Depending on what motivates your dog to bark, you will have different avenues of stopping the behavior. It may be an issue with a particular type of barking, or it might also be an issue with a specific environmental situation. Let’s discuss some steps that you can take to help quiet your dog down when they’re barking excessively at home.
10 Steps to Help Quiet Your Dog’s Excessive Barking at Home
1. Find Out What Your Dog Is Barking At
The first step is to find out why your dog is barking. Once you have a clear understanding of why your dog is barking (excessive, nuisance, etc.), you will want to consider how you will address that issue.
2. Identify the Source of the Problem
Understand what your dog is barking at or what they are trying to alert you to. Once you fully understand why they are barking, you will be able to take appropriate action.
3. Remind Your Dog that He Must Stop Barking
Use command training techniques and effective methods (such as leash corrections) to help stop your dog’s excessive barking behavior when it begins.
4. Change the Situation and Try to Prevent It From Happening Again
Try to figure out why your dog is barking and make any necessary changes (e.g., find a new walking route, put in a doggy door, etc.). You can also try to figure out how to adjust your environment to avoid excessive barking (e.g., install a baby gate).
5. Find the Right Noise Deterrent (or Make Your Own)
Choose an effective noise deterrent that works best for your dog’s unique barking behavior. We have outlined many methods for you to explore here.
6. Distract Your Dog With Games and Toys or Other Command Training Opportunities
Play fun games with your dog or give them opportunities to fulfill their daily exercise needs to keep them busy and distracted. This way, they will not have the chance to bark excessively when you are not around.
7. Use Classical or Operant Conditioning to Your Advantage
Use behavior modification to help calm your dog down when they begin barking. This includes using classical (Pavlovian) and operant conditioning methods to quiet your dog down when they begin barking without having to issue any commands or use any force. This can be especially effective when you are not present and cannot stop the behavior.
8. Involve Experts and Let Them Help You Stop Your Dog’s Unwanted Behavior
Some types of barking are more challenging to handle by yourself, so really consider what methods you will use to stop the behavior effectively. In some cases, if all these methods fail, then it might be worth it to get professional help, such as with a certified dog trainer or a behaviorist.
9. Teach Your Dog to Stop Barking When You Are Present
Choose the right commands to help your dog learn that they must stop barking when you are present with them. This is called a dog-to-person training method, and it is a great way to teach your dog to stop barking at home.
10. Be Consistent When Training Your Dog
We cannot stress enough how important it is to be consistent with your commands and training when trying to stop your dog’s unwanted barking. Remember, dogs thrive on routine, so if you are not consistent in training them, this can throw things off and make things much more difficult for you.
Your dog is trying to communicate with you and tell you something when they bark. Some dogs will bark excessively at home when you’re not around, while others will bark in an attempt to tell you something or alert you to danger.
When your dog is barking at home, it could simply be a natural reaction to a big change, such as when someone walks through your neighbor’s door. Try using the steps listed above to help stop the behavior. If these methods fail, it’s time to consult with a professional dog trainer or behavioral specialist who can truly help you address your dog’s barking problem.