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The Most Calm and Quiet Dog Breeds

dog relaxing on a couch

Is your dog calm, cool, and collected? Or, is your canine high-strung, yapping at every noise and movement? While an owner’s temperament and approach to training can make a huge difference in how a dog behaves, several breeds are so chill, so composed they have the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition of “calm dog.”

If a quiet, subdued pup sounds like the perfect dog for you, your family and neighborhood, read on.

What Are the Most Laid-Back Dog Breeds?

According to the AKC Temperament Guide, here are 10 top calm dog breeds:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – With a gentle demeanor, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a tremendous emotional support or therapy dog and does well in a home with children or multiple family members. They love your lap and exercise. 

cavalier king charles spaniel

Basset hound – Often content to snooze on the couch, Basset hounds are independent and can be challenging to train. However, with some patience and persistence on the owner’s part, this breed is quiet, lovable, and loyal.  

bassett hound

Related: Are small dogs harder to train?

Bergamasco sheepdog – From the Italian Alps, the Bergamasco sheepdog is protective and may take some time warming up to strangers. It tends to be highly intelligent and bright. In addition to being one of the calmest dogs, the Bergamasco sheepdog is considered a low maintenance breed.  

bergamasco sheepdog

Boerboel – This breed is protective and loyal. While the Boerboel does well with children, placement in a home with newer dog owners is not advised.  

Boerboel dog

Clumber spaniel – This calm breed is known for its hunting skills and loyalty. Clumber spaniels are reliable, very affectionate, and dedicated to their work. They do well with training. 

French bulldog – Friendly and easy-to-please, French bulldogs often have larger-than-life personalities that make great companions. This breed gets along well with other dogs and doesn’t bark much.  

french bulldog

Irish wolfhound – Highly intelligent, Irish wolfhounds learn quickly. They are calm and sensitive to human emotions, making them ideal therapy dogs.  

irish wolfhound

Pekingese – Outgoing and friendly, Pekingese are independent, loving, and full of personality. This breed would do best in a home without children, although they can adapt to being around kids. Pekingese are considered one of the more affectionate, kind, and calm canine companions. 

pekingese

Saint Bernard – These big, calm, gentle giants love being with their owners. Due to their size and ability to knock people over, especially children, training Saint Bernards is recommended and tremendously helpful. 

saint bernard

Which Breeds Are Easiest to Train?

Although the following breeds don’t earn the distinction or calmness, they do earn points for being the easiest to train.

Golden retriever – One of the more popular breeds, Golden retrievers make great family dogs. Rated the most eager to please by the AKC, this breed is smart, highly motivated by food and easy to train.

golden retriever

Australian cattle cog – This intelligent breed requires regular exercise to prevent destructive behavior. Highly trainable, Australian cattle dogs make devoted guard dogs.

Border collie – Intelligent and committed to their owner, the Border Collies, is sensitive and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. This breed is highly energetic and easy to train. 

Australian shepherd – The Australian shepherd, bred to be herding dogs, works well with their humans and is reasonably easy to train when they receive at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.

Labrador retriever – Another one of the smartest breeds, the happy, easy-going demeanor of Labrador Retrievers, makes them easy to train. 

labrador retriever

Poodle – Considered one of the smartest breeds, poodles train easily. However, it is best to begin training and socializing them at a young age, or they can develop constant anxiety. 

poodle

German shepherd – Agile, intelligent, and obedient describe German shepherds. This breed excels at agility courses and is highly trainable. 

german shepherd

Doberman pinscher – Intelligent, obedient, and loyal, the Doberman pinscher is highly trainable. This breed is known as an outstanding guard dog and for working with first-responders, including police officers.

doberman pinscher

Papillon – This naturally curious toy dog breed responds well to training and positive reinforcement. Papillon are often considered to be one of the most obedient and trainable toy dog breeds. 

Cardigan Welsh corgi – The cute and adorable Cardigan Welsh corgis are loving and eager to please, making them both easy and fun to train. 

cardigan welsh corgi

Miniature schnauzer – Even though these little guys can be stubborn if their owners don’t take charge, miniature schnauzers respond well to consistent training. They are considered loyal and very playful. 

schnauzer

Shetland sheepdog – Without early training and socialization, this intelligent breed can acquire some not so cool habits, like barking and nipping. Given plenty of treats and praise, however, the Shetland Sheepdog is easy to train. 

shetland sheepdog

Tips to Train Any Dog 

No matter how easy a dog is to train, they don’t train themselves, that’s your job. And, to train your dog well, there are a few tips to keep in mind. 

  1. Consider your dog’s physical and mental limitations.
  2. If you are training a puppy, puppy proof your home e.g., crate, gates, and safe toys.
  3. Learn your dog’s body language.
  4. Treats, treats, and more treats.
  5. Praise your dog any time you catch him being good.
  6. Remember, he’s a dog, not a human. He’s just doing what makes him feel safe and happy.
  7. Whatever behavior you reinforce, your dog will repeat, even if that behavior is terrible.
  8. Give praise and treats immediately after good behavior. Wait much longer than a few seconds, and your dog will have forgotten what he’s getting the treat and adoration for (although he won’t complain about getting either!)
  9. Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A bored dog and bad behavior go together.
  10. Above all else, remain positive. With patience and consistency, your dog will catch on. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool can help make dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.
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4 Humane Ways to Control Dog’s Barking

Woman using humane dog training techniques outside

Barking is one of the most annoying behaviors that dogs have, but you can’t fault them for it. That’s how they communicate when (they think) something is wrong, when (they think) they need something, and when they’re excited about something or someone (you’re home!). 

How can you humanely stop a dog from annoying barking, or train him to bark when you want him to? If there are two things we want you to take away from this message it’s this: (1) yelling doesn’t work and (2) you must be consistent with your dog training. 

Why can’t you yell at your dog when he barks? When you yell, you confuse them. They may think you’re joining their fracas, or they may think you’re scary. Training a dog not to bark requires three things: Get their attention, let them know what you want them to do, and reward their good behaviors. We call it our train, treat, repeat approach to dog training.

We’ll explore four ways to train dogs to stop barking, including the use of humane anti barking devices. First, let’s explain what we mean when we talk about “humane” ways to train dogs. 

What Does ‘Humane’ Bark Control Mean?

Humane dog training techniques are methods that get your dog’s attention without hurting, scaring, scarring or harming them in any way. A humane approach to training dogs involves discipline without inflicting pain, force or fear. 

Which brings us to a common question dog owners ask about dog training collars … 

Are Anti-Bark Collars Humane?

We see these questions a lot: Are bark collars inhumane? Are bark collars mean to dogs? 

There are several types of dog training collars that shock, vibrate, spray or make sounds. If you are considering a training collar for your dog, make sure you understand the different types of bark collars, how they work, and what they’re like for your dog. 

  • Shock collars can be uncomfortable for dogs. You use a remote control to administer an electric shock through metal prongs. Some shock collars are auto-triggered by “invisible” fences prompts. 
  • Spray collars use a dog’s sense of smell to administer a citronella spray when they bark or do some other unwanted behavior.
  • Vibrating collars don’t use the same electrical jolts that shock collars do; instead, you use a remote control to send a vibrating alert to your dog through their collar. Some models allow you to control the speed and intensity of the vibrations. 
  • Combination collars include multiple methods to help train your dog — typically vibrations, shocks and sounds — which can be confusing to dogs if you don’t use them consistently or properly. 

The words “barking,” “humane” and “collars” seem to go together, which you’ll find as you search for information about the best bark collars and most humane ways to train dogs. Bark collars are widely used as bark deterrents, and like many dog training tools, they have advantages and disadvantages. 

Our first choice for correcting a dog’s behavior is ultrasonic training tools, which we’ll describe next followed by three other humane bark deterrents.

1 — Ultrasonic Training Devices

Ultrasonic dog training tools are effective, safe and humane dog barking solutions. When used properly, the handheld device never comes in direct contact with your pets, and the high-frequency sound won’t hurt. The ultrasonic training device distracts dogs from barking so that you can give a correction command and then reward their good behaviors with treats. 

Our BarxBuddy ultrasonic training product is incredibly easy to use. It is important to be consistent with the way you use any training tools and methods with your dog. They learn by simple, clear, consistent commands:

  1. Train: Every time your dog barks unnecessarily, press the ON button and then correct their behavior. 
  2. Treat: Reward the good behavior with a treat or a scratch behind the ear.
  3. Repeat: Be consistent. Do this every time; otherwise, your dog remains a confused pup.

It’s also helpful to have everyone in your household on board while you’re training your dog. Otherwise, they’ll quickly figure out who are the “top dogs” and who are the “softies” in your home! Some families order multiple devices, so each family member has his or her own, or so they can keep the training tools in the various parts of the home where their dogs dwell.

2 — Sound Aversion Dog Training

You may have had a friend advise you about something called “sound aversion dog training.” This methodology uses something like a homemade “coins in a can” dog noise maker, or by using a dog training noise app.

It works like this: Rinse and dry a soda can. Put a handful of coins in a can, seal the opening with duct tape and, when your dog starts the disruptive barking behavior, shake the can to startle them and get their attention. 

This method of sound aversion training is more humane than shock collars; however, it can be disruptive to everyone within earshot. Not only will you get your dog’s attention, but you’ll also get attention from everyone around you. 

Another important disadvantage of this type of training is that smart dogs will quickly associate the sound with the can, rather than the sound with the unwanted behavior. 

The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device doesn’t bother you or people around you, and it doesn’t require a special app to operate it.

3 — Distraction Training to Stop Barking

Like many dog training methods, distraction training takes practice and patience. The theory behind this methodology is to give your dog something else to do that interferes with his barking. 

If he barks excessively when someone is at the door, toss a toy or a treat into his bed and say, “Go to your place.” If she barks at the neighbor kids when they’re playing outside, immediately bring her inside and give her something to do — a treat that she has to work for, retrieving a toy, or something else to keep her busy.   

4 — Treat-Reinforced Sit-Stay Training

This methodology reinforces good behaviors and builds on them as a distraction from barking triggers. It works like this: Take your dog for a walk or go outside to play. Keep treats on you at all times in a place where he can sniff them so he knows they’re there. Train your dog the sit/stay command and each time he does it, reward him with a treat. 

When someone passes by, practice the sit/stay command and praise and reward your dog when he’s done the right thing. Have a friend knock on your door and practice the sit/stay command. The theory is that your dog will watch you for commands when bark triggers arise. Eventually, you will need the treat rewards less often; he’ll learn your voice commands.    

Why is Your Dog Barking? Remove the Barking Trigger

No matter what method you use when training your dog to stop unwanted behaviors, first find out why she is barking. What is she trying to tell you? There are many reasons dogs bark: she’s alarmed, anxious or frustrated; she wants attention, food or help; or she’s in distress. 

Learn why your dog barks, so you can eliminate the things that trigger her and then teach her commands to let her know you’ve understood her message and that it’s time to be quiet. If she barks at passersby, cover the window or remove the trigger from her line of sight as soon as she starts barking, for example. 

Get her attention, reward her for good behaviors and be consistent. Train, treat, repeat. Here are four ways you can train your dog not to bark, using humane training techniques.

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Who Do I Call to Complain About a Neighbor’s Barking Dog?

Barking neighbor dogs behind a fence

What are the most annoying sounds to the human ear? Fingernails on a chalkboard, car alarms, squeaking brakes, microphone feedback, mosquitoes and flies, and … excessive barking dogs, according to several surveys we found.

And when it’s someone else’s dog that’s barking excessively? The annoyance factor can be off the charts. Whether you’re just starting your research for tools to help you stop a barking dog, or you’ve reached your whit’s end and feel you’ve tried everything, we hope you’ll find a solution here. 

Wondering what to do if your neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking? When you’ve got a neighbor with a nonstop barking dog, you have several options.

Related: If you’re the neighbor with the barking dog, you might be more interested in this post, “How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Neighbors.”

Talk to Your Neighbor About Their Barking Dog

If you’ve got a good relationship with your neighbor, the most obvious place to start is by talking to them. 

They may not be aware that their dog barks, especially if your neighbor’s dog barks all day while they’re away or the neighbor’s dog is barking all night. We have a whole resource devoted to dog barking and separation anxiety, which is a common disorder among pack animals. Share that resource with your neighbor.

You might also try writing your neighbor a letter. You’ll find several sample dog-barking complaint letters online, but the best ones: 

  • Don’t get personal. Don’t make accusations or call them names. Don’t assume anything. 
  • Stick to the facts. “I’ve noticed your dog barks from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m.”
  • Show empathy. You know how frustrating it can be to train a dog. You’re an animal lover yourself.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS. THIS CAN READ LIKE YOU’RE YELLING. 
  • Kill them with kindness. Even if you feel like yelling, don’t. 

Keep in mind that there are several reasons dogs bark. They could be protecting their territory or feeling bored, anxious, hungry, or lonely. Also, the key here is excessive barking. Dogs are allowed to bark; it’s how they communicate. When it goes on for too long — and that’s up to you and your local ordinance — then it’s time to call for help.

Who to Call to Complain About Barking Dog

If you live in an HOA-managed neighborhood

If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association or property manager, start there. It is very likely that your CC&Rs (covenants, conditions & restrictions) have provisions for excessive barking. Contact your HOA board of directors and ask them to notify the neighbor of the barking dog. Remember, barking noises alone are not breaking any rules. It’s excessive barking that you want to report.

If you live in a neighborhood without an HOA

To report a dog that is a nuisance because of its barking, check your local barking laws. Every state and municipality has its own set of noise ordinances. To search online for answers, first look for your “local animal control agency.” You might also search “what are my local barking laws” or “barking ordinances in [state].” You may be able to file a noise complaint if your neighbor has a dog that won’t stop barking.

If a dog is being abused or neglected

If you suspect the dog is injured or being mistreated, the ASPCA has several guidelines for reporting animal cruelty:

  1. Write a concise, factual statement about what you’ve observed and include dates and times when possible. Include the length of time the dog barks.
  2. Include photos and recordings, but do not put yourself in danger; if it is not safe to take photos or record video or audio, then don’t.
  3. Give names and contact information of other people who might also have information about the abused animals.

You may submit an anonymous report, but consider including your contact information in case authorities need to reach you. 

Can You Call the Cops About a Neighbor’s Barking Dog?

You can call the police if your neighbor’s dog is barking, but never dial 911 to report a barking dog. Use the police department’s non-emergency line. Before you call the police, however, keep a few things in mind:

  • Calling the police could escalate an already unpleasant situation. Do this only after you’ve tried everything else. (See our section below on ultrasonic training devices to stop nuisance barking). Remember: You still have to live near your neighbors.
  • The police may be limited with what they can do. Unless your neighbor is breaking laws (and it may be up to you, the complainant, to show evidence), the police may not be effective.
  • They might refer you to animal control or another agency that handles code enforcement for nuisance animals.
  • It’s not typically a one-and-done neighborhood barking dog solution. The police may ask your neighbor to put the dog inside, but eventually the dog will go out again. You may have to call more than once.

Most municipalities have specific noise ordinances that cover time of day and the length of time a dog can bark. It’s up to you — the complainant — to provide that evidence. In severe cases, after you’ve exhausted all attempts to quiet your neighbors’ barking dogs and the noise continues to interfere with your quality of life, you might be able to file a complaint in civil court.     

What Happens When You Call Animal Control on a Neighbor?

Every animal control agency is different, and when you place your first call to them, ask them what their process is. Do they issue warnings? When will they issue citations, and under what circumstances? 

Generally, the first call to animal control will result in a warning. You call to report your neighbor dog’s excessive barking, and they send officers to talk to them.

The second time, they might issue a citation, depending on how much time has passed between the first warning and subsequent ones. 

After several calls to animal control, it may be possible that the agency will take the dog into custody and impound it.   

Can I Use an Ultrasonic Trainer on My Neighbor’s Dog?

One of the reasons we at BarxBuddy developed the ultrasonic training device is because we wanted a tool that could be used to train our own dogs and also stop neighbors’ dog barking.

When BarxBuddy is used as a neighbor dog-barking deterrent, however, it’s no longer a training device. In this case, it is a distraction, designed to interrupt a dog from doing unwanted behaviors. It works best with the train-treat-repeat method of training; however, you don’t have that option with your neighbor’s barking dog. 

When the neighbor dog starts barking, you will need to get within 40 to 60 feet of the dog (yes, the sound travels through walls). Press and hold the “ON” button until the dog stops barking.

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7 Reasons Dogs Bark

Dog Barking

Dogs bark for one primary reason — to communicate. But you knew that. The real question is, what is your dog trying to say when it barks? 

Well, dogs bark for a number of reasons:

  • Alarm
  • Anxiety 
  • Attention 
  • Frustration
  • Greeting
  • Injury or illness
  • Response

Dogs have simple minds: They quickly associate actions with reactions. If they bark and you yell, they think you’re joining them. If they bark and you take them inside and give them a treat, they think they’ve done a good thing.

That’s why it’s important to understand why dogs bark so you can train them that you’re the top dog. When you give a command, they stop barking. 

With so many triggers for a dog’s bark, it’s hard to know what to do to quiet it, isn’t it? For most dog owners, the longer they have their pet, the better they get to know what their animals’ sounds mean. A high-pitched yipping bark might be an alarm for a backyard invader. A rapid loud non-stop bark might mean someone is at the door. A short, quick yelp might mean “I want out” while a howl might mean it’s suffering from separation anxiety.

Alarm Barks: My Dog Barks At Everything

What an alarm bark sounds like: An alarm bark tends to be loud, nonstop, and rapid.

Why your dog alarm barks: If your dog seems to bark at every little noise and every person or thing that passes by your home, he’s just doing his job. The problem is that you haven’t provided on-the-job training, to let him know when it’s OK to bark, for how long it’s OK to bark, and what to do instead of barking. 

When your dog barks in alarm, he thinks something is wrong. Someone or something has invaded his territory. She heard a noise and she’s protecting her territory.

How to control alarm barks: To control alarm barks when you are home, use a combination of verbal commands with an ultrasonic training device. Ultrasonic trainers are easy to use, inexpensive and convenient. Our trainers use them on their own dogs and keep several in various rooms in their homes, so they’re within reach when their dogs begin alarm barking.

Controlling alarm barks may be more difficult when you are not home. We recommend closing windows so your dog can’t see outside and using white noise, a TV or music to drown outside noises that trigger alarm barks. Also, a well-exercised dog is less likely to engage in alarm barking and more likely to relax and sleep while you’re away.   

Anxiety Barks: Why Dogs Bark at Night and When Left Alone

What anxiety barks sound like: An anxiety bark sounds like a cry, whine or howl and might be mixed with periods of silence.  

Why your dog barks with anxiety: Separation anxiety causes dogs to bark when you leave them alone, and some dogs will experience anxiety when you crate them or at night when you go to bed. 

Dogs are pack animals, and when left alone or cut off from their pack, some breeds, such as beagles, tend to bark and even become destructive. You might find puddles from a dog with separation anxiety. 

How to stop anxiety barks: If your dog begins to exhibit signs of anxiety as you gather your things and get ready to head out the door, you can use an ultrasonic dog training device to correct the barking behavior, which we recommend combining with positive rewards. 

Positive rewards that work well include favorite treats and toys that you give to your dog only when you leave home. That way, she’ll associate your absence with something she loves. 

You might also try a puzzle treat for your dog, which is a treat or toy tucked into another device that your dog has to work to retrieve. This will keep him busy for a while after you leave. 

Attention Barks: Dealing With a ‘Velcro’ Dog

What attention barks sound like: They’re short and quick, as if your dog is saying, “Hey you!” 

Why does your dog become needy all of a sudden? Is your dog a “velcro dog”? They cling to you, follow you wherever you go, and bark when you’re ignoring them? 

They’re lonely and bored. They want a treat or to play. The behavior can be cute for a few minutes, and then it quickly turns annoying. Some dog breeds are more prone than others to being needy, especially the breeds that fall into the lapdog and working dog classifications. 

How to stop attention barks: If your dog barks to get your attention, you can retrain this behavior. Increase their exercise so they’d prefer a nap while you’re busy. Give them something to do, such as a puzzle toy or snack. Create a special place for them, perhaps in a comfortable bed or crate, and teach them a command so they know to go there when you issue the command. Some trainers give treats or favorite toys when dogs go to their special places.

An ultrasonic training tool can be used to stop unwanted barking behaviors as well. This helps your dog associate the demanding, bossy behaviors with negative but not harmful consequences.  

Frustration Barks: When Your Dog Wants Something

What frustration barks sound like: The frustration bark sounds like a combination of an anxiety bark and an attention bark. It’s a short, frequent — and loud — yip.  

Why does your dog bark in frustration? They’re confined, restricted or can’t reach something (a toy or you). You might be OK with a short occasional frustration bark, especially if your dog is trying to get a toy that’s rolled under the couch. How else is he supposed to get your help?

Some dogs engage in frustration bark at night when their people have gone to bed and the house is quiet. They want to be with you, and they want you to play. It’s important not to give into this type of barking behavior because that reinforces the dog’s test. He yipped, and you responded. Success!

How to stop frustration barks: Teach your dog that you are top dog by stopping the frustration barks. It’s OK to alert you when he can’t reach a toy, but it’s not OK to demand a treat, toy or something else just because he’s bored.

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise, so that need for activity is satisfied. Use a training tool like the Barx Buddy to curtail frustration barks. 

Greeting Barks: Overly Friendly Dogs

What greeting barks sound like: They’re not as loud as alarm barks, but they’re constant and might even sound “happy.” The pitch tends to be higher and filled with excitement. 

Why your dog engages in greeting barks: This one’s easy: Someone new has arrived, and your dog loves people!

How to stop greeting barks: Your dog might love people, but not all your visitors will love your dog in return, especially if she barks, nips, and jumps when they arrive. To control your dog’s barking when you come home or when visitors arrive, follow these steps:

  • Keep an ultrasonic training device by your doors, so you can use it in combination with your verbal cues to quiet your dog.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to greet visitors, and don’t respond when your dog is barking at you when you come home. 
  • Tell your visitors not to respond to your dog when she’s barking at them. While you train your dog with commands and the training tool, let your guests know that as soon as your dog has calmed down, it’s OK to invite her over for a hello and belly scratch.

Read more on this topic in our guide to dog barking, When Dogs Bark at Strangers, Visitors, and Intruders.

Injury or Illness Barks: A Dog in Distress

What painful barks sound like: When a dog is in distress, his barks are low, quiet, mixed with whines and may even sound breathy, like he’s panting. 

What to do if your dog is in distress: We’ll keep this short and simple: If your dog is in distress, it’s important not to try to correct her barks. Call your vet.

Response Barks: Why Dogs Bark at Each Other

What response barks sound like: They might echo a neighbor’s barking dog, or their barks might sound short and loud, even howling and whining. 

Why dogs bark at each other: Dogs engage in response barking for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just to join the fun. We know a Yorkshire terrier who’d engage in response barking when her owners had guests over; as the conversation levels would increase, the Yorkie would join in with her barks. While the behavior was cute for a few minutes, it became an annoyance after a while. 

Dogs will also bark when they hear other dogs barking. You might recall the “twilight bark” from the movie “101 Dalmatians”? It was an idea that dogs pass along messages daisy-chain style, across hundreds of miles. Of course, this isn’t true (as far as we know!), but barks are infectious. When one dog hears another dog bark, they join the conversation. 

How to stop response barks: Response barks might be the easiest of all barks to train. Your dog is testing you by his response barks. As soon as it starts, use your Barx Buddy ultrasonic training tool to stop it in its tracks. Your dog will quickly learn that just because Rex next door is barking doesn’t mean it’s OK for him to bark, and when you’re talking with your guests, your dog’s job is to listen.

Training Dogs Not to Bark

To learn more about the Barx Buddy ultrasonic training device and how it should be used to train your dog not to bark, visit the product page. You can contact us with questions, or visit our blog to explore more topics on dog training.

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How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Neighbors

Dog Barking

You really don’t want to be that neighbor, do you? The one with the noisy dog that turns neighbors into “frenemies”? 

If your dog is harassing your neighbors and barking constantly, it’s probably for a “good” reason: She has one job — to protect her territory. Your dog is not barking because she hates your neighbor — that’s not the reason! Dogs tend to bark more when they are at home for this reason; they’re protecting you, your home, your family, and your property.

And, to be honest, this isn’t always a bad thing. Dogs can hear noises that we can’t. Some of us have dogs for that very reason — not only do we want a companion, but we also want a protector. 

Related: Got a problem with a neighbor’s barking dog?

However, when your dog is barking nonstop or aggressively at your neighbors and you want him to stop, you can train him. Any time you teach something new to a dog, remember that training takes time, patience, and consistency.

Be Consistent When Training Your Dog

When we talk about the importance of consistency with dog training, we mean two things: Be consistent with correcting bad behaviors, every time, and make sure everyone in your house understands “the rules.”

Consistency with commands: Your dog may be the smartest pet you know, but his mind is very simple, and he’s looking to you to tell him what to do and what not to do. If he barks at neighbors and you correct his behavior one time, while ignoring it the next time, he’s learned nothing. You’ve confused him. 

Consistency with people: You might notice that your dog tends to behave better with certain family members than others. Dog training is as much about people training as it is about teaching dogs new tricks. Everyone who lives in your home has to be involved in correcting bad behaviors and rewarding good behaviors using the same tools and commands. For example, your dog doesn’t know that “quiet” and “hush” mean the same thing; everyone should know the same command words.

How to Stop Your Dog Barking at People

Out of sight, out of mind: To reduce your dog’s barking at people, remove what triggers him, especially when you aren’t home. Close windows, curtains and blinds when you aren’t home so your dog can’t see or hear your neighbors. 

You might even consider leaving on a radio or playing white noise or a fan to help block outside noises.

You can also sequester your dog in a part of your house that is further from noises that trigger it to bark. For example, if you have a two-story house and you crate your dog, consider moving the crate to an upper floor toward the back of your house, which might be further from street noises.

If there are certain times of day when your dog barks, try to figure out what triggers her. Does she bark more when kids are coming home from school? Or does she go crazy barking in the evening, like after dinner when your neighbors are in their yards and walking the neighborhood? Recognize these patterns and plan distractions for your dog during these times.    

Train Your Dog Not to Bark at Neighbors, Using ‘Quiet’ Command

Teach your dog to stop barking when you say a command word or phrase such as “Quiet.” We don’t recommend the word “stop,” because if you use that word too much — stop scratching, stop begging, stop chewing, stop jumping — it confuses the dog. “Quiet” means stop barking.

The quiet command works well when used with an ultrasonic sound training device. These training devices are designed specifically to control dogs’ barking. The device isn’t harmful to your dog, and it’s easy to use. 

Again, it’s important that everyone in your household understands how to use an ultrasonic training device with the quiet command. You might consider getting more than one device, so each person has their own and you can keep them in different parts of your home, so they’re handy when you need them.

Show Your Dog Alternate Behaviors

The following technique requires more time, but if you are patient and stick with it, it can work. 

In addition to teaching your dog the quiet command and using the ultrasonic training device, teach your dog to associate playtime or treat time when you see neighbors. 

This is how it works: When the two of you see or hear your neighbors, give your dog a treat or invite her to play. Even if she barks, give her the treat or continue to play. Do this every time you see and hear your neighbors. Eventually, she will look to you for rewards when she sees the neighbors, because she will know this is a trigger for something great.  

One last piece of advice in this section: You may have heard the saying, “A tired pup is a good pup.” Make sure your dog gets exercise and he’ll be less wound up when he’s at home. 

Communicate With Your Neighbors About Your Dog

Let your neighbors know that you’re working with your dog to stop the annoying barking and ask for their support. Tell your neighbors if there is anything they need to know about your dog — if she isn’t good with children, is aggressive toward other dogs, or doesn’t like to be touched on the head, for example.  

Take your dogs on walks and introduce him to neighbors. Reward your dog when she exhibits good behaviors (with a treat or praise or a scratch behind the ears), and redirect her when she barks. By redirect, we mean this literally. When your dog barks at your neighbors, turn her around and head her away from the neighbors. When she doesn’t bark at neighbors, praise her and let her know she’s been a good dog.

What Not to Do When Your Dog Barks at Neighbors

Don’t argue with your neighbors about your dog. Empathize and acknowledge that you’ve heard their complaint. Let them know what you’re going to do and ask them to be patient.

Don’t admit guilt. Tell your neighbor that you’re sorry they’re bothered by the sound of a barking dog and ask them if they have suggestions. That lets them know you understand their frustration and you want to be a good neighbor.

Don’t yell at your dog when he barks. When you yell at a barking dog, you confuse him. He might think you’re just as alarmed as he is.

Don’t give up. We said this at the start of this article, and we’ll end with a reminder: Dog training takes time, patience and consistency. Some dog breeds are easier to train than others, and some dogs within breeds are easier than others. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool makes dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.