Can You Stop a Dog Barking at Other Dogs?
Your dog barks at other dogs? Totally normal. But … oh, how do you stop dogs barking at other dogs … Does your dog love people but go ballistic when it sees other dogs? Or maybe she barks at all living things with equal enthusiasm? Wouldn’t it be nice to take your dog for a walk and not have it pull and bark when it sees another dog? Or when it’s inside and sees someone pass by walking their dog? Yes, you can do it.
It is possible to teach your dog not to bark when it sees other dogs, as well as to recognize a threat versus a friend. In this post, you’ll learn how to get your dog to stop barking at other dogs on command. We are not advocates of preventing a dog from doing something he’s naturally inclined to do.
Barking is your dog’s way of communicating.
This post will cover how to stop your adult dog from barking at other dogs; for advice on how to train a puppy not to bark at other dogs, we have a blog post about how to stop nuisance barking in puppies.
Understanding the Types of Dog Barks
Barking is your dog’s instinctive way of communicating with you and other dogs, whether they live in your household or not. Just like human communication, dogs vary their “speech.” Changes in their barking become evident after you listen to your dog for a while.
Dogs’ barks change depending on the situation or emotion, including the pitch, the number of uninterrupted barks, and the time between barks. For example, when your dog plays with you, his bark will be higher-pitch than when he would bark to warn of intruders.
Let’s take a look at the different types of barks you might hear from your dog.
- Excitement: Circumstances in which your dog may bark using a high pitch indicating his excitement include playtime, requests for companionship, and when he welcomes you home.
- Alarm: A deeper tone with more barks in a row suggests your dog is worked up. This type of bark is often heard in aggressive, territorial, or alarm barking.
- Attention: When your dog is surprised or annoyed, he may let out a quick single bark, whereas his several “I’m lonely” vocalizations have longer pauses in between versus aggressive barks.
- Frustration: Another type of bark happens when your dog is frustrated. This type of barking occurs when there is a barrier like a fence, door, or leash between your dog and something he wants, whether it be a person, dog, squirrel, or a treat. The sound is a combination of short, frequent, loud barks. This barking behavior could further indicate he’s stressed or intimidated by the other dog’s size or demeanor.
While we understand the different types of barks and what our dogs may be trying to tell us, that doesn’t explain why some dogs bark more than others. Let’s take a look at those factors next.
Why Do Dogs Bark at Other Dogs? (And Why Do Some Not Bark!?)
The most common reasons your dog barks at other dogs are fear, frustration and territory.
While there are several explanations as to why your dog barks like a fool at other dogs, you may notice some dogs are quiet around other canines. Why is that? A few reasons.
- Breed disposition: Some breeds are inherently quiet like the Bernese mountain dog, Cavalier king Charles spaniel, and borzoi.
- Personality: Some dogs are laid back or so friendly they don’t care to bark at other dogs.
- Health issues: A dog could have strained vocal cords or the dog isn’t feeling well. It’s also possible the dog may have been debarked (a surgical procedure that trims the vocal cords).
- Training: A dog may have been trained not to bark at other dogs.
- “He started it”: Dogs bark because other dogs bark.
How to Train a Dog Not to Bark at Other Dogs
If your dog is barking at other dogs while inside the home, on his leash, or in the backyard, here are a few tips to help you train your dog not to bark at other dogs:
- Be patient: Dogs can’t change their behavior overnight. Although training takes time, in the end, your persistence can pay off.
- Never yell or punish your dog: This response to your dog’s barking resolves nothing. If anything, when you yell or punish your dog it can cause an increase in anxiety and aggression in your dog, worsening the problem behavior.
- Practice avoidance: When walking your pet, try to avoid other canines. If you notice another dog coming your way, change direction.
- Make your walks fun and challenging: Incorporating some easy activities along your route may keep your dog engaged enough that he won’t bother barking at other dogs. Change the pace of your walk, run your dog around trees, and have him jump on benches.
- Remove your pet from a problematic situation: Take your dog out of a challenging situation before he has a chance to start barking.
- Use an ultrasonic training tool: An ultrasonic training device, like BarxBuddy, emits a high-frequency sound that only certain animals can hear, humans cannot. The sound will annoy your dog and stop him in the middle of his barking. When your dog starts barking at other dogs you quickly press the button on The BarxBuddy and say “quiet.” The next time your dog sees the bark trigger and resists barking, offer him a treat and praise. Repeat these steps every time he starts barking at other dogs. With continued training, he’ll learn to associate being quiet with a positive reward, reducing or eliminating his barking episodes.
For More Dog Barking Tips
Explore our BarxBuddy Guide to Dog Training for more tips and information about training dogs and controlling barking dogs.
Check out our shop and the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool, which will help you interrupt unwanted behaviors so you can teach your dog how to be a good pet.
Our dog blog contains articles about pet-related topics like grooming, feeding, exercising and caring for dogs.