Dogs bark naturally. It is their way of life. However, there are times where we can notice some dog bark excessively. It seems that these dogs would bark all day at anything and anyone. This type of behavior is not typical, and it is understandable that as a pet parent, you want to do something about it. That is why in this article, we are going to give you a few tips on how you could reduce your dog’s barking, but before that, let us first understand why dogs bark in the first place.
I. Why Do Dogs Bark?
Barking is equivalent to talking to humans. Dogs use it to communicate with each other. Each bark is a language that corresponds to different meanings. This is why there are several reasons why they bark. Here are some of them:
Often, dog barks are triggered when an unknown animal or individual steps foot in their domain. This is because dogs are territorial animals. The more foreign entities that come into their territory, the more barking they will do. This is their way to warn their owners that a stranger is in the vicinity.
Dogs can be excited too, and when they are, they tend to bark a lot. You can notice this when they are outside in dog parks playing with other dogs or when you pick up their leash, signaling that you are about to go for a walk.
• Being Left Alone for too Long
Some dogs who are left alone can either cause havoc by chewing on furniture, or they can be loud by excessively barking. This is because they tend to feel sad as they like their human’s company. Think of their excessive barking as their plight for you to come home quickly from work or school.
Dogs have very sharp instincts. They can feel danger looming around them and their owners, and as mentioned above, they are very protective and territorial animals. This is why, when their barking starts becoming erratic and out of the ordinary, then they may be in a state of alarm or fear.
Sometimes, dogs bark erratically due to illness. It is the same way with humans. This is why it is essential to check their body where there are areas experiencing pain.
Now that you have a clearer idea of why your dogs’ bark, let us now discuss what are the things you can do to mitigate their barking.
II. Tips How To Stop Your Dog From Barking
Mitigating your dog’s barking is not easy. It would require you to invest time, effort, and patience. It will also only be effective if there is consistency. If you are ready to put in the things mentioned above, here are a few tips that will help you train them.
• Be Calm
Shouting will only make your dogs more anxious, which will make them bark harder. This is why it is highly suggested that when you are addressing them, you should have a calm but firm demeanor. Your voice command should be firm but not yelling.
• Communicate with your Dogs
You see, dogs do not understand the words you speak to them unless they associate the sound to action. This is why talking to them with spoken language is not enough. You need to include body language as well so that there is a form of understanding between the two of you. For example, if you want to teach your dog how to sit, you must associate to them the action of the word as well.
III. Methods on How to Stop your Dogs from Barking
Here are several methods on how to stop your dogs from barking:
• Treat method
Rewarding dogs is one of the oldest tricks there is to teach them. When they are barking, say Quite in a firm and calm tone. When they stop, give them a treat and praise them. After doing this many times, your dog will eventually associate your signal to the message that you want, which is for them to stop barking.
In this method, it would help more if the treats that you will give them is something that they love. This way, they have a greater incentive to follow your command. Also, remember that this method will require patience and consistency for it to work.
• Speak and Silent method
For you to teach how your dog to be silent, you must first teach them the “speak” command. Once they can do that well, integrate the “quite command.” Unlike the first method mentioned above, this one requires your dogs to understand your body language.
Take note that each dog differs from one another. Sometimes, it can even be a mixture of these two methods. It depends on their temperament, but as their owner, it is your responsibility to know their attitude and identify what the best course of action applicable to them is.
IV. Methods on How to Stop from Barking Depending on the Situation
As mentioned above, there are several reasons why your dogs’ bark. Here are several ways to stop them from barking, depending on the situation.
If your dog is not welcoming to strangers, and they tend to bark a lot, an excellent way to stop this is by exposing them to people and other animals. This way, they will not perceive everyone as a threat, and they can be more welcoming. However, take caution in doing this. Do the integration slowly as their adjustments can be slow as well.
When your dogs bark excessively due to excitement, the best way to curb that is by calming them down. You can do this by giving them a command in a calm manner as well. Dogs feed off the atmosphere that you give out. If you are tense or excited, they tend to reflect that as well.
• When Left alone for a long time
We understand that most of you can are not able to stay at home for the whole day. However, if you want to be sure that your dogs do not bark excessively while you are gone, you must ensure that they have: food, water, space, and toys. This way, they will not be too bored waiting around for you.
Also, it would be best if you make sure that your place is dog-proof. Keep items that they can chew or destroy out of their reach. By doing this, they are more likely to focus on playing with their toys rather than suppressing the things in your house.
When dogs bark due to fear, you should investigate what the cause of that fear is. It is not only essential for your dogs but your safety as well. If you notice that your dogs bark significantly not because of fear but because of pain, then it would be best to bring them to see a vet immediately.
V. Several Reasons Why Mitigating Dog Barking Tips and Methods Will Not Work
• Tired dog
If your dog’s disposition is not in the right state, teaching them how to keep entirely will be near to impossible. This is why if you intend to do your training, make sure that they are significant to rest, and they can put their attention to you.
• Sick dog
As mentioned above, you must know the reason behind your dog’s barking. If they are barking out of feeling ill, no amount of training will make them stop. The best thing that you can do during this situation is to be observant and emphatic to them. Always take them to see a vet when you notice something out of the ordinary in their behavior.
• Your demeanor
You are an important factor in training your dog to keep quiet. It all depends on you. You need to take the lead and show your dog, who is the alpha, to follow your command. You will not achieve this by shouting.
Being calm and firm has been the most effective demeanor to make dogs follow you. You have to be consistent in doing your pieces of training. It is typical for results to be seen after several weeks. You also have to patient and understand that understanding your commands are not easy for your dog.
VI. Final Thoughts
Having a dog is a big responsibility, but that responsibility is offset by the affection and happiness that they give us. However, we fully understand why you want your dogs to stop barking, especially if you live in a condo or an apartment. Your neighbors might complain, and it is also important to respect them.
The training of your dog to keep quiet might be difficult at first, but following the tips and methods mentioned above will surely help you. Remember, you must start by understanding the reasons for your dog’s aggravating barking. From then on, it is up to you to choose what is the appropriate tips and methods you can apply.