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Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Barking Dachshund
A dog's incessant barking is an irritation to their owners and their neighbors. This guide is about training a dog to stop barking.
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Catherine Forman0 found this helpful
May 12, 2006

A member of the ThriftyFun community asked for help on a barking problem:

Any tips on a loud barking Yorkie? Oso is so adorable, loving, and sweet but late nights he goes out to pee and then barks at the top of his lungs. I am afraid he will wake next door neighbors as it is pretty late when we go to bed. Also if he is alone in a room, my husband in bed and me in our office room, he will go sleep in the living room then wake to bark loudly, scaring me. He just got 'fixed', he did not spend the night at the vets. He loves to board with his Cookie/Jack Russell, so what's up with the bark?
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There are a few things to consider here: Why is Oso (or any dog with a barking problem) barking? Is it something he sees, like a stray cat? Is it something he hears, like another dog?

Our neighbors across the street have a dog named Skittles. Skittles used to bark nonstop whenever he was outside. Day or night, it didn't matter. Skittles barked all the time. Our neighbors got a new fence, they switched from chain link to a wooden privacy fence, and all of a sudden Skittles stopped barking! He must have been barking at things he could see. When there was nothing to see, there was nothing to bark at.

My dogs will go nuts at certain things they hear. For some reason, the sound of motorcycles drives them bonkers, and they both race to the nearest window to bark. During the summer, when the air conditioners are humming and the sounds from outside are muffled, they bark a lot less.

I'm going to suggest two things for you to try:

Barking is often caused by boredom or attention seeking (and the two go hand in hand). If Oso feels like he has been left outside too long, he may start barking to get your attention. It sure does get your attention, right? If you go out with him and try to hurry that last piddle break along, you may be able to get him back inside before the barking ever begins.

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November 17, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about my Pomeranian barks too much. Certain breeds and individual dogs tend to bark quite a lot. Training them to bark less can be challenging.

A cute pomeranian dog preparing to bark.

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By 4 found this helpful
January 30, 2013

The best way to teach a dog not to bark is to teach it to bark, and then reward it for barking. I have my Bruno, who is a Rottie mix who lives in the house, has just recently seemed to learn that I like him to mouth the word "Mama" and he gets lots of attention. It is really cute, and endearing to see them say words rather than bark.

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Here is one of my favorite videos, and I hope you will enjoy it. It all has to be fun or it is not worth it for you or your dog. I don't use a clicker, but just when we are spending time together, I will say "Mama" with a questioning voice, and when the dog tries to say it, I just act all happy and praise him.

Remember, if you do not always have treats somewhere (hot dogs, cheese, chicken pieces, etc.), you are not near as interesting as you could be and you won't get near the results. Life is a game of getting treats for fun things in training. If they don't get it after a little bit, back up to something they do get. It must always be fun!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2011

I have a Welsh Corgi mix that barks at everything! When we first got her at 4 months she was very quiet, now she won't stop. It is getting to the point that my husband has told me give her away or take her to the pound. Does any body have any suggestions how to stop it? I have tried numerous things; one more won't hurt. She is very sweet and fun. I hate to give her away.

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By Alicia from Johnson city, TN

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September 28, 20150 found this helpful

WoW! The device from http://www.antibarkingdevice.com really works.

I was shocked when my neighbors dog stopped barking as soon as I used it. I can say it worked within one hour.

Thanks Gilbert for the advice. I was going crazy with my neighbors dogs. THANK YOU!!

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By 0 found this helpful
May 21, 2009

We have had a puppy for less than 48 hours and we can't get her to stop barking when left alone. Her crate is in the front room and when she is left she just barks the house down. We need help as were unable to sleep due to her barking. She was abandoned and found by the RSPCA and now we have her. She is 11 weeks old. Please help.

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By JAMES00HEART from Christchurch, New Zealand

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May 27, 20090 found this helpful

I work in rescue and often have new dogs at my house. All of those suggestions above may work. It depends on the dog. Toys, covered crates, and clocks are worth a try; however, do not give up and put them in your bedroom unless you want them there forever. Dogs are smart they know what works for them. If barking or whining wins them your bedroom they will always bark and whine. This is what I do. I have a growly "naa" that is better than a no. It's like talking dog. When they bark in their crates, I walk in and growl a "naa" and leave again. If that does not work I come back and growl again and spray them with a water bottle in the face.It does not hurt them. It just startles them. See barking brings an unpleasant result and they do stop eventually. Just be consistent. Training dogs is just consistency. Just remember they are dogs not people. They don't really think like us.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2005

Our 18 month old boston terrier has started barking at any noise in or outside the house. It is an awful bark that makes you jump out of your skin. Is there a way to stop him from this behavior?

Susan

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 27, 20070 found this helpful

Here is the first thing I noticed about your comment... you said he's 18 months old. This is a magic age for dogs, and a hard time for the pet parents. This is much like when your child turns 18 and wants to be independent and grown up. They push boundaries, test limits, and of course test your nerves. Work with him on this barking. If you can, anticipate when you think he is going to bark and distract him with a "Psst!" or a little "bite" with your hand on his neck or butt. Generally, Boston's don't bark... but I've met a handful who do... I luckily have one who is silent, most of the time. Squirt bottles are also highly effective as are rattle cans. Most Boston's are also EXTREMELY sensitive, and therefore VERY responsive to this kind of positive punishment. You may also seek an obedience class. Bostons are super smart and easily bored. I teach obedience classes, so of course I'm inclined to suggest such activities... but you might find it really enjoyable for many reasons. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2008

My chi pin barks at everyone. How do I curb her barking? She is 8 months old. Thanks.

Orab from Hollywood, FL

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 19, 20080 found this helpful

Re: I finally got my neighbors dogs to stop barking

I used to have a problem with my neighbors dogs that would constantly bark day and night. At first I thought it would stop but it went on day after day. I finally confronted my neighbor about the problem and he said that he would try to do something about it.

I work very long hours and try to get as much sleep as possible but I am constantly awakened by the barking dog many times during the night. You cannot imagine how frustrating this is unless you have been in this situation.

I finally ended up going on the internet to research my problem and I am so glad that I did. I ended up buying a compact disc from a website. You play the disc and it actually stops the dogs from barking. I put the disc in, pointed the speakers towards the dogs, and nearly fell out of my chair when it actually worked! This was the best money that I have ever spent and I am so happy.

I have not had a problem in 3 weeks. I am so glad that the freaking dogs have stopped barking. If you want to check it out, it might be worth a try if nothing else works for you. The website is http://www.TheBarkingDogCD.com

Good luck, I hope this helps

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August 31, 20020 found this helpful

Could anyone lend me some advice on how to tone down my barking dog. She barks when she sees people or when she's nervous. I haven't had alot of luck training her. Please Help..I think my neighbors are starting to get annoyed.

- Michelle

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

I wouldn't use the ones that "shock" dogs in anyway. There are citronella collars which actually scared my dog also, plus I had read that citronella is not good for them.

I would like something also that is humane.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 18, 2009

How do you break a dog of barking? He is well mannered and has been easy to train and minds well except for the barking?

Please help.

By Sonja S. from Hemphill, TX

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June 26, 20090 found this helpful

I have 2 Chihuahuas and a terrier. I say "no barks" and spray them with a squirt bottle. This has seemed to work. Treats do not. They are picky and treats are not an option.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 26, 2012

We have a new rescue dog (part Pit Bull) who is the sweetest ever. He has to stay in a kennel in the house temporarily due to a respiratory infection and he barks all the time to get out. I feel bad for him, but I can't let him out with the other dogs yet. I can't seem to find a method to get him to quit barking and wining. Help!

By Pam B.

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October 27, 20120 found this helpful

It occurs to me that it's possible being in the kennel is stressful for him. Perhaps he had a bad experience in a kennel before you rescued him. If possible, try to confine him in a separate room, where he'll have room to move around. Give him a comfy bed, toys and his water and food, and see if he stops barking. Of course, someone should visit with him periodically. Just a thought.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 3, 2011

How can I stop my dog from barking at everybody?

By Afrasiab

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

I have 3 large dogs and have trained them to only bark if someone is actually in our yard or on our front porch. I can tell by their barks whether they're barking at someone or just barking at a squirrel.

I tried the spraying of water but it didn't leave a lasting impression. I bought a plastic lemon with lemon juice in it from the produce area of where I grocery shop. When the dogs bark for no reason they get a squirt of lemon juice in their mouth. I don't give them any sort of warning, when they're barking I look out the front window and if there's no one in my yard or my front porch the barking dog will get a squirt.

They know what is acceptable and what isn't. Since I know each dog's individual bark I only zero in on the one who actually did the barking. It's sort of interesting to watch at times. If Emma barks, Rosie can't get away from her fast enough, it's almost like she's saying, "I didn't bark, it was all Emma, I had nothing to do with it" as she slides around me to get away from the Living Room.

I'm not harsh but they all run if they see me pick up the lemon and know without a doubt even if they scramble away, I will catch them and they will still get the correction. If they see a neighbor walking their dog they will growl at the front window but not bark. Their training didn't happen over night and I actually permit two warning barks. A herd of elephants could walk past my house and they would not bark non-stop. I actually trained them not to bark, not for the sake of barking but because they get into such a frenzy at the front window that they turn on each other which always ends in a dog fight.

I'm recovering from Transverse Myelitis and I was paralyzed for 6 months and it took me a year to learn how to walk again. While I was paralyzed my well behaved furry children weren't kept in check by my husband and basically got away with everything.

Once I was able to stand up on my own I had to basically remind my dogs of their good manners and each dog needed a reminder lesson in obedience. It didn't take them long to figure out that since I was once again mobile that their party days were over. It was very important for my physical being to be able control my dogs. I lose my balance very easily and fall down. I have a lot better control of them when they aren't turning on each other when they're all barking at one time.

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November 12, 20080 found this helpful

Help me with my pom! I recently adopted a dog from a local no-kill animal shelter. I love him, but he is driving me crazy. At the top of the list is his barking. He barks at whoever comes through the front door and won't stop when I tell him too. He barks at cars driving by and at people when I take him with me in the car.

Troy from Ely, NV

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November 12, 20080 found this helpful

Mine does that too she is a wired terrier mixed to tell you the truth. It is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time with her barking one she lets me know people are here (even the ghosts ha-ha) and also for protection when she is in the car or whatever. I have to use a strong and firm voice with her to let her know that I am top dog. I do admit that she is quite a handful but can't give her up. First off when we got her at the pound she did not bark did you read she did not bark. My child is autistic and all the other dogs I looked at grouwed at my daughter she did not they said she was not potty trained and said she was austrian sheppard mix. First when got her home she went right to the back door and went pee-pee. The second day she bark and has not shut up. My sweet and goofy dog.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 1, 2014

My neighbors didn't want their dog. Their dog always came to my house and played with my dog for hours and sometimes just spent the night. Finally, one day after playing all day, he wanted to go back home, only to return to my home and would not leave. I let the dog spend the night (the owners knew he was at my house), the next morning I walked the dog back to his home, but the owners said they didn't want the dog and it would be better for me to have him. They said he seemed happier at my home and gave me his bed and said good bye to him.

Now, I have this beautiful, white, long legged, skinny Chihuahua. Only problem is he will not stop barking. If I'm not home, or if he feels unsecure. I take them (him and my dog) out for walks. Yesterday, I took him to Dunn Lumber in my truck for a one on one time. He is great when he is around me and I'm home as I can talk to him and he loves being around me. I have a room rented out and when the occupant is home and I'm not, the new dog barks non stop and the neighbors come over and complain. If I'm not home obviously I can't ask him to be quiet and district his attention.

Does anyone out there have any good remedy to my new friend's barking issue, please. My old dog is use to the occupant and only barks the hello bark.

Help, as I don't want the neighbors to have their anger turn into vengeance. I am a good caring neighbor and want to keep the peace all around. Life is way to short.

By Sharda B.

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September 29, 20140 found this helpful

Use an e-collar. It isn't inhumane like some people think because it doesn't really shock the dog. It only sends a vibration no stronger than your cell phone vibration.

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January 17, 20120 found this helpful

I would like to know how to keep my Pom from barking so much.

By Collene

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January 19, 20120 found this helpful

This is how we trained our pup not to bark or at least not very often maybe once a day unless we are playing with her. When she barked we would put our finger to our mouth and say shh no bark then give her a small piece of treat. She must not be barking when she get the treat and the treat should be given within a couple of seconds otherwise she won't make the connection so always have small treats in your pocket (hand is better and faster) ready to give her.

The best form of training is to do it often and in this case every single time she barks. Now at the age of 3 years all we have to do is say "shh, no bark" finger to our mouth, and she stops barking. Although she still gets the odd treat for not barking but it's because we want too. If she is a young pup you could try using her puppy kibble but it won't work on an older dog they are too smart. lol!

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By 0 found this helpful
November 15, 2011

What can you do with 2 dogs that bark all of the time? They hear anything move and they start barking. We have tried everything to get them to stop. We even got the barking collars, but they won't stay out if they have them on. Please help. It is starting get on the neighbors' and owners' nerves. Thanks.

By cookie17

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

I think a big clue might be "they won't stay out with them on". Dogs want to be with their "pack", not closed outside while the people are inside. If you cannot get them to stop barking, they should not be outside. Responsible owners will walk the dogs, then bring them in. Crate train them, if they cannot be trusted in the house when you are not there.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 9, 2009

How do I stop my German Shepherd from barking in the car?

By Mummy from England

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April 14, 20090 found this helpful

Leave him home. Riding in car may really be bothering him, and is begging to stay home.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 17, 2016

I have a 10 year old purebred Pomeranian. I have had her since she was 7 weeks old. She is the alpha in the house for sure. I have 2 other dogs, a 13 year old Pom male and a new female puppy that is a Sheltie cross. My problem is that she never shuts up. She will not let me talk on the phone or if the other dogs are playing she barks at them to stop.

She is very aggressive and fights really mean. I'm afraid she will hurt my new pup. She has always been this way so it's not the puppy. It's just really driving me insane. I have sprayed her; that didn't help. I have smacked her behind with paper, but she could care less. Please help!

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October 21, 20160 found this helpful

Spraying and smacking with newspaper are aggressive moves and you will get more aggression back.

Your dog simply needs training. Not just "no bark" training but all training. The basic problem is that your dog is like a bored child with time to spare but no real rules or responsibilities.

A dog training course is probably best. You want your dog to: come, sit, heel, lie down, and stay.

Sit quietly and wait to be fed.

Go in her crate when she's too aggressive or excited.

"Leave it"- stop bothering people or other animals.

Start by calling Petco or Petsmart to find dog training classes in your area.

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

Our female Corgi has a fit when we are leaving the house. She does it with anyone who's leaving the house. She runs around in circles barking. Is it an instinct of her breed for herding? How do we stop it? It is very annoying.

By Sue

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

This is not instinctive. It's just bad behavior. When you leave the house, make the dog sit in the bed or crate (door open). This is before you even get started. If she gets up, lead her right back. You can give her one of her own toys but never give her a treat at this time. Don't call her a good girl, and don't try to make her feel better by promising you'll be back soon. She isn't scared, she's angry. This is a temper tantrum. So it's best to be businesslike.

As you can see you'll have to start to leave early. And be stern about making her sit in her spot. She'll know if you don't really mean it.

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October 29, 20140 found this helpful

My son has a ten and 1/2yr old Chihuahua. My husband and I bring the dog next dog for 4 hrs every day, while our son is at work. When Chico barks I say "use your indoor voice" and I pat his head and say good boy. It works fine. My son has a new girl friend staying there and she sprays water in his face and yells "stop barking". I have noticed how jumpy the dog is and when he sees the bottle he goes into a crouching position.
Can you give me some advice? My son loves this dog so much, but she has him believing that's the only way to train him.

By Ann Marie

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November 1, 20140 found this helpful

His girlfriend is misinformed. You train a dog while being calm, you don't shout at it. You don't scare it. I say the word "Hey" and walk towards them. When they stop barking I praise with a quiet "Good Boy" Must be consistent. Everyone has to do it the same way.

Probably why your telling him to use his inside voice works well as you are probably calm when you say it.

If the girlfriend doesn't stop get your own water bottle and when she does it to him. Do it to her. Spray her in the face and scream "Stop!" I am going to bet she won't like it.

Good luck!!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2013

Are there recommendations to lessen the outside noise of barking dogs? Our dogs go in and out. We don't want to annoy our neighbors and bark collars just don't work. We have a small yard and our neighbors are about 100 feet away, but the noise still annoys them. Any suggestions will be welcome.

By Cindy P. from Bayview, ID

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April 30, 20130 found this helpful

I have two little dogs and when they start barking up a storm, I use an ultrasound correction unit. Nobody hears it but the dogs do. I even use it on my neighbors three dogs across the street. It doesn't hurt the dogs and it's a lot better then yelling. You can check it out at www.petedge.com or www.drsfostersmith.com or do a search. There are different units and prices. Hope this helps you.

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July 20, 20120 found this helpful

How do I train my dog not to run and bark at strangers?

By Patricia C.

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July 22, 20120 found this helpful

While you should train your dog to not chase strangers by obeying your commands, (I use the single word, "Halt" with my dogs) are you sure you really want to train him or her not to bark at strangers?

After all, that's what dogs do best as they alert their pack and alpha leaders to potential threats- and you should take the reigns as alpha, i.e.; Leader of the Pack, if you are not doing so yet and let the canine(s) feel good about helping you.

May I respectfully suggest that you focus on letting the dog bark until you've had a chance to determine if the stranger is friend or foe and then introduce another command, "it's OK," after you determine such?

I also make a point of shaking the hand of a stranger to my dogs - even if I know the human - just to let the dogs know I'm not feeling threatened. Reduces my slobbering, English Mastiffs to mush, everytime, so I'm guessing it works reasonably well with smaller breed dogs, too! :)

Sign up for an Obedience Class at a local AKC (American Kennel Club) Chapter. Most don't care if your dog is a pure breed or a mutt, but the good ones with their dog loving volunteers will help you develop your dog training skills and they often add unimagined hints for dealing with other doggie behaviors. The costs of the classes (an hour or so, once a week, for eight weeks) are usually minimal as most only cover the cost of training aids and photo copying.

You and your dog will be happier for the experience. Good Luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2014

We have a Cojack named Sparky, which is a very, very fitting name for him. We rescued him from a local shelter and didn't know what he was. They said he was a Sheltie/Dachshund mix, but after looking at the photos of the Cojacks I see exactly what he is.

We love him to death, but we have a couple of behavior problems. One is that he barks non-stop when he's tied outside, we can't let him loose because he chases cars, kids, etc. He chased a runner the other day and kept trying to bite him. He's gotten aggressive with kids, also. He's extremely active, and absolutely loves to play. He catches Frisbees, and his second favorite is fetching a ball. Any ideas on how to curb his aggressiveness and barking would be welcome. The "dog whisperer"?

By Kim B.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 4, 2012

How can we get our Yorkipoo to stop barking? And if someone approaches me she turns into a crazy lady, growling, barking, and biting. She bit my husband the other night. I have no idea of what to do.

By Dottie W. from southern IN

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful

I have a suggestion for those of you with house dogs that won't stop barking. We have two Silky Terriers and one of them loves to bark. She watches TV and every time an animal is on she goes crazy. I took a 1lb coffee can and put some loose change in it and put the plastic lid back on. When she barks and won't stop I tell her "No!" and if she won't stop I shake the can hard one time. Now if my "no" won't work all I have to do is to pick up the can. Hope this helps someone.

Mary

Answers:

Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Be very careful. My trainer said not to do this. It can severely scare the dog because their hearing is so sensitive. (05/28/2005)

By Sandy

Training a Dog to Stop Barking

We use a squirt bottle with water in it all we have to do now is go PSSSSSSSS! (05/29/2005)

By kimmcg

Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Try a Citronella collar, we use it for incorrigible barkers and it works wonders. Its harmless, painless, and Vet approved. Also it does not scare the dog it ony startles them by introducing an unfamiliar scent and interrupting the barking. (06/01/2005)

By Sue

Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Your dog may be responding to the attention he receives from you or others. The attention may be negative but he doesn't know you are annoyed and is in fact receiving negative reinforcement for his behavior. You may need to try medication for anxiety, the vet can prescribe something. If this doesn't work, putting your dog in the kennel for the hours you listed isn't too long. Some owners kennel their dogs while they are at work all day. Good luck. (06/13/2005)

By Chell

Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Shaker cans, squirt bottles, and shrieker alarms should be used as a last resort to barking or any other behavioral problem. If these things are used, it is important that the dog not see you use them. If he sees you, he may stop barking the moment you pick up one of these items. If you are going to use one of these, you must be out of your dog's site so he doesn't know where it's coming from.

Also, you need to learn why your dog is barking. Is it play barking, alert barking, etc. Any constant barking is certainly annoying, but it can be stopped if the proper techniques are used. My German Shepherd likes to bark at people walking by our house on the sidewalk. These are the same people he sees every day and he knows they aren't threatening to us or him. When he starts barking, I will distract him away from the window by calling him into another room or even out to the back yard. Because dogs live in the moment, he forgets about the people and now is interested in what I have for him. A treat, a toy, or just going outside.

My puppy on the other hand, barks for two reasons. One: she wants to be with her "pack" and two: she is play barking. Her bark is so high pitched and shrill that it goes right through our brains so when she starts yapping, I hold the leash close to her harness and force her to stay in one spot until she calms down. She calms herself and lays on the floor.

I don't stop my Shepherd from barking when someone rings the doorbell or knocks on the front door. I want that person to know that there is a very large dog on the other side. However, after I see who it is and know it's alright to open the door, I make my dog back up and sit several feet away from the door just in case I want that person to enter. So, there are ways to manage barking and you have to decide what type of barking it is.

For Suziehomemaker's dog I would take some time to train him to sit-stay several feet from the door where people come in. You can put a little mat down and that will be his "spot" to go to when guests arrive. If you must leash him to that area then do it just so he isn't jumping on anyone. Important! Praise your dog when he isn't barking. If you are consistent with this he will soon get the idea that he will be petted and praised for being quiet and ignored for barking. Remember that any attention from you for barking is welcomed by a dog even if it's negative. They don't care. If you work on this constantly and diligently, your dog will stop barking. If you are not consistent about this, he will quickly learn that you aren't serious.

Barking, jumping, digging and chewing are all perfectly acceptable in a dog's world. This is what dogs do. When people "humanize" dogs, we change the things that come natural to them and it's hard for them to understand, but if we show them that we are the leaders and we behave as leaders, dogs respect us and will submit. Be a leader, not a follower. (03/12/2006)

By Anonymous

RE: Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Training a Dog to Stop Barking

Re: I finally got my neighbor's dogs to stop barking!

I used to have a problem with my neighbor's dogs that would constantly bark day and night. At first I thought it would stop but it went on day after day. I finally confronted my neighbor about the problem and he said that he would try to do something about it.

I work very long hours and try to get as much sleep as possible but I am constantly awakened by the barking dog many times during the night. You cannot imagine how frustrating this is unless you have been in this situation.

I finally ended up going on the internet to research my problem and I am so glad that I did. I ended up buying a compact disc from a website. You play the disc and it actually stops the dogs from barking. I put the disc in, pointed the speakers towards the dogs, and nearly fell out of my chair when it actually worked! Somehow, the dogs can hear the sound but humans can't. This was the best money that I have ever spent and I am so happy.

I have not had a problem in 4 weeks. The dogs kind of acted up about 2 weeks ago but I just repeated the above process and it worked like a charm. I am so glad that the freaking dogs have stopped barking. If you want to check it out, it might be worth a try. The website is http://www.TheBarkingDogCD.com

Good luck, I hope this helps.
(09/01/2008)

By Ron BO

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