Many dog owners will readily agree that dogs bark pass a message to their owners, but sometimes, the barking can become excessive to cause so much trouble. When your dog starts barking excessively, it’s important to know the reason(s) why he barks so you can know how to take care of the situation effectively.
Here are some common reasons dogs bark:
- Attention seeking
- Play barking
- Separation distress
Five tips to get your dog to stop barking.
1. Mask the sounds
Dogs have the ability to hear faint sounds and most times; their barking is a reaction to being startled by the sounds. If your dog reacts by barking excessively, you can mask the sounds outside with a fan, radio or white noise machine. Just position whatever you’re using to masks the sounds close to the window or door to cover up the noise from outside so your dog can relax.
2. Set up sight barriers
Dogs are territorial and tend to react when someone or something gets into the environment. In this situation, dogs bark to alert their owner of the intrusion or to scare away the intruder. To fix this, set up sight barriers that can cut your dog’s visual access to potential barking triggers.
If your dog stays outdoors, consider using private fencing to block your dog’s sightline. But if your dog stays indoors, make sure you close the blinds or place the window film some inches above your dog’s line of sight since most dogs react when they see things from the window.
3. Use training
Sometimes, you have to go beyond putting measures to prevent your dog from barking to training him to stop at your command. Training your dog will help you control your dog’s barking when he’s causing some trouble with it, and it’s easy to do so. If your dog starts a barking fit, you say “speak” and when he stops, firmly say “quiet.” As you do this often with your dog, he will associate the word “speak” with barking and the word “quiet” with not barking. Remember to give your dog treats if he obeys your commands.
4. Reward the absence of barking
If your dog barks excessively and suddenly takes a break from it, you should reward him with treats so he can associate his refusal to bark with something positive. Positive reinforcement can be powerful and may help your dog quit barking in the long run. So if your dog refuses to react to any of his usual triggers praise him and give him a treat.
5. Get professional help
It’s quite possible that your dog may not stop barking even if you apply all the tips you can find online. In most instances, the problem could be a medical condition you’re unaware of or a situation where you’re not doing something right. So make sure you speak with your vet and hire a dog trainer if necessary.