In this article we break down why your dog barks, how to prevent them and quickly stop them from barking.
Why do dogs bark?
Your dog may bark for a number of reasons, common ones include: when someone is at the door, other animals in your garden, to get your attention or maybe when they are bored.
If your dog is barking whilst they are alone then you will probably need to consult a dog behavioural specialist.
How to stop my dog barking at someone at the door
Many dogs bark a lot when they want to tell you about something specific they have seen or heard and in this example it’s someone at the door or the doorbell ringing.
Teaching your dog to perform a behaviour that takes their mind off the barking should work. Try something that your dog enjoys, for example, fetching games.
How to stop my dog barking for my attention
Solving attention seeking is always that simple, but if your dog is barking for your attention ensure you do not shout at them. This is because you are responding to their attention and effectively rewarding them by giving them what they’re asking for.
Instead try waiting silently until they stop barking. If this doesn’t work, try telling them a command for example, “sit” and give them a treat once completed.
How to stop my dog barking at other dogs
There are two reasons for this. One of them is known as ‘frustration-related barking’ and the other is known as ‘fear-related barking’.
The frustrated barking is due to your dog being on a lead and unable to run to the other dog. The fearful barking is because your dog is afraid of the other dog and wants them to go away.
It is important that you deal with this behaviour as soon as possible as it is likely to worsen which will make your walks with your dog increasingly stressful.
How to stop my dog barking through the window
If your dog is one to sit by the window and bark at people passing by, you can use simple management methods to prevent this. First, block access to their place by the window by offering them something else (that won’t make your neighbours dislike you).
If they are in a garden and bark from there try setting up some recall training. Offer them a treat once they stop barking and respond to your call by coming over to you. If you are unable to supervise them give them things to do in the garden that can take their mind off people passing by.
Methods to stop my dog barking
There are many other methods out there you can try if conventional methods are not working out for you before you have to fork out for consulting a specialist.
Desensitise your dog to the stimulus
Counter conditioning your dog can be a useful training tool to prevent your dog from barking. One example of this is recording sounds that trigger the barking and play these back to your dog - starting quietly and slowly building up the sound. As your dog stays silent through the sounds offer them a treat as a reward.
Ignore the barking
A proven strategy to get your dog to stop barking is to ignore them. Do not give them any attention whilst they are barking as your attention is rewarding their barking which is counter intuitive here. Do not even look at them until they stop.
If you want to speed up the process, even when they stop barking for breath, reward them with a treat. This is so they understand silence will get them a treat.
Keep your dog tired
In order to prevent your dog from barking out of frustration or boredom it is imperative you keep them mentally and physically active. By chasing a ball and playing with interactive toys, your dog should be too tired to bark for nonsensical reasons due to a lack of energy.
Getting your dog to stop barking is not really possible to do unless you can identify the cause. If you need some more information on why your dog is barking hit that link!
Is it against the law to have a barking dog?
In some places, barking dogs are covered by a specific state or local ordinance. If there's no law aimed specifically at dogs, a general nuisance or noise ordinance makes the owner responsible. And someone who allows a dog to bark after numerous warnings from police may be arrested for disturbing the peace.
Can I call the police for a barking dog?
Unless your local police uses the emergency number (such as 999) for all calls, do not call it to make a barking dog complaint.
Can I sue my neighbour for barking dog?
If nothing you’ve tried helps, you can sue the owner of a barking dog, on the ground that the dog is a nuisance that interferes with your use and enjoyment of your home. The least painful route is through small claims court. Small claims court procedures are simple and designed to be used without a lawyer. Getting your neighbour to fork over some money may be satisfactory to you in return for all the noise!
A dog barking has these days been ingrained into our lives so we do not really think much of it. However, if your dog is causing you misery by barking too often, we really recommend trying out some of these strategies and you may surprise yourself with what you can train your dog to do!
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