How to Train Your Dog Not to Bark

A defining feature of most dogs is that they love to bark. This is how they communicate their needs and emotions. However, this barking can prove distressing to neighbors and can be distracting in the home. Training a dog not to bark is not impossible, but it does take dedication and patience. This doesnít mean that the dog will become mute. Instead, it controls the amount of barking that takes place so that it does not happen day and night.

Understand the Causes of Barking
Dog owners need to first identify when and why a dog barks. Understanding triggers helps people refine their training plans and also makes a pet owner more patient during this process. Many dogs bark when they are hungry, when new people come into the house (i.e. possible intruders), when a pet owner raises his or her voice, or when a dog owner is away from home. The more connected a dog is to a home, the more he or she will bark. All types of dogs feel like they have a home and family to protect.

Use Oneís Voice
Tone matters a lot to a dog. Pet owners should practice using a firm ďnoĒ whenever the animal begins parking. It is important that this voice command is short, firm, and clear. Dog owners should make eye contact with the animal and place their hand out. If the dog stops barking, it is important to give the animal a treat as thanks. Dogs do not want to disappoint their owners.

A safe, mild, and effective way to train dogs not to bark as frequently is to use a shake-can. A pet owner needs to take an empty can or soda bottle and put coins like pennies inside of it. The top of the can should be tightened and secured with duct tape. When a dog begins to bark, one should shake the can loudly. Once the dog stops barking, the owner should stop shaking the can and then praise the animal with a treat. Thus, the dog is rewarded for not barking. The animal learns that being quiet is a positive behavior. The shake-can approach should be repeated whenever the dog barks. After time, the barking should lessen.

Spray Bottle Method
To curb bothersome barking, pet owners can also use a spray bottle. This is an affordable training tool and can be bought in most stores. A dog owner could also use a water gun. It is important to invest in a few bottles and keep them around the home and outside. When the dog begins barking, it is important to pick up the bottle and spray the animal. This should be done gently: one squirt will do and the owner should be careful not to hurt or soak the dog. Once the dog stops barking, the animal can be given a treat.

Punish for Poor Behavior
If any of the above methods do not work, it is time to give the dog consequences. This could mean bringing the dog outside or to the basement or even putting him in his cage for a bit. Pet owner shouldnít say anything when they do this. Wait ten minutes and then bring the dog back outside or let the animal out of the cage.

Desensitize the Dog to Triggers
Dogs get scared and may bark because of a phone ring or because of a new addition to the home like a new child or animal. This is why it is important to work with the dog and get the animal used to the trigger. Pet owners should have the phone ring a few times a day and remain silent when it happens. If the dog respects the owner, then the animal will follow the personís response. If the dog doesnít bark, it is important to give the animal a reward and to coo positive words in a happy tone. Similarly, if a dog barks at the sight of other dogs, it is important to block the animalís view of the street. This lessens the petís stress levels. Bit by bit, it will help to have other dogs come by the house so the dog can learn how to socialize with other animals.

Ignore the Poor Behavior & Reward Silence
It is important that when a dog barks that the owner either punishes the animal or ignores the pet. Once the barking stops and the dog is silent for at least half a minute, the owner can then reward the dog by petting its ears or giving the pet a treat. Animals pay attention to the cues their owners give them. Not receiving attention for barking lessens the likelihood that it will keep happening.

Consistency Is Important
The only way for training to be successful is if the pet owner is consistent with his or her actions. All it takes is for one slack day for the dog to continue with the constant barking. Training a dog means showing the animal what is and is not acceptable. Treats should only be given when the proper behavior is performed, and punishments need to be quick yet short to be effective.

Remember that Training Takes Time
Training takes time. Pet owners need to stay positive and patient and should never harm their dog as a mode of training. Staying consistent with rewards and punishments will train the dog to bark less. Patient owners will be quick to respond and will not hurt their animals.

By communicating acceptable behavior to the pet, the dog will learn to bark less. Giving in and giving them treats will not train the dog. It is important for owners to stay cool and calm when training their dogs. The smallest actions can reap some major rewards. This is why dog owners should get started as soon as possible. With time and the above tips, pet owners can teach their dogs not to bark.

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