Are your dog barking and the neighbours start to complain? Have you tried everything to stop your dogs incessantly barking? Well, Dog barking is annoying especially when you have friends and family over, and your dog does not stop barking. It causes stress between you, your friends and family as well for your dog.
One thing I like to clear up beforehand you have a dog and a dog have a voice that is called barking.
There is a difference between usual barking and excessive barking. Dogs bark usually when they are excited, scared, warn you from something or when they communicate with you. But they will also stop barking. When dogs bark incessantly than it becomes a problem.
Dogs bark and this is natural. You can never stop a dog completely stop from barking, and you don’t want to, a healthy dog barks if you think you can completely stop your dog from barking than let me tell you that it would be the same as you would ask a child stop talking.
A certain barking intolerance is normal.
When dog barking gets out of control, dog owners feel stressed and overwhelmed. Dog barking behaviour is trainable, but it needs time, some education and a lot of patience.
There are different techniques that you can use to help stop your dog from barking. Do not expect miracles overnight all of the techniques work but they do take time and patience on your part.
One word of caution the results of those techniques depend on the time how long has your dog practise his incessant barking.
It will take longer for your dog to change its barking behaviour if your dog has been practising the barking over a more extended period of time.
One essential thing you have to understand first is when is your dog barking? With that, I mean what triggers his barking.
You will also learn that there are different barks and you must differentiate them.
Treating your dog’s barking starts with understanding exactly what type of barking your dog is voicing out loud.
Is your dog barking because of noise, or because your dog is excited, or is your dog bored, ( yes dogs can get bored depend on the breed of the dog)
Is your dog barking incessantly during the time when you are out,
Is your dog’s barking getting out of control when you have visitors?
Is your dog getting over excited when you are coming home?
The Basics ….What are the different ways of a dog barking?
Play and excitement: Barking during playing or if your dog wants to play are shorter, and it is a high pitched bark.
Attention seeking: When your dog wants something, like playing or getting a treat it is a short higher pitched bard, and your dog will move back and forward trying to seek your attention.
Territorial/Protective: barking in defence are loud and fast bursts a lower bark voice.
Alarm/Fear: Dogs sometimes bark at anything that startles them or gets their attention. My dogs nearly flip and are half scared of balloons. Especially the red ones.
Bored/anxious: If your dog starts to bark in a repetitive and monotone sound than your dog is telling you that it is bored and anxious.
Excessive barking can also be a way to say I have to much energy take me for a walk in the park.
Separation Anxiety: This is bark when your dog starts to winch and whine because your dog doesn’t want to be left alone. This barking is curable with patience and training.
There are a few rules to follow when you do the training yourself.
Never yell or scream at your dog to be quiet – to his dog ears and understanding, it sounds like you are barking along with your dog.
Do not hit or physically abuse your dog during the training. This will make your dog even bark more.
Keep the training sessions with your dog positive and upbeat.
Do not confuse your dog … be consistent. If you live with other family members than ALL family members must be a part of the training, it is crucial that all of you follow the training when your dog barks inappropriately.
You can not let your dog bark today and it is ok, and tomorrow it is not ok. It must be a straight line for you and your dog. Clear guidelines.
One thing you have to understand is that your dog gets some kind of reward or attention from you when he barks you might not realise it, and it might not be evident to you, but it is some kind of award to your dog as otherwise, your dog would not do it.
In a way, you have to figure out what does your dog gets out of it and what does your dog see as his reward when your dog starts barking.
When you have figured it out remove it. What it means you need to remember each time your dog barks not to act out of habit because it comes incautiously.
I would recommend that you watch your dog for one or two days and write down what makes your dog barking and keep a journal. (you can do it over the weekend as I assume you are not working on the weekend) If you do work on a weekend, then take the days where you have off.
For example, if you have a yard and your dog is barking at everyone who passes by. Manage his behaviour by stepping in and talk to him either through sound ( whistle) or through eye contact. Soon as your dog starts barking say “quiet in a calm and firm voice.
You have to wait for your dog to stop barking even if your dog is only taking a breath. Be sure to be in a calm and relaxed state. Soon if your dog stops barking praise him. Make sure you do not by accident reward him when your dog is barking that will trigger the opposite in what you are trying to achieve.
Dogs are smart, and eventually, your dog will figure out that it will get a treat when it stops barking. Use the command “Quiet “and teach him this command in combination with the treats. Do not just do the treats first than the command. First the command than the treat. ( Make a delicious treat something special his favourite snack and only give him this as rewards in training. )
Alternatively, you can teach your dog with Body language. Dogs do respond to body language and signals faster as to voice commands. Important is that you practice this commands when your dog is calm and in no time your dog learns how to stop barking at your command. Yes, even when your dog gets excited about something it will follow your command. Just keep a few simple rules.
Through my experience when my dogs are gone for a walk 5km, they are powered out, and they are happily going to sleep.
I can then leave my dogs for a couple of hours alone as they are sleeping deeply. You can power out your dogs with different things like …
Playing ball ( not for a few minutes at least 30 min and go to a park to do it)
Go jogging with your dog
Go to the dog park before you leave. Social Interaction and mental stimulation are perfect.
In the summertime, go swimming with your dog ( if he likes water)
If you have problems doing actual walks get a treadmill and let your dog walk. (yes it is boring but it helps with exercise for your dog)
A tired dog is a quiet dog. That is a fact.
Don’t ignore the problem and let it go on too long. I can not stress it more … the longer this problem goes on, the more ingrained it becomes.
Dogs do have Adrenaline rush also, and when your dog barks a lot, it can give your dog an adrenaline rush, what makes in fact for him barking as pleasant experience.
Did you know that when you allow your dog to bark when the mailman arrives, that can make your dog aggressive in certain situations? Just go through this scenario one day your dog is out when the mailman delivers your mail.
Depending on the mailman how he reacts and depending on your dog is the outcome of the situation. Believe me, you don’t want to be in that situation. Deal with the dog barking problem right now. Don’t wait for the right time there is no right time.
When a dog barks incessantly than it is in the most cases a behaviour problem.
Consider that also medical problems can trigger excessive barking.
If you can not control the dog barking and you have tried all, go to your veterinarian and check your dog out for any health issue. Make sure your dog is not barking because of a medical problem.
The sooner you identify the “why” of your dog barking behaviour problem ( I am not talking about usual barking) the sooner you can start working on ways how to improve your dogs barking habit.
The best way to stop a dog from barking incessantly is through proper dog training.
I know what you are going to say it is expensive and you don’t have the money for it, there is dog training from Certified Dog Trainers who can show you step by step how to stop your dog from barking incessantly.
Loneliness or your dog is just bored: Dogs that bark excessively during the time you are gone or out of the house need more companionship or more activities during the time you are gone.
Leave on the radio or tv, so there is human sound.
Provide food dispensing toys with treats that will keep your dog busy helps your dog to get rid of the energy.
Or ask neighbours or relatives to come around and take your dog for a walk during the time you are out.
Fear/ Territorial/ Alarm /Protective barking: This barking is motivated through a trigger like fear or a thread perceived by your dog as alarming to him.
To solve that limit what your dog is seeing.
If your dog is in a fenced yard than change the fencing to a solid one ( none see through ) if this is not possible use a privacy protection cover.
Indoors for the windows, you can use opaque film. Keep your dog away from the windows and see-through doors.
If your dog sleeps outside to bring him inside ( a dog should not sleep outside especially if you live in a four-season country.
Bringing a dog inside will lessen the noise for neighbours, and it will also provide extra security to your home. Dogs, in fact, sleep quieter inside and get used to it very quickly.
I never recommend to leave a dog outside at night as lots of things can happen like they steal your dog, your dog could escape, someone could poison him, harassment or all kinds of other dangers.
Another solution is to drop your dog off during the daytime at a doggie day-care for two or three times a week.
Take up different pieces of training like
Or any other dog training what is around in your area.
Play and greeting barking: This is a difficult one, but when your dog goes into a barking frenzy every time you come home or the doorbell rings, you need to start to train your dog with behaviour training.
I have my dogs trained to go to one spot and stay there until I give them the sign and they are allowed to move. It should be a spot where they can easily see the door but not to close to it.
When the door opens, and your dog is staying in his spot praise him and give him treats as you make it a game your dog will love it and follow quickly.
Once you can rely on your dog to obey your command, you can open the door while your dog is in his spot. It is much more pleasant to have an obedience dog when friends come around, and you can open the door without worries and without using earplugs for the barking of your dog.
Remember never reward your dog barking at you when you are coming home.
When your dog is excessively barking and being excited that you come home, it doesn’t matter how hard it keeps eye contact with your dog and do not pet him until your dog stops barking and sits quietly.
Only then acknowledge your dog and praise him.
Attention seeking barking: One rule is fundamental if you want your dog stops barking is never reward your dog when it barks.
For example when your dog wants food, a snack or water and it barks during the time you fill his dish than your dog feels it is rewarded and you teach him to bark if it wants something. You have to learn to find ways to communicate with your dog without barking.
Like if your dog wants food to teach him to push the food bowl towards you. Don’t do it with water as water should always be available for your dog. If your dog wants to go outside teach him to bring you the leash.
I recommend if your dog barks when his dish is empty wait a bit like 2minutes or 3 minutes do something else, and when your dog is quiet, you can fill up the food bowl. Doing that will show him his barking was not sufficient.
Always remember not to scold your dog.
Even you consider it scolding for a dog it means attention. Ignore your dog and what it wants until it stops barking.
Compulsive Barking/ Separation Anxiety: Compulsive barking and Separation anxiety are not so easy to treat, but it is possible. Unless it is severe, then you should check with your veterinarian. Before you give your dog drugs consult a certified dog trainer if it is possible to train without drugs. Essential Oils can do sometimes a great job.
Not all dogs with anxiety problems need drug therapy sometimes alternative Medicine is a solution.
Never treat your dog without the advice of a veterinarian, ask your Veterinarian for alternative treatments in case your dog needs drugs to help with his separation anxiety. (Essential Oils, Homeopathic remedies, and sometimes the food you feed. The same what sugar can do to kids can dog food do to dogs. )
Crate Training can help you with your dogs barking. As the crate gives your dog a kind of security.
Try crate training to stop your dog from barking when people come to your home.
Putting your dog into his crate or in a room with a gate then turn around and ignore him.
Soon as your dog stops barking turn around and praise him and give him a treat.
Most dogs quickly figuring out that when they get a treat and the situation is rewarded he will understand that being quiet gives him a treat and attention.
Different products for dog barking are available, and all of them promise to stop the barking quickly. Some collars deliver audible and ultrasonic corrections Collars that go onto your dog might be effective on some dogs and just feel awful to other dogs.
Dog collar with citronella -spraying. This collar often works but some dogs outsmart the collar and learn the collar will eventually run out of Citronella and start barking at will.
There are also shock collars that will deliver a painful jolt to your dog. Let me tell you it can cause harm to your dog and on top of it dogs can become aggressive.
That happens when your dog associates the person or animal your dog is barking at with the pain the collar is causing. ( that can become dangerous)
What else is around in stop barking collars there are other devices around and some work well when your dog barks in a set area.
There are bark activated noisemakers who emit an irritating sound to your dog, or water sprayers that shoot water at your dog each time it barks.
These collars can help to break the barking habit in a given area but those are to be used in the most efficient way when you are at home, so you can reward and praise your dog when it stops barking.
Those collars should not be overused. Only for a limited time.
Some dogs do not like at all the water sprayer collars or the noise emitter collars.
Do not force it onto your dog it will break the relationship between you and your dog.
For electric shock collars, this is a no-go for me. Look for alternatives.
I will never put my dog under these pain what the collar does. Why would I make my dog suffer? If I can not train my dog, I will get professional help, but I will not hurt my dog.
Never encourage your dog to bark at some noises, not even making it fun. ( a door slamming, people walking by, when he sees a rabbit running on your walk, )
Discourage him from barking at other people. If you want to look at results, you need to be consistent.
Refrain from using a dog muzzle or other constraints to stop your dog barking or keep your dog quiet.
Never physically make your dog obedient, hitting a dog and losing patience isn’t going to solve the problem it creates more problems, and you will make the matter worse.
One last word…
Please never ever think about debarking your dog. It is inhumane. In case you do not know what it is.
Debarking is a surgical procedure in which the folds of tissue on either side of a dog’s larynx, or voice box, will be removed leaving the dog with a raspy bark instead of a full bark.
Those procedures are inhumane and in many countries around the world forbidden. There are common Complications what can be life-threatening.
It is also no guarantee that your dog stops barking as it is known and common that after surgery dogs can get back their voice.
Note the surgery is no solution to stop your dog barking it just makes the barking sound different.
If you are really eager to stop your dog from barking, please look for a certified Dog Trainer ( CDT) the money invested is well invested and you will have happy days with your dog.
Do you have a dog who barks at everything or anything? What do you do when your dog barks incessantly please share with us your solution and what works for you and your dog?
Thanks for stopping by. Please if you are not able to handle the barking and training seek professional help from a certified dog trainer. (CDT)
All yours Melanie