How to Stop a Dog from Barking

While barking is your dog's form of communication and expression, there are times when dogs can be excessively vocal. It's important for you as an owner to identify why it is that your dog barks too much in order to stop the barking problem [source: ASPCA]. Remember to be patient with your dog. If it's been a barker for a long time, it may take longer for your dog to learn to stop [source: Humane Society]. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to stop a dog from barking.

  • Remove rewards Dogs are smart animals, and figure out how to get what they want. Often if they bark, you may reward them with a walk or a treat to stop the barking. Your dog will realize that barking leads to rewards. It's important not to reward bad behavior with any type of positive reinforcement. Ignore the barking and your dog will learn that barking is not the way to get your attention. When it does finally quiet down, reward it with a treat [source: Humane Society].
  • Stimulus training If you notice that your dog barks at a particular stimulus, like another dog, cars or the mailman, it's important to teach it that it will be rewarded for keeping quiet. Bring the stimulus into your dog's range of vision, but not so close that your dog will start barking. If it doesn't bark, reward it with a lot of treats. Slowly bring the stimulus closer and closer, while feeding your dog more treats. As soon as the stimulus is out of its field of vision, stop feeding the dog treats. This will teach your dog that keeping silent when seeing the stimulus will be rewarded [source: Humane Society].
  • Keeping a busy mouth If your dog likes greeting guests at the door with barks, try keeping your dog's mouth busy so it can't bark. Keep its favorite toy next to the door, so that when the doorbell rings, it will go to greet the guest and be occupied with the toy. With a toy in its mouth, your dog won't be able to bark [source: ASPCA]. //]]]]> ]]>