Before thinking about how to train a dog not to bark, you need to know that barking is a natural trait in dogs you will never be able of shutting your dog entirely. It is like asking humans not to talk, which is obviously impossible.
Being reasonable about this will set your expectations to a moderate level where you will know when to stop your dog from barking or letting him for a few seconds for his natural manner.
Before looking into some solutions to minimize dogs barking, let’s know why they bark in the first place.
How to Train a Dog, Not to Bark: Why Dogs Tend to Bark?
Dogs use their vocals as a part of their natural behaviors. It occurs when a dog is exposed to a stimulus. The stimuli vary with every different situation. it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Here are some reasons why your dog would start his insanely barking out of nowhere;
When a dog smells an alien scent at his place, the first thing that happens is to become protective and alert from this newcomer. Whether it is a person or an animal, your dog will consider, whatever comes to his territory, as a threat. The closer it will come near him, the louder his barking will become. Aggressive acts may also occur if this situation is not contained.
Any weird noise or item that grabs the dog attention can cause the feeling of unease and anxiety to your dog. This kind of action is not limited to the dog’s house or familiar places.
Sitting alone for a long time, even at the house yard, is not very amusing for dogs. Your Pooch gets bored and sad about staying alone for a long period of time, sitting alone is not one of the dog’s traits. Dogs love living in packs so being alone for a long time making them look for something to do, AKA barking.
When your dog is trying to convey a request to you like wanting something, desiring a treat or want to spend some time outside he will likely use barking as a way to communicate.
Barking at this situation may be the sweetest thing ever for a dog owner. Along with a wagging tail and sometimes excited jumping.
SAD- Separation Anxiety Disorder:
Dogs with this disorder have a lot of symptoms barking repetitively and loudly is one of them. They tend to pace a lot, eliminate indoors, become destructive and do repetitious movements like pacing in circles or running along a wall. Dogs with SAD may keed howling for hours due to their frustration of being left alone.
How to Stop a Dog From Howling
If your dog developed a bad manner of excessive barking you need to take control of training your pooch to reduce his unnecessary howling and teach him to behave better. In order to make this progress, appropriate research, training schedule, and proper techniques is a must.
Starting to train your dog not to bark at an early age is so much better than leaving him to acquire the bad behavior and then plan to get rid of it. When your dog is howling, you shouldn’t shout back for him to stop, in fact, you are giving him the motive to keep barking as he thinks the shout was a signal of approval.
Whenever your dog starts to bark, ignore him and never give any response for it. If he found that you are not acknowledging him, he will no that barking is not effective and should stop after that. If he kept on barking and didn’t stop, you will need to use another method which is distracting.
After a few minutes of waiting, if ignoring barking was not effective, use the distraction approach. Do anything that you know will capture the attention of your dog. Drop something on the floor, open a drawer or a cabinet. Give your dog an interesting act to stop barking.
Try to take the sail of the situation to something you could actually reward the dog for. Positive reinforcement is a remarkable technique in any type of training for your dog. After succeeding in distracting the dog, give him a command like ‘lay down’ and after he does it, instantly, give him a treat.
This won’t only help with the barking, but also with enhancing the basic command’s training your dog had. For more information about basic training every dog needs, check Dog Training Tips: What Basic Training Your Dog Needs?
Using a clicker also would be a great way to reward your dog. It will help in reinforcing beneficial manners and behaviors. Want to figure out more about the clicker method? take a look at our article Puppy Clicker Training: Learn It, Apply It, and Enjoy It
If your dog started his symphony of barking outside the house, take him inside the house. Again, if he is doing it to a passerby, take him inside and leash him. The next time he does the same, take him inside the house again( in the middle of his barking) to give him the idea that barking at strangers means going inside and the fun will stop.
Provide a schedule full of activities for your dog. Howling is an expressive way for dogs to show their emotional state. Boredom is one of these feelings your dog is willing to express by barking.
Spend at least thirty minutes(divided to 15-15 minutes sessions) playing with your dog outdoors and providing plenty of activities like playing fetch and run or any game that contains a lot of motion.
If you have an energetic dog breed, you will need to maximize the duration of the activity up to an hour and some dogs will need more than that, it depends on the dog’s energy.
How to Train a Dog Not to Bark: Investigate for Reasons
The outset stage to know how to stop a dog from barking is to know the causes or stimuli that trigger your dog for howling. If your dog is making a problem for your neighbors by barking for long periods of time, use the assistance of them to stop him! Ask them if your dog has a certain pattern or specific time he starts to bark non-stop.
Approaching your neighbors for help will make the notice that you are working to solve the issue in hand and become more considerable.
Along with your neighbors’ assistance, use videotaping or recording to get a deeper insight into why your dog is barking. It would be a huge aid to you to figure out what makes your dog start howling out of nowhere.
Gathering clues will give you a list of triggers that you need to eliminate to reduce your dog barking. Some of the common clues are your dog is trying to get your attention because he needs something. Going outside to eliminate, being thirsty or even out of boredom.
Another clue that a dog owner may don’t notice is that his dog might have a health issue. Take the dog to the veterinarian if you think the excessive barking could be because of a physical issue.
After knowing the causes:
You will need to set up a long term plan for your dog. Never forget that excessive barking is not going to disappear overnight. You need to be patient, positive and consistent to get the results you want.
Keep in mind your dog will probably need another kind of training along with bark reduction training. He would need to learn the ‘quiet’ command and to stay still when the doorbell ring and someone comes from the door, etc.
How to Train a Dog Not to Bark: Never Use This Option!
Some would use dangerous or harmful solutions to stop their dog from barking, we DON’T recommend using anything that will harm pets in any mean. Here is a way that you never should use.
Many people consider debarking as an inhumane act. It is a surgical procedure that removes the tissues on both sides of the vocal cords or the dog’s larynx. It leaves the dog with a hoarse voice instead of barking. Debarking is not only about deprivation dogs from a natural right, but it also exposes them to many complexes; including life threating symptoms like choking. Difficulties in breathing and permanent pain are also consequences of this surgery.
Excessive barking indeed is troublesome for a lot of people, but that doesn’t give them the right to strip dogs off their right of using their natural traits.
Do you think anyone has the right to take such a decision? What will you do if you knew someone is going to debark his dog? Have you ever considered doing it to your dog? Share with us your thoughts!