All dogs bark, and if you own one, other than a Basenji, it is something you’ll have to live with.
Does that mean you have to listen to an endless stream of yapping, night and day. Of course not! But you do have to accept that a certain amount of barking is only natural. Problem barking, though, is something that should be addressed.
Training Your Dog Not To Bark: Why Dogs Bark
All problem canine behaviors have a root cause and in order to address them you have to find that cause, because different types of barking require different solutions.
Training your dog not to bark starts with finding the reason behind the barking. Here are some common ones;
1. Boredom – A dog that is not exercised, and gets little mental stimulation, is always likely to develop a barking problem.
2. Anxiety – Separation anxiety is a common cause for problem barking. The dog will bark every time you leave or return home, and likely drive your neighbors crazy while you’re away.
3. Warning – Dogs are naturally territorial and will normally bark at a stranger entering their space. This can actually be a desirable trait, but not when the dog barks at any threat, real or imagined.
4. Attention Seeking – This is a common problem with pampered lap dogs who expect their every need to be catered to, and bark if you’re a bit slow to get the message.
5. Surprise – A dog that is startled by a sudden movement will normally sound off a warning – usually after retreating to a safe vantage point!
6. Playfulness – Dogs are joyful animals, and when they are doing something they enjoy, they are not slow to let you know about it. A dog may also bark to encourage you to join in the game.
7. Communicating – Dogs vocalize in a number of ways, the most common of which is barking. Barks have many meanings, ranging from a greeting to a threat.
Training Your Dog Not To Bark? Start Here
Training your dog not to bark means having control of your dog. That may sound like an obvious statement, but the truth is that many dog owners exert little or no control over their dogs.
This is a pity, because all it really requires is some basic obedience training, and consistent pack leadership. In addition, all dogs need regular exercise. This should include daily walks as well as games and activities that provide mental stimulation.
If you dog’s barking is driving you up the wall you need to ask yourself whether he gets enough exercise. If your answer is “no”, then you are as much to blame, maybe even more so, than the dog.
Apart from training and exercise there are a number of things you should do, or rather not do, in order to bring you dog’s barking under control.
Never, for example punish the dog for barking, not even by shouting at him. Conversely, don’t reward your dog for barking, for example by giving in to his demands every time he barks, or giving him a treat to get him to stop.
You’ll find an easy method for training your dog not to bark in this article, “Stop Dog Barking“.