Teaching Your Dog to be QUIET

teaching your dog to be quiet, dog barks at everything, how to teach your dog to be quiet

Me and "The Mouth of the South" and Yes I am asking her to bark!

Recently I wrote and published an article on teaching your dog to bark.

I like being able to control my dog’s mouth in numerous ways!

I use it to my advantage when I want to intimidate someone (although I am not teaching them to bark AT someone).    I don’t want my dog to become over protective and out of control.

People want a dog that is protective, but they don’t understand how quickly that behavior can get out of control and be directed at the wrong people.  But simply teaching your dog to bark with a hand signal is fairly innocuous and yet quite a deterrent.

However for many people barking is a problem.  Nuisance barking runs rampant among many dogs and their irritated owners!

The Problem?

A lack of control!

The dog barks at what and when he wants leaving the owner with no control.

The other biggest problem is that it is not nipped in the bud when it starts.

I recently had a client that is pretty typical, in the beginning they thought barking was something to reward and thought it was funny when their dog barked at the doorbell on T.V.  Then one day they realized the barking was out of control and their dog barked at everything!

Of course he did!  He was consistently rewarded for barking at whatever he wanted FOR YEARS and so it became an extensive and resilient conditioned behavior!   And, conditioned behaviors are much more difficult to break!

Best Case Scenario

teaching your dog to be quiet, dog barks at everything, how to teach your dog to be quiet

A Quiet Dog is a Good Dog

Start YOUNG!  I believe that they younger you teach your puppy “bark and quiet” the better off you will be.  This sets you up for a lifetime of control of this very difficult instinct and behavior!

Your dog learns early that you are in charge of when, how loud and what he barks at and you can extinguish his bark very quickly.

If you wait until the dog is conditioned to barking and is older it is much more difficult to stop this behavior.

Teaching Quiet

As weird as it sounds, in order to teach your dog to be quiet, you must teach him to bark for you on command.   If your dog doesn't bark for you consistently on command read this article: Teaching Your Dog to Bark on Command. 

Again, you want to have full control over this behavior.

Once you can get your dog to bark either with a verbal command or a hand signal you may begin teaching your dog to be quiet!

What you will Need:

  • Your Dog
  • Great Treats
  • His Favorite Toy
  • A clicker


teaching your dog to be quiet, dog barks at everything, how to teach your dog to be quiet

Barking is a Fine Behavior as long as You are in Control

Getting Started:

If you are also using my tie out techniques for getting your dog to bark, it is fairly simple to go from barking to quiet.

Wait until your dog stops barking; and reward by using the clicker and his toy or great treats.

In the beginning I do not use a command, because once you speak your dog may associate whatever command you use with barking and so he will begin using his voice again.

We want to catch him off guard when he is quiet and give him a great reward.

It is important to know your dog and know what motivates him.  If you don’t know read Finding Your Dog’s Motivator   it is critical to use what your dog likes most!

Barking and using his voice is already somewhat rewarding, but being quiet does not hold the same appeal.  You must use his favorite thing, rubber tennis ball, tug toy, chicken or liver.  This makes the opposite behavior (quiet) almost as rewarding as what you have previously asked him to do.

He will probably be surprised when he gets rewarded for being quiet and that is good, if he continues to be quiet reward him again, and again until he begins to understand.

Now you may move the toy or wait until he barks, then wait for the moment he is quiet.

You may use something like the introduction of a new noise to get his attention and therefore render him quiet.  Sometimes clapping your hands, using a whistle or using a command while he is barking will get him to briefly quit long enough for you to click and reward.  Be sure you get the MOMENT he is quiet; in other words don’t wait too long until the moment is gone and he gets ready to bark again.

After you have taught your dog to bark, you may begin to see the behavior at irritating moments.  He will bark, because he is trying to do the things that you have taught him that have once been rewarding.

It is critical that you NEVER again reward him for barking on his own!  Only reward the bark if YOU ask for it.

And, if you have a consistently irritating barker…you are simply going to never ask for the bark again.

That doesn’t mean he will never choose to bark again.  He is not going to go mute, he is just going to learn to be quiet when you tell him!

He will learn that if he wants to play, or get a treat, or do what you want he needs to be quiet in order to get what he wants.

Again the motivator is crucial, if you can’t find something substantial enough for him you and your commands might not be enough to get him to stop.

So use a jackpot of chicken breast, fresh liver, or his favorite game when you tell him quiet and you have a much better chance that he will leave whatever he is barking at and give you your way when you ask him to shut his mouth.

I have a dog that we use to call “The Mouth of the South” because she barked at everything when we brought her home.  But now, I can tell her when she can and can’t use it.  That doesn’t mean she doesn’t bark when someone comes up the driveway or to the door, she does, but when I tell her to be quiet she does so, because she wants to play ball with me ;)

Learn to control your dog’s voice and you and he will be much better off!


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  1. Sandy Walton says:

    I got a dog from a rescue 8 weeks ago. He is sooo smart and has learned everything taught. He is very eager to please, but . . . he whines when left alone and eventually it goes to barking. My husband doesn’t have the patience for weeks on end of training because he works long hours and needs to sleep. This dog wants to be up against someone, namely me all the time. When we leave him in the crate all dog, we have found that he is barking most of the day we are gone. How do you correct barking behavior when we are not home to correct him “if” he stops periodically. And, how do we stop him from whining when left alone? I have followed every technique you have given. He is still whining. If we are in the house and he can’t be in the same room, he whines. He has a past we don’t know about of course. Thanks!


    Glee Thacker Reply:

    You leave the dog in a crate all day? Ridiculous!
    If you can’t break the monotony of the day send him to day care.


    Jessica B. Reply:

    It is ridiculous to tell someone to put their dog in daycare because they have to work and their pet is crated. Not everyone can afford to stay home with their pets
    and certainly not everyone can afford the ridiculous prices some of those “doggie
    daycares” charge.
    I have the exact same situation with my dog.
    How about some REAL advice for this problem?


    Glee Thacker Reply:

    Perhaps my reply lacked sympathy for the owners circumstances. My empathy is for the pet. Many animals develop neurotic behavior when subjected to prolonged confinement. Barking incessantly fits the picture very well.

    In the days of my childhood zoo animals paced the floors in their confinements to relieve the stress caused by their existence in a cage. It is only in recent times that humans got compassionate enough to provide a more natural setting for those captives.

    Intelligent beings need an occupation for their time. How well would the owner cope if subjected to the same routine?

    So the owner confines he dog all day. And all night. In the few hours remaining how much time does the owner have to invest in the dog’s exercise and mental stimulation? Human kids get scant attention, the dog even less.

    So, if you are okay with crating the dog all day, then get your running shoes and train for a marathon or maybe the Iditarod races with the dog after work.

    There isn’t a quick fix, unless you want to add physical mistreatment to the insult.

  2. sylvia waters says:

    Thank you for the advice. I have a 1 year old who is outright annoying with her barking. I realize I need to be more consistent with ‘quiet rewards’


    Juliehalee Reply:

    Hi, I have 2 pups, sheltie/chiuahuaha mix, one of them, skipper, will NOT STOP barking, I have tried to train him, but he seems oblivious. Suggestions?


    gene Reply:

    Number 1 he is a puppy and this is the best time to teach NO BARK. As in all training you must be consistent.You also have to look at factors such as, is the puppy left at home without supervision, are the same commands practice all the time, are their younger children at home constantly playing without adult guidance. You may have to find a dog training school.GOOG LUCK.


  3. Cathy says:

    I am a breeder of Labrador Retrievers. I have quite a few Labs. We live on 5 acres in a very rural, low inhabited area with State land behind us. We are Licensed Hobby Breeders. Recently a new neighbor started developing on his property next to us, and is causing problems for us because the dogs do bark occasionally, when playing, when they see me who is the source of their food, and right before and at feeding time. They know he doesn’t like them, he has done things to aggrivate them, like blowing a boat air horn, when I am trying to quiet them. The dogs have a 1400 Sq ft. kennel, for night time sleeping, and sleep in crates at night. I have had to bring them in earlier in the day and have been feeding inside, with my husband and son monitoring to keep them quiet, I have smaller groups outside at one time. So this is either group barking or an individual barking for play. Do I have to do each dog individually? Any suggestions?


    Minette Reply:

    You will have to try it and see but I would not feed them nor play with them anymore if they bark, otherwise you are rewarding that behavior.

    Teach them that when they are quiet they get what they want!!


    Karen Reply:

    This makes me cross! Not at YOU, but at your neighbour. You set up outside a settled area as a Hobby Breeder thinking of others and the dogs. What rights do dogs have? It is natural for a dog especially Labs to bark at play, but they are very restful animals when not at play. Food time is important to them but it is evident you are bending over backwards for this person. Can you check with your local council re his use of the boat horn? WOW! That would set off my Sharn and she doesn’t bark very often at all. She would respond to someone threatening me with this ugly noise. Doesn’t he know loud noise does not shut up dogs it sets them off. Maybe he needs to get to know the dogs and they him.


    Robert McKasson Reply:

    I don’t know your laws. However, in the city using a BULL HORN is illegal. The police/sheriff’s dept., may give a ticket for such loud behavior by your neighbor.


  4. Barb says:

    Very interesting, helpful indeed. Even though I am just a dogsitter, many of the doggies I sit are not traiuned…I shall use this info to “enlighten” them…Thanks…Barb


  5. Myrna says:

    I have one year old male dauchund, austrailian sheep dog mixture.that weights about 10 – 12 pounds who barks when someone is at the door. He goes into a tailspin and I can’t not catch him.because he runs out the door down a long hall and back. He will come back into the apartment when the person at the door comes inside apt. He barks when there is no one there sometime and when I correct him he comes to me for a treat. The thing is, he knows when he barks, I correct him and he stops long enough to get his treat, then goes back to the door to bark, because he know as because he knows that somewhere in this process, he will eventually get a great. Max is almost sixteen months old and he also has a REAL PROBLEM with chewing. He has ruined 2 of three pair of shoes(only one was a good pair, chews up pens, paper and pretty much anything he gate into his mouth. As soon as he sees me he runs so I know he knows better. He has destroyed a some of his toys while just playing. I even use ice, which he really likes. He even shewed on my furniture and another. He doesn’t do that much anymore.With the help of a friend, I started training him as soon as I got him at about three monthe old. I have had several dogs in my life(i am 75) and none of them gave me a problem. Of course, they were arr Yorkies so they had not behavior problems. Please don’t tell me to heed to get rid of him because My children and grandchildren never contact me and they live in and around Dallas. He is my companion and is a very good friend and I at least know he loves me and we have a really close relationship.


  6. I have a n 8 year old Peek a poo, and she barks at everything. People come in and she barks, people walk by the house and she barks, and other dogs, she goes wild. Is she too old to try to stop her. I tried using the word quiet and a treat when she stops barking, so she eats the treat and then barks again.

    She just won’t listen, otherwise she is a very good dog. Never chews or messes in the house and is extremely faithful to me, even possesive.


  7. Lucy Hensing says:

    We live in a cul-de-sac and our boxer barks whenever any car or personcomes into out road. He barks and runs up and down at the front fence and does not listen when we say “stop” and runs away only to double back and continue his barking. Any helpful hints would be much appreciated


    Minette Reply:

    Bring him in when he barks, go get him if you have to! If he wants to stay out he will learn to be quiet!


    Diane Reply:

    Little hard to go get a little dog when they constantly run away from you when they know you want them.


    Minette Reply:

    Use a leash and let her drag it

    Diane Reply:

    I do that religiously…she’s too fast. As soon as I have to chase her it escalates into a whole new problem. Going to try the Perfect Pet product found later in the thread. Until then I’ll try my duck call. Neighbors ought to love that!


  8. Charlee says:

    I don’t have and never have had a problem with barking dogs. My problem is whining, CONSTANTLY, whether playing, wanting to go out, being petted (I stop the instant he starts to whine)and even if someone comes to the house. He is driving me totally insane. He whines when happy, sad, playful, excited, it just never ends, he even does it a lot in his sleep!

    I have tried everything suggested by friends and family, but nothing stops him whining. It’s got me so bad afer a year of it, that I am seriously thinking of giving him up as I cannot take it any more. I love him to bits and he is otherwise the perfect dog. I don’t want to let him go but it is now affecting my health.

    I got him at 8 weeks old and have never rewarded the behaviour, so how can I stop him? The vet has checked him out on several occasions as I felt sure there must be something wrong with him. He is a St Hubert (Bloodhound)cross, but with what I have no idea, other than it being lean, tall, sleak and very fast.



    Minette Reply:

    I am sad that you are considering getting rid of him for this problem.

    You may not think you are rewarding the behavior, but I bet you are, or at least have in the past. There is some reason he is continuing the behavior, some reason he finds it rewarding.

    He needs to understand that this behavior = the loss of whatever it is that he wants. No petting, play, food or whatever it is.

    Just like barking you can reward it, get it under your control and then teach him the opposite so that you can in turn reward that behavior and never ask for the whining again.

    It is not an overnight fix, and you may have to let him whine when he is outside or in his crate or another area since it seems to be something that comes naturally to him, but you surely can teach him that it is not appropriate with you, it will just take some effort.


    Charlee Reply:


    I thank you for the reply, though it did come across as saying I don’t make any effort. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.

    I have done everything you say. He does not get ANY reward for whining. Quite the opposite. If I am playing with him and he starts, I have always said “Stop” and turned my back on him, ceasing all play. If he is quiet I praise and give lots of fuss, treats etc, but often as soon as he sees me or a treat coming towards him he gets excited and starts whining again, so I withdraw, turn away and don’t give the treat unless he is quiet again. I have seriously tried everything I can think of in the last year, but now my nerves are bad and I also have physical disabilities so I find it even harder than normal to cope with this horrendous noise. He gets lots of exercise and play time, is wanting for nothing yet still it persists. I took him to a dog trainer who could do nothing to stop him so I am at my wits end. He would be a wonderful pet for a deaf person!!


    Gail B. Reply:

    I also have a whiner-it’s a response to anxiety and excitement. Dealt with it for 5 years. Earlier this year I got Anxitane from my vet to try. It’s a green tea extract (L-theanine), which is good for dogs and people and has no known side effects. It has worked miracles on everyday whining, such as when we get ready for our walks and while we’re on our walks. He is much less reactive to outside stimulus, which makes him easier to work with on walks and when he does go off the deep end (such as when prey cross our path), he is way easier to get calmed down. He still whines in more stressful situations, but the overall whining has mostly stopped. The Anxitane from the vet is expensive (although non-prescription), but you can get straight L-theanine capsules online for next to nothing. My dog is 70 pounds and I give him one capsule in the mornings and two in the evening with his meal, since that’s when we walk and his stress level goes up. It costs about $15 a month. It has been a life-saver for us.

  9. We have an acre in a rural area with a fenced in yard. Our 4 dogs want
    to let us know every biker, hiker,other dogs and lookie-loos that start
    with barking and end up being a chorus. When I get their attention
    I always thank them for letting me know someone is outside our fence.
    They will then stop ;barking. The number one dog usually barks at
    another dog or to really let me know someone is here.
    How do I begin to make them stop all the unnecessary barking?
    Thank you.


  10. Marlene says:

    I have a Yorkie, seven pounds, and of course she likes to yap. About 6 months ago I found it unbearable. As a terrier she likes to be the boss, so I had to take control. She was six months old at the time. So I visited several sites, and finally went to the pet shop, totally giving up by giving in to the citronella collar. As I was making my purchase, the dog store employee suggested something else. An air spray, called Pet Corrector. She said to take it home and try it BEFORE I tried the citronella collar.

    Within 24 hours my major problem was corrected. Cant explain why this spray shut up my Lola instantly, but her ears go back, she is quiet, and submissive to my commands completely. I returned the citronella collar and when the little spray can ran out, I bought some more…..

    Lola is a year old now and barks outside in the yard, never at the doorbell and “talks to me” in that yodling voice instead of barking at me, and I do find this acceptable communication. Whining is also not acceptable here, but a little harder to control, still working on that.

    The spray does work outside as well, but I use it sparingly outside, because she has to have some outlet to yap a little at the squirrels. I just monitor it and call her in when she has let off her steam.

    Try the Pet Corrector…..it works.


  11. Judy says:

    One of the first things I teach my dogs is to immediately lay down on command (verbal and/or hand sign). Then when they are doing something inappropriate like barking too much, I give the lay down command. Not only does this distract them from barking -or whatever- it is very difficult for a dog to bark furiously while laying down.
    I learned this a long time ago from a friend who saved his dog’s life by this command. He had called his dog & it came running… right in front of a car! He told the dog to lay down & the dog dropped to the ground about 3-4 feet from the road. This also works if your dog gets out of the yard & wants to make catching it into a game.


  12. Vickie says:

    Hi! I have a just turned 1 yr. old German Shephard that is giving me a problem I can’t seem to stop. We have 2 dogs that live behind us, a small boston terrier and a Shitzu. Whenever they are out mine growls, barks and runs the fence line with all of them trying to bite each other through the fence. How do I get my Kera to stop?. She completely ignores me when she is in that state of mind. I’ve tried a leash on her but sometimes I can’t always be out there with her.


    Minette Reply:

    Being on a leash and teaching her coping skills and desensitization is what she needs and it is going to take some time! So you will have to set up training sessions to get her to pay attention to you first without the dog’s being out, then work with them out. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/understanding-desensitization-dog-training/


  13. Victoria says:

    Hi, I have a 1 1/2 year old border collie/ golden retriever mix. She is an awesome dog and so smart! I just have this one problem with barking. She rarely ever barks at people but other dogs is a whole different story. I take her to the dog park several times a week and she barks and barks. Has never been aggressive or shown it. I feel like she barks out of excitement, but it drives Me nuts and I’m sure the other owners as well. After a little while she’ll calm down and just play and be a little angel, but as soon as other dogs start running or wrestling she has to be there barking in all their faces. Almost like she’s saying “fight fight!” and just eggs them on. Sometimes it even scares the other dog. I read above and don’t really understand how I’m supposed to teach her to be quiet on command. I guess I don’t understand the way it’s explained. Any suggestions? Please! I don’t want us to get in trouble for her obnoxious barking and would love to show off our new trick! 🙂 Thanks!


    Minette Reply:

    Leave when she barks. Otherwise you are rewarding the behavior. If you leave a few times as soon as she barks, she will learn to be quiet to get what she wants!


    Victoria Reply:

    Thanks! I will try that. When I do it do u have to get In the car and leave for good? Or can I just remove her From the park till she calms down? Thanks a bunch!


    Minette Reply:

    You can try removing her from the park and see if it gets better, or the first few times you may have to just leave. Play it by ear and see how she reacts to not getting her way.

  14. Wanda says:

    When my Westie is left alone and I return, she scratches at the inside of the door. How can I make her stop?


    Minette Reply:

    crate train!


  15. Wanda says:

    I really hate to use a crate in the day time. She lived in one for six years as she is a rescued mama from a puppy mill. She does sleep in one at night, but I haven’t put her in one while we are gone for several months.
    Any other suggestions?


    Minette Reply:

    A crate should be her safe place.

    most dogs acclimate and love a crate, it is us humans that seem to have problems with it.

    Just make sure she has toys and safe things to chew on and that it is big enough for her to stretch out.

    Just being in a crate can eventually calm her and keep her from panicking when you leave.

    It is a lot more scary to be in charge of a “castle” than a small room or apartment. Your dog will probably appreciate being in a crate and having the stress taken away!


    Taylor Worthington-Gilchrist Reply:

    Hi, I am mom to a 13 week boarder collie springer spaniel mis puppy, About 9pm every night when she is sleeping on the floor I pick her up, give her lots of kisses and place her in her crate. Her crate is in a separate room with the door closed. She has a nice towel to lay on and her favorite toy. After I lay her down in her crate she pokes her head out the door and gives me more kisses. The room is very quite and she sleeps until 6AM. She never goes in the crate except at night and loves sleeping in her special area.


  16. Frank says:

    We rescued 2 westies (5&8 yrs old) about a month ago. The dominent 5 yr old constantly barks if he sees something outside, especially squirls and wants out to chase them. The 8yr old is quiet but follows suit. We just can’t stand the constant barking and naturally can’t find out about their background. They were supposidly lived together and were surrendered to the SPCA by a neighbor when the owner passwed away. What are suggestions to get the alpha to stop the constant barking?


    Minette Reply:

    Read this article and watch the video.

    My dog (in the video) LOVES to bark, just the sound of her own voice ricocheting off trees and through the woods is something she finds extremely entertaining.

    So i learned to control it. Now I can tell her when to bark and when to be quiet and if she is outside she knows if she barks more than a couple of times she comes inside.

    There is a link to the rest of the video which should be in our Video Vault on how to teach your dog to do this if the article doesn’t suffice.


    Minette Reply:

    Here is the link I think I tried to post…. I have a bit of Insomnia so I don’t know whether to blame that on the computer 😉 or me being up at 330 am! Hope it helps



  17. Kim says:

    Have enjoyed reading all these articles. We have a 9 month old weimeraner. She is a sweet girl, loves to be beside her human. We have two other dogs. Remi, the puppy goes after our 7 year old Chocolate lab, Jubal. When I let them outside, or when I get home and let them out or when I uncrate them in the morning. Or she may just decide to start going after her. It is probably play, but it can get very focal. Neither have brought blood, but recently it seemed to almost get into a frenzy. Jubal barks if Remi is leaning against me and does not stop. I have read your barking remedies, and will try them. I am more concerned with the harsh play. Any thoughts?


    Minette Reply:

    Keep the puppy on a leash so you can stop the behavior and don’t let them out together.

    Hopefully the behaviors will change/stop…

    But I live in a household where a couple of my dogs can’t be outside together. They have learned to get along when they are in the room with me, but can’t be alone without trying to fight.

    Hopefully if you catch it early you can teach the puppy respect!


  18. Christine says:

    I like to walk my dogs separately sometimes I walk them together.I walk my GSD first then the little one Jack Russell/Chi rescued badly abused. Recently my GSD goes to a side gate and whines and barks when we leave he will stay there till we get back he doesn’t bark for long. I live next to my daughter on the same property they have 4 dogs we are pretty rural but the mail boxes are outside the property so they all start recreational barking when people drive up to get their mail and if someone walks buy with a dog or riding a horse. I am using hand signals with my GSD and he will come to me, as he is older I started doing this in case he looses his hearing. My problem is my daughters dogs mostly the girl Chi is a barker I have been using treats. Sadly they are on their own a lot and never get walked they have an acre to run around but I know they are bored I believe a dog needs a good walk everyday, they spend a lot of time at my house. My little dog is very vocal when getting ready for a walk and at meal times once he sees I am preparing the food He sits nicely and I make him wait till the big boy is almost done. Sorry this is so long.


  19. Tyler says:


    I stumbled upon your page but it looks like people have been getting some great suggestions from you, so I figure ill give this a try. I have a 5 month-old great dane puppy. I just joined a new gym and they allow people to bring their dog if their dog is well behaved and plays well with others(in all aspects besides this one, my dog is very well trained and very obedient to my commands). I try and train my dane daily(he absolutely loves to please), but my current issue is that every time I take him to the gym and tie him up out of the way of everyone training, he will begin to whine when he sees me leave him alone and begin working out with the rest of the group(its a group circuit class).

    I avoid all eye contact with him and ignore him completely when he is trying to catch my attention. Usually he will go about 5 minutes before he will start to whine, and then howl. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to practice tying him up and teach him that patience and waiting will gain him reward. It becomes very distracting for other gym/class members but I badly want to figure a way for him to learn properly as I love to bring my dog as I know he loves the attention when people come and play with him. Other gym members will go up and play with him while he is tied up to try and calm him, but as soon as they leave he will then whine and howl for attention. I am desperately trying to figure a way to conquer this behavior as it is an important one I am trying to avoid. Also, I work out of home and am with the dog constantly, which has created a very strong bond with he and I. He is also crate trained, and loves his crate(he is quiet and content when placed in there without incident). Currently, I am practicing tying him up across the house, within eyesight, rewarding him for quiet and patience. Any thoughts or ideas would be so very helpful. Best regards,



    Minette Reply:

    I am amazing 😉 haha 😀

    I wish I had a gym that I could take my kids to, I’d probably go to the gym a lot more!!!

    I am guessing that some of your gym mates are rewarding the whining by visiting him 😉 When people see an adorable puppy crying the instinct is to go to him… but they might then be rewarding it.

    I would find something he really likes like a bone stuffed with peanut butter or liverwurst then freeze it and take it to the gym with you (providing he has no issue with resource guarding and is not going to bite anyone if they come up to him while he is chewing) and give it to him while you work out.

    Only give this special treat when you do your work out and when he is tied up and alone. This should make him look forward to being left.

    What you are doing at home is correct!! Keep at it and reward for quiet, and I bet soon he will learn to be quiet.


    Tyler Reply:


    Thank you so much for your response! That was my same concern, that people were rewarding his whining by visiting and petting him. I will give the treat a try, as he has no guarding instincts and I think you are right; The distraction will work great!

    As far as practicing at home, it has helped in the last few days. I took him today to class, and I could feel that his instincts in patience have grown thanks to practicing at home. Again, thank you so much for your thoughts and ideas. Ill let you know how the treat works out! Best regards,



    Minette Reply:

    Excellent!!! I will keep you in my positive thoughts and good for you for getting results already!

    Teague Reply:

    I know this is an older post, but I am having the same exact problem as Tyler and would love some advice from him! I feel lucky to have a gym that is open to welcoming dogs, but she starts whining after 5-10ish minutes. Other people give her attention and I really don’t know how to get her to quiet down and relax. I am thinking of skipping the gym today so that I can work out at home with her tied up nearby and reward her for being quiet. Using a tasty distraction at the gym sounds like a great idea too!

    Anywho, Tyler, did you manage to get your pup to quiet down at the gym? What helped the most? I’d really appreciate any advice you have! Thank you!


  20. Beth gomersall says:

    My 11 month old collie has only just started barking at strangers at the park or at the neighbours. She even barks when family come to the house even though she knows who they are. At first we thought she was being protective but now my little brother can’t walk off from her without her going crazy, she will bark until she is next to him. Please help me 🙁


  21. Angel says:

    I have a 3 yr. old Shitzu. She was a rescue dog found wondering the streets. Vet said she belong to someone because she had been groomed not matted hair. Also no collar? I’ve had she for about a year.She’s house broken and crate trained. I have 2 problems with her .First, as soon as my front door opens she darts out. We take 1- 20 miunte walk in am and another 15 in pm. She usually goes out to potty once inbetween that. Second, she loves her crate and sleeps in it at night weather it’s closed or not. I work nighs so I do close on days I work because I’ve found even thou I take her out and she doesn’t do it if I’m home when I’m not she will pee right at her crate door. But my problem is when people come over she gets real excited. Not everyone likes a dog sniffing and licking all over them. Now I have tried the oh look Chelsea we have a new guest, let her greet the person then tell her to go sit. She will do so for a second and then back to licking folks shoes and legs, lol. Then I tell her to go to her bed and she does but she will bark the whole time until I let her know she can come out. Treats don’t work for her coz for whatever reason she will pass on them. How do I stop the dodge for door and the licking of peoples legs and crate barking when guest in the house.


    Minette Reply:

    Use a leash when people come over.

    All dogs like treats at some point.

    And read this article to teach her quiet.


  22. Ann Howlett says:

    I have a 5yr old yorkie, and a 5 year ol chihuaha cross. we very rarely leave the dogs on their own, they have 3/4 walks a day. If we have to leave them, they know when we say we wont be long, and they seetle down, but as soona s the key is put into the door they start barking, but it is not a bark or yap as such, it is like a scream. even whne I am in with them and my husband has gone out, this also happens when he returns. we are due to have new neighbours and I am worried that they may report the dogs, as we love them so much, we need to address this issue,


  23. We have three choclate lab, all female one three years, two eleven months. when the step sone comes over they go wild start barking and jumping wanting attention (the jumping is getting better) when he takes them out to play ball in the back yard the younger two bark continuously. same barking situation when someone comes to the front door. we have tried all kinds of things from putting them on leashes to holding them to keeping some inside while the others are outside with him.(almost like he is part of their pack) One friend said get an electric shock coller for bark training. I am not wild about this idea any suggestions will really be helpful please.



  24. Diane says:

    Hi, my girl has been trained from the day I picked her up at 2 months I take her for regular walks as well as going to Obed training, her problem is she barks and growls at both people and dogs, even if she knows the person or other dog, she comes across as extremely aggressive until she gets to say hello (smell them), then she is fine plays happily with both human and fur friends not another bark comes out of her. Her behaviour is pretty feral she starts to bark and no matter what I can’t get her to stop, even if she is on lead. Please help


  25. jack says:

    my dogs’ barking is extremely appropriate. if someone walks by on the sidewalk, or pulls into the drive it’s a low lazy “whuf” and some investigating. if they approach the door or the gate to the fence while they are outside, the intruder is met with crazy loud barking. exactly the behavior i want (minus the wagging excited bodies and lolling tongues that give them away as less aggressive than a hamster).
    the problem i have is when i come to their call, see that it is some family member or friend and it is time for them to stop. the quiet command only works until they get the “good puppy” and then a pause and back to barking (though quieter and less manic) the barking only fully stops after the “intruder” greets them properly and then they go back to whatever they were doing before.
    i don’t know how to reinforce the natural behavior and get them to stop at the same time.


  26. Hello Minette
    I have been following your suggestions regarding stopping our samoid to stop barking at some of our family and certain friends when they come to the door but NOTHING I try is stopping this incessant behaviour. Our front door is downstairs as is the internal garage door. Do you think it appropriate to put her into the garage until she is quiet only to repeat this action until she stops barking. What do you think and at what stage do I click and treat e.g. how long do we leave it before she is rewarded as I dont want her to think she is being rewardeed for barking. We hae now finished the 8 week course with you and everything else is absolutely wonderful, even doing sign language for sit, down and stay. So we are soooo pleased. Your comments would be appreciated.


    Minette Reply:

    I teach my dogs to bark on command and then to be quiet on command.

    Occasionally I recommend a citronella collar for an incessant barker, but you must be willing to keep the collar on for many weeks almost constantly and keep it refilled as needed because if the dog finds out the collar is what is controlling the barking she will only be quiet when she has the collar on and that kind of defeats the purpose.


  27. John says:

    Hi. My neighbour has a new dog. A cute puppy from the local rescue centre. He must be 7 or 8 months old now. He got it at 3m old I think. The owner is around 65+ and the new dog keeps barking as soon as he leaves the house.

    I told him that the previous dog he owned (who sadly passed away last year) used to do the same but a lot less as he was old and sick hence why the barking was probably not as annoying.

    Also, until last year I used to work in an office so of course, the barking was occasional (or I thought it was) and noticeable only for a few hours over the weekend. And as there is noise in a house with kids/conversations/radio/tv over the weekend, you do not notice it as much.

    Now I have been working from home for 10 months. That mean that I am in near total silence all day long at home at my desk. And I cannot work with white noise / background music / radio as I need to focus all the time so (near) silence is key for me.

    The new dog (Mixed terrier btw) is young and likes to bark, it is also one of those type of breed that is prone to barking a lot. Especially when left alone.

    He would bark at the door or at the window all day long when the owner is away.

    The front of the house faces a quiet street and the windows have no curtains nor blinds. The dog can reach the window from the sofa and sits there and bark away to every single person walking by, builders (and we have a lot of that around here) or cars, etc …

    Obviously a cool game 🙂 for him !

    But this is becoming a really nuisance. Already 4/5 months of that.

    I talked to him once gently explaining the facts (no patronising, no arrogance, no judgement), saying I was concerned for the dog’s health and that he should know about the barking anyway to take appropriate action.

    He simply replied: he will learn, he is still young”…

    I mentioned some tips I gathered with the local vet and on the web, eg he could leave a comforting piece of clothe (with his scent/odour on), partially closing windows without blacking out the room completely of course, adding blinds to block of the view to the street, teaching /training lessons but nothing is being done.

    I had many dogs (and cats) in my life and I have always trained them but I trained them EARLY which was the key to success I believe. And I monitored progress with friends and neighbours to make sure they were not barking randomly while I was away.

    He also told me, “well with all the noise with your kids and your loud music, then that is a change ! and walked away”.

    This is totally untrue as my kids are actually very well behaved, they do not shout often and when they do, we are on top of things pretty quickly + we do not play loud music at all.

    I wanted to mention that just to show that there is a clear lack of acknowledgement of the problem here and a true lack of respect for us (and for the dog !).

    I do not want to fall out with my neighbour but I am thinking of calling the authority soon which is not going to be the best thing to do.

    The neighbour next door is his best mate and I really do not understand how he copes with it (also a pensioner) but he does … Which does not help me as I have no back up nor line of support here.

    Help please. Any advice would be great. Thanks.



    Minette Reply:

    There is not a lot you can do without the owner’s help.

    Sometimes bark monitors will work. It is a device that emits a sharp tone when dogs bark. Some dogs find it offensive and so it stops their barking. Some dogs don’t care.

    You would have to try it and see if it is successful


  28. Gabz says:


    I have a 5 1/2 month old border collie, who is an absolute gem 90% of the time. But he has started barking at the chickens and as he doesn’t do it when we are standing near him, I am finding it hard to get him to stop. Normally food is the key, but I don’t have any opportunities where I can use the ‘quiet’ command and then reward him.

    As soon as I am ‘out of sight’ he will run up to their coop and just bark at them, run around a bit and bark some more. His tail is wagging, so don’t think it is aggressive at all, but it is annoying and we are concerned our neighbours will start complaining.

    He is left outside in a large fenced off area for 6 hours Mon-Fri, walked/run morning and afternoon, which keeps him quiet for a little bit. But as he is still young and everything is exciting he eventually goes back to the chicken coop and barks.

    Any advice on how we can help prevent this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you


    Minette Reply:

    You have to set up training as the article recommends. You have to teach them to bark and then teach them to quiet.

    But the other way you are going wrong is you are allowing him to bark 6 hours a day if he wants. And, if your neighbors are already angry they are likely to harm him. I have worked dozens and dozens of cases where neighbors throw poisoned meat over to the barker and are never brought to justice.

    I always figure it isn’t worth my dog’s life. So I crate my dogs inside unless I am home and I can hear them bark and usually I am outside with them.

    Chickens are a ton of fun and chasing them and barking is a great time! He is bored and doing that entertains himself and he is a HERDING DOG. He has instincts and needs.

    If you want to learn to control it find a trainer and allow him to learn to herd sheep and or ducks or other critters. This will teach you to control not only his mouth but his access to them and how close he can get plus he gets a job.

    Otherwise exercise him more, he needs a run or a swim or both and a good game of retrieve and some training because training is even more stimulating than exercise http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/mental-exercise-tires-dog-physically-physical-exercise/

    Add that and if it is not enough find a doggy day care where he can play or pay someone to come and let him out!


  29. brownin329 says:

    Can you guys publish alternatives to using a clicker for dog training? I am misophonic and cannot tolerate any clicking or popping noises. Thanks.


    Minette Reply:

    You can train without a clicker, but it isn’t as effective. You can also search online and find clickers or other such noise makers that may be better for you for training. The point is to have a “mechanical” noise that is used by your hand, so that the sound is always the same and can be readily understood and used by others.

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/clicker-dog-training/


  30. Karen says:

    Get one of those automatic fetch releasers. They step on a button to release a ball to go fetch or one of those wacky balls.


  31. wjesse says:

    If you can’t spend more than a few hours with hour pet, got a goldfish, not a mammel. Do
    unto others….right?


    Minette Reply:



  32. Teigan says:

    Can I recommend you do something that tires him out before you leave? That way he’ll be tired an sleep instead of bark. What we did with our dog when we have to leave was play the stair game: you get one person at each end of the staircase with treats and then call your dog back and forth. That works great for turing a dog out quickly when you have to leave. Also try leaving him with a couple puzzle toys packed with treats, that way his mind will be stimulated and he’ll be busy playing with those. We tried both tips with our dog and it fixed her problem.


  33. Teigan says:

    Oops sorry this comment was in reply to Sandy Walton’s comment


  34. Barbara Suderman says:

    I have to agree with the writer about leaving your dog crated all day. That is unthinkably cruel. Maybe not intentional but nevertheless– terrible for the dog. I agree–how would anyone like to be cooped up all day with no place to go or walk or see things? Or have contact with other dogs? Come on, think! This kind of confinement also begs the question–how big is the crate? Can the animal stand up and move around?
    Yes, do check out dog day care options, dog walkers, whatever. OR find another home for this poor creature. Rescuing a dog from one kind of hell for another is –well—not really rescuing or helping. Have a heart!


    Minette Reply:

    The truth is lots of people work upwards of 8 hours, and if they spend time with their dog when they get home that is okay, but the dog needs time when you are around.

    Dogs can be crated for long durations, it is not optimal but it has to be done. If we had to get rid of any dog that had to be left crated all day more dogs would be euthanized than the ones that already are.


  35. Billie says:

    Dear Sandy, sorry for the unhelpful criticisms above, you came here for help.

    I would recommend practicing getting your dog to be comfortable in one room on their own for increasing periods of time. I don’t use a crate but understand it can be helpful and perhaps a good goal to aim for is letting your dog have a run of a room while you’re out at work. I don’t think theres anything cruel about leaving them at home as long as they know how to entertain themselves.

    I recommend filling a kong toy with something he enjoys eating and giving it to your dog in the room you intend to leave him in. Leave him there for as long as it takes before he starts whining. My dog used to whine when I left the house. We got through it by playing a game at the back door (where he was less likely to get upset) and I would stand on one side with him on the other, once he had stopped barking I opened the door and allowed him over to my side of the door. Once he had gotten the hang of being on the opposite side of the back door without whining we tried the front door only this time I was on the outside and he was on the inside at all times. When he stopped whining, I would come back into the house. I gradually increased the time to 15mins then progressed to 20mins and he really got the hang of it. He’s now happy to stay at home without us and has the run of the house. He used to howl and whine when we left.


  36. Minette says:

    You have to teach the barking first and then you can teach quiet. There should be links in this article and you can search for both barking and quiet in the search bar above


  37. Vera says:

    I am sorry, but I don’t understand why people have a dog and lock it in the crate even for a short time. My dog is my companion. He is part of the family. He is living in the house with us and as a puppy he learns how to behave. He has a free entry to the garden where he can do his business and inside the house where he has his water, his toys and his blanket. He can goes freely everywhere. When we leave him home alone, he just guards the house. He knows that is his job. I should mention that all my dogs were German Shepherd dogs and so extremely intelligent and easily trained. However, our last GSD is a rescue. He lived a solitary life for the last two years of his life. Locked out in a backyard, he had seen people only when they threw him a few scraps. So he is not socialized, and although, we take him for a walks and he meets people, we still have a problem when it comes to .meeting other dogs. He is really agresive, barking, jumping, and out off control. We have him now almost two years and we can’t let him off the leash. Otherwise, he settled down nicely. He is gentle, adorable, loving, extremely intelligent and always happy to please you. Barking and jumping is his only problem. I am 68 years old and I had GSD all my life, so I tried my usual techniques, but nothing seems to work. Any sugestions?


  38. kitty says:

    It is very cruel to confine your dog all the time. It is not a ornament to engage when it suits you best..


    Minette Reply:

    All the time yes, however it is safest to crate a dog when you need to. Many dogs die from getting into the wrong things.


  39. Greg says:

    Hi Minette, I realise this is an old post but hopefully you can help out still.
    I can get my dog to bark on command, however when I do this he will only bark the once. Can I still teach him quiet using your above technique, or would this confuse him. Would I have to work on training him to keep barking for a few times and then reward him when he goes quiet or is it still possible when he bark just once?
    The reason I want to train this is he sometimes barks(more than once) when we see other dogs. Once he meets the dog he is fine though.

    Thanks in advance


    Minette Reply:

    I would work on getting more barks and extending the behavior.


  40. Greg says:

    Hi Minette, thanks for your reply. For some reason I can’t reply to your response on JAN 22nd 2017; I get an error message.

    Have you any advice for getting him to bark more as when I try to encourage him to keep going by saying speak again he looks confused and tries sitting then lying down among other tricks instead.

    Or is it just a matter of perservering with ‘speak’ until he understands what I mean.

    Thanks again.


    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/teaching-dog-bark-command/


  41. ursula says:

    You settled in a very rural area and that miserable neighbor should never have settled near you. He should have seen that you have lots of dogs and settled elsewhere. In such a rural area there is probably sufficient vacant property which is farther away from you. You should definitely report him for using the loud horn as he could possibly even damage your dogs’ ears. There should be a law, even in rural areas, that covers “harrassment” and your neighbor is harrassing you and your dogs. The Humane Society may even be able to guide you as to what you can do. I wish you much success in possibly getting rid of that neighbor or maybe even being able to sue him for damages.


  42. Sue says:

    Hi, just come across this informative site when searching for advice. I have a 15 month old rescue Springer spaniel. He’s a delightful character, we’ve had him 10 months. He’s really grown up recently as we had some behaviour issues around adolescence which with the rescue centres help we have partially resolved. He would suddenly become over excited on walks, on or off the lead and would go for my legs and stomach biting and barking. We used impulse control techniques but we are still left with one associated problem. If I stop on a walk to, say admire the view, or chat to someone he will bark, I presume for attention. I try to ignore it and as you’ve suggested, reward quiet manners, difficult. I will try not to raise my voice in future, however tempting. But when barking does not achieve anything, he then tears up the grass or rolls over making silly noises. Help, any ideas or will persistence eventually work?


    Minette Reply:

    But do you have the “bark” on command as well? Without that you don’t truly have control of the quiet nor does he understand.


  43. Dag Rummeda says:

    People need to realize that owning a pet is a responsibility it’s care and mental well being are dependent on the owners and if you don’t have the time how dare you put a animal in prison to come out to entertain you when you have time. Please stop having pets if you don’t have the time!!!


  44. Diane Taylor says:

    My dog is quiet on command but just can’t stop the barking wen I leave the house for work in morning. He has treats, toys, Kong, which he devours in 10 minutes. Then he barking, not constant but enough to annoy neighbours. I come home at lunch , leave him with the same routine but there is no barking . Really weird don’t know how to stop him barking. I’ve tried dog walkers to break up his day but this seems to make him worse to his already settled routine. Any suggestions.


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