How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking
Having a dog means that you are going to hear some barking from time to time, but what if your four-legged friend likes to bark ALL the time? Luckily, there are some easy ways to train your pup not to bark incessantly.
We will start with the number one thing NOT to do, don't yell at your dog to stop barking. Odds are they aren't going to understand what you are trying to tell them, and they are going to perceive you yelling as you are joining in and "barking" right along with them at whatever they are barking at.
Keeping that in mind here are a few strategies you can use to encourage your dog to stop barking their heads off when you don't want them to.
First and foremost, be consistent. You want to make sure your dog understands that your training means that you want and expect the same behavior from them all the time, not just sometimes.
Remove the item or trigger that your dog is barking at - for example, if they bark when they see the mailman at your mailbox, don't let them even experience that trigger. Close the blinds or put them in a room where they can't see when the mailman is at the mailbox.
Ignore them - if your dog is barking for attention, and you pay attention to them when they are barking, whether it is positive or negative attention, it is still giving the dog what it wants - you acknowledge them. Therefore, you have to ignore the barking for as long as it takes for it to stop. That might sound impossible, but if the dog notices that they get no attention from barking, eventually, they will stop. When they stop barking, acknowledge them with praise and a treat and they will learn that being quiet has its perks too.
Ask your dog to do something that doesn't go along with barking - for example, if something like seeing a squirrel makes your dog bark, when you both see a squirrel give your dog a treat and tell them to go to their dog bed instead, if they are distracted with something else, it's much harder to bark.
Make sure your dog is well exercised and kept busy - the less extra energy your pup has to expend barking, the less he or she will bark! Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and has toys and activities to keep them engaged and stimulated. This way, barking at outside influences will be much less attractive to them.
Hopefully, using some of these methods, you can get your dog's barking habit under control with ease!