Barking comes naturally, and is considered normal activity for dogs. However, how much is too much?
Your furry family member needs to understand when it is acceptable and appropriate to bark, and when it is time to be quiet, and it is your job as their fur parent to teach them!
Here are 4 things you can do to quiet your dog and stop their barking habit.
1. Give your dog something else to do
Most of the time, your dog is barking because he or she is simply bored. It happens!
But if you want to stop them from barking and disrupting your quiet and bothering your neighbours, try to give your pooch something better to do besides barking, such as…
- Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise to get rid of any extra energy.
- Taking your dog out to the park to socialize with some other dogs and people.
- Playing with your dog.
- Giving your dog toys to keep them occupied.
2. Don’t bark back!
A common way to react to a barking dog is to raise your voice, scold, clap your hands or point. And while it may seem appropriate to reprimand your dog, it can be very easy for your dog to misunderstand you for “barking back.”
It is important to keep in mind that barking is also a joyful expression, and your dog might not realize he or she is being a nuisance.
Instead of “barking back” try using a calm deeper voice to correct them!
3. Put a limit on their barking
It’s near impossible to stop dogs from barking altogether – it’s in their nature, after all!
But it is possible to put limits on how much they can bark, and make them aware of that limit as well!
Allow your dog to bark 3-5 times before you acknowledge and correct them.
You can also try giving them a treat after you correct them, to let them know they did a good job barking, but now it is time to be quiet. (It is also difficult for dogs to bark while chewing on treats. Win-win!)
4. Block their view
While you don’t necessarily want to disallow them from seeing out the windows, if your dog has a serious barking problem when seeing people outside, it may be a smart idea to block their view while you are not home.
If you notice that your pooch incessantly barks at passersby or the mailman, blocking their view can cut back their exposure to the sights and sounds that cause the barking while you’re away.
When you are at home, remove the block from their view and simply repeat the other steps listed here if they do bark.
It is important to keep in mind that all dogs are different, and that no two dogs will respond the same to these tips.
However, if you have tried every trick in the book and your dog is still barking, it might be time to enroll in some obedience classes!