Approaches to Use if Your Dog Barks Too Much

Excessive Dog Barking

Your dog’s bark can be a useful indicator of a specific environmental situation, such as a stranger coming to your door, or of a dog’s need, such as the need to go out. However, when barking becomes a nuisance, try these tips to reduce the amount of barking your dog does.

Why Is Your Dog Barking?

Try to determine when and why your dog is barking. From an animal outside to alerting you that it needs to go out, dogs use their barks to communicate to their owners. Consider when and why your dog is barking. Not all barking is a bad thing, so you’ll want to carefully assess whether the barking is a problem, or whether you need to change some environmental aspect of your home or the dog’s schedule for going out.

Pay attention to your dog’s bark. Even if it’s annoying, your dog’s bark is a call for attention. Sometimes the barking can be modified by changing the dog’s schedule to a different walking time or perhaps changing the food if the food the dog is consuming causes it to need to go outside more often. If the barking is coming from something environmental, consider whether you can treat the environment to avoid your dog’s reaction. For instance, using deer or rabbit repellant in your yard can prevent nighttime barking from these animals as they cross your yard.

Don’t Just Ignore Your Dog’s Barking

Do not ignore your dog’s barking because they can outlast you and you will train them to bark for longer periods of time. If possible, if you do not see an obvious reason for the barking, go to your dog and see whether you can simply reassure your dog of your presence, give your dog a chew toy or subdue its barking through a minor movement. While you don’t want to reward barking, you want to reassure your dog that you can hear its communication.

Train Your Dog to Stop Barking

You can try to train your dog to remain quiet on command. There are many techniques that people use for training dogs to bark or remain quiet. Training your dog will take time just like training ourselves to do something new. You will go to your dog when it barks and will then choose a word such as, “Quiet” or “Stop”, that you will use in conjunction with your approval when the dog quiets down. This can be very time-consuming before it works but keep at it for several weeks before deciding whether this effort will be effective for your dog.

When you go over to your dog when it is barking for apparently no reason and you are using a word like “Stop” or “No,” use your body to make certain you have your dog’s attention. Simply shouting from another room in frustration is less likely to work than going over to your dog, getting its attention and saying, “No.”

Exercise That Energy Away

If you notice that your dog begins to bark excessively on days when the dog goes outside for shorter periods of time because of bad weather, try to lengthen the dog’s walk on days when the weather is good. There are theories that indicate that a dog’s barking increases when it has extra energy and a good walk will help tire your dog and possibly reduce barking.

If you believe your dog is barking excessively you will want to try some techniques for quieting your dog down. Use the tips above to help quiet your dog’s excessive barking.

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  1. Reply

    I love the concept of figuring out why the dog is barking. Some barks have a purpose! You don’t want to accidentally train your dog not to bark when there is real danger afoot!
    My husband and I have greyhounds and they rarely ever bark, so when they do you know something is up! (Ok usually there is a very suspicious leaf in the yard, but you never know!)

    The worst is when people leave their dogs outside for long period of time letting them bark endlessly. I feel so bad for the dogs, they deserve better owners!

    • Betty Ann Sewall
    • June 10, 2013

    I was always told that it is best to ignore your dog until it stops barking, even if he wants to come inside. After reading your article, I think I need to take a different approach!

    • Amanda
    • June 25, 2013

    Wonderful information, but my dog just barks at the air all night!

    • Emily D.
    • November 22, 2013

    And remember – never ever ‘debark’ your dog. It may seem like a good solution to incessant barking but it takes away a dogs means to communicate, leading to psychological problems.

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