Stop Your Dog from Barking!
First things first. It’s time to teach your dog to bark on command. It makes sense that once you install an “on” button, then you’ll finally get to learn how to press the “off” button to your dog’s barking.
Start by doing something that normally makes your dog want to bark, like having someone knock on the door while at the same time giving the command “speak”. Then give your dog a treat and let him sniff it, and then eat it. Repeat the process until your dog can reliably bark on command.
Then move on to teaching your dog that being quiet is good too. Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose until it stops barking since most of the time dogs must stop barking to sniff and then eat a treat, and praise and encourage your dog as it becomes quiet. If it barks again then make sure to reprimand it gently by letting it know to shhh before giving it the treat.
This is why it’s so important to teach your dog to learn by using treats, verbal praise and petting, as well as light reprimanding until it catches on. With time and positive reinforcement, your dog will improve.
Why Your Dog is Barking So Much
There could be a variety of reasons why your dog is barking so much. It’s good to understand those first to see why this behavior is not only normal, but actually healthy. Still, if you’re going to live under the same roof, you don’t want the dog barking non stop.
Dogs bark for many reasons, like if they detect a potential home invader, or if they see another dog and feel their territory is threatened, and even when they’re excited and happy to see you. But an often overlooked aspect of excessive dog barking is that your dog may be barking due to a lack of exercise and stimulation, therefore they are barking due to frustration.
Install a Dog Door in Your Home
The way to improve your dog’s physical and mental health is to have some major, regular playtime with your dog to include games like fetch, sprinting and playing tag with your dog, and tug of war. In addition to this, you don’t always have to be there for your dog to be able to play. Strongly consider installing a dog door in your home to allow free movement and greater independence for your dog while you’re not at home.
Read about one of the top pet doors on the market in this dog door review.
Another great way to keep your dog active and happy is to hire a dog walker to visit and play with your dog for 3 minutes to an hour 3 times a week, or see if there’s another dog owner in your neighborhood that maybe your dog can be friends with and have some dog playtime too.
Ultimately if you can learn to have total, direct communication with your dog, you’ll find that your dog will listen to you during times it is barking excessively. This could mean you getting down on one knee and getting close to your dog, whispering encouraging things into its ear and giving it a hug to get it focused on and trusting you during a time when it wants to bark, making eye contact, and anything else that you know works for your dog.
Train Your Dog to Quit Barking All the Time
Finally, always rely on training when it comes to stopping your dog from barking. Never consider getting a surgical procedure that removes or lessens your dog’s vocal cords to stop it from barking, because while some vets will perform the procedure, it is actually far from ethical or humane.
For me, whenever my dog would start barking a lot at someone or something that I thought was inappropriate, I would simply just say “Get over here” or “shut up” very quickly, not mean, but just decisively as a matter of procedure, and my dog never seemed to mind it that way.
Finally, remember that exercise releases happy hormones and natural bodily chemicals that sedate and calm your dog. Your dog just wants to be happy and reach self-actualization the way any dog could, so keep in mind that a playful dog is a happy dog.