Excessive Dog Barking: 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Fido to Stop

August 31, 2020

Excessive Dog Barking: 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Fido to Stop

Most dog breeds exhibit some form of barking, some louder and more extreme than others. If your puppy is making too much noise, don't worry. There are ways that you can reduce their yapping without hurting your pup.  

Introduction

We all know that dogs bark. Some breeds' yapping is loud, long, and clear, while others only bark when absolutely necessary. If your dog barks frequently and loudly, you've probably looked for ways to shush them. No matter how much you love your puppy, sometimes the barking can get on your nerves, and even upset the neighbors. 

Before diving into how to get a dog to stop barking, we'll go over reasons that your pooch might be shouting too much in the first place. Then, we'll give some tips to help you control their noise without hurting them. You'll also learn some exercises to help your puppy stay active and burn off steam. Finally, we'll ask whether a bark collar is actually effective in calming your dog. 

Despite your best efforts, it may take a while to craft a system that works specifically to help your dog. Try our tips below, but also consult your vet and perhaps a puppy trainer. Read on and try out the following ways to relax your uncontrollably yapping canine. 

It's helpful to determine why your pup may be shouting and making a lot of noise. Barking is a form of verbal communication for dogs and serves a variety of purposes for them, including:

  1. To Establish Territory: If your puppy barks every time another dog, animal, or a new person walks onto your yard, porch, or into your home, the excessive barking could be a territory issue.
  2. In Alarm: Does your dog bark every time they hear a new noise or see something unfamiliar? This could be in your home, at the park, or anywhere not bound to a specific territory.
  3. To Gain Attention: If your dog barks for food, to get treats, or to continue playtime, they could be barking to gain attention.
  4. To Say Hello: Does your puppy bark excessively every time you come home? They may just be excited to see you!
  5. On a Compulsion: This is when the excessive and repetitive barking is attached to excessive and repetitive movement like pacing.
  6. In Response to Other Pups: Maybe your dog barks when they hear other dogs barking? This is them trying to communicate with others.
  7. In Frustration: Your dog could make noise after being put in a bad situation, such as being confined in a crate, being separated from you, or being separated from other dogs.

The seven reasons listed above are only a few possible reasons for your dog's barking. Hopefully, you recognize your pup in at least one of the options shown above.

Once you identify the reasons that apply to your animal, you can utilize tips and tricks to figure out how to stop your dog from barking. 


Figuring out why your pet is shouting is only part of the issue. When working to control your dog’s barking, there are some definite things that you shouldn’t do. Training your animal will take skills and patience, and you’ll need to be careful. If you do the wrong thing, you could cause your pup to bark more and not listen to you.

We recommend that you never do the following while training your dog to stop barking:

  • Yelling: Sometimes, the instinct is to yell at your furry friend when they’re barking too much. Unfortunately, the reaction will not only be ineffective, but will actually encourage them to bark louder and more frequently.
  • Hitting: Using violence against your animal is cruel and unkind. Plus, it won’t help them stop barking excessively. They’ll continue the behavior and potentially grow aggressive or weary towards you. 
  • Shock Collars: Another painful method to attempt to stop excessive talking in your pet. The devices do not work long-term because pups learn to work around the collars. 
  • Debarking: The partial removal of your dog’s vocal cords is not only unnecessary, but also puts your animal at risk for surgical errors and pain. 
  • Giving Up: Even if it seems like your furry friend will never stop excessive barking, don’t give up. 
  • Inconsistent Training: Keep a routine schedule to get your pet used to controlling their barks. 
  • Spraying Water: Using water to stop the barking could lead to phobias in your pet hound, plus it won’t act as a long-term solution.

 

The eight tips and tricks compiled below are meant to help dogs stop excessive barking. Some methods work better than others, depending on why your puppy shouts. You'll have to watch your animal for a few days before testing any of the methods listed below.

Once you determine why your dog is barking so much, you can dive straight into using the method you think will work best.

 

If you've been keeping an eye on your dog, and they mostly bark around the living room window or along the fence, you should consider sight barriers. Managing the environment that your puppy lives in will help stop dog barking.

If possible, utilize privacy fencing to limit your dog's vision of the outside. You can even install privacy screens over existing chain-links. 

While your dog is inside, keep blinds and curtains closed so that they can't see out. You can also use a static cling window film that allows light in but distorts the images.  

 

For all those pups that suffer from separation anxiety, this tip will help them. Create a place for your dog to relax when you're away with a comfy bed, a privacy cover, and a white noise machine. You can also provide them with a puzzle toy to keep them occupied while you're away.  

As technology gets more advanced, dogs have more options to manage their stress. You can buy a variety of toys to help keep them busy while you're away or to distract them from barking at sounds and strangers. There are herb-loaded collars and thunder wraps to help keep them calm as well.

If your dog is triggered into being noisy by certain external stimuli, you can train them to be desensitized to the triggers. Utilize treats, positive reinforcement, and a lot of patience to see the most success.

Sometimes dogs bark because they're bored and want attention. Sometimes it's cute and helps you bond with your pet; but, most of the time the barking becomes an unhealthy habit and grows irritating. The next time your dog starts shouting for attention, ignore them.

Some dog breeds require a lot more exercise than others. If your puppy needs a lot of outdoor time, they might start complaining if they don't receive enough. Make sure to take them out and let them run when they need it.

For dogs that haven't had many positive experiences with other animals, people, or other dogs, your best bet to stop their shouts is to get them out and about.

If they meet other dogs and have fun, they'll be less likely to bark at animals walking by outside your home or apartment. Plus, letting them hang out with friendly people will hopefully ease their anxiety around other humans.

In some cases, you can distract your dog from making noises. Place a treat on their bed and tell them to lay down every time they start to bark. If they're laying down and eating the treat, they can't focus on barking.

You need to be careful that you aren't encouraging the bad habit. Only give your dog the treat once they've completed the task you want them to.

If you decide to go with the training route to curb your dog's excessive noises, there are a few commands that you can teach them.

Before getting started, make sure that you don't fall back on bad training techniques such as yelling, rewarding bad behavior, and inconsistent disciplining.  

  • “Come Here”: If you take your dog's attention away from the door, window, or fence, you'll be able to control their barking.
  • “Speak”: It might seem ironic, but teaching your dog to bark on command can stop them from barking in other unwanted situations.
  • “Settle/quiet”: The commands give your dog permission to calm down in tense situations.
  • “Sit/Stay”: When you're near a trigger that will get your pet all riled up, telling your dog to sit or stay will help them stay comfortable and less likely to bark. 

With a ton of patience and the right amount of rewarding, you can train your dog to stop excessive barking, no matter the cause. 

Many people lead busy lives. Because of their busyness, they can't dedicate enough time to train their animal. If the excessive barking is too much for you to handle and you don't have time to train your animal, you might have considered getting a bark collar. 

Unfortunately, most bark collars don't work. These devices use shocks to stop your dog from barking. In some cases, the shock doesn't work. In others, the results are temporary. Plus, many people consider them unethical and harmful to pups. 

Nothing will replace dedicated training. Consider reaching out to a professional if you don't have time to properly train your pooch. 

Conclusion 

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. If your animal is excessively shouting and making too much noise, figure out the reason and then put in the time to train them to stop. Remain patient and remember the love you have for your furry friend while you're training them. Eventually, you can work together to make them stop. 

Training sessions will bring you closer to your furry friend. If you remain dedicated, your pup will learn to stop making unwanted noise.

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