How to stop dog barking, Okemos Pet Training

There are many reasons that dogs bark. Sometimes barking can be useful, such as notifying you of an intruder in your home. Many dogs, however, bark more often than their owners would like. Known as “nuisance barking,” this type of barking can be controlled through proper training. Here’s how. 

1. Ignore the bad behavior.

Yelling at your dog will only make the barking worse, because to them it sounds like you’re barking too! It’s much better to ignore the excessive barking. If your dog is barking for attention, they’ll soon learn that this is not how to get it. 

2. Fix the triggers.

Many dogs bark as a reaction to stimuli in the environment. When you remove these stimuli, you can cut down on a lot of excessive barking. 

For example, dogs often bark when people walk past your house on the sidewalk. This can happen many times a day! However, if you simply close your curtains during the day, your dog won’t be able to see every person that walks past. 

Similarly, if your dog always barks at other dogs, proper socialization can help them get used to other dogs being around without feeling threatened. Exposure to other dogs will eventually desensitize your pup so they don’t see all other dogs as a danger to bark at.

3. Give your dog a cue to be quiet. 

When training your dog to stop barking, you’ll need to give them a cue when it’s time to be quiet. This could be a word, like “quiet,” or a gesture like putting a finger to your lips (or both!) This cue must be delivered in a calm but firm fashion and, as mentioned above, cannot be yelled at your dog. 

4. Make sure your dog’s needs are met.

Dogs tend to bark less when they’re tired. If your dog is getting enough exercise throughout the day, you’ll find that they’re quieter when it’s time to settle down. 

Make sure to take your dog for walks and let them run around in the yard. The amount of exercise each dog needs varies from breed to breed, but your veterinarian can tell you how much physical activity your dog should get each day.

5. Enforce good behavior. 

Reinforcing good behavior is a great way to ensure that your dog will repeat it. When your dog stops barking, even if it’s just for a moment, give them a treat. This will not only interrupt the barking behavior, but also will teach your dog that being quiet will be rewarded. 

This method, when paired with the “quiet” command mentioned above, will help your dog learn the right way to behave. If you keep doing this, eventually your dog will stop the nuisance barking behavior. 

Interested in Professional Training?

We can help! Our dog and puppy training classes in Okemos are designed to help you form a better connection with your pet. To enroll in one of our dog training courses, call Dog Gone Fun today at (517) 657-4300.