At first, a puppy barking might be cute and adorable. However, constant barking leads to irritation and frustration.
Puppies will bark for many reasons and is their primary method for communicating with other animals or people. In order to help train your puppy not to bark, it’s best to first understand why your puppy barks in the first place. Once you recognize the things they bark at, it will become easier for you to train them.
Common Reasons Why Puppies Bark
Puppies will bark for several reasons. They range from play, greeting you or another animal, something is/has scared them, or to intimidate something because they feel threatened. Basically, barking is either a physical, psychological, or emotional response.
Once you identify why they are barking, you can quickly determine the best course of action to remedy it.
How To Stop Your Puppy From Barking
If your puppy is barking at people or things passing by, you can do a couple of simple things. Either remove access to the object, person, or thing they are barking at, or move them to another room. Once they are quiet, give them lots of praise and reward them with a treat. An example would be your puppy barking at the UPS driver pulling up to your house through the window. You can either close the window so the UPS driver can’t be seen or move the puppy to another room.
Creating distractions is another great way to get your puppy not to bark. You can offer a bone or chew toy to distract them from barking. You can also make another loud noise to get their attention. An example would be shaking a can full of coins. Once the dog is distracted and has your attention, they should no longer be barking. This is when you praise them and give them a treat.
You can also use the ignore method to teach your puppy not to bark. This is more helpful in a controlled environment without distractions. Lets say you put the puppy in their crate or another room and they keep barking. Just turn around and ignore them until they stop barking. Once they stop, turn back around and give them lots of praise as well as treats. If they start to bark again, ignore and repeat the process. They will quickly learn that being ignored is bad and not barking gives rewards.
If you recognize that your puppy is barking at scary sounds, do your best to block them. White noise machines, radio music, static radio noises, your TV, or even pheromone products are a great way to block out new noises.
Some puppies bark out of boredom. A great way to help them out of this funk is taking them out on short walks and scheduling play time with them. This will help release their excess pent up energy and make them more calm and receptive to your commands.
Rather than getting a shock collar, a much more practical alternative is a tone collar. When your dog barks, the collar emits a bark. This will confuse and distract your puppy while it tries to figure out where it came from. It’s also a way to curb boredom in your puppy. However, don’t use a tone collar around other dogs, this can cause confusion and even punish your dog as they will hear multiple barking.
What to do next?
There is a lot going on out in the world for your puppy to bark at. Once you have established good barking manners in the home, it’s time to take it to the next level.
You can accomplish this by slowly introducing your puppy to new things. These can range from other dogs, dog parks, long walks, etc. They will start to experience new things and encounter many new scenarios. Each of these will help you not only learn more about your dog, but help them learn how to socialize.
An example is your dog barks at other dogs. It’s a good idea to slowly start introducing them to dog parks. They will learn that barking at other dogs isn’t necessary and will learn how to socialize with them.
Another advanced method is to teach your dog the quiet command. Over time, you can use a word such as quiet, calm, or another word you’d like to use. By telling your dog “quiet,” they will know not to bark. This can take some time but once the dog understands, it will be something you can use to stop them from barking.
If you still are having trouble with your dog barking or can’t seem to isolate the problem, you can always reach out to your local vet or dog trainer. A dog trainer will be able to give you one on one advice and even see what’s causing the issue. Then recommend the proper discipline method. If it’s a medically related issue, your vet can determine the cause such as pain or discomfort and give medication to help.
What To Avoid While Training Your Puppy
Never yell at your puppy. Yelling will make them bark more and they won’t understand what you’re trying to tell them. It’s better to show your puppy strong body language and utilize the tone of your voice. Remember, dogs need leaders, you are to be their role model.
Never hit or throw something at your dog. This will instill two different types of behavior that is very difficult to get rid of. They are aggression and fear. If your dog fears you, you will have a difficult time listening or coming near you. If your dog becomes more aggressive, they will have a higher chance of biting people or you for the matter.
Don’t punish them for long periods of time. If your puppy does something you don’t like and you put them in time out, always keep the time out sessions between 30-60 seconds. Anything more and the puppy will miss the point. Same logic applies when you use their crate for timeout.
Just remember the whole goal for a relationship between you and your new puppy is to form strong bonds. Even when they do something you don’t like or that gets them into trouble. It’s much healthier for both of you in the long run.
You may also quickly notice how your dog behaves when they know they are in trouble. A great example is how some dogs will come up to you, because they trust you, but have that look in their eyes. They may even lay on their back and show their belly because they are being submissive.