A dog's incessant barking is an irritation to their owners and their neighbors. This guide is about training a dog to stop barking.
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.
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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I am a mad 'critter' lover of all types, but have always had a problem with some methods of disciplining pets that I have read. I often consider them cruel. About the best, and most friendly (if that is the right term), is a simple spray bottle with plain old water and perhaps a drop of citrus oil.
My four dogs love playing in water, 'biting' water from the garden hose, and don't even mind a bath, but they "hate" getting squirted! Go figure. We have a busy home business and sometimes the dogs get a bit carried away when clients arrive, so a quick shake of the bottle, a stern "No barking!" and if necessary a quick squirt, and voila.
Now I only have to shake the spray bottle and all is quiet, butter wouldn't melt in their mouths! It even works well on my cockatoo! So results with absolutely no physical or mental harm done and no harm to the environment.
By vicki57 from Australia
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?
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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Here are questions related to Training a Dog to Stop Barking.
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 Abigail A. 01/09/2015
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.
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
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.
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.
By Abigail A. 09/29/2014
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.
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.
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
By Ce 04/30/2013
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.
Our dogs bark and howl when they are alone. That causes problems with the neighbors. We recently moved from our house with a garden, to an apartment with a balcony. They don't stay still and silent, and we will have to send them to other families if we don't get them calmed and train them to use the balcony to pee or poop.
By Lizzyanny 02/27/2013
You dont mention how often your dogs are walked and exercised. It is essential for dogs in an apartment to walk twice daily or even better, spend time at the dog park. You won't be able to control their behavior without this daily attention. If you are not able to provide this essential care for them, perhaps a new home is a good idea.
If the dogs do get sufficient exercise, you might try crating them to control their anxiety while you are gone. Also there are great dog toys that keep dogs busy, chews and toys that contain a little treat and require lots of chewing. You might also consider the puppy pads for your balcony. The have an attractive scent wihch helps with training (and cleanup) Check out Cesar Milans website. He deals with this problem in depth. Good luck to you.
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
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.
By Pixiedust7 10/27/2012
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.
How do I train my dog not to run and bark at strangers?
By Patricia C.
By Cindy 07/22/2012
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!
I would like to know how to keep my Pom from barking so much.
By Terri 01/19/2012
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!
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 Jill 11/15/2011
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.
How can I stop my dog from barking at everybody?
By CaroleeRose 09/06/2011
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.
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.
By Alicia from Johnson city, TN
By joan 09/04/2011
Thought of something. Did you start picking her up when she was barking to get her to stop? If so you were rewarding and reinforcing her barking. You need to let her know that you are displeased with her barking.
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.
By JAMES00HEART from Christchurch, New Zealand
By Linda Finnegan05/27/2009
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.
How do I stop my German Shepherd from barking in the car?
By Mummy from England
By Mary Koehler 04/14/2009
Leave him home. Riding in car may really be bothering him, and is begging to stay home.
My Pomeranian barks a lot, it's driving us crazy. What can we do to get it to not bark so much?
By Shelter Worker (Guest Post)11/24/2008
When dogs bark to the extent it drives you crazy; you know you've failed to train the dog in basic manners and behaviour.
If you scurry around trying to figure out what the dog wants you to do when she barks; she is training you. If you wish to be obedient to your dog for the rest of it's life,by all means follow your dog around and praise the dog for doing the exact opposite of the behaviour you desire. Crazy way to live by my thinking.
You need to start with the basics...TONS of exercise and that means running. Your dog does NOT get exercise in your home or from just being let out to sit in a yard. Long, hard walks/jogs at least 30-45 mins every day will help a lot.
You MUST be the leader. Discipline can not be a debate or a negotiation in your home. That does not mean you are a tyrant. It means you are in command and the dog must respond to you. You have to go back to basic training on a routine basis and praise the dog well and treat for everything they do right AND all the times they are quiet and displaying the behaviour you want.
Correction should used very sparingly because negative attention is better than no attention at all. Leave the water bottles and horrid bark collars in the trash where they belong.
Take note of what triggers her to bark and try diversion just before she goes off...use treats and praise just before she opens her mouth. It takes careful attention from you but it works spectacularly well. This will take time and patience on your part but it always works when the owner keeps up with good training and proper exercise. Don't give up!
If you wouldn't do it with your 2 year old child; DON'T try to do it to your dog. You want your 2 year old to get plenty of exercise and fresh air. You don't ignore them for hours on end or refuse to play with them daily. You are patient and praise your 2 year old like they reinvented the wheel for every tiny thing they do right. You scold ONLY when necessary.
You wouldn't fail your 2 year old by letting them decide what you do and when you'll do it. You wouldn't follow your 2 year old around trying to figure out what they're training you to do...you teach them to use their words, enjoy playtime and exercise, spend time daily learning new things...etc.
Small dogs are usually more difficult to train than larger ones becuase of the RAMPANT puppymilling if them from high demand from women who want accessories and affection on demand. Shops only get puppies from one kind of place. Puppymills are the only places that care so little for the animals they sell they will ship them sight unseen to purchasers. Backyard home breeders are only slightly better but they will breed problems as long as they make a profit.
Dogs are all the same basic animal and they need LOTS of daily work but it's a fantastic joy when you've done it right. Prepare to exercise and good luck.
My chi pin barks at everyone. How do I curb her barking? She is 8 months old. Thanks.
Orab from Hollywood, FL
By Sam L. (Guest Post)11/19/2008
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
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?
By Melissa (Guest Post)12/27/2007
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!
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.
By Marie 10/09/2008
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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My one and half year old, about 7 lbs., won't stop barking. She doesn't bark at anyone in my family, and a few other people, but she'll bark at anyone else, and just won't stop. I've had her and her borther since they were born, so it's not like they've had a root to this. In fact, her brother isn't like that, neither is her mother. I adore them all, but I need to find a way to get her to stop, as I am moving in a few months to a place where neighbors will be sure to complain. Please, help me out! Val
My 5 month old Rough Collie won't stop barking when the neighbors go into their garden or when friends and family are in the house. It is starting to cause problems with the neighbors.
Vicky from Edinburgh, UK
By Lily 59
How do you stop a Pom from barking when he goes outside in the garden?
How do I stop my dog from being controlling and stop it from barking for no reason?
By Dee from UK
I thank my dog at the first bark if I am close enough for them to hear. I thank her, and then try to distract her with something else: a hug, calling her to me into another area, a treat, giving her a little scratch time. Anything that stops her.
If I know what made her bark, I will tell her in a calm way, oh, that's just the neighbors, you know them. Or yes, that's the garbage man; they make a lot of noise, don't they? Chatty and conversational. She often ignores what she used to bark at, barks for a shorter time, so while not totally under control, the barking is better and at a level with real situations I can tolerate. (02/02/2010)