Over one-third of households own a dog.
While owning a dog is full of fun and playful moments, it also comes with less joyful moments such as loud and obnoxious barking.
Although dog barking often has a purpose, it can cause issues such as neighbor complaints.
If you are searching for ways to help keep your puppy or dog quiet, keep reading below for ten tips!
One of the first important tips in dealing with barking is to be careful about just ignoring the behavior. While this can work in some situations like a crated dog, it is not foolproof.
If a dog is outside or in a large area, barking can actually be self-rewarding to them. This is because while outside or in big areas, there are stimuli that naturally would lead to a dog barking.
Do not leave your dog outside unsupervised, especially if he can run around and chase a squirrel.
While this may sound contrary to your goals, it can help in a major way. Teach your dog to 'speak' on command and then command him to be quiet. Reward him with a treat after a few seconds of him being quiet.
This timing is important because you don't want him to believe he is being rewarded for barking.
You can start this training by having a friend ring the doorbell. Consider having your dog on a leash during the training so you can distract him with a tug if he does not stop barking in the beginning of using "Quiet."
This is also a great chance to teach your dog he can bark once at the door, and then must quiet and stand by the door, but allow the person to enter. The dog can watch for any potential threat. This would allow the dog to serve as a great guard dog.
Another option for addressing problematic barking is to simply close your dog's mouth when he won't stop barking. Products like a head halter make this an easy and safe process.
When the barking happens, pull up on the leash so your dog's mouth shuts and he is guided into a seated position. Move and draw attention to something else. This method stops the dog barking and redirects to a positive behavior.
Another great way to work on a barking problem is to train your dog to bring a toy to you and your guests. This keeps their mind and mouth occupied. Many dogs such as retrievers enjoy carrying items around.
Be sure not to give your dog a toy while he is still barking. He may mistake this as a reward for barking, the opposite of what you want!
Similar to having your dog carry an item to you or a guest, creating other distractions can significantly reduce dog barking. If you don't want to use a bark collar as mentioned below, consider some DIY interrupters.
Try filling a jar with coins and shake this when your dog begins barking. You can also drop a heavy bean bag in front of him when he barks for no reason.
Another great distraction option is to entertainment during the day, especially if your dog is home alone. Shop around for toys or treats to keep your dog happy all day.
One option to handle dog barking is a bark collar. These collars work by emitting an interruption when the dog that is wearing the collar barks. Some of these utilize sound or smell. Some use blasts of cold air or minor, localized electrical pulses.
Different dogs may respond better to one or the other, but generally, the electrical pulse style of bark collar is favored.
There are many benefits to crate training your dog. Decreasing barking is just one. This method is especially helpful with new puppies that may bark a lot while in their crates.
Try placing a light sheet or cloth over the crate. This will help remove environmental visual factors that your dog may bark at. Some puppies will sleep quietly in their crate if the crate is placed in the same room as you.
Alternatively, other puppies seem to bark less if the crate has an item that smells like its owner. This could be a pillow, stuffed animal, or sheet.
Get to know the sounds your puppy or dog makes while in a crate. Unless it is a true emergency, do not go to the crate or let them out when they bark. If you start this, he will learn that to get out, all he or she has to do is bark nonstop.
Dog barking can sometimes be a sign of boredom or restlessness. Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. Grab the leash and take your dog for a nice long walk.
This will help to get extra energy out and decreasing the barking. Exercise also gives dogs a purpose and helps them regulate their emotions. It will also help keep your dog at a healthy weight!
Many times, dogs bark due to a perceived threat or something they see. For example, most dogs like to bark when they see a squirrel through a window.
To combat this issue, try closing your blinds when you are not home. This will prevent your dog from barking and annoying the neighbors while you aren't home to quiet him.
To further address dog barking, consider leaving a radio or television on a low level. White noise can often calm a dog and decrease their anxiety.
If you are having trouble with a new puppy and barking, consider seeking out a puppy training class. These are great for new pet additions and they cover all the basics.
Now you know ten tips to handle your dog barking issue.
Be sure to shop around for some entertaining toys to keep your dog happy and quiet while you train him to only bark when needed!
Do you know of any other tricks that have stopped your dog from barking? Share your story with us in the comments!