How to Make a Dog Stop Barking

Shouting at a dog when he barks reinforces the barking.

Shouting at a dog when he barks reinforces the barking.

Barking is natural for dogs, but constant barking is annoying. Some breeds are prone to barking, and some bark only when there is a knock at the door. You never want to stop your dog from a warning bark, but you want your dog to listen to your commands.

Discover the reasons why your pooch is barking. Some dogs bark to warn you when someone is near the house. Some dogs bark to get your attention and some bark at other dogs. Knowing why he barks will help you decide how to stop his barking.

Remove the stimulation. If your dog is barking at people walking past your home, close the curtains and move him to another room where he cannot see the people. If he is outside, bring him inside.

Ignore the barking. This is sometimes tough to do, if your pooch is barking constantly to get out of his crate or come into the room to be with you. If you give in, he has figured out barking gets him what he wants. Wait until the barking stops and then give him a treat. The next time lengthen the period by five seconds before you give the treat. Continue to add five seconds each time.

Teach your dog to bark on command and be quiet on command. Give your dog the command "speak." Have someone knock on the door. Your dog will start barking. Let him bark a few times and then put a treat near his nose. When he stops barking to smell the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Continue this command until he barks when you say, "speak." Teach him the "quiet" command by putting him in a quiet place with no distractions. Begin with the "speak" command and when he barks, say "quiet" and place a treat in front of his nose. When he stops to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat.

Break the dog's concentration on barking. Place some coins in a can. When the dog starts barking, toss the can in the air so it drops near him. Don't pick it up. The noise of the can, as it falls near him, will interrupt his concentration on barking. You also can slam a door or produce any noise that interrupts the barking.

Items you will need

  • Treats
  • Can full of coins

Tip

  • Consider a bark collar. It seems harsh, but you can set the electronic pulse on low or noise on low. Each time your dog barks, he gets an electric stimulation or a noise.

Warning

  • Don't speak softly to a dog when he barks. He may think you are praising him for barking.
 

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

Photo Credits