So, how do I go about teaching a dog to stop barking?

A dog's barking can drive even the most devoted dog lover close to committing dogicide. It grates at you to the nth degree. So, rather than resort to murdering your dog, your going to need to understand her if you're ever going to have any success with teaching your dog to stop barking.

Understand what? Barking is barking- isn't it? Well yes, but dog's and puppy's bark for three main reasons:

  1. Defending their territory: Dogs will do this quite naturally, and most dog owners usually tolerate this type of barking. Many are even pleased with this behaviour- some even encourage it. Naturally, eager to please the dog responds accordingly.
  2. Getting them to calm down and stop barking is usually just a case of utilising the lesson learnt in teaching a puppy no.
  3. Issue the command using your severest tone and with a firm wag of the finger. Peace, should then reign. But remember, you instigated this behaviour in the first place, and it can get out of hand.....

This is when the excessive barker enters the picture:

This dog is on guard 24-7. Nothing gets past his radar. Every noise, from cars to leaves in the wind is furiously barked at. He's on sentry duty; patrolling the yard, windows and doors. Get anywhere near his territory and you're in for a real earful. This dog often perceives itself to be the dominant force in the household, and that you're subservient to him.

Barking terrier

How quickly and easily you change this behaviour depends upon how ingrained it is, and how resolute you are in correcting it. Sometimes it's just boredom that makes a dog behave in this way. Does he get enough quality exercise? Play time? If you suspect that's so- then it's easily remedied. If not:

  1. Restricting his access to his favourite sentry posts is a good starting point. Don't allow him to look out of the window, or to patrol the yard.
  2. When the barking starts, stand tall over him, and issue the "no" command. Reward him when he stops.
  3. If he's so hyped up that he ignores your command, attach a collar and lead to him, snap back on the lead and issue the command "no" as soon as he stops.
  4. If that fails try shooting him--with a water pistol! As soon as the barking starts squirt him, and issue the command "no" as soon as he stops. This should be immediately! Persevere and be firm with any of these remedies and things will turn around.

Then there's the attention seeker, or the highly-strung, nervous and excitable barker:

Excitable behaviour includes hysterical barking, launching themselves at you, tail chasing, excessive self-grooming, and compulsive chewing. You should consult your vet if you suspect that your dog's behaviour is so awry that it may be caused by a medical condition.

In many cases the problem is a complete lack of early training. A few desultory training lessons. Or the dog has recognised that the owner is weak, and therefore capable of being manipulated. The answer to this problem is to re-train your dog- starting from the beginning with teaching a puppy to sit..

If your dog is barking and howling in your absence, then it's almost certain that the problem is canine separation anxiety. That page will help you straighten out the problem.

If your dog is barking don't yell at her to stop- she'll think that you're barking with her. The easiest way to stop a dog barking is to stop it getting out of hand in the first place. If in the early days of puppyhood you notice that your puppy has a propensity for this type of behaviour nip it in the bud.

Make sure that she fully understands and always responds, to the "no" command under all types of circumstances. And you'll be saving yourself and your neighbours a fortune in earplugs.

Teaching a dog to stop barking is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....

Dog digging

So why not find out All About teaching a puppy to stop digging.
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