There are a variety of things that can send a dog into a barking frenzy, and most of them are unwanted. However, it can be difficult to approach training a dog not to do something, as opposed to the other way around. Knowing a few dog facts is extremely helpful in teaching this behavior. We never want to be irritated with our best friend, so here are a few ways to help you understand your dog’s barking and ways to curb it.
Train Them To “Speak,” Then Reward Them With The “Quiet” Command When They Stop
If you want to train your dog to stop doing something, one of the easiest ways is to train them to start doing it, then issue a command to stop. To teach them to speak, find something that typically triggers barking - a doorbell, the sound of another dog barking, etc. Immediately before triggering their barking, give them the “Speak” command. Soon, they should start barking on the word “Speak,” whether or not the other stimulus is included.
This brings us to “Quiet.” When your dog has learned to bark on “Speak,” wait until they have barked a few times and stick a treat in front of them. They will generally stop barking to sniff the treat. Now you bring in the “Quiet” command. Soon, they should recognize that, if they stop barking when you say “Quiet,” a treat is on the way.
Understand What Your Dog Is Barking At And Remove It
It isn’t always easy to figure out what your dog is barking at, but removing the source of their excitement is a key step in stopping the behavior. For example, if they are barking at a person outside, move them to another room so they can’t see it.
The key here is that your dog generally barks because they want attention in some way. Not giving them that attention is a key component to shutting that behavior down; giving them attention in a discouraging way is an even better deterrent.
Speaking of discouraging attention, one of the worst things you can do if you are trying to train your dog not to bark is to shout at them. If you start yelling when your dog starts barking, you are essentially saying “Yes, there is something we should be very loud about!” If you insist on telling your dog that they should not be barking, it is much better to speak to them in a quiet, calm voice to assure them that the best plan of action is to be quiet and calm.
Like with any new behavior training, teaching your dog not to bark takes time and patience. Keep a cleaner like Bio-nihilator on hand for your training sessions; it’s perfect for quick cleanups or for bigger problem areas.