Why Do Dogs Bark? Reasons Dogs Bark and How to Stop Your Dog’s Barking

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stop dog barking, why do dogs bark, dog training

Reasons Dogs Bark

At the simplest level, dogs bark to communicate.

Your dog’s bark is just as unique as your voice!

Interestingly, I can pick out my dog’s bark from a kennel full of other barking dogs.

I also, typically, can tell what they are trying to communicate through the tone of their bark.

I know when my male dog is frustrated at being left outside at night because he yips.stop dog barking, why do dogs bark, dog training

I can also tell when he thinks someone is too close to our yard.

I also know his excited bark.

All of these barks are used to give me information.

Different breeds even have different barks.

Did you know there is a breed of dog that can’t bark?

Although Basenjis can’t bark, they certainly do still make noise!

The Worst Bark?

I think the worst bark is the boredom bark.

It is a problem because a dog that learns to alleviate boredom by finding joy in barking tends to be very difficult to break from barking.

After all, your dog doesn’t have a facebook page.

He can’t snapchat his friends down the road.

Most dogs don’t even have real “jobs”; think police dog, therapy dog, service dog, working herding dogs.

So, when left to their own devices dogs think it can be fun to listen to themselves bark.

On some level, I am sure they are also communicating with dogs in the neighborhood.

Prevention

Prevention is always better than trying to deal with a problem barker. This is accomplished by properly training your dog.

It is also critical to not encourage barking sometimes while getting frustrated at your barker at other times.

Dogs don’t really understand why you might think it is funny when they bark at the doorbell that rings on the TV but you don’t want them to bark at your mom when she comes to visit.

Come up with a consistent plan and don’t ever reward barking, and YES laughing is a form of reward for dogs (dogs definitely recognize when we are happy and what that looks like.

How to Deal With a Barker

1. Train Barking On Command

Although it seems counter-intuitive, getting the barker to bark on command, it is the #1 best way to deal with this behavior.

It is essentially getting control over the behavior that you want or don’t want.

I think some behaviors that are instinctual are difficult for your dog to learn to control.

Your herding dog wants to herd, your earth dog wants to dig, your working dog wants to protect his space.

However, all of these dogs can and DO learn to control their instincts so that they can work on command.

Working dogs are not ON all of the time, they learn to do it only when asked.

Once the dog knows how to bark on command, you can then teach him to be quiet on command.

I have a dog that LOOOOOVES to hear herself bark. The nice thing about that is I can ask for it from time to time, but ultimately I have control over it.

I can also ask her to be quiet.

So if someone gets too close to my van while I am pumping gas alone, I can ask her to bark.  Then just as quickly I can tell her to be quiet.

It keeps her skills sharp and it keeps anyone from coming up to my van when I am alone and ask for food or money.

We have actually created a game to help stop your dog from barking.

 

Click here to download the next step of the Quiet Command.

2. Don’t Reward Barking

Other than putting it on cue and rewarding the behavior when you ask, as mentioned above, be very careful that you aren’t inadvertently rewarding the behavior.

I house-sit for a very difficult dog. He likes to stick his toys under the couch just out of his reach, and then he barks in my face. It is clear that his owners get up and move the couch when he barks at them.

For many pet sitting sessions I thought I was going to explode or implode when he did this hahaha.

However, he now understands that I never play that game.

I get up and go into another room or put him outside, but I certainly don’t get his ball for him.

Again, barking in and of itself without being on command is not cute!

3. Don’t Yell

Yelling isn’t going to help.

Yelling may actually seem like you are joining in the barking with him.

Plus, dogs have great hearing, he doesn’t need you to yell.

You can tell him to be “quiet” but it doesn’t require yelling!

Remain calm and make sure that the barking equals something that the dog doesn’t want.

For example: if the dog barks for attention, then putting him outside or somewhere else will teach him to be quiet if it equals something that he doesn’t want.

Be consistent.

4. Exercise

Exercise, exercise, exercise!  Your dog needs it!

If he is driving you crazy with his barking, it is probably a hint that he lacks the appropriate amount of exercise and mental stimulation!

Exercise should be a big part of your dog’s life!

You don’t have to take him for a stroll around the block.

You don’t have to take him for a 13 mile run (although this would certainly be more helpful).

You can take him outside for a great game of retrieve and add some obedience to his regimen.

I don’t play ball with my dogs without making them sit, down, stand, heel, etc before I throw their toy!

This stimulates them mentally and physically and takes about 1/2 the effort from you 😉

5.  Supplements

Sometimes supplements can reduce stress and anxiety which can decrease barking.

Check out our supplements here!

Do You Want To Stop Your Dog’s Barking?

Access my step-by-step collection of tutorial videos specifically guiding you through how to teach your dog to stop barking!

Click here to enroll in the Stop Barking Class

There are 19 Comments

  1. John B says:

    I was at the Denver pet expo this past weekend and saw a product called TrainAway. They said their app could stop my dog from barking at the doorbell by reconditioning the dog to associate the doorbell with nothing instead of a stranger arriving. Would this work?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    it possibly will with some, but certainly not all

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  2. John B says:

    Thanks, I think i’ll give it a shot, it was only $10.00 and if it gets my dogs to stop barking at every passerby it’ll be well worth it. That said i’m going to follow the steps in the article too and hope something works!

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  3. Connie says:

    My dog will bark at perceived dangers outside which only he sees but doesn’t bark when the doorbell rings, just runs to the door. Will I need to adjust his no-bark training? If so, how?

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    Minette Reply:

    I would work on not barking

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  4. janet Amihgi says:

    like many others, I’m afraid the “bark” cue will make barking even more rewarding and the quiet cue not necessarily more effective.
    For example, my dogs will offer a spin or a paw, or chin, to see if it will solicit me to start training, Why wouldn[‘t they also try barking if I train it as a trick.?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    We recommend this option because it works so well. and, because you reward “quiet” more often and more handsomely

    [Reply]

  5. Laurie Franz says:

    My dogs bark at every sight & sound. They also bark when I put them away in a room when guests come. What suggestions do you have?

    [Reply]

  6. Vicky says:

    I have three small dogs. The one sits on the back of the couch looking out the window when I’m gone and when she sees me she starts crowing and gets them all excited but they don’t bark when I open the door because I don’t give them attention when I come in if they are barking. When I’m home the doorbell and knocking sets them off to such a degree you can’t hear yourself think. The excitement level is so bad the one dog sometimes pees in the house and they all cram to the top of the staircase that I keep gated so they can see who is there, and the one who pees tries to sneak down the stairs to greet who is at the door. Now I generally try to herd them outside the back door when I hear the doorbell which takes me more time to go and answer the door. If it’s someone I’m not expecting I will go check to see who it and I can’t even have a conversation with them over the barking. How do I lower the excitement and barking for all three at the same time, because I can get one calm but then the other two get excited and then then all three get excited again?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    search for my article on teaching your dog to speak and quiet on command

    [Reply]

  7. Linda says:

    Oh my God where do I start my Lily is a 2-year old Chihuahua she’s Relentless at barking she barks when you come and she barks when you go she barks at any little thing how do I get her to stop will this program work help

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  8. Angela says:

    I am happy to train my dogs not to bark obnoxiously, but I do like it when they bark to alert me because my husband works nights. I’m worried if I bark train them that they won’t alert me? Is that what will happen?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I give my dogs two barks to allow me to know that something is wrong. Only 2 barks and I never reward the dog for barking at people, this can create aggression and reactivity

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  9. Nancy Clowes says:

    My dog barks when he sees other dogs. What do I do?

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  10. Gaynor says:

    My young doberman barks incessantly in the truck on the way to the beach for a walk and stops as soon as we arrive, although he settles down well on longer trips.

    [Reply]

  11. Paula Peters says:

    Hi my GSD is now a year. I’ve always trained my dogs, depending on breed, determined what they were taught.
    I’ve also been competitive, I’ve been very lucky as my dogs all have wanted to work, not always gut controlled.
    This little darling is something else, I was worried when he was weeks old as l wanted him to socialise so much especially being a GSD. I really need not have worried as for some reason he is a people magnet, I’ve never known it before. People would cross over the road just to say hello he of course, even at that so young age, always obliged, never once did he shy away. I wasn’t happy with this situation but I thought it would help. All its done, it’s made it far more difficult to train “Leave”. Even now although neighbours know they still go on about what a beautiful dog he is, he is now self taught shake hands. Of course they go nuts with this. At our first training school, he didn’t respond, he seemed to be tired(lazy). I must admit I was not keen on this class, because the pups were not allowed to mix, each time we went, he would not respond. There were only 3 dogs including us. I changed classes, so much better, we both settled in so well but he still would not respond. Didn’t matter what he was tempted with he was just not interested. Sadly after 3 weeks l had to move, I did find another class but never went. Personal problems (I left my husband), we moved again. With all the upheaval of moving I didn’t find another class. He was overjoyed new people to meet. I have kept up his basic training, his recall is perfect. He can be left on sir, down stay, at the moment it’s 10 min. He also does the wait equally well. We have started searching he really enjoys that game. I’m not pushing him really, not like l would normally do. I have now got him to leave a toy, food etc. My problem now is I feel very important if there’s a dog or person across the road, he would just charge across, it’s only because I’m one jump ahead of him, he doesn’t
    He just does not listen to my voice, yet if we are in the field, he is off sniffing well in his own world, I will recall him, he is so quick, responds immediately, even if there is a dog in the distance, he does look at me then the dog but never failed to recall. It seems when he gets excited I just don’t register. It doesn’t matter what l say or do, my voice at that time means nothing. I’ve never had this, I don’t want a crufts champion I’ve had my days at that, l just want him under control all the time. I feel a trained dog is a happy dog, once he knows his boundaries.
    I know I have not pushed him and at times, I’ve been soft. This is because, he has very bad hips, in fact on 17th September he is having his first of 2 hip replacements. I suspected he had problems soon after I got him but it couldn’t be diagnosed until he was 8 months. Then he has had MIR scans etc. So suspecting he had bad hips I’ve been cautious with him yet at the same time I’ve trained him slowly. Some days we’ve done nothing as he makes it clear he don’t want to work, l could of course make him work but to me that is so unfair I want him to work because he wants to not because he is scared of me. Sorry for such a long email, I’ve tried to get it all in.
    Hoping you might have an idea I’ve not thought of.
    Kindest Regards
    Paula Peters

    [Reply]

  12. Kathi Beene says:

    My dog barks when daughter goes to her friends house an they have dogs an he smells it he barks like he’s going to attack her when she comes home I have to put him in the cage cause he wants to tear her up I’ve tried to control his barking an he likes to nip at u I have to stop him an I have to cage him till he calms down then when he calms down I let him out I live upstairs in a condo but I have a big patio I take him out there if a repairman comes over cause he gets uncomfortable an barks so much it’s like he knows someone is his house an he wants to attack them when they leave he smells where they were an looks do them running an looking but after there out of the house he stops his barking he’s a 10 month old pit bull lab

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    With aggression, I recommend the help of a veterinary behaviorist

    [Reply]

  13. Evi says:

    My upstairs neighbour when we goes to work, he leaves his
    Daschound alone in the aprtment and the dog goes out on the terrace and barks non stop for hours and hours until the owner comes back from work.
    Is there any gadget that I could buy to stop the dog barking?
    The owner does not belive that his dog barkes!,

    [Reply]

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