Some pups love to bark, it’s simply in their nature. Often times there’s nothing wrong with it, and frequently they are barking because they actually want or need to get your attention. If your dog is hungry or needs to go outside to go to the bathroom, you want them to speak up so that you can be aware of the situation.
However, when the barking gets out of hand – like when it’s late at night or for seemingly no apparent reason – there are some things you can try to see if you can quiet down your dog. With a little bit of patience and training you can often train your dog only to bark as a means of communication.
Communicate The Preferred Behavior
If you’re a dog training pro, you probably already know what it takes to teach your dog when certain behaviors are appropriate and when they are not. However, most of us might need a little bit of training of our own when it comes to coaxing out desirable behaviors from our beloved furry friends.
You don’t ever want to punish your dog by yelling at them, enclosing them in a secluded room, or otherwise. Rather, you want to get them to do the right thing using a technique called positive reinforcement. The idea is to reward them for good behavior, and it is best done immediately upon performing the behavior in question. Get your dog to stop barking by calmly quieting them, and when they do quiet you want to reward them.
Try to avoid going overboard with treats here, your dog can quickly form a dependence of sorts and you’ll end up feeding them treats all day long. Instead, reward them with soothing affirmations, love, and generous petting. Keep in mind behavioral training takes time before you get results, so be patient and don’t stop trying.
Try a Bark Collar
Sometimes training is a difficult task, and in this case its actually a task that can be automated with a bark collar. While bark collars do not rely on positive reinforcement to train, they are indeed an effective training tool and can get your dog to stop barking quickly and effectively. They are perfect if your dog is barking at night or barking excessively when guests come to visit.
Bark collars have gotten a bad rap in the past because the old designs relied solely on shocking as a method of correction. These days there are many other designs with a range of correction methods, and often an audible tone or a vibration is enough to get your dog to stop barking. The folks over at The Pampered Pup have put together a good selection of the best bark collars on the market, take a look and see if there’s a stylish one for your favorite dog so that they can look good while you’re training them.
When All Else Fails
Keep in mind that your dog very well might be barking for a reason. If you haven’t already, try taking them out for a walk. Make sure they have fresh food and clean water. Check all of the basic boxes. It might just be that your dog needs attention in one way another that you have overlooked. Perhaps your dog just wants some love. Remember that owning a pet is a big responsibility, and we need to do what is best for our dogs. Try to make sure your dog has everything they need before you go ahead and begin encouraging behavior changes.