How To Stop Dog Barking & Teach Your Dog To Be Quiet On Command

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
Want to stop dog barking? Here are my best tried & true tips.

Aside from the 3 simple steps mentioned in this article to stop dog barking, I can also offer the exact tips that worked for me and my friends…

Dog Bark Collars

For what it’s worth, two of my friends have had success using bark collars.

Dog bark collars do work well for some, but I found that I didn't need to use a bark collar to teach my dog to be quiet and stop barking.

I’m not completely sold on that idea for myself. But I can’t deny that it has worked well for them:

  • One friend only needed to use the bark collar for a few months — before her dog learned to stop barking. She quit using the bark collar altogether, and her dog is now well-behaved and quiet most of the time.
  • The other friend only uses it on rare occasions now (when guests are coming over) — as a precaution. At this point, simply having the collar on reminds the dog that he’s expected to be quiet.

The best part about bark collars is the fact that you don’t have to actually use the “shock” feature in order for these collars to be effective.

These days, most of them have a “vibrate” setting that you can change the strength of — which can be just as effective with some dogs. (Not the super strong-willed ones!)

How I Taught My Dog To Be Quiet

Personally (and I’m speaking from experience here), I think the easiest thing to do is to reward your dog for being quiet at the times when he is quiet.

Teach your dog what 'quiet' means by rewarding your dog throughout the day whenever he is being quiet.

Seriously. I did this for a long time with my dog and it helped him realize what “quiet” means.

In fact, it “clicked” so well for my dog that he eventually began to look directly at me whenever he wanted to bark — but decided he’d rather get praise and a treat from me instead!

I’m not at all kidding. To this day, he looks at me now whenever he knows that he’s being quiet. And yes, I do continue to praise him and give him a treat every time — even now, years later.

It definitely takes consistency on your part:

  1. 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).
  2. 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. It’s a slow process of teaching him to be quiet and to stop barking over time.

Hopefully, the “Quiet” command will work as well for you as it has for me!

If your dog mostly barks at the doorbell, here are our best tips to stop that type of dog barking.

And finally…

Some other dog trainers’ tips for teaching your dog to be quiet: