If you think Fido's excessive barking is a nuisance, just imagine how your neighbors feel. Stopping your dog's barking can be challenging, because you don't want to stop appropriate barking -- if there's a trespasser, Fido's barking might just make him think twice about breaking in. Always investigate what's triggering Fido's noisy behavior -- maybe he's bored or lonely, or maybe he's being teased by an outdoor cat. When his barking is inappropriate, correct his behavior. With consistency, praise and plenty of dog treats, you can control your noisy friend in no time.
Schedule daily exercise sessions to bond with your dog and to keep boredom at bay. Spend quality time with him and provide mental and physical stimulation. Your furry friend will be happy and will probably be too tired to resort to barking -- he might take a nap instead. Give him food-stuffed dog toys and practice daily obedience training. Bring him along when you go jogging and take walks with him. Play games, such as fetch and tug-of-war, so your dog can burn energy.
Startle your pet companion into being quiet. Partially fill an empty soda can with small rocks, and seal the opening with sticky tape. When your dog start barking, shake the can or throw it on the floor in front of your dog and say "quiet." The noise will startle him so he stops barking. Give him praise and dog treats for being quiet. Do this consistently so he starts understanding the meaning of "quiet." Alternatively, fill a spray bottle with water and add just enough white vinegar so you can smell it. Spray the liquid toward your dog when he starts barking to get him to stop.
Use a citronella collar if your dog barks when you're not around to correct him. When your pet companion barks, the collar activates and mists him with citronella. Your dog dislikes the smell and will eventually refrain from barking to avoid the unpleasant occurrence. You might not want to use this tool if you have multiple dogs, because even if a dog is not barking, his collar might activate if one of the other dogs bark.
Ignore your dog when he's on a barking rant to get your attention. Turn your back to your dog or walk out of the room -- don't make eye contact with him, don't talk to him and don't touch him. Don't give in to him no matter how long he barks. When he stops barking, turn around or come back into the room and praise and reward your pet companion for being quiet. With consistency, your dog will realize that being quiet gets your attention and making noise doesn't.
Change your dog's environment to stop his barking. If he barks at people passing by when he's in the yard, bring him inside. If he barks at something he sees from a window, close the curtains or put him in a different room.
Avoid yelling at your dog to get him to be quiet -- even a negative response is perceived as attention and reinforces his bad behavior. He just thinks you're barking back.
No one should allow inappropriate barking. Inform all family members that you're trying to teach your dog right from wrong. Have everyone use similar training tools to stop his barking.
Items You Will Need
- Food-stuffed dog toys
- Empty soda can
- Small rocks
- Sticky tape
- Dog treats
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Citronella collar
- The Humane Society of the United States: Barking: How to Get Your Dog to Quiet Down
- ASPCA: Enriching Your Dog's Life
- Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats; Richard H. Pitcairn, Ph.D., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
- Purebred Rescue Dog Adoption: Rewards and Realities; Liz Palika
- Dog Lover's Daily Companion; Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images