Dogs can bark for multiple reasons. It is a completely natural behavior. In some cases, extensive barking can be very annoying and should be corrected, on the other hand, you don’t want your dog not to bark when there is an intruder in your house, right?
First, you have to determine what is the cause of the barking, if it needs attention and how you can stop it. Below you can find some common reasons:
- To alarm you when they sense danger
Scary noises, strangers or intruders will set off their internal alarm and they want to notify you.
- If left alone for too long or simply bored
Some dogs develop compulsive disorders when left alone (this can range from depression, to chewing or even barking).
- To seek attention
Dogs are social creatures, they crave their owner’s company so make sure they get to spend enough time with you.
- To greet people
Dogs might start barking to show excitement when they see their owner or friends.
Once you determined the reason for your pup’s behavior, figure out if it’s something you need to correct or not. Remember, that some behavioral traits will go away over time and don’t need any attention. If you still think there is a problem, let’s take a look at ways to stop barking:
- Ask him to bring a toy
This is common sense. If they have something in their mouth, they can’t bark. They can also chew on the toy, which is an easy way to release stress.
Lack of exercise is another reason why dogs bark. Make sure your furry friend walks enough, runs around in the park and has playtime with other dogs. A tired dog is less likely to bark.
- Create a distraction Make a noise that shifts your dog's attention from barking to the source of the sound. The noise have to be loud enough to work. The key is not to scare him, but to divert his focus.
- Train your dog to bark and stop on command
You heard it right. You can teach your dog to bark on command. That also means you can teach him to stop barking on command. Check out this video!
Now that we know what to do to stop the barking, let's look at what not to do.
Don’t use muzzles for extended periods of time or when unsupervised. It can hurt your dog.
Don’t shout at your dog because it stimulates them to do it even more.
Don’t be too nice. If you start to pet your dog he might take that as reward. Be calm but assertive.
Ignoring the problem only works if the cause is attention seeking. If it keeps happening after you tried all the above mentioned tricks, it's time to seek professional help. Your dog may have a medical problem and wants you to notice it.