Barking is how your dog communicates with his world. It’s how he says hello when you come home after a long day of work, and how he greets other four legged friends on your walks. It’s also totally natural for your pet to bark when he thinks your home needs protecting from people or animals outside.But sometimes the barking turns from a normal bark here and there to an excessive and almost irritating amount, with no sign of stopping. When it gets to this point, your dog’s barking may be cause for concern. Just to be clear: we don’t want to discourage your dog from making any noise. Silencing your dog’s bark completely would be like asking you to take a vow of silence. We just want to limit how long the barking lasts and get to the root of what’s triggering it. Here are our favorite tips:
Practice Patience & Use a Calm Tone
As with any form of training, things are not going to change overnight. You’ll need to be patient with your dog while he learns his bark-etiquette. When your dog lets out an unwarranted bark, resist the urge to yell at him. While you may think of yelling as reprimanding his behavior, your dog interprets your raised voice as the start of a conversation so he’ll continue to bark back replies.Try saying “Quiet” in a calm and gentle tone. As soon as the barking stops, have a treat handy to let your dog know he did the right thing. If the barking continues, you’ll want to identify what may be triggering it and work from there.
Prevent Your Dog from Barking
Excessive barking is a sign that your pup is trying to get your attention, so it’s important to figure out the “why” behind the noise in order to prevent it.Here are two common causes:
They’re bored: Excessive barking could be a sign that your dog has extra energy that needs to be released. Opt for longer walks and lots of play time if your dog is barking and you’re unsure of what’s triggering it.
Something outside grabs their attention: If your dog is constantly barking at people or things outside, close the curtains or blinds after he barks to teach him a lesson in a safe and healthy way. Once your dog makes the connection that barking at things outside results in not being able to see the outdoors, they’re more likely to end their barking habit. If you let him hang outside, bring him inside when his barks become relentless.
Although your dog’s barking can be annoying at times, it’s his most prominent form of communication so you don’t want to ignore it. Never yell at your pup — and under no circumstances should you ever hit your dog — for barking. They won’t understand what’s going on and will just continue their behavior.Instead, find out why he’s barking and either remove the irritant or show your dog that there are consequences to his behavior.