5 Tips to Solve Your Dog’s Barking Problem

No matter how much you love your dog, his barking can get old pretty quickly ó and you might find yourself at a loss on how to stop it. But, there are ways to help solve the problem.

We pulled together trainer Mikkel Beckerís tips for quieting your dog in situations that often lead to a lot of yapping ó like when youíre trying to welcome visitors or watch something on TV.

At the Doorbell

Itís an old nemesis: the doorbell. But itís likely that the doorbell itself isn’t what’s causing excitement or fear in your dog. Instead, heís probably anticipating what will happen after you open the door, because he connects the sound with someone new coming into the home. Opening the door when your dog is still barking actually rewards the barking. If your dog is barking out of excitement or watchdog behavior, teach him an alternate behavior, like going to his mat. Soon, heíll learn that the door only opens when he lays on his mat quietly. A second possibility is that your dog is barking out of fear. If you think thatís the case, consult your veterinarian. You may need to ask visitors to initially ignore your dog when they enter, and throw treats a few feet away from him as a distraction. They should wait to give him attention until he chooses to approach them quietly.

At the TV

You had visions of curling up on the couch and watching TV with your best friend ó but he makes relaxing impossible by barking at it, instead. If your dog reacts to specific sights or sounds on TV, like a cat or a doorbell, there are a few ways you can help. Becker says to teach him to associate meal times with TV; keep treats handy and reward him for calm behavior when something to which heíd normally react is on TV; distract him with a toy or game when something heíd react to shows up on the screen; or make sure heís exercised and has something, like a frozen Kong, to distract him before you sit down to watch your show.

In the Car

Barking at dogs and passersby near your car may stem from fear, frustration ó or fun. It can be like a game for your dog, and he really always wins: He barks, and the person or dog goes away. Becker says the best solution is keeping your dog in the back of the car in a secured crate, which limits his vision of bark-inducing things happening outside the car. Inside the crate, you can also provide toys to distract him, or use a pheromone spray to help him relax.

When You Talk

Interrupting can be a terrible habit for anyone, but itís particularly frustrating when your dog chimes in while youíre talking. Heís trying to get your attention, and if you pause your human conversation to tell him to stop, it has worked for him. So, the best plan is to just ignore him, Becker says. To train him to stop doing this, hold a conversation with a pretend person. Ignore your dogís barks and keep an eye out for calm, polite behavior ó and reward that with a treat and, eventually, with quiet petting.

Train Her to Be Quiet

This process may seem counterintuitive at first, but it involves a trick that will come in handy. If you train your dog to speak, then you can eventually teach him a second command: quiet. Training your dog to be quiet is a way of telling him what to do in place of barking, and then you can reward him for obeying.

By Amy Sinatra Ayres | Vetstreet.com

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81 comments

Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Great hints Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Cindy S
Past Member 2 months ago

thanks

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN h2 months ago

Tyfs

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Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

Great tips. I have a barker.

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Sue H
Sue H2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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David C
David C2 months ago

I love this since our new rescue beagle sure likes to bark, bark, bark....and I suspect is related to the pup in the picture

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