Most pet parents would agree, if there’s one thing they could change about their dog(s), it would be that canines could speak their troubles instead of bark like fools. Excessive barking can drive just about everyone mad. Even the quietest breeds, such as the “Barkless” Basenji (which yodel), leave their owners perplexed and scratching their heads as to why all the noise. To better understand our pets and what we can do to help them, we have to answer two of the most pressing questions in the dog world: Why do dogs bark, anyway? And, how do we stop dog barking?
Before you can learn how to get a dog to stop barking, you must understand the root cause. Deciphering a dog bark is your first step to restoring peace and harmony in your household. Watch your pet and note what triggers his reaction. Whether his motivation to bark is the result of a squirrel that ran up a tree, he’s bored out of his mind, he hates being alone, or myriad other reasons, you can address the undesired behavior.
Bark Stoppers That Work
Some pet parents use a bark collar to quiet down their dogs. Several collars exist on the market, all with the promise of eliminating your dog’s excessive barking. Regardless of which collar you use, they all work by introducing an unpleasant stimulus (as indicated by the collar type) to your pet when they detect your dog barking. The common types of bark collars include vibration, spray, ultrasonic, and shock (static). While most styles are deemed safe, the most controversial collar is the shock (static) style. Pet parents and retailers like Petco have chosen to stand up and encourage other dog owners to find a more humane method of addressing their pet’s barking.
For dog owners who find bark collars inappropriate or inadequate at decreasing their dogs’ barking, there are other types of bark stoppers like dog whistles and clickers. One advantage to this type of bark stopper is it doesn’t come in direct contact with the pet’s skin, which reduces the likelihood of injury, especially to a dog’s skin. However, unlike bark collars, these devices rely on the trainer to deliver the stimulus. So, it’s up to you to provide the stimulus every time your dog barks. Can dog whistle training and clicker training get a dog to stop barking? Yes, but like bark collars, they only work to varying degrees of effectiveness.
We recommend using a train, treat, repeat method to train your dog, whether it’s stopping unwanted behavior or encouraging good behavior.
Best Way to Stop Dog Barking
The best way to stop dog barking is to get the dog’s attention. How do you do that? Some trainers recommend a loud noise like an aluminum can filled with loose change. Some use other loud noises that startle or scare dogs. Another downside of using noise-makers is they’re startling and annoying to you, too.
Our staff recommends using The BarxBuddy ultrasonic trainer. How does this training stop dog barking? The secret is positive reinforcement. That’s right, with some treats and the BarxBuddy in hand, plus a bit of patience on your part, you can correct unwanted behavior in your dog.
When your dog begins to display an unwanted behavior, in this case, uncontrollable barking, hold the BarxBuddy device in your hand, point it toward your pet, and press the button for a second. The ultrasonic sound and flashing light emitted from the device will catch your pet’s attention. He will immediately stop barking, at which point you provide a verbal command like “quiet.” If your dog refrains from barking, offer a treat and praise. Repeat this process every time your dog excessively barks for it to be effective.
Because the train, treat, and repeat method requires you to deliver the stimulus, the training’s effectiveness rests in your hand. Here are a few things to remember that’ll help ensure success:
- Keep calm when addressing your dog’s barking. Any punishment like yelling can make the situation worse.
- Stay consistent in your training. Make sure everyone in your household knows your training technique.
- Be patient with your dog and your training.
Above all else, reward your pet any time he’s behaving well. Eliminating undesired behavior must come with the recognition of good behavior however random it may occur — whether that be quietly sitting on the couch, not barking at the mailman, or silently waiting for his walk by the front door. Healthy treats work best during initial training (what dog doesn’t like a treat), but you aren’t beholden to using them forever. Instead, over time replace treats with praise and life rewards your dog would enjoy, like extra playtime with you!