Barking Problems: Train your Dog to Stop Barking!
Dogs bark because it is their method of communicating. A dog
might bark because it is saying hello, or there is a
stranger nearby. Perhaps it wants attention, or it is bored or
simply, "Wow something is happening!"
Some barking should be acceptable, especially if you have a
dog that is bred to be a watch dog. If you don't want to be
alerted every time someone comes up your walk then getting a
dog from a breed that was designed to do so isn't wise.
But sometimes such behavior can become excessive, especially
if the barking is nearly nonstop or during times when you
need quiet like when you are on the phone or trying to take
Most complaints about barking dogs actually come from
neighbors rather than dog owners themselves, especially in
an apartment complex. The neighbors' thinking usually is
that if they don't own the dog then they shouldn't have to
listen to it, and honestly, allowing a bad behavior to go on
isn't good for the dog, you or your neighbor. After a time
your neighbor may start complaining to your landlord or the
police because of the barking.
Here are some steps to help curb your overly vocal dog:
1. Start by setting up a situation that you know will get
your dog to bark. This can be a cooperative friend who will
come over to the house and ring the door bell or knock on
2. When your dog starts barking and starts running around
trying to alert you to the disturbance you should approach
the dog. Take its collar firmly and give the command "quiet"
or an equivalent. Do not shout! This doesn't get your point
across. You need to be firm, clear and authoritative, but
3. If the dog stops barking then you should reward the dog
and praise it. It's a very smart dog if it gets the message
right away and it deserves the treat.
4. If the dog continues to bark, you should close the dog's
mouth by wrapping your fingers around its muzzle. Use both
of your hands if needed. Be sure to not pinch the dog's
tongue between its teeth. Then give the command "quiet" or
equivalent again firmly. Be sure to praise the dog when it
After repeated training your dog will learn the "quiet"
command and if you set up situations so that you can correct
the dog in your presence it will get the point across that
this behavior is not acceptable. Be sure to do this daily.
With an excessive barker you may have to do this training
regularly for the rest of the dog's life, but after a time
you may not have to do this except once a week.
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