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Canine Problems: How to Train a Dog Not to Bark

puppy barking- how to train a dog not to bark
8 min read

How to train a dog not to bark at all is kind of an unreasonable quest. Even if there is a way to stop your dog entirely from barking, it won’t be the right thing to do.

Having a dog means that we have to understand their natural traits and embrace it, barking is one of these traits that we have to know when it is just a sign our dog is being himself and when we need to take an action to stop any access barking.

How to train a dog not to bark should be considered when you start to think like ‘ my dog barks at everything lately’ or when your neighbors start to comment on the need to find solutions about how to stop dog barking at night as it is becoming very annoying.

Dogs are just like humans, they have their own way of communication and barking is just one of them.

As an interesting fact, a dog’s braking is heard differently from a language to another. In English, we would typically use “woof-woof,” “arf-arf” or “ruff-ruff”, other cultures and language hear it differently. Greek would use ‘ghav-ghav’ and the Japanese would use ‘wan-wan’ or ‘Kian-Kian’

No matter how different it may sound for every culture, excess barking would be considered a fuzz everywhere.

Barking as a Natural Phenomenon

As a type of vocal communication that dogs use, barking is used in plenty of situations that indicate a specific meaning depending on the message the dog wants to deliver. There are three types of barking; play, defensive and bored or anxiety barks.

Differentiating a type from the other is not a hard thing. Playful barking is kind of short and high-pitched as for defensive barking, you will find your dog outbursting with a very loud and fast bark, finally, the anxious or bored barking, you will find that your dog’s barking is monotonic and have the same pattern.

In order to be able to know how to train a dog not to bark. There are many reasons in which dogs use any kind of these barking mentioned. It could be;

Marking his presence in his own territory when a dog sees other animals or people is one of the reasons you may find your dog barking non-stop for getting this foreigner out of his territory.

Your dog may consider them as a threat, the closer they will come, the louder the barking will become too. You will find your dog become alert and in some cases, he will be aggressive.

Caution barking is when something grabs your dog’s attention and he is trying to inspect it. Alarm barking could happen anywhere; while walking your dog, taking him to a friend’s condo or even at your house.

Feeling loneliness or boredom could lead your dog to unnecessary barking. Dogs typically live in packs so when they are left alone for a long time in the house or even in the back yard they tend to get frustrated and feel alienated so he uses his barking to express his feelings.

Anxiety is another reason for excessive barking. Separation anxiety makes dogs that are affected by it more prone to bark a lot, this is not the only symptom. A dog with separation anxiety shows along with loud and excessive barking, they tend to become destructive by chewing furniture and house soiling.

All of this is accompanied by a rhythmic pattern of movement, you may find the dog moving in a repetitive circular pattern or along the fence.

Not all barking is a sign of an unfortunate or negative situation that is about to happen, dogs also use their barking when they are exciting or anticipating a positive event to occur.

Attention seeking happens often when your dog wants you to give him something. Affection, cuddling or maybe he just wants to tell you I’m here. From time to time, your dog will try to get your attention.

Greeting or Playful barking is like alarm barking but only in the definition; also, it is made for something that grabbed the dog’s attention, but in a positive way. The playful greeting is easy to know, you will find your dog wiggling his tail and jumping in excitement along with barking.

It may be tempting at some time to leave these good vibes around, but let me just tell you the moment you are going to give the green light to your dog to do that, it’s settled. you can’t stop him!

So, How to Train a Dog Not to Bark

The first step to do when your dog starts barking non-stop is to locate the reason that motivated your dog’s barking in the first place and if it is applicable, rule it out.

When your dog starts to bark for example when he sees someone from the front door or from a window, start to act immediately and demolish the affecting factor, in the case I mentioned above, you could take your dog to his bed. You could put a treat on the bed and ask your dog firmly to go to his bed by using the command word you have.

If you don’t know about what basic commands your dog needs, check Dog Training Tips: What Basic Training Your Dog Needs?

You could also use the distracting method. With anything near you, you can create a loud or surprising blast to grab your dog’s attention away from the stimuli. Scaring your dog is not the intended goal, you need to get his attention and not to distress or scare him, so choose the act wisely.

Chew toys would be a great distraction for your dog too. If you are going to leave your dog alone for a long period of time, make sure he got things to do. Bring chew toys for him and teach him the treasure hunt game, hide some treats for him to find while you are away.

Give your dog more exercising time every day. Take him for various short walks and plan some activities to engage him in during the outing.

Blocking your dog’s vision line would be effective too, fence your yard or place dense bushes to limit his eye-sight. As for the windows, you could install relatively thick curtains or use clingfilm to blur the window’s glass, this will help in decreasing the territorial barking.

How to train a dog not to bark is getting easier, right?

More of How to Train a Dog Not to Bark Tips

how to potty train a puppy going for a walk
Look at this cute dog!

When your dog is enthusiastic about you coming home and he chooses to greet you with a symphony of barking, then you need to teach him other behaviors to replace the barking fuzz.

Teach your dog to stay in a specific spot when the door is opened. It would be better for the dog to be able to see the door while standing a few steps away. Start the training with just letting your dog stand at the spot you chose without getting near the door yet.

Praise and reward your dog a lot until he gets the idea of staying at the assigned spot. After that, you could start training him to stay at the same spot while you are opening the door. It may take some time, but once you make your dog gets the command it will facilitate how to control your dog greeting barking.

While you are going with the training if your dog greeted you with barking NEVER reward him for it. Rewarding doesn’t have to be a treat, petting or praising is considered a reward too.

Whenever he greets you with barking, ignore him and don’t make any eye contact with him until he stops barking. When that happens, you could praise or reward him as you like.

Compulsive barking and separation anxiety is hard to be treated alone. Consult your dog’s veterinarian behaviorist as dogs with these kinds of problems will probably need medications to be able to adapt to their environment and learn how to cope with being alone even for short times.

You can use collars for your dog to help in reducing dog barking. Citronella-spraying collars may be useful but you should know that some dogs learn to wear them out and then start to bark as they like.

Shocking collar( personal opinion, I’m not a fan) uses an electric shock to stop the dog barking. It is a painful shock so I don’t think I would make my dog go through such a painful experience, especially that there are many other options out there, so why to do that to my buddy?

Using Ultrasonic Dog Bark Control was the best option for training my dog not to bark. It doesn’t do any harm for him, helped in teaching him to stop barking fast and I could take it with me anywhere, it is so light weighted.

Never Use This Method:

Debarking procedure is a surgery that is used to rob the dog’s voice by removing the tissues that lie in both sides of his larynx or vocal folds to make his barking hoarse. This procedure is very controversial and some people consider it to be inhumane. No one has the right to deprive a living creature of any of his features.

In a Nutshell

How to train a dog not to bark is going to be easy when we understand the reason why our dogs are barking and how to deal with it. Share with us what you do when your dog starts to bark non-stop out of nowhere.

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