All dogs communicate with the world around them, just like humans do. They do this in many different ways. Canine communication is important to understand because dogs vocalize by barking, growling and whining. A common problem that pet parents have to deal with is excessive barking in dogs that bark at visitors and guests.
How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking Excessively? This is a guide on how to teach your dog to stop barking excessively at visitors, and while he’s at home if he’s alone or with you.
When dogs bark excessively, it can be annoying, but before we can stop excessive barking in our dogs, we need to understand why it is happening in the first place. So how do you train your dog to stop barking excessively?
Why Does My Dog Bark Excessively?
As dog parents we all love our pups, and want them close to us. They live with us, travel with us, take a trip to the local coffee shop, and sometimes stay home alone waiting for us to get back from work. Excessive barking is one of the most common behavior problems, and can be fixed easily. But to do this, your doggo needs to understand the basics of obedience training.
There are many types of barking. Barking is used to:
- Express a threat
- Warn an intruder
- Get someone’s attention
- Show boredom
Understanding the many different types of barking, and what your dog is trying to say is the first step. As a pup parent, one has to take note of the intensity of your dog’s bark, and the changes in inflections. Every dog bark has a meaning. Keep in mind that all dogs bark when they’re excited, and that some breeds enjoy barking more than others. Never punish your dog for excessive barking!
If your dog barks at children running, have your friend’s kids walk by slowly. Reinforce your dog for not barking. Then ask them to run past slowly, reinforce your dog once again with treats for good behavior. Ask them to run past again and to shriek a little as they run past your dog. Reinforce your pup again for quiet behavior.
If your dog barks in crowds, stay further away from crowds until he gets used to them, and reinforce for good behavior. Continue with this until you’ve mingled in with the crowd, and your dog knows what is expected of him. This does take time, and does not happen right away. The most important thing is that you know how your dog will react, and what you need to do to reinforce for the quiet behavior required.
If your dog barks when you visit your veterinarian, you know that you will need to stop him from barking prior to opening the veterinarian’s office door. Bring treats, and allow your pup to focus on you and the treats only. You can practice the ‘opening door’ part at home, and reward for quiet behavior. Then when at the veterinarian, as soon as both you and your dog are in the doorway, re-engage your dog to focus back to you with treats.
It’s best to carry a variety of different flavors with different smells for this. Make sure to bring along his favorite treat. Keep your dog busy while you’re waiting for your appointment. Reward for good behavior each and every time.
If your pup is barking extensively at home, walk out of the room, and do not react to your dog. After a few seconds go back when your dog is no longer barking, and reward with a treat for being quiet.
If your dog has been barking for a long time, try keep the quiet behavior required to that amount of barking time. Always reinforce right away for quiet behavior. If you respond to your dog’s barking right away, then you’ve just reinforced his excessive barking. Keep this in mind that if you wait for fifteen minutes, and your dog starts up again, and you give in without waiting for a full fifteen minutes, then you’ve just reinforced fifteen minutes of barking.
No matter what the situation that you and your dog are in, keep your calm. This is most important if out in public. There’s never a dull moment as a pet parent! Strive to be the best you can, no matter how difficult some situations may seem to be! It all works out in the end.