Each pet owner will face a different training challenge. For some it is housebreaking their pet. For others it is teaching basic commands. For some it is learning how to stop dog barking.
This poses a difficult situation, because you are actually trying to stop a dog from doing something that is instinctual to him. Some dogs bark far more than others, and there are times when the barking can pose a problem and needs to be stopped.
Just keep in mind that barking is not your dog’s way of trying to misbehave, so punishment is not going to be effective.
Here are some tips on how to stop dog barking.
What Barking Do You Want to Stop?
Deciding what barking behavior you want to stop is a good first step. Obviously, you don’t want to stop your dog from barking completely. This is a nearly impossible task and would not even be normal. Instead, focus on the nuisance barking.
For example, does he bark all night when left in the backyard? Does he bark every time someone comes to the door? Does he bark when placed in his crate?
Decide at which times barking is a nuisance and focus of curbing that.
Is There a Reason?
Often, there is a reason that your dog is barking. When someone is at the door, he is trying to protect his turf and warn you that someone is coming. If he barks when left in the yard all night, he may be bored, lonely or both.
If you can determine why he is barking you will be better equipped to teach your dog to stop the behavior.
Of course, sometimes the answer is as simple as changing the circumstance that makes him bark. If you leave your dog outside all night and he barks constantly, why not let him in? Dogs are very social and are not meant to be left alone in a yard for hours at a time.
Clicker training is a good answer to the problem of how to stop dog barking. It uses positive reinforcement to teach correct behavior. In this case, you would CLICK as soon as the barking stopped and offer a treat.
This type of training (positive reinforcement) is much more effective than yelling and screaming at your dog to stop barking.
The key to clicker training, or any other positive reinforcement training method, is to ignore bad behavior and reward the desired behavior.
Some dogs may need the help of a professional dog trainer to address the issues as to why he is constantly barking and to figure out how to stop it. If you choose to work with a trainer, try to find one that has experience both with stopping barking and with working with your particular breed.
All barking is not nuisance barking, but when the neighbors are complaining or the barking is constant, you will have to take action.
Many people turn perfectly good dogs into shelters because of a problem with barking that could have been easily remedied with the proper methods.
How to stop dog barking may be as simple as changing the circumstance or may need the help of a professional. Either way, you owe it to your dog to help him be the best dog that he can be.