A reader recently asked how to stop dog barking:
I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. But he barks A LOT. . So, leaving home is always a challenge for us. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? — Cristina
Aside from the 3 simple steps that I mentioned in this article to stop dog barking, I can also offer the tips that worked for me…
Dog Bark Collars
For what it’s worth, 2 of my friends have had success using bark collars.
I’m not completely sold on that idea for myself. But I can’t deny that it has worked well for them:
- One eventually was able to quit using the bark collar, and her dog is now well-behaved and quiet most of the time.
- The other only uses it on rare occasion now (when guests are coming over) — just in case. At this point, simply having the collar on reminds the dog that she’s expected to be quiet.
How To Teach Your Dog To Be Quiet
Personally (and I’m speaking from experience here), I think the easiest thing to do is to reward your dog when he is quiet.
Seriously. I did this for a long time with my dog and it helped him realize what “quiet” means. It clicked so much with him that he eventually began to look directly at me when he wanted to bark but decided he’d rather get praise and a treat from me instead.
I’m not at all kidding! He looks at me now when he knows that he’s being quiet — and I do continue to praise him and give him a treat every time, now years later.
It definitely takes consistency on your part — because:
- You have to praise your dog every time he is quiet when he normally would not be (because there is something nearby that makes him want to bark).
- You have to praise him at other times throughout the day when he is naturally being quiet on his own too (even when there’s nothing to get him barking).
The idea is simply to get your dog used to what the word “quiet” means. You’re teaching him to be quiet and stop barking over time.
Hopefully, the “quiet” command will work as well for you as it has for me!
TIP: If your dog mostly barks at the doorbell, here are my best tips to stop that form of dog barking.
Here are some other dog owners’ tips on training your dog to be quiet: