Dogs bark just like we humans talk, its something pretty natural and understandable. But if your dog barks excessively and disturbs you and your neighbors, then you really need to do something about it. Now before attempting to quiet your dog, first you need to understand that dogs need to bark, no matter what. So, make sure that you are not behaving in a very cruel manner towards the innocent creature’s regular barking habit. However, if he barks too much, then you should surely apply some tricks to make him keep quite. The very first thing that you should understand as an owner of the dog is the situation or circumstances that make your dog bark. You need to know your dog. Mostly the dogs bark in order to grab your attention. You need to behave in a very insensitive way towards the barking and ignore him completely to let him learn that barking won’t work.
Reasons for Dog Barking
Dogs bark for so many reasons. They may do this in order to warn the fellow creatures, to use it as an alarm, to initiate playing and to show excitement, while seeking a reaction. They also bark to show fear or anger and because they are dogs and they have to bark for the sake of barking. Some times there are multiple reasons that happen at once and make the dog bark. There are times when we don’t want the dog to stop barking, for example, we would definitely like a dog that barks and alarm us about the danger. What we actually want to do is to make the barking under our control. We want to make the dog bark only when we like him to bark. Sometime, unknowingly, we are supporting the dog to develop the barking habit. For example, when a dog barks and we shout at him to make him stop bark, he may think that we are enjoying it and are trying to join him by making loud sounds. And sometimes when we act politely and tell the dog in a very gentle way not to bark, the dog thinks that we liked the barking sound and are encouraging him to make even more loud sounds.
The Right Time to Bark
We all want our dogs to bark only at the right time. We know that there are various kinds of barking. There are many ways we can use to make sure that the dog barks only at the right time and for the right reason and stop barking once the reason is over. This becomes pretty easy of you to show confidence in your dog and make him realize that he is capable enough to deal with different kinds of situations. This confidence comes automatically when you get to know your dog and know the reasons that make him bark. This knowledge and understanding makes the owner take the control of his dog in a correct way. The dog will definitely respond to the owner’s command because he knows that the leader has now taken the control. You need to build the relation of trust and confidence with your dog.
How to Prevent the Dog from Excessive Barking
There are a number of ways that you may use to prevent your dog from excessive barking. Go through the following ways and choose those that you think you can apply consistently because the first rule of training a dog is to be consistent.
Figure Out the Motivation and Remove It
Dogs never repeat those acts for which they are not rewarded. Figure out the motivation or the reward that your dog gets when he bark and try to eliminate that. Show your dog that you don’t like him barking and remove the reasons that make to bark. For instance, if your dog barks at those who pass by your living room’s window then try to de-motivate your dog by taking the dog to some other room or by shutting down the window.
Ignore Your Dog
Ignore your dog while he barks. Dogs mostly bark to when they need to seek attention. If you ignore him, he will certainly come to know that barking is not the right way to grab attention. If you give him attention while he is barking, he will consider it as a reward for barking. Try to ignore him completely, don’t talk to him or go near him while he is barking. When he stops barking and is quiet for a while then move towards him, give him attention or reward of any kind to make him feel that he has done something impressive by choosing to stay quiet.
The “Quiet” Command
The very first step to teach your dog the quiet command is to teach him the bark or speak command. Give the bark or speak command to your dog and wait for him to bark. Then bring his favorite treat near his nose so that he may stop barking to sniff it. When he stops making sounds then praise him and provide him with the treat. Once your dog completely picks the bark command, start teaching him the quiet command. Tell your dog to bark and once he starts barking then give him a treat to sniff. When he keeps quiet, provide him with the treat and praise him. He will soon get to learn the quiet command.
Don’t Let Your Dog Get Bored
Make sure that your dog spends enough time in physical activities so that he gets tired. A tired dog will never bark out of frustration or boredom. Take him to a long walk, play with him and get him some toys so that he does not get time to get bored and bark for no reason.
Remember that barking is something very natural for the dogs. It’s their way of communication. So don’t expect and force a dog to stay quiet forever. Give him a space to express things through barking. However, you can use the above mentioned ways to prevent your dog from excessive barking.