>> May 22, 2012
Dogs make fantastic pets, but if they are over excited, scared, agitated or simply bored, they can become a nuisance by barking endlessly. Their barking is a way for them to try and communicate with you, so be patient and teach them when it is or isn’t okay to bark. If you have been unable to get your dog to stop barking, the following ideas are sure to help.
Wear Them Out
If your dog barks at absolutely everything, there is a good chance that it’s because it just has too much energy and can’t find a way to use it up. Try taking your dog out for an extra walk every day and playing a little more energetically when you do, because if you want your dog to just sit there quietly you may have to run it ragged.
Let Them Inside
Most dogs bark when they are left outside simply because they feel isolated from their pack and just want to be inside where you are, so find a blanket or a dog bed for them and allow them inside if they’ll stay on their bed. They will comply quite quickly once they realise that they have to stay in their designated area or they go back outside. Make sure you give them a reasonable chance to be good inside, as it may take some time and patience to train them to be a good indoor dog.
Praise the Silence and Scorn the Noise
Any time that your dog isn’t barking, praise it for being good and quiet. The moment your dog does bark, however, immediately reprimand it so that it understands exactly what trouble it is in for. If you can get your dog to be silent for at least 3 seconds, reward it with a treat to reinforce that good behaviour, as this way your dog will quickly learn that it is worth being good.
Close the Curtain
Often dogs wouldn’t be anywhere near as excitable if they weren’t able to see everything that is going on inside the house from the backyard, so when you put your dog outside, close the curtain so it can start forgetting all about what’s going on inside and just find a nice spot to relax outside.
Get a Fence Your Dog Can’t See Through
A lot of dogs will bark at anything they can see, so cut them off from some of their stimulation by getting a fence that isn’t see through. Your dog could be tormented by simply observing every kid or other dog running down your back alley but if it can’t see through the fence, it likely won’t bark as much.
There are times when you want your dog to bark, for example when warning off other dogs or even potential intruders from your home. However, it is important that you are able to get your dog to stop barking. Do your best to understand what your dog is trying to communicate with you, and try to be as clear and direct as you can with your communications with your pet. If you both try hard enough you will eventually be able to understand each other, and if you need extra help, having pet insurance or pet cover can often allow you to get some additional behaviour training classes covered.