How to Stop Barking Dogs
Donnie, my Lab, was typically very quiet, but he can bark like there’s no tomorrow whenever one of the neighbor’s dogs came close to the yard. This was a problem that I’ve had to deal with for a long time. One day, however, I decided that I’ve had about enough of the constant barking, and so I tried to do something about this problem. What surprised me was that dogs will bark, growl or even show their fangs for all kinds of reasons, and so no single solution was ever enough. Different solutions existed for different dogs, and in order to stop barking dogs, it’s important to first consider why dogs bark in the first place.
How to stop barking dogs in 6 ways
As I’ve mentioned, dogs bark for different reasons and the easiest way to stop barking dogs is to figure out what is causing them to behave in such a manner. Dogs behave based on their instincts, environment, and training and even how they perceive their owners. Having said this, barking is the results of several factors, and should be rectified using different solutions. So to help you stop barking dogs, here are 6 tips on how to calm them down.
Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety – When dogs bark, it may be due to his or her feelings of anxiety. Being left alone in the house or simply being ignored, for example, can sometimes cause dogs to bark. This is particularly true if you shower your dog with so much attention that he or she will feel something’s wrong whenever you start ignoring them. So try to deal with your dog’s fears and anxieties. It may take some work, but it’s definitely worth it.
Teach Your Dog to Be Quiet – From my own experience, one of the best ways you can stop barking dogs is to teach them how to be quiet. Donnie is pretty quiet for a Lab, but even he needed a few lessons. In my case, I experimented with commands that allowed me to communicate my displeasure whenever Donnie started barking at one of the other dogs. Training a dog to stop barking is the same as training him to sit. In Donnie’s case, I was able to get him to respond to my commands whenever he starts barking, which is certainly an improvement over yelling at him to quiet down.
Avoid Negative Reinforcement – One of my biggest mistakes at trying to get Donnie to stop barking excessively was to think that it’s his entire fault. I learned later on that one of the reasons why my dog kept barking was because I kept rewarding that sort of behavior. So whenever your dog starts barking, simply make it clear that you’re not happy about something (e.g. ignoring them or giving them some kind of penalty) and you should be able to make them stop.
Create A Peaceful and Comfortable Environment for Your Dog – Dogs often bark because they sense problems all around them. So if you can create a more peaceful environment then they are less likely to start barking.
Try to Discourage Aggressive Behavior – Dogs often bark because they feel that, their territory or their pack mates (i.e. you) are being threatened. Many dog breeds are naturally aggressive, particularly if something’s at stake. So in order to discourage this behavior, the best solution is to simply confine your dog in an area where they feel they are not threatened. I tried this with my lab and it was a good short term solution.
Exhaust Your Dog – I don’t know if this works for all dogs, but to stop barking dogs, most pet owners I know have mentioned that playing with their dogs until they’re tired is a good way to shut them up. This has worked on Donnie, so it’s something that I personally recommend. After all, when a dog is taking a nap, he’s not going to start barking anytime soon.