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How To Stop A Barking Dog- Two Methods

How To Stop A Barking Dog- Reader  Question

The following is a question from one of the readers of our site:

Hello Ty,

I live in an apartment and Charlie barks at the sounds of the neighbors coming and going from their apartments. He also barks at everyone he sees when he sits out on the balcony. How do I stop the barking please?

I must say that your videos have helped me enormously. Charlie was hugely leash aggressive but he is now around 98% improved after only a week of me implementing your training methods!

Thanks so much,

Jenny,

Melbourne, Australia.

How to stop a barking dog

How To Stop A Barking Dog- Diagnosing The Problem

There are two main types of dog barking that I typically see.  If you are going to know how to stop a barking dog it’s important to first understand the ‘why’ and the motivation behind your little buddy’s barks:

  • Barking for a purpose- This is a dog who runs to the window to bark at passers-by, barks at people or dogs on walks, barks when someone rings the doorbell, etc.  In other words, there are very clear and visual triggers that cause the dog to bark.
  • Nuisance barking- This is a dog who barks to hear themselves ‘talk’.  They bark at every other sound, bark when lonely in the crate, bark at leaves rustling, etc.  In other words, there is no clear and present threat, trigger, etc. they are simply barking because they want something and aren’t getting it.

How To Stop A Barking Dog- The Solution

As I mentioned previously, if you want to know how to stop a barking dog, first diagnose why it is happening.  Once you know the motivation then it’s important to address the problem head on:

  • For dogs that are barking with a purpose it’s important to replace the bad behavior with good behavior.  For example, have your dog lie down and stay rather than rush to the door when someone knocks.  Have your dog heel properly by your side instead of barking at dogs and other people.   For most dogs and owners this will require an increase in obedience training and perhaps even an advanced level of training.  Our clients will typically use the foundation obedience or advanced e-collar obedience programs to help solve those issues.
  • For nuisance barkers I typically just correct the barking.  This may be with a leash correction, squirt bottle, or e-collar correction.  Following the correction I’ll praise the silence.

 

Dog Training Question About Barking

The following is a recent question coming in from a dog owner who reads our site:

Dear Ty,  Our 1.5 year old Norwegian Elkhound is shaping up nice but has two problems we can quite change yet.   1) Barking:  we use a bark collar to curb his enthusiasm but he does “bark” through it.  He is free in our back yard and we try to correct him as often as we can “catch” the moment.  I would like him to at least stop barking on command.  The only thing that currently works if for me to approach him and growl at him.  Not too attractive.

2) I need to review your videos and info on sit and stay.  Stay would be so useful.  He does a wonderful job of “sit” and “down” but he doesn’t get “stay”.  Again we need to learn to curb his enthusiasm.  Please point me to resources and we will work on this with better tools.

My response:

Thanks for the question.  In answer to your first question here are a few thoughts:

1- What type of bark collar are you using?  I wonder why he’d bark through it?  Do you have it on snug enough with a proper fit?  You say that you ‘correct’ him when you catch him; how are you doing that?  If the dog is going to be loose in the yard with no supervision the only way to curb barking is through some sort of bark collar or citronella collar.  It’s got to be a good brand and well fit, though.

2- To get a dot to stop barking on command I usually do that through obedience.  For example, the dog starts barking at the squirrel or dog next door and I’ll call the dog to me and have him stay put.  With enough repetition most dogs start to ‘self-regulate’ and stop barking on their own because they realize there is no point in barking…because you’ll simply call them back right away.

In order for that to work, though, you’ve obviously got to have a perfect recall and stay behavior.

As far as your second question goes, teaching a dog to stay put is simply a matter of what you do when the dog DOESN’T stay.  Our dog training DVDs have numerous videos showing how to properly correct the dog when the dog breaks the ‘stay’ behavior whether it is to sit, lie down, or go to a bed.

Happy Training!

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