How to Keep Your Dog from Barking Too Much

So you have a new dog at home. Things seemed to be going fine until the neighbors inform you they hear him barking all day long while you are away. Oh and the lack of sleep from the barking all night long too! Before you send him packing, here is some practical help to tone down the noise.

Listen: Dogs bark. That is what they instinctually do. If he didn’t bark, you’d wonder what was wrong with him.

On the other end of the scale are dogs that bark way too much. This includes puppies. Everything said in this article will refer to puppies and dogs both. You might find that you have an easier time with older dogs that have already had some training.

Reasons for Barking

Barking is a natural instinct but, through training, you can teach your dog to bark only at certain times. You’ll want him to bark when someone is at the door but not every time that they see you coming or when you are absent.

Before you begin, it’s important to know why dogs bark. There really are some legitimate reasons other than just wanting to be heard.

  1. Separation anxiety – You’ve spent a lot of time with your dog training him and helping him to settle into your home. When you leave to go to work or for other reasons, he may feel like he is being abandoned. Just like a child who spends a lot to time with momma, the first few times you leave can be hard to handle. Barking may be his way of coping.
  1. Attention seeking – Hey, dogs like attention just like the rest of us. If you have come running in the past when they bark, they will continue to bark often to get more attention.
  1. Noises – Dogs are distracted easily. Any noise can elicit a barking response: the doorbell, the door opening, the oven timer and others. You get the picture.

Cease and Desist

Now that you know why the dog barks, you can more intelligently try to solve the problem. Teach your dog when his barking is appropriate.

  • Give him plenty of exercise. An extended play session or training before you plan to leave the house will tire him out. He may even sleep while you are gone.
  • Practice leaving the house before the actual event occurs. Grab your keys and leave for a few minutes. Once your dog realizes that you are gone, he may bark. If he does, come back in and give him a command to be quiet. Repeat the exercise until your dog understands that you will return.
  • Keep a leash on your dog before the event that triggers the barking. When he starts barking at the doorbell or for attention, pull on the leash and give him the command to be quiet and to stay.

Are you getting barking complaints? Before you pull your hair out, try these tips.

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