If you’re a dog owner, the chances are that at one point or another, you’ve been frustrated by your dog’s barking. It might be early in the morning, and your dog won’t stop barking, night and day while you’re away, and he’s home alone, or when he gets anxious about something (in the car, for example). Though it may not seem like their behavior is our fault, there are simple things you can do to aid in resolving this issue.
20 Tips to Stop Your Dog from Barking Uncontrollably
1. Find an appropriate place to leave your dog.
When you are going out, it is always vital that you find a safe, comfortable place for your dog to stay while you are gone. If your dog is barking and howling because your dog does not want to be left alone, then he will need to be separated from the rest of the family when they are gone.
Problems with separation anxiety usually start when dogs are left alone during their early puppy years. This is when they begin to form a bond with their human family. If your dog is having problems with separation anxiety, then you should try to leave him with someone (preferably a young child or another dog) for a few hours every day so he can get used to it. Once he has accepted this new environment, then you can hand over the responsibility of making sure he does not whine or bark while you are gone.
2. Teach your dog to be in his crate.
It is also vital that you decide where the best place to put your dog is when he is not in the house. Depending on what breed your dog is, there are many different options. If you have a barker, then perhaps a cage or a kennel will be appropriate. If you don’t have room for a cage or kennel, then consider building one yourself. Some dogs can also be trained to stay in a small area or corner of the house blocked off from the rest of the room by a gate.
3. Get him a friend.
It is also essential that you figure out if your dog has any other behavioral problems other than barking that you have not addressed yet. For example, if your dog barks on and off all day, then he will need some sort of distraction to keep him occupied when he is alone in his cage or kennel. Dogs that bark all day consistently, every day are not suitable for living with other people. They will under no circumstances be able to get along with families as social creatures.
4. Consider your dog’s needs.
It is also crucial that you figure out if your dog needs anything to help with his barking. For example, if your dog is experiencing separation anxiety, he may need an upper or lower divider in his crate to feel more comfortable when left alone in there.
It is also vital that you make sure your dog gets enough exercise. Dogs left alone for long periods of time can become bored and start barking to use up some excess energy.
6. Be aware of potential triggers.
Many other things can set off your dog’s barking behavior. For example, if thunderstorms stress your dog out, he might go into a barking frenzy for no other reason than to try and control the noise. If he barks when you leave the house or go upstairs, it is best to avoid these situations until he calms down again.
7. Consider new training techniques.
Some new training techniques can help you control your dog’s barking behavior. For example, if you are feeding your dog in a separate room, it is relatively easy to have the dog learn to stay quiet while you are out of the house. You can even train your dog to bark and yelp on command so that you can ignore him when he starts.
8. Be aware of what triggers barking triggers.
It is also crucial that you understand what sets off your dog’s barking behavior. For example, if your dog barks when guests first arrive at the house, you need to figure out what causes him to start barking when guests first come. Once you know this, then you can create a new training routine that will help your dog learn not to bark on command.
9. Work on time outs.
It is also vital that you develop a plan for dealing with any instances where your dog starts barking. When your dog is barking, he will be acting like he is bored or has nothing else to do. If this is true, you can teach your dog to bark and then place him in his cage for some time. Using the same mechanism that you would use to keep him quiet outside, you should teach your dog that barking will result in him being placed in his cage.
10. Be aware of your dog’s potential for aggression.
As with people, not all dogs are prone to becoming aggressive. And through proper training, it is fairly easy to recognize when a dog is becoming aggressive. If your dog is barking because he feels he needs to protect you (or your family), you will need to make sure that you know how to control his behavior and keep him from reacting with aggression.
11. Consider obedience classes.
It is also vital that you take your dog in for obedience classes. Many of the methods used in obedience training are the same methods to train dogs not to bark. By taking your dog in for obedience classes, you will not only be helping to control your dog’s behavior, but you will also be helping to teach him self-control.
12. Consider a trainer.
If you feel that your dog has become too much of a challenge for you to handle on your own, then consider going out and finding a trained professional who can help you with your problems. A good trainer will understand the special needs of dogs and know how to control their behavior by combining positive reinforcement training and time-out training.
13. Get rid of the source of the problem.
In many cases, you can solve your dog’s barking problem with a relatively small amount of effort. For example, if your dog is barking because he feels lonely and needs someone to play with him, then you can easily make this problem go away by taking him to an animal shelter or nearby park to play with other dogs. You will also notice that your dog is a lot happier and more well-behaved once he has had the opportunity to interact with other dogs.
14. Consider medication.
If you have tried everything in your power to stop your dog from barking, but nothing seems to work, then it is time for you to consider taking him in for some medication. With anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants, it is possible to stop many of these behavioral problems from ever occurring again.
15. Consider training another family member.
It is also essential that you consider teaching another family member or friend how to control your dog’s barking behavior. For example, if your dog barks when you leave the house, then you can teach a babysitter or house guest about how to use a special collar to stop him from barking. This way, everyone who is in charge of watching over your dog will be able to recognize when he starts to bark and will be able to teach him not to do it again.
16. Consider a “barking collar.”
To stop your dog from barking, you can get him a barking collar. These harnesses are designed to give your dog a shock when he barks to teach him that the sound he just made was not acceptable. The most popular type is the electric collar, which sends out a harmless electrical shock when the dog barks without hurting him at all. This collar is fully safe for use with any type of dog.
17. Give up your dog.
If you have tried everything in your power to stop your dog from barking and nothing seems to work, then it may be time for you to consider giving up your dog, finding him another home, surrender him to a shelter. This is not something that you want to do, but it may be your only option. Many dog owners will agree that there is no worse sound than a dog barking, and this will not help in having a healthy relationship with your pet.
18. Get a new dog.
You can get another dog whose barking will not bother you at all. By getting another dog, you can keep your old one from barking in your own home and then teach them to be quiet by using negative reinforcement training techniques. Many dog owners are willing to provide a home for your dog, and many dog shelters that will be more than happy to take him in.
19. Keep your pet away from other pets.
Another problem that you may run into is one where your dog constantly barks around other dogs. For example, if you have two dogs in the same house, they may have a hard time getting along and decide to bark at each other when you are not around.
20. Play Time and Socialization.
Because most dogs are genetically programmed to bark at their human parents when they are defending territory or hunting. Socialization is a key component in teaching your dog not to bark when you’re out of the house, where such sounds can be interpreted as threats.
To train your pup instead of just ignoring the barking, utilize an interactive game-like playtime. The repetitive nature of playtime is what leads to success and it will help you teach your dog how important socializing is for them and you.
It is important to remember that not all dogs bark for the same reasons, and not all barking problems have the exact solutions. By taking your dog in for obedience training and finding out why he is barking, you can solve your issues in no time at all. Keep in mind that if you do ever get rid of your dog, it is only because you are doing it for their safety and overall well-being.