09 Jun How to limit excessive barking
Barking is one way that your dog communicates. It’s natural and normal, but when barking gets out of control it can become a serious problem. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to help your pet understand that excessive barking is not the answer.
Here are some tips on how you can reduce your dog’s excessive barking.
- Remove the motivation
Your dog is barking for a reason – so if you can figure out that reason, it can help to limit the behaviour. For example, if your dog is barking at passers-by out the front window, you might need to limit their view of the road. If they are bored, you can provide extra stimulating activities. Removing the source of the behaviour can help keep the noise levels under control.
- Don’t respond
If the barking is aimed at getting your attention, try not to reinforce that the noise is a good way to get you to notice them. That could mean physically turning away when the barking occurs, waiting for a pause in the barking to give them lots of love and affection. You’ll need lots of patience – if you give in, it will just teach them to bark longer until they get the reaction they want.
- Keep them active
Your dog is more likely to bark when they are bored, underactive, or lonely. Make sure your pup is getting lots of exercise to tire them out, and has lots of stimulating activities and toys to keep them occupied. If you are away for long periods of time during the day, you might need to organise a dog walker or some company for them to help keep them interested and engaged, and prevent them from becoming too lonely.
- Positive reinforcement
When your dog is barking, look for breaks in their behaviour as a great opportunity to reward them. When they stop barking, even for a moment, you can use the command “quiet” along with a treat to reward them for doing the right thing. Gradually extend the amount of time they have to be quiet in order to receive their treat.
- Stay Patient
Like any training, limiting your dog’s barking will take time and effort, along with lots of patience. Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs, so it’s difficult for them to learn when barking is appropriate. You’ll need lots of calm repetition, and don’t forget – if you lose your temper, you’ll stall the process.
Limiting Excessive Barking
Problem barking can be difficult to solve, and a frustrating process. If your own efforts aren’t paying off, it might be time to enlist the help of a professional. But for most dogs, time and patience should be enough to help them limit their barking. It’s worth the time spent to have your pup happy and your days a lot more peaceful.