How to Stop Excessive Barking When You Have Multiple Dogs

by Sarah Dray
Barking driving you crazy?

Barking driving you crazy?

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Puppies driving you crazy with all the barking? Unfortunately, barking is like yawning -- contagious. Once you get one puppy barking, the others will join in soon after. Have adult dogs in the house too? Don't worry, they'll join in eventually.

Step 1

Figure out what's causing the barking. Is it excitement? Does one puppy start to bark because he hears a noise and then all the others join in -- even if they don't really know what's going on? If it's always the same dog starting the commotion, pay attention to what sets him off. Is it noise, being alone, asking for food or attention? Rather than going crazy trying to stop multiple barking, focus on the dog who starts the whole thing.

Step 2

Separate the dogs if you can't stop the barking. Some dogs bark at others in the household as a warning sign: "Don't touch my toys" or "That's my food bowl, not yours." Prevent dogs from bossing each other around by creating limits. A little warning bark is OK, but as soon as it gets out of control, off to separate rooms they go.

Step 3

Consider training collars, but only if you're willing to put one on each dog. Forget shock collars and instead get the kind that sprays the puppy with a shot of citronella or a blast of air every time he barks. Just keep in mind that the collar might be set off if puppy No. 1 -- who's not wearing a collar -- gets too close to puppy No. 2's collar. Rather than having one puppy pay for another's barking, get each one a collar.

Tip

  • If the barking gets out of control, leave for a minute. Move to another room, close the door and wait. Many dogs bark to get your attention or to show off -- "Look, I'm protecting the house against those pigeons!" If you ignore them, they'll get the message that the barking is useless and they will quiet down on their own.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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