How To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking
Does your dogs barking drive you crazy?! Even embarrass you?!
No worries! There are just a few simple steps to start training away that obnoxious barking habit!
First, you need to understand why your dog is barking .. and that sometimes you actually WANT your dog to bark.
For example, if someone walks on my property I want my dog to alert me.
Some other reasons dogs bark are
– they want to play
– they may be nervous
– they may be unsure
– they may be protective or territorial
If your dog is barking due to excitement, boredom or frustration, the best thing you can do is to make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise! Long walks, plenty of play time, maybe even hiking if your dog has tons of energy!
When training, the first thing you want to do is to get your dog’s attention. You want your dog to voluntarily break their attention from whatever is triggering them and on to you.
To do this, you’ll need a very powerful currency! Some tasty treats should do the trick! I ask for a LOOK and then as long as they give me at least a second of quiet, I treat.
But! You do want to make sure not to mistakenly reward the bark. … so the second time they start barking, ask for their attention again, but before treating you’ll want to ask for something else before treating. A good thing to ask for in this situation is a SIT because it’s pretty easy for most dogs. As long as your dog is focused on you and not barking while they sit, they get the treat.
You can follow this up with lots of love and praise as well. Not only will this continue to reinforce the attention interrupt but will continue the duration of the attention being redirected from the stimulus casing your dog to bark.
For dogs who just can’t seem to stop the barking, who you can’t interrupt, you’ll need to rewind back to the last time and place your dog was exhibiting acceptable behavior (for example, turn around and walk back to the last calm place).
Get back to a calm state and reward.
Always remember to reward your dog’s effort. Sometimes it may not seem like much to you, but if they are trying at all, they deserve the recognition and reinforcement. They are trying to do what you ask, so reward that.
And remember, the best time to correct an unwanted behavior … is BEFORE it occurs. Learn your dogs triggers and body language and avoid these outbreaks all together whenever possible.