How to Stop a Dog from Barking
Do you have a dog who barks a lot? Are you looking for ways to combat this barking issue, but aren’t sure where to begin? What is the best way to stop your dog from barking?
In the article below, we’ll go over several methods you can try when you need to teach a dog to stop barking. Keep in mind that some methods may work better than others for your pet, and it’s always important to consider your dog’s individual circumstances when figuring out barking remedies. Read through the information below to learn more.
Determine the Source of the Barking
First, you’ll need to figure out why your dog is barking. Does your dog bark most often when they are excited about something, or are they barking when seeing a stranger walking by outside the window? Is their barking related to separation anxiety, or does it just happen when they are around other dogs?
By figuring out what causes your dog to bark so much, you can start working on resolving the problem. If the issue is something simple, you may be able to simply remove the barking trigger from your dog’s environment, but this is not often the case. In many instances, you’ll need to work on the behavior itself.
Exercise Your Dog
Dogs who don’t get enough exercise are much more likely to bark too much than those that do. When you walk your dog or play with them in the back yard for a while, you’re helping them burn off a lot of pent-up energy that might otherwise come out as unwanted behaviors.
Your dog’s exercise needs will vary depending on their breed, weight, and age. However, most dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, or more if they are very large or active.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Along with physical exercise, your dog needs regular daily mental stimulation, too. Your dog may enjoy the subtle type of mental stimulation provided by chewing on a bone that is filled with marrow or rolling around a treat toy to get some of the treats out of it.
However, some dogs are very smart and need more than this. If your dog needs a lot of mental stimulation, try teaching them some tricks you can practice together on a regular basis, or consider purchasing some dog puzzle “board games” instead.
Provide Dog Training
Dogs who bark a lot need to be trained to stop barking so much. This is the hardest part of dealing with an overly noisy dog, but it is also the most crucial. You can teach your dog a command word, such as “quiet,” and use it when you need them to stop barking.
Start by saying the word and immediately providing a treat any time your dog settles down after barking. Over time, they will start associating settling and quiet time with treats, and you can work on increasing the length of time they stay quiet from there.
Talk to a Dog Trainer
In some instances, it is too difficult to train your dog to stop barking on your own. This typically happens if your dog has been barking too much for most of their life and the issue hasn’t been addressed yet, but there can be other reasons, too.
If you’re having trouble training your pet on your own, you may want to work with a professional. A professional trainer can help you figure out the root problems in your dog’s training and work to correct those issues in an efficient, safe, and effective way. Weekly meetings can go a long way toward improving your dog’s barking issue.
Talk to Your Dog’s Veterinarian
Finally, if you’re having trouble getting your dog to stop barking and you think anxiety could be the cause, you may need to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet may recommend medicating your dog for anxiety. This should be a last-ditch effort, but it may be the only solution in severe cases of anxiety.
Your vet will likely ask you if you’ve tried other methods first before resorting to this type of medication. Therefore, it’s important to exhaust all your other options before you go this route, but keep in mind that it is there as an option for very anxious dogs.
It is Possible to Help Your Dog Stop Barking
As you can see, there are a lot of options you can try when you need to teach your dog to stop barking. However, in some instances, you may need to work with a professional trainer, a vet, or both to figure out the best solution for the issue.
It may take a lot of patience and understanding on your part, but eventually, you should be able to help your dog stop barking so often. Take your time and work in slow, small steps to set your dog up for success with this task.
Need to talk with your Heart + Paw veterinarian about your dog’s barking? Book an appointment at any of our locations by using the online form!
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