• For the Dog Lover in You!

Tips for Addressing Unwanted Barking

on June 10, 2023

Sometimes dogs bark for no apparent reason, which can be incredibly frustrating. Nobody understands this better than fellow dog owners. While barking is a natural way of communication for them, excessive barking can become annoying and disruptive to you, your family, and your neighbors. If your pup's vocalizations are getting out of hand, there are methods that may help reduce the unwanted barking. The following blog explores why your dog might be barking so much and practical tips that may help curtail such behavior. Read on to learn how to curb the noise and create a more tranquil home atmosphere!


Identify the Reason Behind Your Dog's Barking

Is it boredom, fear, or something else entirely?

Excessive barking can be aggravating, but it is often just your pup’s way of communicating something to you. Step one in curbing this unwanted behavior is to identify what the root cause may be. Is your pup bored? Lonely? Anxious or scared? Perhaps they are feeling something else entirely? When determining the root cause, consider what may be missing from your dog’s routine. If they need more exercise, try extending your walks an additional 20 minutes. Do they need more mental stimulation? Check out these tips on providing brain work into your dog’s day to keep them tired. Is your pup lonely? Try setting up a doggy playdate or bringing them with you when running errands. Is your pup displaying signs of anxiety? Perhaps reinforcing crate training practices will help create a designated safe space for your dog to relax. 

If none of these practices work or you need more support, consult your veterinarian for additional insight and tips – they are the experts, after all! They may help you figure out what's triggering your pup's vocalization, and from there, you can take the necessary steps to help curb this behavior. 


Train Your Dog

Practicing so your dog understands and obeys. basic commands such as "sit" and "stay". can help break focus away from barking.

When tackling barking, revisiting training basics is an essential part of the process. Teaching and reinforcing basic commands such as "sit" and "stay" can help ease your pup’s barking when they are anxious or excited. It gives them a task, distracting them from what may be triggering their barking behavior. Of course, it takes patience and consistency from you both, but with some practice, you’ll be well on the way to minimizing unnecessary barks. 


Teach Your Dog The "Quiet" Command

This is often useful when you need them to settle down.

Teaching your pup to respond to the "quiet" command can be incredibly useful when dealing with unwanted barking. It requires lots of dedication and positive reinforcement, so prepare your schedule and have special rewards for your dog as you practice! (We recommend speaking to a trainer or looking at YouTube videos for a good starting point for teaching this command). 

Having complete control over your dog’s behavior can help keep them in check while reinforcing good behavior and teaching them that you are a reliable authority figure in the home. In addition, this command generally helps keep your dog from acting on a whim and helps him understand (on a very high level) the concept of delayed gratification. Though it might take some time for your pup to learn and understand the command, it will be time well spent - both for you and your dog.

Try Providing Alternative Activities

Chew toys, puzzle feeders, and interactive ball games are great options.

When your dog starts barking excessively, try providing alternative activities to help redirect their behavior. Options include giving them chew toys to focus on, puzzle feeders for mental stimulation, or interactive ball games to get them moving. Not only does this contain the barking and provide a positive distraction, but it can instill proper behavior through consistent practice. 

Leverage High Value Treats

When your pup stops barking, try offering him a high-value treat to reinforce the positive behavior.

This solution requires a keen eye for timing but can be highly effective. If you’re dealing with excessive barking behavior from your dog, try rewarding him with a high-value treat (think boiled chicken or lean turkey) from time to time when he stops unwanted barking. A high-value treat or toy that you don't usually bring out can catch your dog’s attention and may even make them forget why they were barking in the first place! Be careful and seek guidance as much as you need with this tactic – poorly timed rewards can unintentionally reinforce negative behavior. But offering the reward immediately after a positive behavior (stopping barking) may help increase its effectiveness and reinforce a desired outcome - your pup being quieter! 

With time and patience, you can help your pup break the habit of constant barking. With an arsenal of strategies like identifying root causes, training sessions, and positive reinforcement, you are well on your way to seeing results and living in a calmer, quieter home. If you've been experiencing more extreme cases of excessive barking, you may consider seeking additional help from a professional trainer or behaviorist. They may be able to help customize a strategy that works for you and your dog. 

Need supplies for your training journey? Check out K9 & Company’s list of offerings today to set you up for success.


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Promo box

Someone purchsed a

Product name

info info