The Top 5 Reason’s Your Dog is Not Quiet When You Tell Him to Be

Watch the video and see how much control I have over my mouth of the South.  To watch the “how to’s” of this video go to our Video Vault for this and other helpful dog training videos click here.

Another one of the big problems I get is that people’s dogs BARK, what seems to them like all the time!

So what are the main reason’s your dog is barking and not listening to you when you tell him to be quiet?

#5.  Barking is a Natural Instinct

Understand that mouth!

Barking is how dogs communicate.

When they are not directly in front of each other (to read each other’s body language), dogs communicate using their voices.

They tell us that they don’t like being in the crate.

They tell us they don’t like being left alone.

They tell us when they want to go outside or come inside.

They alert us when they hear or see something they don’t trust or understand.

Barking is a basic instinctual behavior for dogs, and something that most of them do at some point in time.

#4.  He’s Bored & Barking is Fun

We stick them outside for long periods of time and they like hearing their own voices.

He is bored so he barks to break the monotony of life.

Or he barks and engages the other dogs in the neighborhood with barking or “chatting”.

He barks in his crate to entertain himself.

Barking can be fun for some dogs, kind of like some people like hearing themselves talk!

#3.  Sometimes You or Someone Else  or Both Reward Him

Most of the time people want their puppies to bark.  I don’t know how many times people come to me worried that their puppies are not barking.  However it is a behavior that usually develops as they age.

So often these people really, really reward it when they begin hearing it.

So the dog starts barking more often.

Also, people often think it’s funny.  The dog barks at the doorbell on the TV and they rewind the TV and play it again and again and laugh and carry on, which rewards the behavior.

If it is instinctual AND you think it’s funny and reward it; he is definitely going to do it!

AND, sometimes he thinks he rewards himself.

He sees the mailman, barks and throws a fit, and the mailman leaves!!  BONUS!!!  Even though he didn’t scare the mailman away, he thinks he did!

So he doesn’t really understand why the next time when someone is standing on your sidewalk and he barks and nearly hurls himself through the window threatening them why it is not working.  This only makes him more frustrated and more aggressive.

And, any reinforcement of people leaving whenever he barks makes the behavior much worse!

barking. boredombarking, irritant Barking, cava tzu

He learns to bark for himself

#2.  You Don’t Work on Regular Training

I list this as a big problem in most of my blogs, but it is because it is true.

Like exercise alleviates a lot of behavior problems, so does regular training.

And, even when your dog is naughty (and he will be) when you give him a command, he is likely to listen to you because it becomes a habit.

If you are not regularly working on basic obedience he is getting use to ignoring you and not needing to work for the things that he has in his life.

It is much better to have your commands become like a habit, something he listens to automatically, than something he ignores automatically.

Regular basic dog obedience is the cure to so many evils!

Don’t believe it, try it for 4 weeks and try to prove me wrong 😉

#1 You Have Never Taught Him to Control Himself

Have you ever taught him urge control and how to be quiet?

Most of the time the people with these dogs have literally no control of their dog or the situation and that is the problem.

They scream and yell and their dog actually thinks they are barking too!

It is as if the yelling is reaffirming their barking behavior.

The owner gets frustrated and allows the dog to continue to bark and hurl himself at the window, and the dog thinks this is what the owner wants and the owner gets more and more infuriated.


Instead the dog owner needs to learn to be in control of his/her dog’s mouth.

If you can tell your dog WHEN to bark, you can also tell your dog when NOT TO bark!!

Again, it is a part of obedience, if your dog is use to listening to you you teach him how to bark and how to be quiet, then chances are he will listen to you!

For more on teaching your dog to bark and be quiet read this article here.

And for more of this video, come to our Video Vault where you can watch how to teach your dog to bark and be quiet!

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  1. Joy Durham says:

    We have Giant Breed Rescue Dogs, Ruby, a 5 year old Great Dane; and Starr, a 2 year old Cane Corso. Our yard is securely fenced. Both dogs tend to bark at the scents of the wilderness (we live in the deep forest–that’s their job), at the occasional delivery truck and (rare) passing strangers in cars or on foot. Starr tends to bark for the sheer pleasure of it.

    We’ve taught the dogs not to bark when we sit on The Verandah, a screen porch overlooking Salmon River: They bark, they get sent in the house–immediately. No more treats and fun on The Verandah. Well, they go inside and bark, then out through the pet door to bark at anything or nothing.



    Minette Reply:

    You have to be consistent always!!

    I have a 2 bark rule, you can bark twice to tell me something is going on (I know their bored barks and their alarm bark)… then you have to be quiet! If not you come in and from inside I have control over that mouth like I show in the video.


  2. Lana Brown says:

    What an outstanding post is this!! For pet lovers, carrying a dog sometimes becomes frustrating. Especially with regards to barking, this blog post contains phenomenal reasons explaining why the dog is not quiet when you tell him to be. But, what I like the most is that there should be provided a regular training to him. I personally believe that it is necessary to train dogs on each and every aspect.


  3. Lynda says:

    Thank you writing on this important topic. I have a 6 year old Spitz that I have inherited this past year. She is an aggressive watch dog. I like the watch dog part, but need help with when friends come over. You answered a question I asked in regard to visits, I am implementing your advice and it is working. Specifically I need to address another aspect. I had a friend who had visited before recently stay for 2 days. My dog will seem to be fine with her and even quietly be by her, but if she gets up to walk she starts aggressively barking at her, following her. She did this with my husband at first. A couple times my friend used her name and said “excuse me” when walking and there was no barking. Every other time she was barking. I tried to “shhh!” her like I do when she continues to bark at my husband after he is in the door and she knows it’s him, which works then but did not work for her barking at my friend. I tried to telling her “no” when she barked. I acknowledged to her that I knew my friend was walking. I even tried to wedge myself between them, mostly then to stop her aggression. My friend is not afraid and just keeps walking. I, on the other hand, am being driven nuts and figure I am handling it wrong. I try not to yell as I know that is like barking to her. We joked that “her highness” did not say you could get up and walk. My friend observed that my dog seems to think it is her job to bark at her. By the way, my dog grew up in an apartment. When my mom was about to get kicked out because of the dog’s behavior in the first year of her life, they did one on one training lessons with a dog trainer. I am doing your 8 week training course, but thought I’d get specific advice for my problem dog now. Thank you. Sorry this is long.


  4. Mona Campisano says:

    I have a brand new 13 week old Maltese who has a history of being afraid to get too close to her breeder and yet follows her everywhere but runs when the breeder or I and My husband approach her. She is getting better at that already but when ever I put her in her playpne and leave the room or the house she barks nonstop. I certainly don’t want to teach her to bark but rather find a way to stop her from barking as she does it all night unless the puppy apartment is right at eye level next to me by my bed. However, I want to be free to get up and go do my workout in the early morning without her barking and waking my husband and the neighbors as we live in a condo. I also have not found a treat that she likes as she only seems to want to eat the same foods the breeder was giving her. WIll the quiet work for her and if so what do you think I can use as a reward in lieu of a treat. WIll praise be enough?


  5. Mona Campisano says:

    I am so desparate for herlp. I have a 13 weeks old puppy that I have had for a week and she is completley out of contrao; at night. She barks for at least an hour at a time before I can find a few moments that she stops in order to prise her for being quiet but then she started right up again. Since we live in a condo it is not just us that she keeps up all night but I hate to stop her from barking by doing the cardinal sin of picking her up during a barking seesion but I have neighbors to contend with. Is there anything I can do in this situation to expedite the barking. She is fine if I let her out of the playpen but that just makes it worse if I let her get away with it. This is really an emergency so anything you can tell me will be greatly appreciated. Can you refer me to a clip that can help. I can’t train at night as I have neighbors to deal with if I let her just keep barking! I am so desparate.


    Minette Reply:

    She needs to be exhausted before you go to bed, exercise her and don’t let her sleep for several hours before it is bed time.


  6. Nancy says:

    What do I do if I can’t get my dog to bark on command? I’ve been trying to teach her to bark, but can’t seem to do it. She will bark when bored or when she’s “chatting” at the other dogs in the neighborhood, or aggressively when she sees the mail carrier, so I know she can bark! lol


    Minette Reply:

    search for my article on teaching your dog to bark in the search box on the right of this article.


  7. Joanne says:

    We have a 3 year old Cava Tzu (cross of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Shih Tzu) that challenges me to the max in this area. She jumps and barks with wild excitement when anyone comes to the house and is totally out of control. I have tried to train her to bark/ quiet with treats – she is treat driven and will respond when I train her during the day. But when anyone comes, she does not respond even to the treats and we end up putting her in “doggy jail” (Her kennel) until she calms down. She is smart enough to do what I want just to get the treat….and will repeatedly do the wrong thing so that I will correct her so she can then get the treat. How do I train with that attitude?


    Minette Reply:

    If you tell her to be quiet and she does, she is doing what you want and can be rewarded.

    Most dogs will alert when someone comes, the important thing is to be able to get them to be quiet.


    Joanne Sohl Reply:

    But that is the problem….she will not calm down until I put her in her kennel where she does then calm down….if I treat her then, she thinks it is for going in there. As soon as she is out she gets all excited again even though the guests have been around for a while. When training her to leave the cats alone (still not a success) with the “leave it” command, she figured out that by walking to the cats I would tell her to “leave it” and would then turn her head and stare at me waiting for her treat. She would deliberately walk up to them and then turn her head and wait! She has me well trained I think and don’t know what to do to reverse things and get her to be the one listening to me!


    Minette Reply:

    You have to think like her and then out think her.

    If she is walking up to the cat in order to get a reward, your timing is late and you are rewarding her for that. Instead, reward her when she is in the same room with the cat but far away and being good. Don’t let her train you.

    Same with company. Put her on a leash and teach her to be quiet when company is not there, ring the doorbell, and teach her what you want when people come. Give her the skills before people come over.

    Then invite someone over to train with you and don’t let them interact with her until she is quiet and on her place or whatever your goal.

    Always keep her on a leash and teach her to be quiet and mellow. Don’t wait until she is over the top to reward her or you are rewarding the wrong behavior.

  8. Belva Dalidowich says:

    My 6 year old Papillon male had no behavior problems at all. We are an older couple who had very little company so he is used to it just being us and the other dog, an elderly American Eskimo who is good and doesn’t bark at people. About a year ago we started to get a lot more company coming over and the papillon hated this. Even if it was people he knew and liked he’d bark and then run upstairs so we couldn’t catch him and bark until the person went home. It drove us all crazy. I tried putting him on a leash and that worked but I couldn’t be hostess and cook, serve etc. with a dog tied to me. It is too cold to put him outside in winter and I tried putting him in bedroom he barks until they go home. He wasn’t like this as a puppy. He loved people. Now he seems to hate everyone except my husband and I. My sister came to live with us for six months he barked non stop the first three days. He finally stopped but still barks every time she gets out of her chair or comes inside from being outside. My grand children don’t want to visit any more as he barks until they leave. They have walked him, and he was happy on the walk but as soon as he got home barked until she left. He doesn’t even eat treats so that doesn’t work. HELP. I love this dog. Everyone in the world except me hates this dog.


    Minette Reply:

    Use the tools in the article and read the other articles that are highlighted within the article so you can put his barking on command.

    Every dog is food motivated, he may have to skip a meal or two but everything has to eat so that can be used for training when he is hungry.


  9. Joanne peery-Mead says:

    I still cannot get my dogs to stoop barking when someone comes over. Also, the dogs are perfect in the car when traveling until we stop for a light or a drive through. Then the Shichon begins barking and will not stop until we move on. Telling her to hush has no effect whatever. Help!


  10. dog secrets says:

    This pretty much covered all my barking questions. I think my problem is I don’t work on regular training so I should really focus on that. Thanks for the tips!


  11. Carole Olson says:

    Minette: My problem with my 23 week old Shih Tzu puppy is when I put him in the crate…I worked with the slow and easy method for 2 weeks of feeding in the crate, throwing goodies into the crate and leaving the door open and then closed for a very short time…He barks incessantly when crated for any length of time and when I am out of his sight. I use the words Be Quiet and it will stop him all of 60 second until I leave his sight. Then barking starts up again at first being a low growl and then a little woof woof and it proceeds to become louder until it is screaming loud…I can’t leave the house without him scratching and barking at the door…He has started doing this when my husband leaves also. We have tried the leaving and returning (separately of course) in just a few seconds and increasing it in length…He starts it up almost immediately…He is very good at going potty on command outside with very rarely having accidents in the house, coming and sitting in front of me, waits for his food until released to eat, walking on leash…I have absolutely no complaints about his behavior EXCEPT THIS BARKING! We have never encouraged barking at all…He doesn’t do it to alert over the doorbell or toward people…JUST when crated….HELP!!!!!!!!!


    Minette Reply:

    make sure he is too exhausted to bark when he is in his crate


  12. My 5 month old Bichon can be the most lovable and cuddly dog part of the time, will amuse himself wwith toys, but there are many times during the day that he will bark and jump at me in a very aggressive manner and will suddenly jump and nip at a finger or whatever he can reach. He may be wanting me to chase him, but then he will turn around at jump at me again. He is too fast to give him a thump on the nose., Two things help sometimes — one just ignore him if I can, also sake a bottle with some pennies in it. Very disturbing, because sometimes he seems to be cornering me from getting somewhere so I can ignore him.


    Minette Reply:

    This is very frightening behavior at this age… usually we don’t see severe aggression until a dog is older. I recommend you find a veterinary behaviorist as soon as you can before this gets more out of control as he gets older.


  13. Pam Dudrow says:

    I have a question regarding what Minette was alluding to in her comment dated July 20, 2015.

    I’ve recently acquired a Border Collie who is now 10 weeks of age. She was dominate amongst all of her litter mates, BTW. I’ve read they are able to intimidate the animals they’re herding with THAT STARE! She will lock eyes with me, and if I stare back at her, she’ll jump at me, aggressively. To show my displeasure at her actions, I’ll grab her scruff and gently shake her like her mom may have done to show her displeasure. This,seems to be effective, as the “stare” ceases, and I’m able to distract her with something else.

    My question is: Is this something to be concerned about, or is she trying out her instincts on me?
    Is there a better, proven way to let her know my displeasure that I should be using?

    Thank you for your assistance!


    Minette Reply:

    Wow, I certainly wouldn’t continue this scruff shaking.

    When she is an adult dog with full grown teeth will you still be brave enough to scruff shake her? If you are not, you will probably be bitten.

    I get eye contact and focus on my command, which means I am in charge of it. So, I would totally turn around your expectations and teach this as a cue.


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