait as long as it takes for your pet to stop barking.
Sometimes, dogs start barking merely out of boredom to attract attention. Sit down and try to understand whether your dog is simply trying to release pent-up energy. If that is the case, look for ways to help your dog spend their time more productively, such as taking them out for a walk or mentally challenging them with an obedience game. Find an activity your dog likes and keep them occupied.
Hopefully, this guide will help you in teaching your dog to stop barking. Good luck!