Barking is one of the ways dogs communicate. It is a natural instinct that cannot be trained out of them. Therefore, if you have a pooch that is an excessive barker, what you need to understand is that you will only be able to control his bark, not actually stop it altogether. It is important you realize this because it will make controlling the problem more effective.
That said, before you decide to stop your dog from barking it would first be prudent if you found out why they feel the need to do it. The following are some of the more common reasons why canines bark:
• Something upsetting or different in the environment (I.E. strange or loud noises, new people, weird objects, odd smells etc.)
• Someone is at the door or is outside on what your pet deems is his property.
• They see another animal
• Seeking attention
• Are trying to alert you to what they believe is a potential threat
How can you control barking? Here are a few ideas:
• Don’t just assume he is using his vocal cords for nothing, investigate the matter. Sometimes when the dog knows you are aware and you let him know everything is fine, he will relax.
• If he will not stop his racket after he has your attention, give him a silencing command, such as “Quiet!” This should be said in a firm and dominant tone to let him know you mean business. As soon as he responds and stops, praise him. You may also find it useful to hold your hand gently over his snout when you give the instruction to further drive home the message.
• Remove him from the problem. Sometimes the best form of control is to distract your dog by moving him away from the issue (I.E. window) and giving him a command, such as “Sit”.
• Make sure you are providing him with the daily exercise and attention he needs. Animals become bored just as humans do. Happy pets have less to complain about.
• Do not yell at your dog when he is barking, this will likely only make matters worse because yelling sounds like a bark to your pooch. Stick to giving commands.
• Never let him have the last word and be consistent. After you have ordered him to stop, he shouldn’t make any noise in protest. If he does, repeat “quiet”, “no” or give him another instruction. Allowing him to get away with any form of protest is letting him know that he can defy you, which means he will be less likely to listen the next time.