Dogs bark for many reasons, but sometimes that barking can be a little too much. Find out how to help calm your dog’s barking with gentle, effective strategies.
If you have a dog who barks excessively, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. Prevention and training are key, as are patience and persistence. First, it’s important to know why your dog barks so much. There are many reasons for dog barking, including:
- Territorial behavior
- Raising the alarm
- Attention seeking
- Social communication
Do you any these sound familiar? Once you know your dog’s motivation for barking, you can identify tricks and tools to stop it.
Try these five main techniques to help stop dog barking:
- Sight barriers
- A quiet zone
- Anti-stress and bark control gear
Sight barriers: In the yard, use privacy fencing to cut off views to neighboring yards or the street. Commercial grade privacy screening installs over your existing fence and may be allowed in your rental unit. If you own your home, consider privacy hedges.
Indoors, leave the curtains or blinds closed, or use spray-on glass coating or removable plastic film that makes windows opaque.
Quiet zone: set up a safe and quiet place for your dog away from the front door. This may be a back bedroom, laundry room, or spare space. Your doggy quiet zone may include a crate, comfy bed, pet gates for a barrier, toys, and a white noise machine.
Gear: Humane tools for reducing barking include an ultrasonic birdhouse or a citronella spray collar, which alert dogs as soon as they bark without causing fear. Anti-anxiety gear like a stress-reducing pheromone collar or a pressure wrap can also help curb barking.
Training: A few key commands can help control barking:
- “Speak” Training your dog to bark on command can help teach them not to bark at other times.
- “Recall” or “Come” Useful to call your dog away from barking triggers.
- “Settle” or “Quiet” Helps your dog calm down on cue.
You can also work with a trainer to practice desensitization techniques that help your dog become accustomed to barking triggers and ultimately stop responding to them.
Exercise: A tired dog is a quiet dog, most of the time! If you don’t have time to walk your dog, consider booking a local dog walker to help them get the exercise and activity they need.
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