How to Train a Dog to Stop Barking: First Determine the Cause

Persistent and uncontrolled barking is totally annoying to you and your neighbors.  If you want to take control of a dog barking situation you’ll need to first understand what is causing your dog to bark excessively.  It shouldn’t be too hard.

Here is a short list of why dogs bark.  Perhaps one of them fits your situation:

1. He’s being a good watch dog and alerting you that there is a stranger near your property.

2. He’s barking because he see another dog nearby and is either being territorial or wants to play with it.

3. He’s been tied up in the yard and is totally bored and wants some attention so his barking is calling out to anyone that will hear “Here I am. Come and pet me, or better yet take me for a walk or something!”

4. He’s in the house and wants your attention for play or a treat or to go outside.

Acceptable Behavior or Not?

It is a natural behavior for your dog to bark because he’s being a good watch dog.  Seeing a stranger near your house, your dog is sending out a warning to you about an intruder nearby.  Most people are OK with this behavior up to a point.  Once your dog signals to you by barking that an intruder is near, it would be nice if you could tell him to be quiet and that it is OK for now.  If he doesn’t stop barking when you want him to this is a problem.

Some dogs bark for your attention.  Since getting your attention is their reward for barking, this problem can spiral out of control.  You can’t keep ignoring the barking but when you go see what the trouble is you’ve rewarded your dog for barking.

Probably one of the most common reasons for dogs to bark a lot is that they a really bored out of their minds and very frustrated that no one is paying any attention to them.  Barking can be a stress reliever for them and it expends energy.

If your dog is lonely and starts barking, you run outside to get him to stop and for just an instance your dog is happy to see you, has some company and is not alone, so you’ve effectively rewarded him for barking.  Even if you scold him he’d rather have you around (and not be lonely) nagging him, then all alone, bored and frustrated.  If you leave your dog alone too much, even nagging and reprimands can seem like a positive experience compared to the frustration and loneliness of isolation.

Next Steps:  Use Obedience Commands To Stop Barking In A Snap

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