How to Train a Dog to Stop Barking
Dogs bark because it is a natural form of communication in the canine world. A barking dog could be trying to establish territory, warning a potential threat not to come closer, or just letting other dogs know where they are. Having a dog bark at strangers when they approach your home or when they sense or hear something strange is helpful when you want that extra "alarm system" at your house, however excessive barking can become a problem, especially when there are neighbors living nearby who may find the barking to be less helpful and more annoying.
There are several training techniques you can use to stop unwanted barking and train a dog to bark only when the time is right.
Understand Why Your Dog Barks
It is important to examine the possible reasons why your dog is barking. First, is the dog hungry or thirsty? Is there something else you think the dog may be trying to communicate to you that you need to know? Is the dog in distress or in pain? Most would agree that these are valid reasons for your dog to bark.
If you believe your dog is barking because it is bored or needs more exercise, provide more dog toys, take your dog on more walks, or play with your dog more often. Sometimes these simple things can stop barking problems in dogs.
Saying "no" or using another such forceful command to get your dog to stop barking will probably not work because your dog will see this as you barking, too. Be gentle in your commands, and designate a word, such as "silent", to communicate to your dog that the command specifically pertains to the barking behavior. Use rewards, such as dog treats or dog snacks, to reinforce the behavior of the dog stopping its barking when you use this command.
Bark Collars and Other Bark Control Methods
Consider a bark control collar or sensor to reduce excessive dog barking. Bark control tools help reinforce communication with your dog by sensing your dog's barking and administering a safe, but annoying, shock correction, letting them know when barking is appropriate and when it is not. Bark control tools are available at your local Tractor Supply Co. store and help dogs learn to associate unnecessary barking with a negative experience: the shock of the bark collar. When used consistently, bark control collars can effectively stop the barking behavior.
There are several types of bark control options available:
- Spray and Static Correction Bark Collars
- Ultrasonic Bark Control