Excessive dog barking can be quite annoying to both you and your neighbors. It may come as a surprise to most people, but it takes almost no energy for a dog to bark, which is why they can seemingly do it forever. Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, and it is unfair to keep your dog from ever barking again. However, there are various things you can do to stop your dog from barking. Teaching your dog to refrain from excessive barking is an important part of pet care, and will result in a much happier life for both of you.
The first step you can take to acquire a more peaceful life is identify why your dog is barking. Dogs can bark for any number of reasons, ranging from anxiousness to boredom. If your dog feels something is invading your yard, such as a cat or even a squirrel, they may bark to let you know what is going on. Your dog may have be trying to communicate a need to you, such as the need to use the bathroom, or drink some water. If your dog barks every time you leave the room, he or she may be experiencing separation anxiety. There are many different reasons why your dog may be barking, so your first response should be to figure out why.
In regards to proper pet dog care and training, a lack of exercise can cause a lot of dogs to misbehave, especially if they barely get out of the house. If you can’t figure out why your dog is barking so much, try taking them for a quick run every day, or bring them to the park for some play time. If nothing else, the energy your dog loses will wear them out, possibly enough to put them to sleep.
Earlier we mentioned separation anxiety, and there are a couple different ways you can solve this. One thing you can do is leave a treat or toy for your dog every time you leave, to reinforce not barking every time you get up to leave. Another thing you can do is put them in a crate every time you leave. Although this may sound mean, dogs with separation anxiety become insecure when the alpha of the pack (that’s you) is not there. Placing them in a crate is like giving them a safe little nest, allowing them to feel protected which results in them not needing to bark.
If nothing seems to work, try this trick. Approach your barking dog with a handful of treats. Once your dog stops barking, give them a treat and praise them. Wait for them to start barking then raise another treat in front of their nose, saying ‘Quiet!” in a firm but calm voice. When they stop, wait three seconds before giving them the treat. Repeat the process, pausing a few more seconds each time. The goal is to get your dog to pause for at least a minute before you give them the treat. With some time and patience, your dog will learn to stop barking when you say “Quiet!”.